Math Monday: Mailing Tubes

Math Monday: Mailing Tubes

By George Hart for the Museum of Mathematics


Speaking of office supplies, a box of mailing tubes showed up in our Museum of Mathematics office and I couldn’t resist making a geometric construction. All you need to make your own copy are thirty tubes and sixty rubber bands. All the tubes are surrounded similarly. Each touches four others, approximately outlining an icosidodecahedron.

I showed this to Keith Hoffman and he made the same structure from 510 Lego studs and 60 tiny clear rubber bands.

What can you use to make this structure?

16 thoughts on “Math Monday: Mailing Tubes

  1. Jarp Habib says:

    A little extra rubber banding and you could have a nice tensegrity structure there.

  2. David Jarman says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    thats looks awesome

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  5. osaid says:

    nice. thanks for sharing

  6. Aaron Hill says:

    just in case anyone was looking for a great tv go to

  7. Bhaskar Reddy says:

     make thing like  this using technology

  8. adam harig says:

    thats cool

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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. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn
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