Picture of Zip Tie Ball
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This ball is made from zip ties (zap straps) and has a nice mathematical colouring.

You will need:
  • 60 small zip ties (zap straps, plastic cable ties).  Large zip ties are more difficult to hack for this project.
  • A push pin
  • Needle nose pliers
  • (optional) Tester's model paint
If you are math inclined, we are building an dodecahedron with a 5-colouring that shows its rotational symmetry group, A5.  That is, all 60 even permutations of the 5 colours can be obtained by rotating the zip-tie ball about a pair of opposite faces (diamonds, triangles, or rounded pentagons).  You can learn more here and here, or read a rough description in the last step.

Many different shapes can be built with this method.

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Step 1: Make a zip tie triangles

Picture of Make a zip tie triangles
Attach 3 zip ties together in a loop, pulling the heads half way onto the "zippers".  Now do it 20 times.

Step 2: Connect triangles

Picture of Connect triangles
This is the secret step to connect two triangles:  Stuff the thin tail from one triangle into a zip tie head on another triangle.

First, you need to decide which way your triangles go; clockwise or counterclockwise.  Whichever it is, take note of which side of the triangle will be inside the Zip Tie Ball.  This is important because it will give the ball a more uniform curvature.
  1. Use a push pin to widen a head's hole, above the existing zip tie inserted through it, on the edge near the inside of the ball.
  2. Hold the head and zip tie firmly in place while you remove the push pin.
  3. Insert a zip tie tail of another triangle into the head, keeping the same orientation and direction as the original zip tie.  Use the push pin to coax it through if you need to.
  4. When you can get hold of it, pull it through with needle nose pliers until just before the zipper part enters the head.

I bilded my own it is cool :)


AWESOME! That is the greatest compliment of all.

69valentine2 years ago
Awesome. I will be building this very soon.
builderv2 years ago
cool man