Zometool Inspiration

Carlos Neumann zometool microdo

Carlos Neumann with a Zometool ‘microdo’ model

Recently we had lunch in Denver, Colorado with Carlos Neumann of Zometool, the maker of my favorite geometric modeling tool/toy. It’s really both a fabulous design and 3D visualization modeling environment AND a fun toy for any age – even those who don’t think they like geometry. He brought along a Zometool model of the “Microdo.” See the close up photograph below:

zometool microdo photo

Zometool “microdo” model

and a screen snap of it using the new Zomepad software, a VERY cool 3D modeling app that lets one rotate, modify, translate, zoom, etc. Zometool models in real time. The screen snaps just give a hint of how fun this app is!

Zomepad Microdo model

Zomepad image of Microdo model

Here’s a chrome plated (dare we say “Chrome Zome”? 🙂 hub. Notice that the polygons that make up the hub are equilateral triangles, regular pentagons and golden rectangles, which provide phenomenal versatility in creating Platonic and Archimedean Solids, as well as a staggering array of amazing shapes that use these foundational geometries and their 3-fold and 5-fold rotational symmetries and much more. Stay tuned for fun and decorative developments with these shiny orb-like gems! 🙂

ZomeTool Chrome plated hub

Chrome plated Zometool hub

Another thing to notice about the Zomepad models is that there are background dots: red (pentagonal), yellow (triangular) and blue (golden rectangular) that are aligned behind the model as it rotates around so that you can see when you’re lined up with an axis of rotation and/or symmetry. Pretty neat!

Here are the default models that you can explore with the current pre-release version of the ZomePad app:

ZomePad model - pentagram/pentagon fractal

ZomePad model – pentagram/pentagon fractal

ZomePad 2D hexagonal crystal

ZomePad 2D hexagonal crystal model

ZomePad Hypercube (Tesseract) model

ZomePad Hypercube (Tesseract) – 3D ‘shadow’ of a 4D polytope

ZomePad 3D Hexagonal (honey comb) grid model

ZomePad 3D Hexagonal (honey comb) grid model

ZomePad settings

ZomePad settings (preferences dialog)

Here are some Zometool models I put together years ago:

zometool stellated dodecahedron

Zometool stellated dodecahedron

The stellated dodecahedron model hung above my office cubicle at Grass Valley Group in northern California for several years; sure made a great landmark to direct folks to my desk! 🙂

Here’s another of the countless topologies and geometric variations that one can make with Zometool hubs and struts. If you enjoyed Tinkertoys (or perhaps Erector sets, etc.) when you were a kid, check out Zometool. There really isn’t anything else like it. The engineering and precision design of the hub alone is an amazing story in itself that Marc Pelletier gave us a quick tour of when I was at a sacred geometry conference in Boulder, Colorado years ago, where I met lots of wonderful geometer colleagues I’m still mostly in touch with.

ZomeTool model

Zometool model (one of countless variations to explore)