Some of this is a re-post of a couple of my tweets from Sep 7, 2021.
I first learned of tensegrity from a creation that was featured in a LEGO newsletter:
Floating Island (using Tensegrity)
Product Idea | Who has never dreamed of escaping from the city to live peacefully on an island floating in the sky? My project is a microscale construction representing a small island floating above a dark city. The construction is a structure of tensegrity.
After marveling at the tiny details of the micro castle, I wondered why they were making a big deal about how it was “floating”. It looked like it was supported by stiff non-lego rods. I was wrong. They were string. How could flexible string function as pillars!?
In reality, they are positioned in a way so that the force of gravity would cause tension in the string to keep the floating island in the air. The middle short string takes the brunt of the force, while the outer strings keep it tight and balanced so that the top doesn’t fall down. This tension integrity, or “tensegrity”, gives it the illusion of floating.
After looking up more about this, I found a video demonstrating how to make your own craft with just 3 materials:
- craft sticks
- hot glue
- fishing line
I got inspired. After an hour of crafting, this was my final product:
This video explains how it works: