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The Traumasphere!

Photo: nearly-completed Traumasphere   Photo: the Traumasphere
The Traumasphere nears
[66 kbyte]
The finished Traumasphere
digests David Hogan
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The Traumasphere was a modular origami piece constructed in the basement of the Madsen Building at Sydney University circa 1993 when I was working as a research assistant in the Basser Dept of Computer Science [Photo of noticeboard]. It was named the Traumasphere though concern that a space-time anomaly might result when construction was complete. Reality remained unwarped, but some months later the Traumasphere did indeed collapse under its own weight. Although small sections would hold together by themselves, glue was used to prevent the Traumasphere falling apart.

It is easiest to describe the shape by the space it encloses: a central dodecahedral cavity sprouts 12 pentagonal anti-prism tunnels, each leading to a pentagonal cupola. The Traumasphere was inspired by an entry in B. M. Stewart's wonderful book "Adventures Among the Toroids".

Construction took (if I correctly recall) 270 squares trimmed from A4 wastepaper. Each was folded into a modified Sonobé module and used as an edge of the Traumasphere.

If your browser supoorts Java you'll see below a model of the polyhedron which inspired the traumasphere. The LiveGraphics3D applet lets you rotate the model by clicking and dragging with the mouse, and zoom in/out with SHIFT drag up/down.

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