The Tangram, known as “七巧板,” is “a Chinese puzzle made by cutting a square of thin material into five triangles, a square, and a rhomboid which are capable of being recombined in many different figures” (Merriam Webster). Simple as it is, it has been used in recreational and formal mathematics for centuries, affording students of all ages meaningful and surprising mathematical explorations and insights. Today, one can design much more complicated puzzles in a tangram style. However, the original tangram set holds its aesthetic appeal.
The Tangram can be used as an introductory 3D design project with Fusion 360 or any other 3D design software: parameters, sketches, basic constraints, extrusion, and 3D navigation. I added a little variety to the designs using “offsets,” “circles,” and “fillets,” just to make it more personal. It would be great for students to design their own Tangram and then use them to explore its mathematical structures from shapes to proportions.
Here, the big square is 100mm by 100mm, with two choices for thickness, 3mm and 4mm.
Read, R. C. (1965). Trangrams: 330 puzzles. Dover Recreational Math. Dover Publications.
STEAM educator, learning from and working with K-12 STEAM teachers to explore new ideas of teaching and engagement. I firmly believe ART is at the core of STEM learning or all human learning! I owe my ideas and designs to the hundreds of K-12 children and teachers and university professors I have had the pleasure of working with, in multiple disciplines-- math, science,engineering language arts, social studies, early childhood education and more! All mistakes, of course, are mine! There is no warranty or liability whatsoever implied or explicit behind the designs or ideas. They are all posted for their potential educational values.
When working with children, please strictly observe all safety and health procedures! Please refer to the NSTA safety guides: http://www.nsta.org/safety/.
LGBU Contact: LGBU@SIU.EDU