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Building a Truncated Octahedron

Build the base

1. Build the base

Take sixteen spheres and 24 rings and form the grid shape shown on the left.

Build one pyramid 2. Start the second level with a pyramid

Take one more sphere and four rings and build a pyramid on top of four of the bottom spheres as shown.

Build the rest of the first level of pyramids 3. Finish the 9 small pyramids that make up the second level

Using eight more spheres and 32 more rings, build pyramids on top of each square on the bottom level as shown.  It sometimes helps if you have a non-magnetic stick or pencil to help position the rings on the spheres.  A wooden or bamboo skewer works great for this purpose.

Tie together the second level of spheres 4. Tie the second level together

Connect the top nine spheres using twelve more ring magnets in the pattern shown on the left.

Build the next level of pyramids 5. Build the third level

Build four more pyramids on top of the nine spheres of the second level using four more spheres and sixteen rings as shown on the left.

Finish off the first half 6. Complete the first half

Connect the four top spheres using four more rings.  You're halfway there!

Flip the half over 7. Flip it to begin building the second half

Flip the whole thing upside down.

(boy, doesn't this look familiar? - see step #1)

Build another layer of pyramids on top 8. Build the 9 small pyramids on the base

Build the next level of pyramids again, just like step #3.

Tie together the tops of the pyramids 9. Tie the level together

Connect the top spheres using twelve more rings.

(note:  you should have no spheres left free right now)

Remove the corners 10 "Truncate" the almost-octahedron

You now need to remove the spheres from the four corners (looking down on the scupture as it sits) and the four rings connected to each sphere.  This is what makes it a "truncated" octahedron.

Build the top layer and finish it off! 11.  Complete the shape

Now use the four spheres that you just removed from the corners and the sixteen rings to build pyramids on top (see step #5), then connect the top four spheres (see step #6) to complete the scuplture.

Congratulations!  You now have a Truncated Octahedron of your very own!

After you build this sculpture a few times, you will be able to save steps by building it without the corners that get removed in step #10.



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Assorted small magnetic pushpin pack

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Ring, 1/4" OD x 1/8" ID x 1/4" thick

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