I call this creation The Blossoming Lotus. It was originally posted on Online Cortex, but I have decided to repost it here because its just plain fun. Basically it is a large 2D version of a Hoberman sphere. Why did I not make a large Hoberman sphere? First, the parts to make the circle cost almost $80 US. Second, I have other more pressing projects I am working on.
It is about 4 feet in diameter when completely extended and is pretty impressive. Its relatively easy to make. My design consists of constructing each petal with two interlocking pieces: a single-claw arm and a double-claw arm. The parts needed to make the two arms are illustrated below.
To make the entire circle of petals, one needs 20 copies of each petal. The job then is to put them all together. I will post detailed instructions on a website in the near future. For now, here is a closeup of the blossom when completed.
And of course, the project wouldn’t be complete without that animation above made with MLCAD, L3PAO, and POV Ray. The animation was straightforward—once you get the geometry right (which is not straightforward). I will post a lesson on the geometry and the animation of this creation in the future as well. For now, enjoy.