Orderly tangle / regular polylink

Orderly tangle / regular polylink

This is called an “orderly tangle” (or also “regular polylink.”) This particular tangle is made up of four triangles, which when woven together in a certain symmetric fashion form a stable structure. You may have seen tangles in the form of puzzles before. My college roommate was really into puzzles and had a bunch of wooden ones. I first saw tangles that were made from balloons on Vi Hart’s web site.

To make this balloon, I used four 260 balloons. I used my neon colors for a cool color combination. I left around a 3-4 inch tail (instead of inflating the entire balloon) as I didn’t want the final structure to be too big/loose. There are no tricky twists – it’s just four triangles. But it is a geometric exercise to figure out how to put it together. You’ll have to make each triangle one at a time as you figure out how to weave them. I added a 5″ round balloon in the middle for fun.

To learn more about these cool geometric structures, check out this video below by George Hart, who has lots of photos and videos of really cool mathematical sculptures at his web site and YouTube channel.


Fin RegPolylinks from Simons Foundation on Vimeo.