Jun 072022

Origami Bucky Ball 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.

Model Details:

Model: Buckyball 

Creator: Rona GurkewitzBennett Arnstein

Book: Multi Origami Polyhedra

Authors: Rona Gurkewitz, Bennett Arnstein

Classification: Origami | 60 Units | Polyhedron

Difficulty Level: High Intermediate

Paper Ratio: Triangle

Paper Size: 4 inches

Model Size: ~ 5 inch in diameter

Tutorial: Youtube

  4 Responses to “Buckyball”

  1. very pretty!

  2. This is such a fun molecule. There are so many different types http://www.dotpedia.com/creations/view/2090

  3. The serendipitous discovery of a third allotropic form of carbon in 1985, uncovered a fundamentally different structure of closed carbon cages, which eventually became known as fullerenes. This new family of non-planar carbon compounds generated immense interest within the scientific community in a short period of time, with thousands of papers published about fullerenes and fullerene-based materials in the 1990s.