Failing a Save Against Platonic Love

My kids have started playing Dungeons and Dragons (they got into my trove of old Second Edition gear and haven’t stopped reading the Player’s Handbook since) and so with all the dice rolling I’ve had polyhedra on the brain for the last month or so.

Dungeons and Dragons dice are a subtle gateway to the study of geometry. They’re the Platonic Solids, something I didn’t realize until well after my first exposure to them in 3rd grade.

Designing these Dodecanode connectors (which you can download for free here) has started me on an adventure into the Underdark of less-than-basic geometry.

I struggle with arcane lore from long-forgotten tomes; dihedral angles taunt me from the shadows and the golden ratio remains tantalizingly out of reach beyond that door.

I’ve become dimly aware of the existence of Schläfli symbols, which might as well be Sindarin for how well I understand their runes.

I thought I was doing well when I relearned how to compute a vector cross product creating Cryptstone Challenge, but I’ll have to level up before I return to explore this maze of twisty passages, all alike.

Design notes: this is printed with PLA on a MakerBot Replicator. You’ll note that the Replicator (and every printer like it– Ultimakers, RepRaps, etc) has trouble printing shapes with too extreme of an overhang. Look closely at the cruciform bores.

The vertical bores print just fine, so I’ve included two models in the zip archive. Grab yourself a package of craft sticks and have a good time building.

Beware a nascent interest in geometry though– it’ll sneak up on you, and that’s a journey from which few return unchanged.

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