Cardboard is a versatile material. It is cheap and abundant, yet sturdy. I have always wanted a mounted moose head in my home, but a taxidermy moose can cost thousands of dollars. Using the free 123D Make software from Autodesk (www.123dapp.com/make) and the laser cutter at my local TechShop(www.techshop.ws) I was able to create a much cheaper and more humane way to create a trophy wall.
The process is simple; create a free 123D acount, open the 123D Make online app, select a CAD model from the huge online community, slice the model, select the slicing direction, and choose the sheet size you want your slices cut out on. If you download the desktop app, you can also change the size of the model and create other effects such as hollowing out the model(as seen in the rhinoceros during assembly). The files are easy to export into Corel Draw or other laser cutting compatible design softwares. Cut the models out with the laser cutter(or if you are not able to access a laser cutter, with a scroll saw or an exacto knife) and prepare for assembly.
Assembly is quite simple, and most objects can be assembled in under an hour. If you create your own model from the online 123D app, you can open the step-by-step assembly instructions, but I will give the basic steps for assembling any model. Arrange your pieces in numerical order and do a quick test assembly to make sure that the model looks correct. Disassemble the model and find an adhesive such as wood glue for assembly. If you look closely, you can see that there are small lines and crosses on the pieces. These are for aligning the pieces correctly. Simply begin with piece #1 and put a small amount of glue where piece #2 would go. Line up the small markings to ensure the pieces are in the correct place. Continue this by gluing #2 to #3 and so on until you have glued all of the pieces together. I recommend gluing the large pieces first, letting the model dry, and gluing the smaller pieces on later.
Have fun building your models and I below are specific specifications for each of the 4 models listed above, as well as files for an 18" by 24" laser cutter. Build one of these models yourself, as pictures don't do them justice.
Bear- Created from 4 sheets of 18" by 24" cardboard
Easiest model to build
48 pieces total
8" high by 7" long by 8" wide
Rhino- Created from 5 sheets of 18" by 24" cardboard
62 pieces total
8" high by 9" long by 8" wide
Moose- Created from 1 sheet of 18" by 24" cardboard
Complicated due to many small pieces
98 pieces total
7" high by 6" long by 7" wide
Unicorn- Created from 4 sheets of 18" by 24" cardboard
68 pieces total
12" tall by 9" long by 10" wide