A tensegrity icosahedron model, is one in which a 20 faced polynomial is outlined by free hanging struts, suspended in the tension of elastic bands.
I'll be honest, I don't really know what its purpose would be. But, I can tell you, a tensegrity model of a icosahedron is the cool collapsible shape Fred Tate made in the 1991 movie Little Man Tate.
And, not only is a lot of fun...
...and flatten, as you explore a three dimensional plane in motion...
...it turns out, it's also very easy to make.
All you need is -
- 6 unsharpened pencils
- 6 heavy duty rubber-bands, long enough to fit comfortably around the length of the pencils (elastic string tied securely into bands, will work as well).
- 12 pencil erasers
- and instructions.
Don't worry about having slotted dowels, and plastic caps, like in the video. All you have to do is loop the bands over the pencil ends, and hold them in place with the erasers.
Oh, and be warned, if you go looking for (and manage to find) a copy of Little Man Tate to watch with your children - there is a lot of great math, engineering and art to be found...but also a good dose of language, and a touch of adult subject matter to keep in mind.