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Buckyball, Truncated Icosahedron, Soccer Ball, C60

3D model description

Multiple Ways to Have Fun with the Buckyball, Truncated Icosahedron, Soccer Ball, C60, Halves

#####In honor of Prof. Buckminster Fuller, who taught at SIU Carbondale in the 1960s.

The buckyball is simply beautiful! It is an arrangement of 20 regular hexagons and 12 regular pentagons in a mathematically appealing structure with other amazing properties. In a 3D design world, we can make a buckyball from an icosahedron. First, make an icosahedron (one of the 5 Platonic solids) from a regular triangle using extrusion (or other methods). A basic understanding of the dihedral angle is useful. Then, we could slice off all the 12 vertices of the icosahedron using a plane through 1/3 of the icosahedron edge length around a given vertex. Consequently, if the icosahedron edge length is 30 mm, the resulting buckyball has an edge length of 10 mm. Each vertex of the icosahedron collapses to a pentagon; each regular triangle will become a regular hexagon.

Among the Files

  1. The measurements refer to the original edge length of the foundational icosahedron. One third of that is the edge length of the buckyball.
  2. Solid buckyballs of various sizes.
  3. Shelled buckyballs of various sizes and styles.
  4. Wired buckyballs of various sizes.
  5. Half buckyballs (hexagonal bottom & pentagonal bottom), which cannot be mixed. Two of the same version add up to a buckyball


  • 3D file format: STL



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:




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