How Corona was the key to making my 64-tetrahedron grid paper model

For the past couple weeks I’ve been obsessed with making an actual model of the 64 tetrahedron grid. I studied the videos but it wasn’t enough. I still couldn’t really visualize how it really all went together. I wanted something physical to touch, to hold, and to gaze at from different angles. So I made 8 star tetrahedrons from construction paper, carefully using contrasting colors for each star-tet so when I assembled it, I would be able to see more clearly what was touching what.

But when I got to the assembly step, I hit a road block. I couldn’t figure out how to hold the 8 start-tet’s together. I didn’t want to glue them because I wanted to be able to take it back apart if needed. Plus I wanted to be able to open it up and study the inner enclosed spaces. I tried several things, including double sticky tape and blu tack, but my model kept falling apart. I couldn’t get more than 3 stars together.

So finally I gave up the idea that it should look pretty when completed and decided to use whatever amount of masking tape necessary to get the job done. That worked. I put together the top 4 star-tets as one structure and the bottom 4 as another. I rested to bottom in an empty canister (since it can’t sit on it’s single bottom point), and gently lowered the top structure into place.

Ugly as it is, I am thrilled. I can take the top off and look inside. I can look and touch and see exactly which tiny tetrahedrons touch other tetrahedrons and where. I can analyze perfectly the faces, edges and vertices of each tetrahedron, seeing which edges are shared, which vertices, which direction, etc. The beauty and symmetry is mind boggling. I spent nearly the whole day yesterday happily playing with my creation.

And this morning as I was cleaning up my project space, I got the biggest laugh of all… my final masking tape magic was actually Corona!!

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I think it would look very nice hung from a string.

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I love it! I am in the process of building one by gluing little sticks (about toothpick
size) together to make the star tetrahedrons. I am going to be a permanent part of the structure I think because of the contact cement!! I may need to try your method. I too feel the need to see the inside and how they all fit together.
Thank you for your description.

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I bought some longer sticks and was thinking about building one that way too. But I decided to do the paper vision first. I thought paper would be easier to see the surfaces. Sometimes if I look at open structures with lots of cross-cross stuff inside, I find it hard to see the forms on the inside. Post a photo of your stick one when you’re done. I’d love to see it!

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That’s really great Suzann, kudos to you! I can imagine how much fun you must have had making it. If you can get a little light inside it so that it glows in the dark and start mass production now, you will absolutely clean up come December! “Corona Christmas Lanterns” here we come. Excuse my humour. You did a great project, congratulations and well done.

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Suzann, I will send a photo eventually when I complete the stick structure. In the meantime I’ll send photos of a star tetrahedron I put together some time ago using origami paper, attaching the small tetrahedra to each other with little strips of paper tucked into pockets on the edges.

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WOW! That is gorgeous! I love the beautiful paper and the shiny green edges. Great colors.

This is splendid! Maybe someone could make an instructional video on how to put together a paper model.

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