I used the happy coincidence that we have the same number of color dimensions as we have spatial dimensions, and mapped the coordinates of the XYZ bucky-sphere vertexes into the RGB color space. After much futzing and fooling around and came up with a software program that produces a PDF with the proper gradients to produce the rainbow bucky you see here.
I used the wide-format printer and laser cutter at the TechShop to print and cut the pieces. You can use a 24" printer, or I've also included an 8.5x11" PDF to make at home. I made this at the TechShop.
- Plain (i.e. NOT photo!) paper for your printer. The photo paper is too thick. Use the best paper/ink combination for getting vibrant colors on your printer.
- An inkjet printer. I tried a color laser, but the 'ink' flakes off when creased. Maybe newer lasers are better in that regard.
- A laser cutter (e.g. from TechShop), or a rotary paper cutter/trimmer. IMO, the guillotine types are totally worthless for anything but removing fingers. They have a no ability to cut precise lines, especially on a stack of paper. If using a laser cutter, a cutting template is included. If using manual cutter, crop lines are included in the files.
Step 1: Download the files and print. Both Sides
Even though you nominally only see one side of each square, you'll want to print both sides. The reason for this is that you can actually see little slivers of back side in the assembled product, and seeing the un-inked, white backside is no fun. See that attached image for the difference
So, download either the buckyball.zip or dodecahedron.zip.
If you're using the buckyball, and a standard 8.5x11 paper, print the file called, "buckyball_8.5x11_front.pdf". Or if you're using 24" roll paper, then print with buckyball_24x14_front.pdf.
Be sure to set your print settings to NOT SCALE the image. Or scale it by a specified amount. You need all pages to have the same scale on the way out.
In either case, once you're done, you need to print the back sides. I've already taken into account the left-right offset and reversal of the image. You load the paper back into the printer so that the back of page 1 gets printed first, and then print the XXX_back.pdf image.
I suggest trying this out on your local inkjet to understand how it works before you try it out on a large format printer.