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George writes – “This page shows a relatively quick and easy method for making simple but fascinating tensegrity structures. The only materials needed are plastic soda straws, small paper clips, and rubber bands. The assembled tensegrity structures are polyhedral forms which vividly illustrate the separate forces of tension and compression. They are robust enough to squeeze and jiggle. Rubber bands provide tension and plastic soda straws provide compression. The instructions below are for making a tensegrity dodecahedron, but the underlying technique is suitable for a wide range of polyhedra.”Link.


  • Tensegrity tower – Link.
  • Tensegrity cell phone holder – Link.
  • Build a tensegrity coffee table – Link.
  • Step-by-step tensegrity tower part 1 & 2 – Link.

From the pages of MAKE:
Building Tensegrity Models – Make a “needle tower” sculpture from dowels and elastic cord that seems to defy the laws of physics. MAKE 06 – Page 100.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.



  1. drysdam says:

    I would advise a great deal of patience on this project it is hell of hard to get everything lined up right, the paperclips pop out of the straws and the straws buckle easily.

  2. Trissie says:

    The best trick so far is to glide slightly thinner straws inside the actual struts (same length), making sure to fit the paper clips in the smaller straws. This way the straws don’t bend and the clips are unlikely to pop out.