Snap-Together Polyhedra

This image shows the five Platonic Solids made out of 3D printed snap-together tiles. A set Poly-Snaps models for triangular, square, and pentagonal snap-faces is available on Thingiverse, and can be used to contruct any Archimedean solid. These faces can be customized to have different styles and sizes. This project is about printing the biggest snap-tile faces that we can fit on the Ultimaker printer beds.

The Lab began work on this project last year, with the goal of printing a gigantic Metabigyrate Rhombicosidodecahedron. We ran into difficulties with both print bed adhesion and post-printing snap fit. Interested students could revisit this project from where we left off, with the goal of successfully printing tiles that mix-and-match to make massive polyhedral models. Batches of smaller-sized tiles could also be printed for use as manipulatives in Math Education courses.

Advanced work on this project could involve using OpenSCAD code to extend the tile set to kites, rhombi, scalene triangles, and irregular pentagons so that a full set of Catalan solids can also be constructed.

Past Students:  Hannah Critchfield and Sophie Mancini