Sunday, 1 April 2012

How to make a perfect companion cube from portal

This is My experience of trying to learn how to make a Companion Cube from the video game Portal. 

I am quite obsessed with portal and all things portal related and I have always wanted to have my very own Companion Cube. Surprisingly enough you can not buy a  Companion Cube (well not a life size one) online. So I decided to see how I could make one.

To start with I first search the internet for a "Net" of the  Companion Cube . I came across this Net it seamed very promising

But the Net is not very accurate and the folds do not work properly. I was really struggling with this build I even found a youtube video of someone building this Net. You can view this video here.

But I found this Net to be crap and I would not recommend it to anyone.

Defeated, or was I?

So my first attempt was not very successful but I was not going to give up. I decided to search google again but this time for "how to make a companion cube" and I found this blogger who had made her own Companion Cube. 

This Looked promising at first and I even got to printing out her corner bits But I soon realised that you was only using the Papercraft net made by Moony... And on closer inspection of her Companion Cube I realised that the build was not very accurate at all. I wanted to make a 100% accurate Companion Cube that I could sit on lol.

I did however modify her template to include the smaller side panels. 


If you want a quick and easy way to build a Companion Cube this is the one for you. 

How to make a perfect Companion Cube?

This was rattling my head "how do you make a real life Companion Cube?". I decided to see how people make halo armour as the process must be the same as making a Companion Cube and I wanted to know how I could make the Companion Cube strong enough to sit on. 

Back to Google... So I Googled "how to make halo armour" and there is loads of people make this shit its amazing. One of the first links I came across was this guy indymogul. This web site is full of people and tutorials on how to make halo armour and much more. 

I did not learn how to make a 
Companion Cube but I did discover a program called "Pepakura" This little program can turn 3D models into Nets that you can cut out and build. This was exactly what I needed to get my Companion Cube project started. All I needed now was a 3D model of the Companion Cube... 

Where the hell do you find a 3D model of the Companion Cube?

Google!!!!  You know it. I Googled "pepakura Companion Cube" and found this amazing forum full called it had loads of "Pepakura" files for building basically anything you want. I found one thread with some PDO files of the Companion Cube There are two files here the first file I didn't think would work as it seem too complicated but the second PDO file seemed like it could work. You can download it here.

The PDO file was ok and I decided to use it for build my "proto type Companion Cube" 

I resized all the bits to fit. (I wanted to make it as big as possible with A4 paper.) I used a 0.35 ratio and selected the sections I wanted to print out.

I started making the Companion Cube using this Net.

However I was not 100% satisfied with this net and decided to see if there was anyone else using it.

I Googled "how to make a companion cube with pepakura" and I found youtube videos for making halo and iron man armour lol but one video has a little gem init. This guy "microwavabletofoo" was making a  Companion Cube .

In the video he also offer to email people his "Pepakura" files for the Companion Cube as it was for a one  piece version. The PDO file I was working from was made with multiple pieces. So I emailed him.

But got no answer back....

I decided to continue with the Companion Cube I was working on. After all this was just a proto type.
 Slowly I construed each section.

The Companion Cube started to take shape as you can see here.

Then I got an email from  "microwavabletofoo's". The guy was a legend he not only emailed me the file but he had send me a textured version of the "Pepakura" one pieces version of the Companion Cube.

You can down load the none textured Companion Cube here and the textured one here

I continued building my fist attempt. Soon I had all the parts completed.

I had almost finished the my Companion Cube but I wanted to know if I could harden the paper... 

How to make paper hard...

Well I googled it, didn't I and you know what I found out... You can't make paper hard not unless your a 14 year old kid with loads of pva glue and you like folding paper.... I had already built the damn thing.... Oh well I decided to complete the proto type Companion Cube anyway...

Even though I found out you can't harden paper I wanted to find out how the people that make halo armour hard...

So I went back to google and searched 
"how to make halo armour" and went back to indymogul tutorial. 

With in the tutorial he talked about fiberglassing the armour. This is exactly what I need. So I tested the fiberglass resin on a section of paper... 

I bought a Daves Fibreglass kit from Halford. Now this totally blaged me the instruction for mixing the resin with the hardener are in milliliters and centimeters???? "for every 10 ml of resin you need 2-3 cm of hardener ????

Took me bloody ages to work this one out.... In the end I realised the hardener comes out like a sausage haha you measure the cm when you squeeze it out... ffs I must have bee having a bad day. 

Anyway I was not happy with the results and as the Companion Cube was build in sections their was no way I could fibreglass the inside of the Companion Cube.

It looks nice though...

In all this Companion Cube took me 1 month to complete. I'm currently looking for a way to paint it without damaging it as its made from paper most water based paints will make it warp... 

I have also started working on the one piece version of the Companion Cube. I'll updated my progress soon. 

 If you want any advice or need any help please comment or if you want me to make you one (at a price) I will consider it.


Keep an eye out for Companion Cube 
MK2 ;)

You can now buy this Companion Cube that I made here 


  1. A few questions...:

    1. Did you ever finish what you set out to do?
    2. The textured PDO won't open on my computer. Do I need to download the "Pepakura" program to view it? (sorry I must sound dumb)
    3. I thought the bloggers method would have worked because of the foam. Couldn't the foam hold weight?
    4. What do you think is the easiest, cheapest and most acurrate way to go about doing this?

    Thanks for your time!

  2. Thank you for the reply, I thought no one would ever read this lol. I'm still working on the big companion cube. I must have spent about £100 on this project in total. But I have wasted money on thing I did not need. You will need to instal pepakura if you wish to see the textured net. I think the foam would work but you would need to work out how to make it hard.

    I'm still working on my big companion cube. I may update the blog in fact...

    The cheapest way is with paper or card. The second cube I made would have still Been strong enough without the resin.... Anyway good luck if your gonna make one and sign up to the 405th forum as they can help you with everything pepakura related.

    And thank you for your comment.

  3. what were the exact measurements of the practice cube you made?

    1. You just have to do a test print to get the size right. remember your printing onto A4 paper. so I looked for the largest section in the Pepakura file and made sure that fit perfectly on within the size of the paper.

  4. Hey Mark!
    Would love to talk to you about making a companion cube for our Portal webseries which is on Kickstarter right now You can contact us at colinandconnor (at)

    Thanks and look forward to hearing back

  5. I'm planing a full scale portal themed event where the dancefloor is a full scale test chamber with everything you'd exspect I have already made a turret that lights up made 100% out of scavenged trash parts it looks meh ok enough for just fabricating it from memory next up is the cubes I'm going with cardboard for starters as it's Cheap! Once I got a few done and if I have time I'll do a wood one as that will hold weight
    If you'd like to stay in contact with me you can email me at topdawg81 at g mail

  6. The only computer I currently have access to is a Chromebook, on which I can't install Pepakura. Can you please put up a .pdf of this, please? I really want to make one for my GF for her office at work.

  7. Hi there, I am assuming i need to login to that 4shared website to download the pdo file? It asked me to login using social media so i was a bit wary of that.

    1. Dropbox changed the way it does shared linked. Here are the new ones.