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Anyone know what these are called?

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Peter Greene 🇨🇦10/05/2022 01:35:23
510 forum posts
6 photos

I keep seeing these in store/shop windows. They appear to be constructed from a single shape repeated. I'm curious to find out more .... anyone know what they're called?



Edited By Peter Greene 🇨🇦 on 10/05/2022 01:35:49

Jon Lawes10/05/2022 02:36:44
926 forum posts

I put it through Google Image Search and it just called it a paper Polyhedron.

Ady110/05/2022 06:29:49
5090 forum posts
736 photos


Michael Gilligan10/05/2022 06:42:50
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

Whilst we all search for the precise nomenclature … Try this for fun:




Pedantically, it is difficult to justify using the term ‘Polyhedron’ for these curvy models:

 In geometry, a polyhedron (plural polyhedra or polyhedrons) is a three-dimensional shape with flat polygonal faces, straight edges and sharp corners or vertices.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 10/05/2022 06:47:12

john halfpenny10/05/2022 08:33:56
236 forum posts
24 photos

A version with more angles.


Michael Gilligan10/05/2022 08:39:48
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

Nice one, John yes

… We might soon get folks thinking about Finite Elements


Michael Gilligan10/05/2022 08:47:21
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

In case anyone missed the reference on the Instructables page:



Hopper10/05/2022 09:21:44
6393 forum posts
334 photos

Your mission is to go back to the shop where you saw them and ask the shopkeeper what on Earth they are, then report back, as none of the rest of us have a clue.

john halfpenny10/05/2022 09:23:42
236 forum posts
24 photos

Mine is called a lampshade

Nicholas Farr10/05/2022 10:14:33
3360 forum posts
1542 photos

Hi John, when I saw the first photo I said to myself it's a lampshade, but then assumed Peter was on about the shape that is repeated that made it.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 10/05/2022 10:15:23

Michael Gilligan10/05/2022 11:03:18
20182 forum posts
1053 photos

Seems a very reasonable assumption, Nick yes


Peter Greene 🇨🇦10/05/2022 22:49:34
510 forum posts
6 photos

Thanks for all the inputs. The Instructables link seems to have all the information (thanks Michael). I've seen stores here selling these made up into table-lamps but most of the stores seem to just use them for window decoration.

John's jpg seems to have disappeared from his album before I could see it.

[ I (finally) downloaded the pdf from Instructables. After an yet another unending battle with Capcha I relented and "signed on with Google". Here comes the spam. ]

Ian P11/05/2022 17:15:03
2590 forum posts
114 photos

For anyone with Sky catch-up (or whatever it would be called) I can recommend a programme I saw yesterday evening on Sky Arts, Channel 11 on Freeview.

Programme was called 'Journey into Infinity' and its about MC Escher who must be the worlds master on tesellation.

Ian P

John Haine11/05/2022 19:14:10
4673 forum posts
273 photos

He learned a bit fro Roger Penrose.

John Haine11/05/2022 19:14:31
4673 forum posts
273 photos

He learned a bit from Roger Penrose.

Grindstone Cowboy11/05/2022 19:35:47
858 forum posts
64 photos

I had one of these, given to me as a present by the in-laws, in the form of a fiendish jigsaw puzzle. Fearing I would never get it back together if I disassembled it, I think I passed it on to a friend. Or maybe it's in the back of a cupboard somewhere? It was in a box with a name on it, I'll try to find out what it was.


Nigel Graham 212/05/2022 23:05:07
2133 forum posts
29 photos

When I were lad so Rather A Long Time Ago, my school introduced a pilot course within the Maths syllabus, called "School Mathematics Project" or similar - its proponents sniffily called real maths "traditional" as if obsolete.

Among the less useful topics were what you and I know as Developments. This new-fanglery called them "Nets" and among the polyhedra they formed was the Dodecahedron - which is not the shape of an extinct bird's egg.

I can honestly say I have used this knowledge once. Years later, in real life!

To make one for real, in sheet-brass, about the size of a large orange. Its purpose? This polyhedron of two halves, held together by an ornamental nut on an axial column, was a pomander; a Christmas present to my girlfriend of the time. She used it to stand ornamental grasses, in the holes drilled in the upper half's pentagonal faces.

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