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OLOID Mathematically Perfect Desk Sculpture

Posted: August 30, 2017
OLOID Mathematically Perfect Desk Sculpture
$25 - $73
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Paul Schatz discovered the oloid in 1929. Yes, discovered. It's not just some rando geometric shape or ergonomically designed fidget toy. The oloid is a real piece of the mathematics puzzle, and Patrick Schneider's OLOID sculpture brings its perfect mathematical properties - and eye-catching aesthetic - to your desktop.

A single piece of solid metal, the OLOID has a curved, but not round, shape with several edges. It looks kind of like a ball of Thinking Putty I just half-squeezed in my hand (with palm lines and fingerprints removed to protect my identity.) But despite its seemingly arbitrary design, the OLOID has been precisely molded to behave in several predictable, and mesmerizing, ways.

First, despite its squashed curves, the OLOID rolls, and it does so in a perfectly straight line. With a motion that is smooth and gentle, rather than the awkward and clunky you might expect. While moving, every single point of the OLOID's surface touches the surface it's on too. And its surface area is identical to a sphere of the same radius. Here's a GIF of the OLOID on the roll.

Have you Paul Schatz your pants yet, math geeks?

If so, pledge for your own OLOID desktop sculpture, made from your choice of liquid, precision-cast stainless steel, brass, or copper, through October 2, 2017. You can also choose from a 4.9-ounce Original or 14.6-ounce Totem sized OLOID.

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