# Hot Math Craft Posts

### How To: Fold a Pentakis Dodecahedron

Math Craft admin Cory Poole provided quite a few recipes for sonobe models in his blog, and I followed one to make the pentakis dodecahedron here.

### How To: Make 6-Sided Kirigami Snowflakes

We've all made them. I remember making hundreds of paper snowflakes when I was in elementary school. You take a piece of paper and fold it in half, then fold it in half again. You now have a piece that is one fourth the size of the original. Now you fold it in half diagonally. You then cut slices out of the edges of the paper, and unfold to find that you have created a snowflake. The resulting snowflake has four lines of symmetry and looks something like this: If you fold it in half diagonall...

### How To: Make Yin-Yang Modular Polyhedra

Last Thursday's post demonstrated how to Make Yin-Yang Pillow boxes, which were based on equilateral triangles and squares. The units for making these boxes were created by Phillip Chapman-Bell, who runs an amazing origami blog and has a spectacular flickr photostream. Using these units, you can make also make 4 of the 5 platonic solids. I made an additional template based on the regular pentagon so that the dodecahedron can be built completing the set.

### News: 7 Templates for Slide-Together Geometric Paper Constructions

The "slide-together" paper construction method is a fun and satisfying way to build 3D geometric objects. It only requires paper, scissors or an exacto knife, and some patience.

### How To: Make Icosahedral Planet Ornaments

In honor of the new Astronomy World, I thought we should look at a few planetary icosahedrons. The icosahedron is the most round of the Platonic solids with twenty faces, thus has the smallest dihedral angles. This allows it to unfold into a flat map with a reasonably acceptable amount of distortion. In fact, Buckminster Fuller tried to popularize the polyhedral globe/map concept with his Dymaxion Map.

### How To: Make Yin-Yang Pillow Boxes

Here's a Math Craft project that takes less than 20 minutes, has an attractive, practical result, and is at least a little mind-blowing due to folding along curves.

### News: Making Art with the Golden Ratio

You can do some pretty cool stuff with the golden ratio. The image above is made from taking each quarter-circle in the golden spiral and expanding it into a full circle. In the second image, the spiral and the golden rectangles are overlaid on the the first image, showing how it works.

### News: Alexander Graham Bell's Tetrahedral Obsession

Oobject put together a neat compilation of the famous telephone inventor's love for tetrahedrons. Scroll down to see his collection of pyramids, building towers, buildings, boats, kites and planes—all made completely out of tiny tetrahedrons. Amazing.

### Modular Origami: How to Make a Cube, Octahedron & Icosahedron from Sonobe Units

Modular origami is a technique that can be used to build some pretty interesting and impressive models of mathematical objects. In modular origami, you combine multiple units folded from single pieces of paper into more complicated forms. The Sonobe unit is a simple example unit from modular origami that is both easy to fold and compatible for constructing a large variety of models. Below are a few models that are easy to make using this unit.

### How To: Create Parabolic Curves Using Straight Lines

Curve stitching is a form of string art where smooth curves are created through the use of straight lines. It is taught in many Junior High and High School art classes. I discovered it when my math students started showing me the geometric art they had created.

### How To: Create Concentric Circles, Ellipses, Cardioids & More Using Straight Lines and a Circle

Using only a circle and straight lines, it's possible to create many different curves that are quite pleasing to look at and well known mathematically. Most of the curves that are going to be explored in this post are featured at this site, which has a program for generating them, and this site which explores some of the geometry used in creating these curves. I recommend exploring both of them if you are going to create any of the designs below.

### How To: Welcome to Math Craft World! (Bonus: How to Make Your Own Paper Polyhedra)

Welcome to Math Craft World! This community is dedicated to the exploration of mathematically inspired art and architecture through projects, community submissions, and inspirational posts related to the topic at hand. Every week, there will be approximately four posts according to the following schedule:

### How To: Holy String Art, Batman! 6 of the Coolest Thread Art Projects Ever

You may remember string art from your elementary school days. If so, it probably makes you think of the 2D geometrical designs that took every ounce of patience you had as a kid. Or those laborious curve stitch drawings, which string art was actually birthed from. But thanks to some innovative modern artists, string art has gotten a lot more interesting. Here are some of the most creative applications so far.

