In mathematics, a knot is a closed circle in a three-dimensional space that crosses itself multiple times. Since it is closed, it has no ends to tie, meaning you can't actually create such a knot. However, if you tie the ends together after you create a knot in the standard way, you will have something that is close to the mathematical description. In this post, we will explore the creation of mathematical knot sculputures using copper tubing and solid solder wire.
My first attempt with the sonobe unit! I'm now addicted. I'll be spending the holiday folding. Instructions here.
Torus knots are beautiful knots formed by wrapping a line around a torus and tying the ends together to form a loop. The resulting knot has a star-like appearance when viewed from above. The 36 examples with the least number of crossings can be seen at the Knot Atlas's page on torus knots.
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.
So beautiful... I'm looking forward to tackling this one: Via David Petty:
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!
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.
Much more complex than I had to make it- that's why I posted it. I think it looks cool...
Download the Software Go to the Antiprism downloads page. Download and install Antiprism 0.20.
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.
Cory's post with instructions and templates Here's my first attempt at the 30 squares model. I needed to be a little bit more careful in the measuring and cutting as not everything matches up - but it is still a really pleasing shape.
After Cory Poole posted some great Escher snowflakes, and Cerek Tunca had the great idea of using it as a base for a tetrahedron, well, I just had to give it a go. I will post a few more pictures and variants later (I think this was what Cerek was envisaging—if not let me know!)
This week's post on creating 6-sided Kirigami Snowflakes got me interested in seeing whether I could use the process to create tessellation snowflakes using the method. I still haven't succeeded, but I did decide to make some ornaments based off a few of the tessellations by M.C. Escher that have a 6 sided symmetry.
If you haven't participated in this week's Math Craft project on the platonic solids, maybe this will inspire you to do so.
If you take two flat mirrors and place them front to back and look at them, you can see an infinite number of reflections. While this is a self-replicating pattern and can be somewhat mesmerizing, it isn't anywhere as interesting as looking at the chaotic scattering of light that can occur between 3 or 4 spheres.
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):
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.
After becoming addicted to basic sonobe modular origami, I decided to make ornaments for relatives as Christmas gifts. I tried using fancy paper from stores like Paper Source, and cutting it to proper origami size, but I could never get the tight folds I wanted with non-traditional, non-origami paper. I ended up using this metallic origami paper that folds beautifully, and I'm pretty happy with the tiny models I ended up with. Forgive these pictures (iPhone/Instagram), I don't have my regular...
Tom Friedman is one of my favorite artists. He's got a great sense of humor, and his work is meticulous and beautiful. He forays into Math Art, and from a partisan perspective, he seems to be inspired by mathematics, but the end results are more of a whimsical twist than a mathematically "correct" execution. But I could be totally wrong. Comment below and fill me in.
It's Monday, which means once again, it's time to highlight some of the recent community submissions posted to the Math Craft corkboard. In this post, we'll also make a flexagon, which is a type of transformable object.
Since it is now the holiday season, I thought we could spend this weekend making some baked goods that have mathematical patterns on them. In this post, we'll look at making cookies that have a fractal pattern based off of a modification of the pixel cookie technique.
Imatfaal's awesome post on Escher's tessellations on Polyhedra reminded me of some ornaments I made this summer. I made some of Escher's square tessellations onto cubes and then reprojected them onto spheres. I actually used a 60 sided Deltoidal hexecontahedron since that net is fairly easy to fold and looks pretty round.
Just watched PBS origami doc Between the Folds last night. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful film, really inspiring. Lots of Math Craft-related subject matter. Available instant on Netflix, or for rent on iTunes.
This is how my version of an origami Christmas tree turned out based on the instructions I posted awhile back. Cory also made a version from white glossy paper, which looks great. I opted for the green and brown look, but it wasn't easy.
This is just too cool. As soon as I saw this, I thought, "Math Craft!"
Since today (11/11/11) is the last 6 digit binary date this century, I thought we should look at some kinetic binary calculators.
Last post, we looked at fractal cookies based off of the recipe by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. In this post, we'll follow their recipe for fractal cupcakes based off of the Koch Snowflake, which we used previously to decorate pumpkins for Halloween.
The initial idea for this project was to use magnets in the tips of the stellated octahedron and the intersections of the metal rings for either suspension or even a sort of weightless rotation. This turned out to be a bit too ambitious considering I'm working with found mirror and hot glue. So instead, I scrapped the magnets and went with simply mounting it on a skateboard bearing so it can freely rotate and not be bound to the base.
Did you know that you can "write" in polyhedra? I just stumbled across a $24.99 font called Divina Proportione. Created by Brazilian graphic designer Paulo W, the typeface is constructed with beautiful geometric renderings by the famous Renaissance printmaker Albrecht Dürer.
I have a lot more images at hyperqbert's Profile • Instagram.
Andrew Lipson builds sculptures based off of Mathematical objects using standard Lego bricks. He has built models of knots, Mobius strips, Klein bottles, Tori, Hoberman spheres (using Lego technic pieces), and recreations of M.C. Escher works.
These are a few examples of my latest craze. It is basically a 3d weave of cocktail sticks—just lots of them. I have made them from chopsticks and skewers as well, but have given those as presents and don't have any pictures.
This is a zigzag tensegrity based on a small stellated dodecahedron. There are string pentagons on the outside of the model where the vertices have opened. It is made of thirty units, consisting of a barbecue stick pair with a loop of elastic. The stick pairs are all "floating", and weave through the model without contacting any other stick pairs. It is quite tricky to assemble, but can be done entirely by hand.
Cory has posted some great picture of Father Magnus' intersecting cubes (the great man is holding one in his right hand) - well the above is what happens when five tetrahedra intersect. It is modular origami and made from just ten sheets of origami paper. technically in a folding sense it is easy - but putting it together is mind-warping
Looking into mathematical quilting, I came across a community of mathematical knitters. Check out Dr. Sarah-Marie Belcastro's (research associate at Smith college and lecturer at U Mass Amherst) mathematical knitting resource page.
Here's my Sonobe Jasmine Dodecahedron built from Imatfaal's instructions.
Halloween is coming up, so many of you may have a need or desire to carve a pumpkin and turn it into a Jack O' Lantern. This week we are going to explore carving our pumpkins into interesting geometric shapes. In this post, we will carve the pumpkins into spherical versions of polyhedra, and in Thursday's post we will carve 2 dimensional stars and some simple fractal designs into the pumpkins.
Fractals and stars are two of the most beautiful and complicated-looking classes of geometric objects out there. We're going to explore these objects and how to carve them on a pumpkin. Unlike the last one on carving polyhedral pumpkins, where we used the entire pumpkin to carve a 3 dimensional shape, the pumkin carving in this post will involve two-dimensional images on a small part of the pumpkin's surface.
Natural processes often create objects that have a fractal quality. Fractal branching patterns occur in plants, blood vessel networks, rivers, fault lines, and in several electrical phenomena. Many of these processes take lifetimes, or even occur on geological timescales. But this is not the case for electrical phenomena. They often occur near instantaneously. One example would be the branching patterns that sometimes occur in lightning.