Math Monday: Mathematical Beading
JUNE 7, 2010

by George Hart



Beading is a traditional craft which recently has been applied to make interesting mathematical models. Here are some impressive examples by Bih-Yaw Jin, starting with a beaded Mobius strip.

Beaded Mobius Strip

A beaded helical surface twists through space like a cork screw.

Beaded Helix Corkscrew

All five Platonic solids are shown here, using beads for their edges: octahedron, cube, tetrahedron, icosahedron, and dodecahedron.

Beaded Platonic Solids

This is a model of a high-genus Fullerene, which in principle could be synthesized from carbon atoms.

Beaded High Genus Fullerene

Given enough patience, this triply-periodic minimal surface could, in principle, be extended in all directions.

Beaded Triply Periodic Minimal Surface

What interesting shapes can you make with beads?


This article first appeared on Make: Online, June 7, 2010.

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