### Math Craft Monday: Community Submissions (Plus How to Make a Modular Origami Intersecting Triangles Sculpture)

It's once again Monday, which means it's time to highlight some of the most recent community submissions posted to the Math Craft corkboard. I also thought we'd take a look at building a model that has appeared in numerous posts. It's the simplest of the intersecting plane modular origami sculptures: The WXYZ Intersecting Planes model.

### Modular Origami: How to Make a Truncated Icosahedron, Pentakis Dodecahedron & More

Last post, the Sonobe unit was introduced as a way to use multiple copies of a simply folded piece of paper to make geometric objects. In this post, we are going to explore that concept further by making two more geometric models. The first is the truncated icosahedron, which is a common stitching pattern for a soccer ball. The second was supposed to be the pentakis dodecahedron, but through systematic errors last night, I actually built a different model based off of the rhombic triacontahed...

### Modular Origami: Icosahedron, Octahedron & Cube

I spent the holiday weekend becoming fluent in the basics of modular origami. With practice, you can churn out the below models surprisingly quickly.

### How To: Make the Platonic Solids Out of Playing Cards

Computer Science Professor Francesco De Comité has a fantastic gallery of mathematical images on Flickr. As part of this collection, he has a few hundred images of real or rendered polyhedra made out of paper or playing cards which he calls "slide togethers." These are constructed by making cuts and then sliding one component into the other, creating a shape without using any glue. He constructed the entire set of the platonic solids—the cards form their edges—which can be seen in the image b...

### Math Craft Monday: Community Submissions (Plus How to Make an Orderly Tangle of Triangles)

It's Monday, which means once again, it's time to highlight some of the recent community submissions posted to the Math Craft corkboard. I also thought that we'd try and create something known as an "Orderly Tangle" or "Polylink".

### How To: Make a Sonobe Jasmine Dodecahedron

Math Craft admin Cory Poole posted instructions on How to Make a Cube, Octahedron & Icosahedron from Sonobe Units, plus some great complex models in his article, How to Make a Truncated Icosahedron, Pentakis Dodecahedron & More. These models use the standard sonobe unit and a coloured variant.

### How To: Make a Hyperbolic Paraboloid Using Skewers

In Monday's post, we created a sliceform model of a hyperbolic paraboloid. In today's post, we will create a similar model using skewers. The hyperbolic paraboloid is a ruled surface, which means that you can create it using only straight lines even though it is curved. In fact, the hyperbolic paraboloid is doubly ruled and is one of only three curved surfaces than can be created using two distinct lines passing through each point. The others are the hyperboloid and the flat plane.

### News: Nice Range of Modular Models

A source of inspiration... Models folded and photographed by Michal Kosmulski. There are only two sets of instructions on the site, but they are very well done. I wish he had covered more of the models. Here are a few I would like to tackle (I'll admit my eyes are bigger than my plate):

### News: Math Craft Inspiration of the Week: The Kinetic Wave Sculptures of Reuben Margolin

Reuben Margolin builds large scale kinetic sculptures based off of mechanical waves. Some of his sculptures contain hundreds of pulleys all working in harmony with each other to create sinusoidal waves and their resulting interference patterns. He designs them all on paper and does all of the complicated trigonometric calculations by hand. Everything is mechanical; there are no electronic controllers.

### News: Math Craft Inspiration of the Week: The Curved Geometric Paper Sculptures of Richard Sweeney

Richard Sweeney is an incredible artist whose body of work consists mainly of sculptures made from paper. His art is often related to origami, and much of his work is related to geometrical forms. I personally really love his modular forms in paper. Many of them are based off of the platonic solids, which have been discussed in previous posts this week. Below are a small number of his sculptures, which are very geometric in nature.

### News: TUVWXYZ Star Model

So beautiful... I'm looking forward to tackling this one: Via David Petty:

### News: Mathematical Quilting

I got hooked on origami sometime after Math Craft admin Cory Poole posted instructions for creating modular origami, but I had to take a break to finish a quilt I've been working on for a while now. It's my first quilt, and very simple in its construction (straight up squares, that's about it), but it got me thinking about the simple geometry and how far you could take the design to reflect complex geometries. Below are a few cool examples I found online.

