A Lego Tensegrity Structure

Tensegrity structures are an impressive demonstration of how to achieve mechanical stability through tensile forces. Since the topic is currently trending it was probably only a matter of time before somebody like [Alexandre Thiery] came with the idea to build a tensegrity model from Lego.

In the GIF below that [Alexandre Thiery] shared on his Twitter account you can see his kids admiring the model. Tensegrity structures consist of elements under constant tension – in most cases strings – and components under compression, in this case beams of Lego. By combining these elements, one can build stable structures that seem to float in midair. A simple daily-life example for tensegrity is a balloon where the skin is the tensional element while the air inside is the component under compression.

[Alexandre Thiery] has come up with the clever idea to simply clamp the strings between two Lego blocks. This certainly paves the way for other more complicated Lego-based tensegrity structures that we will likely see in the future. [Alexandre Thiery] also recently extended his model by stacking an identical structure on top of it.

If you do not have any Lego at hand just fire up your 3D printer to make a tensegrity physics toy or a floating table.

14 thoughts on “A Lego Tensegrity Structure

  1. So the totally overblown “pandemic” has our kids stuck at home playing with Legos instead of in school learning life skills. Oh wait a minute, they don’t teach life skills in school any more. Hmmm… Tensegrity Legos it is then! As you were.

  2. Is this actually a “Tensegrity structure” ? Wikipedia states tensegrity is “members loaded in either pure compression or pure tension” this lego is blatantly suffering some torsion.
    It’s cool whatever it is, I’m just wondering if there’s a better term to aid my web searches?

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