Math Monday: Recycling soda bottles into icosahedra

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance 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 to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4007 Articles

By Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelance 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 to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and "lazy person's memoir," called Borg Like Me.

4007 Articles

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By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

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The icosahedron consists of twenty equilateral triangles, meeting five at each vertex. Here are two icosahedron constructions you can make from soda bottles. These were designed and built by Mario Marin, whose web site shows many creative ways to recycle household objects into polyhedral structures.

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Pairs of cut bottles are joined here to make “double bottles” which are used as the thirty edges of an icosahedron. The twelve yellow “flowers” are cut from plastic sheet, with holes that are locked into place by screwing on the bottle tops.

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This lamp construction is built around a cardboard icoshadron as its core. A hole in each of the twenty bottle tops allows wires to pass through to power the small light in each bottle.

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