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By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics

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Remember floppy disks? They still appear as the Save icon on some software, but not everyone is old enough to know why. Here’s a sculpture I made from thirty floppy disks, called Disk Combobulation. They are slotted at just the right angles to slide together and hold without glue. The overall shape, with thirty faces and twelve pentagonal openings, is a truncated rhombic triacontahedron.

Slotting floppy disks is tricky, but you can make a paper version of this design pretty easily. The instructions and a template are online here.

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See all of George Hart’s Math Monday columns

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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