Sculpture Puzzles

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George W. Hart: Sculpture Puzzles. In: Bridges 2006. Pages 195–202



A series of novel sculpture-puzzles is illustrated, with mathematical explanation. Each consists of a set of identical parts that snap together into a symmetric form. The parts are flat, so they can be cut out or stamped from sheet materials such as wood, metal, plastic, or cardboard. High accuracy is required for the parts to mate properly, so computer-controlled fabrication technologies are useful. The examples shown were made by laser-cutting, by solid freeform fabrication techniques, or by scissors and paper. Their intricate geometric forms make for challenging assembly puzzles and attractive artworks. A template and instructions show how to make one from paper.

Extended Abstract


Used References

[1] H.S.M. Coxeter, et al., The Fifty-Nine Icosahedra, U. Toronto Pr., 1938.

[2] G.W. Hart, "Sculpture from Symmetrically Arranged Planar Components", in Meeting Alhambra, (Proceedings of ISAMA-Bridges 2003, Granada, Spain), Javier Barrallo et al editors, Univ. of Granada, 2003, pp. 315-322.

[3] G.W. Hart, "Orderly Tangles Revisited", in Renaissance Banff, (Proceedings of Bridges 2005: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science, Banff, AB), Reza Sarhangi and Robert Moody editors, 2005, pp. 449-465.

[4] G.W. Hart, "The Geometric Aesthetic," in The Visual Mind II, Michele Emmer (ed.), MIT Press, 2005.

[5] Rinus Roelofs, “Three Dimensional and Dynamic Constructions Based on Leonardo Grids”, in Renaissance Banff, (Proceedings of Bridges 2005, Banff, Alberta), Reza Sarhangi and Robert Moody editors, 2005, pp. 161-168.

[6] Jerry Slocum, et al., Puzzles Old and New, Univ. Wash. Pr., 1986, p. 4.


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