Pepakura (often referred to as "Pep") is a program that creates buildable papercraft models. Using 3 dimensional data, Pepakura allows the model to be unfolded to a flat template to be cut, folded, and glued together. Pepakura accepts a range of 3D file extensions, and can save files in its native extension (.pdo). While Pep is good for starting armorers, it rarely ends up high quality. And if it does, it can cost around $500USD to achieve the level of detail inherent in most molded armor.

Pepakura can also be used as a base for molded armor- it provides a good base of the basic shapes to work from. Adding detail and smoothing yields great, re-cast-able results.

Thumbnail-Achtung.svg Your safety is your responsibility alone, not the authors of these articles! This page includes content that is considered to be instructional, using products, tools, substances and/or methods that may, or may not be harmful if additional safety concerns are not addressed. It is highly recommended that you research and follow the applicable safety methods before following these instructions. This Wikia has a safety page you should become familiar with, but it is in no way considered to be a complete authority on the subject.

PLEASE NOTE: Some Pep authors do not allow their .pdo files to be rehosted, or linked to, from this Wiki. Please do not add files without confirmation from the Authors of these files.


Q: What is Pepakura?

A: Pepakura Designer allows you to create a development for paper craft easily from 3D data used in 3D CG software. You can load a 3d image and make adjustments (not featured in this tutorial) or you can load already saved files from Pepakura and print them out to assemble a 3d object using only paper!

Q: What is pepakura printed on?

A: The .pdo files (The ones that Pep uses)that are shared here are, for the most part, saved to print on normal letter paper, but some are formatted for A4, This is a universal standard size paper, however it is not what is typically used here in the United States (Letter). If you are using a model with an A4 format you will have to change the settings and manipulate the images to make sure they fit on the paper, which is covered here.

Q: What type of paper works best?

A: Pep is usually printed on cardstock, which is just a thicker type of paper (still printer friendly). 110lb cardstock is most common and can be bought at any office supply store, or even wal-mart and is about $10USD for about 200 pages (we recommend about 500 pages on hand if you're going to make a whole suit).


First, read this entire page. {C    
Make sure you read the whole page. {C    
Then, grab the stuff on the shopping list at the bottom and follow the steps below.

Download PepakuraEdit

To download Pepakura, you will need to visit Pepakura's website

Select "Download" from the left.    
Once on the download page, select Pepakura Designer.    
Follow the download and installation instructions on that page.

Download the Armor FilesEdit

There are several people who have made downloadable armor files.    
You can find them at our Pepakura File Index.

If you can't find what you need, try here (Note that you do need an account to download the files!): - Pepakura Download Database

Remove Face ColorEdit

You can save ink by turning off the gray fill color that may be enabled. The color isn't necessary, as you won't see it when your piece is finished. Simply click the "BothWindows" tab at the top, and un-check "Use materials for faces". {C    
This should turn your model white, as well as all of the pieces shown on the right.

Sometimes the option is already unchecked. If it is, this step is not needed.

In some versions it is the "others" tab at the top. Uncheck "textures On/Off" for the same result.

Changing Paper SizeEdit

If you are using a file formatted for A4 paper, then you might need to change it to letter format. {C    
To change the page configuration from A4 to letter:

1. Select the "File" tab and select "Print and Paper Configuration".

2. Change the paper size to letter from A4.

3. You should also change the margins as low as possible. 10 is a good number.


You can use this formula to determine how big you should make your armor: Master Chief is 7'2" tall (86 inches).

1. Find out your height in inches.

2. Add 4-6 inches to that(If you don't, your armor will not fit)

3. Divide your height by 86. (xx / 86 = x.xxxxx)

4. Take the number you found in step 3, and multiply it by the current scale (usually around 31.9).

5. Go to Pepakura Designer, open the .pdo file, and go to the "scale" and then "scale factor".

6. Enter the number you found in step 4 in the "scale" box.

Note: Keep in mind: the size of the default scale that's in use before you edit is from the base of the ground to the top outside of MC's helmet. You don't really want the top of your head to be touching the top of the inside of the helmet if you expect it to fit right. So you may want to add two or three inches to your actual height before doing the math. This may help other areas as well, where it could come through a bit tight. {C     
After you print, double check that all flaps have numbers on them. Also, print a Bicep with the scaling you have decided for yourself to make sure that it fits properly. It is much easier to make a bicep than it is a helmet.

You could also go to the following link for pepakura file scaling methods;

How To Scale Your Armour-Tutorial

Each method in the above link is designed to help you scale your pepakura armour with ease and great accuracy.

Rearranging LayoutEdit


Since letter and A4 paper are different sizes, the pieces will usually not fit after you change the paper size. You will need to re-align them to fit on the pages.

First, get rid of the 3D window, so that you will have more room to re-arrange the pieces. Select the "Configuration" tab, and click on "Show Only 2DPatternWindow".

To space the patterns out, you'll need to use the "Select and Move" tool. {C     You can select it in the right-click menu. Now, arrange all of the piece so they all fit on the pages, and don't overlap. You can put as many pieces on one page as you can without overlap, but some space aids in cutting it out.


Using only the "Select and Move" tool, you can arrange all of the pieces. However, if you don't want to waste paper, you can use the "Rotate Part" tool to arrange the pieces closer, and conserve paper.

To use the "Rotate Part" tool, select it in the right-click menu. Now when you click on a piece, small circles will appear on its vertexes. Select a pivot vertex. There should now be a cross hair on it. Now, click and drag another vertex in order to spin the piece.

Position your parts to your satisfaction. Tip: Goto 2D Menu, select 'Check for Overlapping Parts' to ensure nothing overlaps.

Pepakura Printing SettingsEdit

After you have the paper resized, and the patterns re-aligned, you should be able to print. There are a few more things that you may want to change before printing though.


You can change whether or not there are flaps (which are used to tape or glue one pattern to the other), color the flaps, or change the width of the flaps.

Edge IDEdit

You can turn on or off the Edge ID- it's a number that helps you match adjacent edges. From here you can also flip the ID position and change the font size. Size 6 font will reduce the chance of numbers overlapping.

Line StyleEdit

Here you can edit appearance of your line, if it is a Cut Line, Mountain Line (outside fold) or Valley Line (inside fold). Knowing the overall look of your Mountain and Valley lines will help you know whether you are folding out or folding in. If you are not satisfied with the line type defaults, you can also change them to your preference.


Before you print it, you may want to do the following:

1. Download PrimoPDF and install.

2. This will create a virtual printer that, when printed to, creates PDF files.

3. Print your PEP pages to that printer and create the file.

4. Open the PDF file.

5. Select all tab numbers on page one and copy/paste them to NotePad.

6. Fix the numbers so they show up one tab number per line.

7. copy this list to Excel, or Open Office (Free), so you get something like this:

1|   |   |   |   |   |   | <--Page Numbers
5|   |   |   |   |   |   |
13|   |   |   |   |   |   |
99|   |   |   |   |   |   |
55|   |   |   |   |   |   | <--- Tabs on that page
43|   |   |   |   |   |   |
12|   |   |   |   |   |   |
etc....   |   |   |   |   |

8. The first line is the page number, the other numbers are the tab numbers on that page.

9. repeate steps 5 to 7 until you get a spreadsheet with one column per PDF page.

10. When you are locating the tabs, all you have to do is CTRL-F, enter the tab number, and you will know on what page its on.

Check it one last time, and maybe again.. then print it.

Cutting OutEdit

Using a sharp X-acto knife or scissors, cut out the faces and tabs.

Fold Your LinesEdit

With Pen and RulerEdit

1. Find 2 different color pens and a metal ruler. (Note: You can also use a single pen that is out of ink, so you can see the line patterns!)

2. Assign each color pen to a fold type (eg. red = mountain, blue = valley)

3. Line up the ruler on the line that you will be scoring. Use the appropriate color pen for the fold line.

4. Use the pen to score the line. Press harder than normal, and run the pen back and forth at least once.

5. Fold the piece the appropriate way.

With a KnifeEdit

This will give sharper lines than the pen method, but it's easy to press down too hard and cut all the way through. {C    
You can score freehand, or use a ruler as in with pen and ruler method.

1. Make some test cuts on a piece of scrap to gauge the pressure you should apply.

2. Score along the fold line using a light amount of pressure. (too much and you will cut through the paper-too little and you will not get a good score line)

3. Fold the piece the appropriate way.

With a Dull KnifeEdit

A dull knife, such as an ordinary table knife, can be used to compress paper fibers at the fold line, to aid folding.

1. Make sure the knife has no serrations to cut the paper.

2. Find a hard surface to work on.

3. Press the knife firmly along the line.

4. Fold the piece the appropriate way.


After you cut out and score all the pieces, you might be in dismay at the enormity of the task... {C    
Pep IS cheap, but it is not a one day process; take a break if you are feeling overwhelmed. Start with a flat side away from edges; if you start at an edge, tiny imperfections will build up, you may find that your piece is deformed, or that you can't fit a piece in properly.

There are several different methods for connecting the pieces, they range from simple to exotic:

Hot Glue:Edit

Most popular and easiest method. Combines the strength of CA glue with the ease of Scotch tape. It can be removed- carefully- and re-glued if a seam is misaligned.

Scotch/Masking TapeEdit

Very temporary. Should only be used if no other method is available, or sufficient testing has been done to ensure later construction methods will not ruin your work piece. Scotch/masking tape will not dissolve during resining.

Hobby GlueEdit

This is a good choice. It comes in small containers and you will need several, though. It's also still toxic, unless you can find a non toxic brand, also use a well ventilated room.

Strengthening & DetailingEdit

Once you're done with the assembly, put it on!    
Take a picture. Snipe your dog. Melee your neighbors. Stick your parents.

Now get to the Strengthening page to learn to strengthen your armor, then on to our Detailing page to learn how to detail your armor.

Shopping ListEdit

1. Card Stock

2. Pepakura Designer (program)

3. Printer

4. Clean Workspace

5. Scissors

6. Metal Ruler

7. Red Pen (if used)

8. Blue Pen (if used)

9. Hot Glue Gun and sticks, or CA glue

10. X-acto knife (if used)

11. Epoxy Glue

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