Gumdrop Solids

Published by patrick honner on

gumdrop solidsThis is a nice little video demonstrating how to use gumdrops and toothpicks to create Platonic Solids.

A Platonic Solid is basically the 3-dimensional version of a regular polygon.  A regular polygon is a 2-dimensional figure whose sides and angles are all congruent.  A Platonic Solid is a 3-dimensional figure whose faces are all congruent, and the faces are put together at every vertex in the same way.

The most common example is the cube:  it has six identical faces (squares), and each vertex is formed by putting three squares together at right angles to each other.

Quite remarkably, there are only five Platonic Solids:  the tetrahedron, the cube, the octahedron, the icosahedron, and the dodecahedron.  There are many other solids with interesting properties, but only five that satisfy the above conditions.

Our video-maker wasn’t ambitious enough to construct a dodecahedron.  Or maybe she just didn’t have enough gumdrops.

patrick honner

Math teacher in Brooklyn, New York


Ahmed Gouda · November 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

Looks delicious. I could imagine making this, walking out the room, then coming back to finding nothing but toothpicks.

Alan · November 13, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I wonder what platonic solid could be created that is composed out of the combination of the four platonic solids provided in the image of the above article.

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