Picture of modular pie-cosahedron
constructing a pie with the topology of a sphere from 20 triangular sub-pie modules attached with amazing magnets.

Step 1: Layout and cut the pieces

we needed 20 equilateral triangles. choosing an altitude of 12 inches let us easily lay out two strips of them on a 24x48 inch sheet of 24 gauge steel. in order to get the dihedral angle at which the sides of the pans have to meet to form the whole icosahedron requires the sides to be sloped at darn near 120 degrees so if one just cuts out the diamond shaped tab in each corner, the results fit together quite nicely.

we decided to pick up a power-shear from harbor freight. cuts the sheet like butter and leaves a cleaner edge than the hand sheers. it wouldn't work for really detailed work but for reasonably smooth curves it's definitely worth it's weight and even for straight cuts it's significantly more affordable than a floor shear.
canida6 years ago
This project was featured on NPR's Here & Now on Monday, November 24 2008!
smartmiltoys6 months ago

Really very interesting!)))

patsheldon1 year ago

omg over the toppp!! I wanna party with you guys! ;D

This would be GREAT for brownies! Fantastic idea and construction.

ilpug4 years ago
you need to supersize this. now that you have a modular building system you can make anything!
But pie are squared!
This made me rofl. Brilliant :)
pie can be squared easily, with a sharp knife.
No, pie are round. Cornbread are squared.
hahaha!!! ROFLPMP!!!:D
WYN soldier4 years ago
haha the idea is great now make the oven that comes with it XD
tubegeek4 years ago
Fractal pie?
Aswa tubegeek4 years ago
I had the same thought, so I searched. ;)
Icalasari4 years ago
Idea: Make it so that the magnet portions are a separate section. The pies get baked in pans that can hook onto the frame. Then you can do this each year if you desired without having to wrestle with magnets every time
BigCountry4 years ago
Dude!! You have WAAAAAAYYY too much time on your hands!! Cool pie, though
mshekleton4 years ago
...and then you put the sharp sheet metal on your head. lol :)
Fish_Kungfu4 years ago
Awesome job!!! What about some Phi-pie? That would be golden-ly delicious! ;-p
Brewerjp5 years ago
I can't believe this hasn't been said yet... This pie rolls a natural 20 every time!
i might make pizza in one of these instead :D
icecoldcelt5 years ago
I have to get/make a shirt like that. Period.
bluebeard5 years ago
I'm guessing that you used NIBs.  Samarium-Cobalt's have a higher curie point that  will survive kitchen oven temperatures.  They are the second strongest type of magnets, right behind NIB's.
rockerape5 years ago
sheet metal happens.   8P
brainmist7 years ago
I'd just like to say - and I'm not one to exaggerate - but you, sir/madam, are a GOD. That's right, I've said it...you are clearly a minor deity at least of the juncture of geometry and pie. Geopastry, maybe. Nevermind the figuring-out-how-to-do-it, the sheer audacity of the idea merits you applause!

*erects a small shrine to Geopastronus, God of Pie and Angles (tm)*
Surely you mean....*waits for the drum-roll* Pie-angles? :OD ~adamvan2000
:OD <-------has a big nose!!!
Or if you tilt your head to the right it's Homer Simpson!
BeanGolem5 years ago
krazipanda5 years ago
what happens when u wwant to eat it?
red-king6 years ago
omg!!! it's a pie d20!
1spartan956 years ago
Calling all geeks and pie lovers!!!!!
kelseymh6 years ago
Step 2: Nice T-shirt, dude! I can't quite tell if it's supposed to be vacuum corrections to e-e scattering, or Drell-Yan. Either way, sweet...
turkey tek (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
thanks! it's e-e scattering.

it was one of those visual coincidences just waiting for some crackpot
to discover:

Truly, truly hilarious. I wonder just how many crackpots have already posted their theories about bees navigating via quantum entanglement :-/

BTW, I see that your "Berkeley" location is now UCI. Congrats on the faculty position! I didn't know Irvine was that open to cross-disciplinary work (artificial vision and Drosophila epigenetic atlases; quite the mix).

You mean they DON'T?!

