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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.

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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 is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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