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Tensegrity Coffee Table

We came across this cool little “how-to” on making a Tensegrity Coffee Table this weekend when searching for ideas for 3D stained glass sculptures.

The whole idea of tensegrity is pretty interesting.  It is based on two “systems” in balance…one is continuously pulling and the other is discontinously pushing.  The easiest way to think about it is to visualize a balloon: the skin is “continously pulling” while the air molecules inside are “discontinously pushing.”  We think these structures may be cool as a framework for mounting stained glass.

While we have not decided what to do about a tensegrity based stained glass project, we did spent the afternoon playing with the simple structure outlined by the article above.   We made ourselves a fun little cellphone holder out of a few sticks and some fishing line.


We had a few false starts, a couple of complete failures, and learned a few things about tensegrity based structures from making this little scale model.  These structures can are VERY stable once there is a load on it.  We are going to spend the rest of the day making these little structures…now, where did I put that box of rubber bands???

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