459: Electra

Browsing an amazing book by David Mitchell called “Paper Crystals”, I spotted an interesting modular ball based on pentagons tiled with triangles named Electra.

Coupled with the original model was a suggestion that it was possible to make a 60 module version consisting of pentagons surrounded by squares separated by triangles.

I took squares cut from quarters of an A4-based square, a lovely cotton based marbled 100GSM paper stock that I had bought years before.

The individual modules are pretty simple – all pre-creased and I got some of my students to fold some to help out. I folded a few extra just in case then devised the scheme of getting the model together.

Annoyingly, I attempted to construct the ball 3 times before being frustrated. When the modules are larger, the pointy flaps sink far enough into the pockets they actually turn a corner and lock really well. these small modules however never penetrated the pockets deep enough to lock positively and the paper tension necessary to actually form and even out the shape pulled itself apart.

There is an astonishing beauty in regular geometry. This model, a skeletal bucky ball of sorts draws the eye, you want to see it’s complexity and composure.

I have no idea what I will do with this model – the challenge of making it was being rewarded by a lovely artifact.

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