### News: More String Art

I was browsing Reddit.com yesterday and noticed this post. User guyanonymous (yes I am really crediting him regardless of his name!) had posted up this string-art picture which has parabolic curves created from straight lines and gave me permission to post it up here on the corkboard. I love the repeating "flower" pattern.

### How To: Make a Two Circle Wobbler from CDs

One of my favorite simple projects is building two circle wobblers. I love how such a simple object amazes with its motion. The two circle wobbler is an object made out of two circles connected to each other in such a way that the center of mass of the object doesn't move up or down as it rolls. This means that it will roll very easily down a slight incline. It will also roll for a significant distance on a level surface if you start it by giving it a small push or even by blowing on it!

### Math Craft Monday: Community Submissions (Plus How to Make a Sliceform Hyperbolic Paraboloid)

It's Monday, which means once again, it's time to highlight some of the most recent community submissions posted to the Math Craft corkboard. I also thought we'd take a look at building a sliceform model of a hyperbolic paraboloid.

### News: Modular Paper Sculptures Based off of Richard Sweeney's Work

Here's my version of his icosahedron: I colored it in this one so that you can see the pentagonal faces of a dodecahedron:

### You Won't Believe They Roll: How to Build Half Circle and Elliptical Wobblers

If you thought the last post on Two Circle Wobblers was wild, then wait until you see what happens when you build wobblers out of two half circles or two ellipses. In both of these cases, the center of gravity still remains constant in the vertical direction, allowing them to roll down the slightest of inclines or even travel a significant distance on a level surface if given a push or even when blown on.

### News: 180 Unit Sonobe Buckyball

I wondered how silly you could get with sonobe, and had a bash at a buckyball, which is a fullerene (technically a truncated isocahedron; you can see a simple model here). It's twelve pentagons—each surrounded by 5 hexagons (20 in total)—making a football shape in England or a soccer ball shape in the USA.

### Math Craft Monday: Community Submissions (Plus How to Make Mobius Strips)

It's another Monday, which means once again, it's time to highlight some of the recent community submissions posted to the Math Craft corkboard. Additionally, I thought we'd take a look at the Mobius Strip.

### News: Best Math Class Project Ever

I wish there was more information about this impressively massive sonobe model, but all I can glean is that it appears to have been made by Imogen Warren, and was posted by Room 3. So awesome.

### Holiday Project: Origami Christmas Trees

Thanksgiving. It's sadly over. But happily replaced by the Christmas season!

### News: Mathematical Curve Stitching Takes on the Rubik's Cube

Scrabble is definitely my pastime addiction of choice, but it's not the only game I frequent. I'm a big chess fan, crossword lover, and hooked on puzzles—any kind of puzzles. Logic puzzles, sudoko, and... the Rubik's Cube.

### News: Origami Sierpinski Tetrahedron Constructed with 250+ Modules

I've already posted a brief roundup of interesting models folded by Michal Kosmulski, expert orgami-ist and IT director at NetSprint. However, I didn't include my favorite model, because I felt it deserved its own post. Kosmulski folded an elaborate and large Sierpinski tetrahedron, which he deems "level 3" in difficulty. (Translation: hard). It is constructed with 128 modules and 126 links, based on Nick Robinson's trimodule.

### News: Math Craft Inspiration of the Week: The Origami Tessellations of Eric Gjerde

Eric Gjerde is a master of origami who devotes much of his energy on origami tessellations. Some of his pieces fold nearly flat, forming layers that add just a hint of depth. These pieces look beautiful when lit from behind, due to the variations in brightness and color. Other pieces utilize three dimensions more fully, with repeated structures rising out of the flat page.

### News: DIY Papercraft Architecture with Lighting

This is probably the least "Mathy" thing I will ever post. In my opinion, it's impossible to have architecture that isn't mathematical in some sense, so I am posting it anyway. Two years ago, I made a papercraft version of a cathedral in Christchurch New Zealand (It was severely damaged in an earthquake earlier this year) and cut holes for all of the windows and lit it with LED lights. I gave it to my Mom as a Christmas gift. I thought it made for a pretty amazing "Christmas Village" piece.

### News: Platonic Solid Made from Rider Back Playing Cards

Below, my construction of a Platonic Solid made from playing cards. To make your own, templates can be found at George Hart's site; there are also full step-by-step instructions here.