Read here about tensegrity structures composed of three struts, part of a series of pages organized by strut count.


The 3 strut tensegrity prism is considered the simplest tensegrity structure.

3 Strut Tensegrity Image Gallery

Below, a small gallery of 3 strut images.

3 Strut Prisms

A 3-strut prism by Fuller, its filament probably dacron, is on display at the Stanford archive.
A 3 strut tensegrity by Fuller. Stanford archive photo.

A 3-strut tensegrity by Fuller, forming a triangle. May have been used to illustrate that even a "polygon" triangle is an ultra-flat tetrahedron.
3 strut tensegrity by Fuller, forming a triangle. Stanford Archive photo.

3-strut tensegrity prism, from Fuller's Tensile-integrity patent number 3063521.
Fuller Tensile-integrity patent number 3063521.

3-strut tensegrities, in two tensile arrangements. Constructed, and photo, by Marcelo Pars.
3 strut tensegrities by Marcelo Pars.

3-Strut prism, computer rendered by BenFrantzDale and published on image / 3-Strut CAD with Shadow by BenFrantzDale.png|Wikipedia.
3-Strut CAD with Shadow by BenFrantzDale.png

A carbon nanotube 3 strut prism is proposed. The three carbon nanotubes are covalently tensioned, or tethered, at their cap pentagons by polyethylene polymer chains, by Needham, Wilson, and Yakobson.

Three carbon nanotubes in a prism, by Needham, Wilson, and Yakobson.

See Buckminsterfullerene for more information.

3 Strut Tower With Added Shade Element

3 strut shade structure by Armin R. Kachel
3 strut shade by Armin R. Kachel

3 Strut Prism Used as a Tripod

The 3 strut prism can be used as a tripod, supporting an object. WV is a veteran user of tensegrity structures for camping. He has deployed tensegrity hammock stands. Below, a 3 strut tensegrity stand he built supporting a Bushcooker LT II stove. Photographed by WV while camping at Laurel Fork Wilderness, August 2010.

3 strut tensegrity stand for Bushcooker by WV

Multiplying The 3 Strut Prism

The 3 strut construction may be repeatedly applied to construct larger tensegrity structures.

10x3 strut prism forming a triangle

Below, 10 repeated 3 strut modules, by Fuller.

Fuller created this pyramid of 3 strut tensegrities, yielding a 3x10 strut tensegrity. Photo, Stanford archive.

3-x3 strut prism forming a sphere

Below, the Sixty Strut Tensegrity by Fuller, composed of a repeated three-strut module.

The 3 strut is repeated as the 20 faces of an icosahedral tensegrity. Photograph of Sixty Strut Tensegrity Sphere, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

24x3 strut prism forming a bent torus

StructureMode, an engineering firm, repeatedly used the 3 strut prism to construct a torus that conforms with the perimeter of a hyperbolic paraboloid.

Tension Pavilion Grasshopper Model.jpg
A torus, bent to support fabric, is formed by 24 3-strut tensegrity prisms. Vision at the London 2016 Exposition.

For more information, see Tension Pavilion 2016.

3 strut formed from DNA

A 3 strut tensegrity has been constructed from DNA strands by Seeman's team. Below, a stereoscopic image.

3 strut tensegrity prisms formed by DNA. By Seeman.

Multiplying Each Strut in the Prism

In an alternate construction method, each structurally essential strut is repeatedly implemented. The new strut is redundant, structurally. Visually, the redundant struts articulate various forms as they apread out and away from one another. Pars experiments with this implementation; below two photos from his website.

3x17 strut tensegrity hanging. Construction and photo by Marcelo Pars.

3x17 strut tensegrity hanging. Construction and photo by Marcelo Pars.



Karl Ioganson may have constructed a 3 strut tensegrity prism

Links and References

See also

Portal to Polyhedra
A series on polyhedra and associated tensegrities
  1. Platonic: Cube, Dodecahedron, Icosahedron, Octahedron, Tetrahedron
  2. Archimedan: Cuboctahedron, Jitterbug, Rhombic Dodecahedron, Stella Octangula, Tricontahedron
  3. Form: Prism, Torus
  4. Concepts: Naming
Access by no. of struts: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 21, 30, 60, 90, 270, 540; Procedures: 3, 30