Wormhole Assembly at G4G9

George W. Hart

Wormhole is a stainless steel sculpture which was assembled at the Gathering for Gardner, March 27, 2010.
The design of the sculpture is explained elsewhere.  This page shows only the assembly.

I had prepared the components in NY and shipped them down to Atlanta for this event,
where I asked volunteers to open the boxes, unwrap the parts, and help me assemble them.

First I had everyone play for a while, exploring how it might go together like a puzzle.

Then I explained a systematic method of building three differently rotated concentric cubes.

In this method, we add a cube at a time, disconnecting some previous joints to let new pieces get past.

Many hands are needed to keep everything from falling apart.
With a tab and slot connector system, everything locks together nicely.

I'm quite happy when this first layer is complete.  It is the hardest part.

Now I use a custom-made tool to bend the tabs slightly, locking the parts together.

We can then pass it around and have everyone find its 2-fold, 3-fold, and 4-fold axes.

The next layer is easier, because tabs from the inner layer serve as landmarks for positioning the parts.

These twelve parts are similar to the twelve inner ones, but scaled up to twice the size.
Small pieces of paper are used here to keep the tabs from pulling out during construction.

The second layer is now complete.  After checking everything, I'll bend its tabs also.

Now we have just the outer layer to complete.  These parts are twice as large as the second layer.

Six of these parts extend down to a foot which will become the base.

Again, tabs from the previous layer are guides, making it easy to position these parts.

We hold it in the air and build upside down, so the base is on top where we can access it.

Two slightly different types of base parts alternate ABABAB in six vertical planes.

The six base brackets can all be screwed into place in parallel.

Standing on the base, it is ready for the three top pieces.

This closeup shows how the special bending tool is applied to gently twist the tabs.

Each tab is slot halfway, allowing a simple bend that prevents disassembly.

There are two angled tabs from layer 2 coming through the center of each piece in layer 3.

Now we start a triumphal procession to carry it to the permanent site.

All hail Wormhole!  It is only about fifty pounds, so is easy to carry up high.

I previously prepared a plywood template for casting six bolts into a cement plinth.

It fit perfectly on the bolts. 
(It is a bit low and would look better if raised a bit. I asked for a base 15 to 18 inches off the ground.)

Tightening up the nuts was the final step.

Time to rest and enjoy and celebrate...

Thank you everyone who participated in this sculpture assembly!
A special thank you to Tom Rodgers for making the event possible.
Thank you Jamie Swan for making the specially slotted bending tool.
  Thank you Peter Knoppers for taking these excellent photos.