Ribbon Edges: a New Impulse for Geometric Sculpture

Charles Gunn
Proceedings of Bridges 2010: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2010)
Pages 403–406 Short Papers


This paper describes an algorithm for decorating the edges of a regular tetrahedron with helical ribbons to generate new forms. The parameters of the algorithm, which include amount of twisting and cross section of the extruded ribbon, yield a range of interesting phenomena. The link known as the Borromean rings makes a surprising appearance. The extension of these results to the compound of five tetrahedra is described, and examples are shown. Applications to 3D printing are discussed.