I have recently discovered another interesting combination of mathematics and art: sliceform. In general, we call a sliceform a 3D shape, which is assembled from flat slices, forming some sort of grid structure. The ones that I have seen on the internet and made out of paper or card board, and rarely metal or plastic. Now with the 3D printing technology, this technique is mostly used in rapid prototyping or just for artistic purposes. From a mathematical point of view, each sliceform approximates a continuous target shape and constitutes a slice skeleton of its target shape. The standard target shape may be obtained from a given sliceform by calculating the minimal surface object that encloses it.

The following models were made as mathematical demonstration pieces, by John Sharp in 1998 for the Strange Surfaces exhibition at the Science Museum, London. Flat sheets of cardboard are cut and slotted together so that when they are opened out they form various 3-dimensional shapes.


There are many ideas out there and a lot of tutorials on how to do this, so I will do a little more research and be sure to find out more posts on this topic. This was a mere introduction, so here are a couple of more interesting shapes made using this technique:

If you want to read more about this topic, I recommend some books written by John Sharp, such as Sliceforms: Mathematical Models from Paper Sections and Surfaces: Explorations with Sliceforms.

I am continuously adding books to my “have to read” list, I don’t know when I will stop. Hopefully this made you interested in this too. Have a great day.  You can find me on Facebook,  Tumblr,  Google+,  Twitter,  Instagram  and  WeHeartIt. I will try to post there as often as possible.

Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy! ~LThMath


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