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Lobel Frames

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This is a placeholder article for a diversion I went down today. --Karl Horton 10:43, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

Introduction Edit

There's a French architect called Alain Lobel who has spent more than a decade studying and cataloging the ways that a flexibly connected net of equilateral triangles can be used to build practical structures.

I came across him because a guest left a comment on one of Rodrigo's (rveas) structures over on flickr.

Hey, we have a way of building just such a flexible net of triangles, don't we?

Lobel's web site is at: and the text is in French and English.

At first I didn't believe that these structures would work: they appear preposterously flimsy, but I now think I'm wrong.

Today I built one of the dimpled C6's as a dome, and built a fully enclosed plio.rayf.rivf.60N60P4.C6 link which, incredibly, is rigid.

Rigidity Edit

I'll try to help your intuition out here: as you probably know if you build a "fishing net" made out of just trianges, it is a flimsy affair. You can pick it up, and drape it over your arm, but it's so obviously unstable that when you look at the architect's diagrams of a Lobel net you assume that its stability must come from some external support.

Examples Edit

The 'trick' is in the subtle way that the positively and negatively curved vertices nestle together: think of an egg box.

Development Edit

I predict that Rodrigo is going to be pretty excited about these structures: I haven't yet tried any big nets ....

Pictures to follow.

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