The origami buckyball is the representation of the Buckminster Fullerene molecule – a stable form of carbon. The other 2 are, of course, diamond and graphite.
Some interesting facts about the buckyball:
- The buckyball family is an allotrope (different forms of an element – here, carbon) of carbon, very different from diamond and graphite.
- The buckyball is made from 60 atoms of carbon (C60)
- The shape resembles a football – 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons
- Each atom has 2 kinds of bonds – double bonds between 2 hexagons and single bonds between a hexagon and a pentagon
That is enough Chemistry I think!
As for the origami byckyballs, one version of these buckyballs can be made using PHiZZ Units. These buckyballs are very commonly done as they are made from squares and are relatively easier to complete. The other version of the buckyball is folded from units created by Rona Gurkewitz and Bennett Arnstein. The units are folded from equilateral triangles. Cutting the triangles, 60 of them, is 50% of the job! Folding those 60 triangles into the buckyball units completely another 30%. Assembling the units is what I found easiest and I believe that amounts to only 20% of the entire process And behold, a buckyball!
It is usually suggested that you use paper coloured on both sides. That ensures that the buckyball has the same colour throughout. But when I assembled with single-sided paper, I realised that the contrasting colours meant that I can clearly see those stars in the hexagon/pentagon faces. Quite like that. And maybe, one day, when I give it another go, I will try using copy paper and see how that compares to this one.
Book: Multi Origami Polyhedra
Difficulty Level: High Intermediate
Paper Ratio: Triangle
Paper Size: 4 inches
Model Size: ~ 5 inch in diameter