Archive | April 2012

How to make a Buckyball out of Bendy-Straws

At first I tried making a buckyball out of toothpicks and glue, but it kept falling apart and was taking a very long time. I did a search, and it looks like most people either make them out of either candy and toothpicks or paper. Well, I didn’t want ants to start eating my buckyball and the origami method looked a little boring. So I tried this.

Materials:

at least 240 bendy-straws of the same size

a roll of scotch tape

Step 1: Acquire straws and tape

Step 2: Make a triangles out of sets of three straws. Connect two straws by bending one end inward and fitting it in to the end of another straw. Connect the short end of a straw to the long end of another or vise-versa. If you connect a short end to a short end, you’ll end up with an acute triangle. We want all equilaterals. Make a whole bunch of triangles until you run out of straws.

buckyball step 02-3

Step 3: Make pyramids. Take 4 of your triangles and tape them together to form a pyramid. Do this over and over until you run out of triangles.

Step 4: Tape the pyramids together. If you did everything right, you should be able to fit 5 pyramids together into a shape that looks like a cross between a UFO and a Mercedes logo. After that, you can either make one more pentagon-shaped thing, or just continue taping pyramids to your existing shape. You’re probably beginning to see how these fit together.

Step 5: Finish up! Just tape all your pyramids together and you should end up with a dodecahedron like this.

The cool thing about this is that it’s pretty much infinitely expandable. You could make more pyramids and build on to it or you could make more buckyballs and tapeĀ those together. I haven’t done this, but at a certain point I’m sure I would switch to duct tape or zip-ties.

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