Math Monday: Hexagonal Stick Arrangements
APRIL 5, 2010

by George Hart

hexagonal-sticks-pencilsInterpenetrating hexagonal arrangements of sticks are a challenging mathematical exercise to assemble from pencils. Four different directions are used, as color-coded here. The above sculpture, 72 Pencils, has tiny dots of glue to hold itself together, but you can easily use eight rubber bands around the ends.
hexagonal-sticksThe idea scales up to larger sizes very nicely, as can be seen in this version made by David Russell from three-foot long dowels.
hexagonal-sticks-burningAnd what better way to celebrate the joys of mathematics than with a ritual conflagration!

This article first appeared on Make: Online, April 5, 2010.

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