All I've ever known is a lie...
The cake is a lie!!!
No, it's a truth that you deny!
turkey tek (author)  kelseymh6 years ago
techshop16 years ago
You have way too much time on your hands. Wish I had time to play like that. Enjoy it while you can. Looks like a fun project - Great job!
PIE is exactly 3! Sorry, had to get the fat nerds attention away from the buffet table and back to the conference table. Now, let's try to divide the pie by PI.
PIE divided by Pi is 0.95492965855137201461330258023509blahblahblah Seems the nerd baiting worked :P
ItsTheHobbs7 years ago
pie and math, i dont like either but anyways this is great, and a great idea too
you don't like pie??? How could you?!?!?! I'm taking that as a personal insult!!! (JK)
PKTraceur6 years ago
Did you just make a D20 pie??!?!?!?!
REA PKTraceur6 years ago
this would be great for a huge D&D party!
The ultimate in gamer food. I just failed my save vs. hunger. :)
Thekal6 years ago
Your ONE triangle away from a FULL trio of triforces.. power courage wisdom ...fail.
spiffytessa6 years ago
The awesomeness of this has left me speechless.
Mr.NHRA6 years ago
lots of pie.
baking for the geometrically inclined.
littletom346 years ago
The only thing that could've made that pie cooler would have been pecan numbers.... 5 stars!
This is crazy-good and WAY tops the fractal pie. Since you seemed to have solved the gravity issue, how about a mobius pie next year?
darkmuskrat6 years ago
we mustn't let this technology into the hands of our enemy comrades :P
Plasmana6 years ago
That is the most amazing pie I ever saw!
yutzwagon6 years ago
Wow. Talk about gamer food...
Flumpkins7 years ago
Orannis7 years ago
A d20 made from pie? This is so incredibly awesome. Should make this one day...
What the heck!? This thing is insanely awesome! Nice job.
Shifrin7 years ago
Wow this is Awesome!
cwant7 years ago
Do you actually use a pie on the bottom face? I'm not sure I'd want to eat that piece!
turkey tek (author)  cwant7 years ago
yep! it may not look so pretty, but it still tastes just as delicious
SecondSun7 years ago
Isn't this technically a "pie holder" not a pie? Its fun bit hard to eat....lol
kid1237 years ago
Freakin SWEET... literally
PiMan3147 years ago
PiMan approves!
voxitage7 years ago
That's one delicious dreidel!
PKM7 years ago
Step 2, last picture- all you need is a huge drill on the other hand and a creepy little girl following you around...

I saw the pans were riveted, and thought "ah, you don't have to line with foil to protect the pie against the welding slag like those saps who made the... fractal pie.. wait, you are those saps! More maths and less welding FTW"

I am completely at a loss to imagine what you will bake next, the furthest reaches of my creative cooking are really huge snacks. Mmm, gargantuan Jaffa cake.

jongscx8 years ago
though not as geometrically profound, any plans for a perfectly spherical pecan pie? I don't know how you'd do it, whether zero and an oven or a big spinny (spin-y, not spine-y) thing and a blowtorch... just a thought... yeah, could you make a toroidal pie by using centrifugal "force" inside a circular section of pipe?
Or you could use a Bundt pan. Remember the best solution is the simplest solution. Opus
Indeed... but that kinda defeats the purpose of escalating the simple to the overly complex...
but If you are going to make an instrucable, you will get more ratings if it is easier to make because more people will make it.
turkey tek (author)  jongscx8 years ago
we have definitely pondered at length the spherical and toroidal geometries. clearly micro-gravity fabrication is the future. had only the venerable pielab been saved from re-entry. perhaps some pieromaniac instructablight can offer up an alternate micro-gravity-on-a-shoe-string solution. maybe baking the pie while plummeting from a tall building; but quickly?
then it would have to be in a vacuum or else the air resistance would smear the pie pieces and cause it to take on a tear-drop shape... but if that were the case, then the water would boil at a lower temp as well as the sugar not reacting the way it should... this could all be solved if you put it in a spherical metal shell... but if you did, why bother with dropping it in very tall vaccuum chamber?
Put Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray on the Vomit Comet and you can have microgravity speed cooking with a nice decorative touch.
Ora jongscx8 years ago
Maybe if you cooked a quarter of the sphere at a time, and asembled them the same way they did in this.
mignonnette7 years ago
I...bu...You're my hero. The idea to use pecan rather than pumpkin was a good one, since the caramelized sugar and pecans form such a strong lid. I wonder if a pie with a top pastry crust would hold up to something like this...
guided8 years ago
thats good to know about the magnets...i'd planned to include some magnets in my next supersculpey/toy project
ARVash8 years ago
Throw in some numbers and you have a d20 :3
turkey tek (author)  ARVash8 years ago
A piecosahedron can be defined as a regular plenty-sided pie, or, in more mathematical detail, as a delicial approximation of a 2-sphere (which is the simplest space with nontrivial pie-2) constructed out of twenty regular pi-angles. It is inextricably interrelated with its dual, the doughdecahedron.
a doughnut-decahedron?
trebuchet038 years ago
Fill it with candy and make a pecan pie-cosahedron pinata :P Very cool :)
Then you wreck the pie! However, the idea of holding a pinata together with magnets is really good!
Once I upload 70 pictures and write out the steps.... you'll have a pinata :P
Crash21088 years ago
Do not put NdFB magnets in the oven as they will lose their strength by a lot. Also, that girl is cute.
turkey tek (author)  Crash21088 years ago
aw shucks, you're giving away the punch line. magnets and the oven do not mix. we learned the hard way. i agree about that girl
LasVegas8 years ago
Wonderful Pictorial. I would like to see a monolog to go along with it though.

turkey tek (author)  LasVegas8 years ago
working on it. you folks are just too quick
It's not solid pecan all the way through? how disappointing.
theRIAA8 years ago
pies and sharp edges are never a good mix D':
elfpower8 years ago
Man, any project with the keywords "pecan" and "magnets" is something I want to be a part of.