Ann and Mike Eisenberg

Senior Research Associate
Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado
Boulder, Colorado

The Craft Technology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder focuses on the interplay between virtual and real-world mathematics, technology, and craft activities. We take a Constructionist view towards math education, empowering students to create projects with personal value that spark fascination. Our goal with this type of artwork is to turn polyhedra and other mathematical forms into familiar, delightful objects to think with.

Polyhedral Snowman Family
12 x 4 x 4 cm
3D printed in PLA

This artwork is based on 3D-printed polyhedron variants that were generated by our (free) research software program, HyperGami. The software is based on the idea of creating one's own set of customized polyhedra (that is, polyhedra such as Platonic or Archimedean Solids that have been sliced, stretched, truncated, or capped) to use as the building blocks of playful mathematical sculpture. The software then automatically generates a folding net to create a paper model; or in this case, a file to send to a 3D printer. These snowmen are 3D-printed variants of the small rhombicosidodecahedron, along with a variety of prisms, tetrahedra, and cones.