6 Bring on the Bucky Balls

April 9, 2013

Maths-is-Awesome Activity

Bring on the Bucky Balls

Skills: Geometry, polygons, measurement  …. and creativity.

Levels: Junior School & Middle School

In this activity students will create their own, preferably life-sized cardboard igloo. Igloo structures can be complicated or simple and in this project students must design and then build an igloo using a standard hexagon. Here are some inspiring designs.


The first igloo was built using computer generated constructive geometry. It uses a basic – but distorted – hexagonal cardboard unit and was built by by the students of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto. You can see the construction method below. More info here.


The next cardboard igloo is based entirely on circles. It was designed by  students of ETH Zurich in Switzerland. More info here.

99.2 Cardboard Igloo

The following cardboard igloo based on triangles looks simple but has a very strong construction. More info here.

99.5 triangle igloo99.6 tirangle igloo construct

But the Granddaddy of the geometric or geodesic dome was Buckminster Fuller, who has been honoured by having a carbon-based nano-molecule named after him. They’re called Bucky Balls. If you look at the geodesic dome below you can see the HEXAGONAL PATTERN also visible int he Bucky Balls.

99.8 Buckminster Fuller99.9 Bucky balls


  1. Hello
    We want to hold a Competition of Cardboard Structures in Yazd-Iran in winter 2018.
    The venue will be the competition at the university.
    We need your support.
    We held a very large canstruction competition in 2017 (https://www.canstruction.org/) (http://www.yazdcanstruction.com/)
    We ask you to:
    1. Allow your logo to appear on our poster and competition ads
    2. The official letter I represent you
    3. Submit the competition rules if you have an ethereal.
    4. Your signature sample for inclusion in the Certificate of Attendance and Supreme Team Award.
    5. We do not ask you for financial support.

    If we support our competition, we will be pleased.

    I am committed to presenting the results of this competition in a completely visual and video format, along with a written report for you at the end.

    I commit to compete in a broad and quality manner.

    We can display matches online.

    We are waiting for your opinion on supporting the competition in the 2018 winter season in Yazd-Iran.

    We hope your response to our support will be positive.

    Please send me a letter to me if you agree to support the CARDBOARD STRUCTURES Challenge in the winter of 2018.

    Best Regards

    Kazem Yavarinasab

    • Hello kazem yavarinasab,

      The cardboard structures on your website are fantastic. You may use my logo and anything on this blog (although some copyright issues are not clear). Please send me a link to or photographs of the structures when the competition is finished and I will put them on this Mathspig blog. Very exciting work.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: