Math Monday: Personal Rapid Prototyping Machines
JANUARY 17, 2011

by George Hart



The rise of personal rapid prototyping machines, such as the Makerbot, RepRap, or Fab@Home, allows one to make a variety of geometric models. Polyhedral models, such as this 5 cm ABS dodecahedron, are fairly straightforward.

Next is an 8cm model of a hyperboloid of one sheet, showing how it is made of straight lines. (A version made from bamboo skewers was shown in this Math Monday column a year ago.)

And here is a tricky assembly puzzle made of twelve identical notched rods. They were dyed four different colors to help clarify the structure.

If you have access to a 3D printer, you can build your own copies of these models from the STL files available here.




This article first appeared on Make: Online, January 17, 2011.

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