Exploring some shapes in Henry Segerman’s new book

Henry Segerman’s new book – Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing – arrived last week:

I asked the boys to flip through the book and pick out two shapes each that we could then order from Shapeways. Those shapes arrived today – yay!! I’ll do a more extensive project with these shapes later, but for today I just wanted to hear their reaction to seeing the shape and holding it in their hands.

My younger son happened to be home when the package arrived so he went first:

(1) A 120-Cell


The fun thing about this shape is that we’ve played with versions of the 120-Cell before:

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A Stellated 120-cell made from our Zometool Set

We’ve also played around with the game Hypernom and experienced the 120-cell first hand!

Using Hypernom to get kids talking about math

(2) A hyperbolic paraboliod

This shape really caught my son’s attention in Segerman’s book – I’m glad he thought it was as cool in person as it was in pictures!


(3) Double Zarf

When my older son got home we unpacked his two shapes. I’d never heard of either shape before and am really excited to explore both of them. Both shapes come from the mathematical artist Bathsheba Grossman

Here’s his reaction to “Double Zarf”


(4) Tentacon

Finally, here’s his reaction to “Tentacon”