Donald Plante

Lecturer of Mathematics
University of New Hampshire
Manchester, New Hampshire, USA

Since I first started teaching I have always been interested in visualizing mathematical shapes with the use of props. The ability to design them on a computer and now 3D print them has allowed me to realize some of the objects that I had only previously dreamed of. I am mainly interested in fractal geometry and topology and am excited to be bringing some of these models into reality.

Golden Sierpinski Tetrahedron
9 x 10 x 9 cm
Nylon "Yellow Strong and Flexible"

The Golden Sierpinski Tetrahedron is a variation on the standard Sierpinski Triangle where I have taken the contraction rate to be the inverse of the golden ratio 0.618... With this contraction rate the individual tetrahedra in the model overlap each other giving it the structural stability necessary to be 3D printed.

Trefoil Knot in Lego
19 x 19 x 19 cm
PLA Plastic

To create a model of this size without having to 3D print each piece I turned to the use of pre-made LEGO Duplo blocks. Each of the 12 corner blocks in the model have been designed to create a right angle with a set of LEGOs. This was done by creating a Duplo block in Tinkercad with it's studs sticking off of a side wall instead of it's top. The 12 corner blocks were then 3D printed and put together with original Duplo blocks to create this model of the Trefoil Knot.