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Printing Math

What is this shape? Can you guess?

shape1

It may look like a dirty sock, but I promise that it’s not.

Paul Kassebaum, who recently told us about the Battlebots competition, made this with a 3D printer. One of the cool things about 3D printing is that you can start with a shape that exists only in an abstract mathematical sense, and then you can extrude it onto the palm of your hand.

So here’s a hint. The shape above is related to another shape that Paul printed.

shape2

Maybe you already figured that out. But what is the relationship between the two shapes? Over the next couple of posts, Paul is going to tell us the story of these two shapes: how they were generated as abstract objects, and how they were given physical form in the real world.

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