Platonic Solid Polyhedra Connectors

by esimon, published

Platonic Solid Polyhedra Connectors by esimon Mar 15, 2017
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This is a set of connectors that can be used with 1/4" wood dowel (or other 1/4" round material) to assemble the five platonic solids. These are the tetrahedorn, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, icosahedron.

The wood pieces for each polyhedra need to be cut to the exact same lengths. For my build, I cut a bunch of 6" lengths of the wood dowel and assembled the 5 polyhedra shown in the photos.

I tapered the holes that the wood dowels go into and adjusted the interior diameter dimension to ensure a tight (interference) fit so the shapes would not fall apart. You may need to either sand down the wood ends some or use a drop of glue, depending on the exact diameter of the edge stock you end up using. For me, assembly required putting all the wood pieces in a tiny bit into each of the holes and then progressively pressing connectors together until all of the wood pieces bottomed out in the holes of the connector. This resulted in a tight fit requiring no glue.

Listed below are the number of connectors you would need for each shape:

Tetrahedron - 4
Octahedron - 6
Cube - 8
Icosahedron - 12
Dodecahedron - 20

Depending on your printer quality, you can try printing all the connectors for a shape at once, on you may need to print one at a time. That's for you to figure out. Irecommmend printing one of each polyhedra connector out first to test the hole size for your needs and scale up or down slightly if needed

If you like this "thing", also check out my other related things, including a fully customizable version of the polyhedral connectors (with slightly different base geometry) I made with OpenSCAD that can have the internal and external diameters adjusted along with lengths and tolerance. It can be found here:


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The only part that may need supports is the dodecahedron part. For all of them, you may want to print out a single test piece to check not only whether or not you need supports on your printer, but also to test the fit of the material you are using. If too loose or tight, a slight scale adjustment could improve things.

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Only Icosahedron sits on its base.
Others are hard to rotate using slic3r. Any Ideas? Or rotation angles?

Update: I tried changing the home plane in Inventor and re-uploading stl with no success. Then I came across some info about Microsoft 3D builder that comes with Windows 10 suggesting this would work, and it did! I rotated each stl so they sit flat. choose the stl files with " - rotated" added to them and these should work for you...

I'm not sure how slic3r works, but on the Makerbot software there is a 'Place Face on Build Plate' option that moves the shape down onto the build plate and makes sure the bottom surface sits flat.