A Dutch “paper engineer” has managed to squeeze all of the functionality of the Nintendo Labo cardboard piano into a pop-up book. The pop-up piano, which uses a Joy-Con controller to control the companion Nintendo Switch game, includes a full set of 13 keys, an overdrive button, and the ability to change between multiple effects by inserting different effects keys. You can even prop the piano’s lid open using a small cardboard arm.
Jean-Paul Leconte’s creation does all of this, while handily avoiding one of Labo’s greatest flaws, which is that once you’ve assembled all of your kits, you’re left with a house that’s filled to the brim with bulky cardboard creations. In contrast, this cardboard piano folds down into a book that’s no bigger than a typical hardback.
It’s a deceptively simple creation, but Leconte had to solve some tricky challenges to get it to work. The actual keyboard portion of the piano was a particular challenge since each key needed to be able to return to its starting position after each press. Additionally, the mechanism still needed to be readable by the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con that reads the movements. And, of course, it all had to fold down neatly.
Leconte describes the project as an “experimental and personal challenge.” With a construction time of around two weeks, it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be widely releasing his piano anytime soon. However, if you’ve never tried out the Labo for yourself, then now’s as good a time as any to dive in.