Automatic Magformers Table

Magformers (magnetic building sets involving maths) used to be Simon’s greatest passion when he was six (just a year ago!) and this week he has been travelling in time to revisit this old love, after his little sis received a new Magformers set as a present. What Simon did next was to combine Magformers and programming: he created an automatic table listing various Magformers models (in HTML/ JavaScript). The sets that can be used to build those models were to get filled in automatically, depending on the number of specific shapes needed for every model and the number of such shapes available in every set. As you might imagine, this involved many lines of code and a whole lot of computational thinking. At one point, when Simon was nearly done, he realized that the column listing the sets wouldn’t get filled in properly. He had a bug in his program that he couldn’t find, so he turned to his older friends in Slack for help. It’s such a pleasure to see him communicate with these experienced programmers on a regular basis now and unbelievable how eager and resourceful they are. One of Simon’s friends from Slack even created his own version of Simon’s program in CodePen! What makes it even more wonderful is that Simon no longer hesitates to apply the good advice he gets. The next day he wrote some “helper functions” and the table worked!

Simon hasn’t put this project online yet, as he wanted to make it more interactive and hasn’t managed to do that so far.







This is how many 2D shapes a 3D shape corner, a vertice or this amount of degrees has.

This entry can be viewed as an extensive English practice: Simon wrote both the title and the entry (I have corrected one sentence) and recorded an English-language video (you’ll notice he had a problem with the word “vertice” 🙂 

  • Equilateral triangle
  • Square
  • Regular pentagon
  • Regular hexagon

Make the following angles using the shapes above:

  • 60 degrees
  • 90 degrees
  • 108 degrees
  • 120 degrees
  • 180 degrees: tetrahedron
  • 216 degrees
  • 240 degrees: octahedron
  • 270 degrees: cube
  • 300 degrees: icosahedron
  • 324 degrees: dodecahedron
  • 360 degrees

You can watch this video for see this.


Simon’s Rhombi Numberline

Simon has made a system that explains how to construct bigger 3D-objects using smaller ones. For example, in the first video he constructs Cuboctahedron using:

  • cube (6 squares)
  • octahedron (8 triangles)

and a Rhombicubeoctahedron by adding 12 squares.

In the next video things are getting more complicated as Simon shows how to construct a Rhombicosidodecahedron from:

  • cube (6 squares)
  • cube (24 squares)
  • dodecahedron (12 pentagons)
  • icosahedron (20 triangles)

but why is 1 cube with 6 squares and 1 with 24 squares?

Because all cubes are different sizes.

  1. 4 squares became a big square.
  2. The cubes are different sizes because 4 cubes became a big cube