Anyone who has ever purchased a blank DIY cube from Cube4You (they do several different colours, not just black and white but red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink and even luminous blue and transparent) might feel a little daunted at the prospect of assembling it themselves. Hence this tutorial.

20170802 165338

What you get in a Cube4You package.

The package you receive should contain a large bag containing 8 corners (a), 8 corner blanking plates (b), 12 edges (c), 12 edge blanking plates (d), 6 centres (e), 6 centre blanking plates (f), and a small bag containing the core and at least 6 screws and 6 springs (g). You also get 6 sheets of stickers and one of transfer film, and a small box in which to keep or gift your completed cube (not illustrated here). You will also need a flat work surface, and a crosspoint (Philips) screwdriver of the right size.

Step 1: check bag contentsEdit

Prepare your work surface, and carefully spread the bag contents on it so that you can clearly see and count everything. Sort the contents.

Step 2: assemble the edges and cornersEdit

You need to cover the hole in each edge and corner so as to make a "solid" piece. The corner blanking plates fit into their holes without too many problems, but the edge plates can be a bit tricky at first. The trick is to press the tines down first, then the flat part, so that the plate lies flush with the body of the piece as intended.

Step 3: assemble the mechanismEdit

From the small bag, remove the core (red in the photo, but may be a different colour in the kit you receive) and one spring and one screw. (Sometimes the springs get tangled together and need to be eased apart). Thread the spring onto the screw, with the wide part of the spring (built-in washer) at the thread end (opposite the head), then thread this assembly into one of the centres. Screw this into one of the holes of the core. There is no need as yet to get the tension more than approximately right.

Repeat the above until all six centres are attached to the core.

Step 4: assemble the cubeEdit

Slip in an edge between two adjacent centres. Do so again with another centre adjacent to the first two. (For example, make the first edge DF and the second DR). Put the cube on your work surface with the two edges facing down, then slip a corner in between them. Add the third edge to lock the corner in place (FR in the above example). Continue this way until the bottom and middle layers are built.

Add an edge to the upper layer, then a corner, then lock that corner in place with another edge. Add an adjacent corner, then lock it with the third edge. Finally, add the last two corners, then slip the final edge into place (this may be easier if you give the top layer a 45° twist) to complete the build.

Step 5: finish the cubeEdit

Now is the time to fine-tune the spring tension, and lube the cube if you want to.

Push the centre blanking plates in place.

All that remains is to sticker the cube. A full set of stickers is provided, but if you wanted a standard cube you would probably have bought a ready-made one. Hence you will probably be using stickers from elsewhere; the following instructions apply equally well to the provided stickers, or to most of the (standard size 3×3) stickers sold by Olivérs.

Carefully peel the backing paper off the transfer film. (If you don't have a sheet of transfer film, or you accidentally ruined it by getting it stuck to itself or something, you can make one by cutting a roughly 80–100mm square piece from a roll of book binding film or transfer film, available from most good stationers or from Amazon.) Stick one sheet of stickers face-down to the film, afterwards rubbing them down to make sure they stick, then carefully peel the backing paper off the stickers, making sure they peel cleanly off the backing paper while remaining firmly stuck to the film. Finally, carefully position the stickers over the face of the cube which you're stickering, and when aligned, press them down onto the cube face, rub them down to ensure good adhesion, and carefully peel the transfer film off them. Repeat for the other five faces; with care, one sheet of transfer film should be enough for all six faces.

Of course, you could always transfer the stickers to the cube one by one, but using the transfer film allows you to do it in six operations instead of 54.

And if you think the above is complicated, see the video on 3x5x5 Super X-Cube.