Mengermania, round two

By Nicholas Rougeux, posted on January 11, 2007 in Art, Fractals

Mengermania logo Almost four years ago, I completed a large origami project over the course of seven months that comprised 66,000 units and resulted in a very intricate cube-like structure based on a fractal called a Menger sponge. I've decided to begin again, but this time with a much larger goal in mind.

While I was building it, I kept track of the progress on a very basic Web site, affectionately titled Mengermania, that has since been taken down. To track my newest project, I've brought it back to life with all new content. Mengermania is back.

Those of you who have known me for a while, know that I love fractals, art, and origami. When I discovered that there was something I could created that involved all three of these things, I was pretty excited. The Menger sponge, created by Karl Menger, is a three-dimensional fractal encompassing these three aspects. Plus, it's pretty simple (yet time-consuming) to build with origami.

Three years ago, I built, "level three" Menger sponge. It's a level three because it's the third iteration of a Menger sponge. Building that took seven and a half months and 66,048 units. I had fun time building it and even got a little mention in the local paper. This time around, I'm building a level four sponge. It will essentially comprise 20 level three sponges and 1,296,384 units.

I had attempted to build a level four sponge shortly after finishing the other one but life became busy and I couldn't find any time to keep it up. Now that I finally have a little more time these days, I'm going to try building that sponge again. To track of my progress, and hopefully encourage others to build sponges of their own, I've recreated my old Mengermania Web site and gave it a complete update. The diagrams are clearer, instructions are better, and hopefully it answers more questions this time around. Want to know more? Head on over to Mengermania and read all about it. Everything is explained there.

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