7-7-2022

How to Make a Tristix!

Figure 95: Tristix.

Tristix is a non-intersecting chiral arrangement of cylinders on the body-centered cubic lattice. Tristix arrangements can be made out of a variety of materials (post 5). Pencils will be used in this example, but any uniform rod or stick can be used. The pattern that is followed will direct the geometry and create a symmetric arrangement. Only the compression from rubber bands and the friction of the rods will be used to make this beautiful and complex mathematical model.

Materials: 12 uniform sticks, 8 rubber bands, glue (optional).

Time: >20 minutes.

Figure 96: Tristix materials.

To start, 3 sticks are brought together and bound on both ends with rubber bands to make a small bundle, step 1 figure 97.

Next, 2 new sticks are inserted at a right angle, between 2 sticks of the 1st bundle, then 1 additional stick is placed on top, and these 3 new rods are bound with rubber bands on each end, step 2 figure 97.

Now, just one stick, is inserted perpendicular to the 2 bundles, pushing apart and poking through the crossing rows of 2.

Then, another rod is inserted between the rows of 2 and 1 rods of the 1st bundle and outside the 2nd bundle.

Then, a 3rd rod is inserted between 2 and 1 rods of the 2nd bundle and outside the 1st, and the 3 new rods are bound together on each end with rubber bands (completing a triangular tetrastix arrangement).

Next, a stick is added underneath 2 sticks of the 1st bundle and 2 sticks of the 3rd bundle and outside the 2nd bundle. Another stick is then added underneath 2 sticks of the 2nd bundle and 2 sticks of the 3rd bundle and outside the 1st bundle.

The last stick is added underneath 2 sticks of the 1st 1st bundle and 2 sticks of the 2nd bundle and outside the 3rd bundle.


Last, the elastics are tightened and spaced evenly in order to complete the symmetric arrangement. The rubber bands can be removed only if the tristix has been glued together (figure 95 and 98).


Figure 97: Tristix steps 1-9.

Congratulations! You now know how to make a simple tristix model. These basic principles can be expanded upon and used to make even more complicated structures and an infinite array of novel designs.

Figure98 : Tristix.

More tristix patterns and modeling examples coming in the next blog posts.

copyright 2022 Anduriel Widmark