3D Printing & Imaging Craft & Design Science
Math Monday: Relativity for Real

By the Museum of Mathematics



A few months ago, this column showed a cut-and-fold paper version of Escher’s Relativity. Here’s a new version, made of nylon by selective laser sintering, on a 3D printing machine. The 3D file for this was designed by Oded Fuhrmann and Gershon Elber, who present a number of Escher-inspired objects. I scaled this instance of it to be 9cm across.

Escher’s design is based on three walls of a cube, with the six axis directions (+/- X, Y, or Z) each understandable as the Up direction in some part of the structure. So it is confusing, but not an “impossible object” or trick of perspective. Below is a view from another angle, which may help make the structure clear.


If you have access to a 3D printer and would like to make your own copy of Relativity, the .STL file is available here, (c) Oded Fuhrmann (of Google) and Gershon Elber (of the Technion).

[Written by George Hart for The Math Museum]


I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

View more articles by Sean Michael Ragan