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We love building 3-d shapes in out house and they keep getting more and more complex. This time we made a Rhombicuboctahedron. Know what it is? (Even spellcheck does not know what it is!) 😉 It is a shape with eight triangular and eighteen square faces. I want to teach you how to make it, because it’s fun, and it’s math. Did you know those two words went together?
This shape was named in the 1600’s by a man named Johannes Kepler. It is actually a shortened version of the official name: truncated cuboctahedral rhombu. (Whew! Glad they “shortened” it!)
We like to make our shapes pretty, so my daughter and I colored it, of course!
She is in love with her pretty creation. I am in love with her.
Ready to Learn How to Make the Rhombicuboctahedron?
I have a printable template for you in the subscriber library. Scroll to the end to subscribe.
When you print it you will need 18 square pieces and 8 triangle pieces. There are 2 shapes per page. I’ll let you do the math there. 🙂 Ok, fine, 9 pages of squares and 4 pages of triangles. I suggest using card stock paper if you have it.
Color or decorate to your heart’s delight, or not. Get yourself some fun markers. We LOVE our fine point Sharpies.
Once you are done cutting out the shapes, you will fold all of the tabs inward.
Next you need to line them up into three rows. The first row is alternating squares and triangles with the triangle pointing upwards, 4 of each starting with a square.
The second row is all squares (8 of them).
The third row is alternating again starting with a triangle and the triangles are pointing downward. You will use 4 of each again. You will have 2 squares left over to use at the end.
Starting with the middle row (all squares), attach the flaps together along the sides. You can glue or tape. We like to use clear tape and put a piece on the inside and the outside to keep it secure.
Once the middle row is all attached in a row, connect the top pieces to the center pieces and the bottom row pieces to the center row pieces.
The next step is to connect the center row of squares around into a circle.
Now just pull up each shape and connect the sides to the ones next to it.
Once you do both sides it will be complete except for a hole in the top and bottom.
Add the last two squares and your rhombicuboctahedron will be finished!
My kids have been making this shape out of their magformer toys for a while and had to compare!
See more of our 3-D Shape projects:
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