439: Nick Robinson’s Penrose Triangle

The “Penrose Triangle”, also known as a Penrose Tribar is an impossible object:

If you look at any vertice it makes sense but the shape, as a whole, cannot exist … well, until now that is.

When I first saw folds of this I was intrigued, knowing a folder on Facebook, he suggested I approach the designer, Nick Robinson, who graciously shared his design with me (isn’t the interweb amazing).

There are many things you can do with these shapes to break your brain, and I have seen some astonishingly beautiful configurations of thin long triangles interwoven. My attempt is a simple tryptych – I think it works well – the shades of green help with the illusion – careful colour choice can greatly enhance the effect I have found.

I like this model a lot – the mathematician voice in my head (one of the quietest of the 13 at the moment) is clapping politely at the economy and geometry of this construction, 60 degrees taken over many layers, hiding some, exposing others to create a lovely modular that would look great in a frame.

6 thoughts on “439: Nick Robinson’s Penrose Triangle”

1. Theresa Chan says:

Hi
I’m a costume coordinator at United World College south East Asia (singapore) Drama dept. Both myself and the director came across ur origami penrose design and would like to include into our design for our upcoming show.

I managed to do until step 9. then i got confused when it comes to joining the pieces together.

do you have a youtube video of how you do this? Would you be able to share with me?

Many thanks.

Sincerely,
Theresa Chan

2. S.K. says:

I really want to make this but i got stuck in the 6th step where the paper must be fold like that. Could you help me? Also, can the ratio of the paper strips be different than 1:4?

1. Notice the pre-creases in 5, bend along these

1. S.K. says:

I tried to do that but I just couldn’t. I even tried with the creases folded on the opposite side but that didn’t help either.

3. Miss B A Honyghan says:

I’m going to try this in foil paper.illusions are a big part of my life..but this is a standard paper art not Tessellation or origami …it is more similar to the stellations that Bryah Loper does …

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