Hyperbolic Paraboloid (from toothpicks)

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Project by Renaissance_Man posted 02-15-2017 01:02 PM 373 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Hyperbolic Paraboloid (from toothpicks)
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These have always fascinated me. The hyperbolic paraboloid is a surface curved in two directions, but composed entirely of straight lines. The finished surface is very strong and has sometimes been used for roofs. I made this one of toothpicks and hot glue as a sort of proof of concept, and it is quite strong. If you press it flat and let go, it springs back into shape quite vigorously.

3 comments so far

View RichTaylor's profile


537 posts in 192 days

#1 posted 02-15-2017 02:30 PM

I remember that from calculus many decades ago. It’s also called a monkey’s saddle. The maxima for the curve along one axis is at the same point as the minima for the other.

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View CaptainSkully's profile


1463 posts in 3161 days

#2 posted 02-15-2017 05:39 PM

Now I’m hungry for some Pringles…

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Iamjacob's profile


46 posts in 2229 days

#3 posted 02-15-2017 11:28 PM

Hey, I have sheets of plywood that do the same thing. :(

That’s very neat though.

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