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Skewer hyperboloid

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

Thirty two shish kabob skewers and 176 small rubber bands are all it takes to make a beautiful hyperbolid of revolution. This is an example of what is called a “ruled surface,” meaning even though it is curved, it is made of straight lines.

hyperboloid-standing.jpg

Below is the same object seen from the top. Make one of your own following the instructions here, but be careful not to skewer yourself!

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • http://david.rysdam.org/blog/

    I just noticed there were no comments here so I want to leave one to make sure you know there’s interest. The bagel one kept me occupied with bagels, whiteboards and blog posts for weeks.

  • Gareth Branwyn

    Hey David, thanks so much for that. I was pretty sure this column was popular, from the traffic, the retweets, the in-person compliments I’ve gotten, but it’s nice to see it here. I’m really liking them too. Kudos to George Hart! There are some really nifty ones coming up, too.