Impossible Staircase

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Introduction: Impossible Staircase

About: I like to design and build random things.

The Penrose stairs, also known as the impossible staircase, is a two-dimensional depiction of a staircase in which the stairs make four 90-degree turns as they ascend or descend yet form a continuous loop. Although the staircase is conceptually impossible, it does interfere with your perception since it looks like a person could climb forever and never get any higher.

Watching the video is the easiest way to see how it works. I’ve included a drawing which is linked in the video description.

Step 1: Tools/Materials

Tools:

  • Band Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Clamps
  • Sander (optional)

Materials:

  • Wood 1 x 6 or 1 x 3
  • Wood glue

Step 2: Cut First Side

Cut wood as shown in the pictures. I used a table saw for the sections and a band saw for the steps.

Step 3: Cut Second Side

Step 4: Cut Third Side

Step 5: Cut Fourth Side

Step 6: Glue Sides Together

Use a vice or clamps

Step 7: It Should Look Like This When Assembled

Step 8: Highlight Edges

Use a pencil or marker to highlight the step edges. You could also paint the steps as an enhancement.

Step 9:

I used a Canon DSLR camera for the photo and video. It took a few minutes on a tripod to line up the angles. I also had to use manual focus to blend the focus which helps with the illusion.

Step 10: Another Example

If you like this, check out another example

https://www.instructables.com/id/Penrose-triangle-m...

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    19 Discussions

    0
    ArjunR50
    ArjunR50

    Question 1 year ago

    the dimensions are in?

    0
    mtairymd
    mtairymd

    Answer 1 year ago

    Inches

    0
    Yonatan24
    Yonatan24

    4 years ago

    That's pretty cool! Thanks for sharing, I liked the triangle too!

    0
    mtairymd
    mtairymd

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you.

    0
    philip42
    philip42

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Would you be wiling to make the 3D model which was shown in the video clip available?

    0
    mtairymd
    mtairymd

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Sure. Note that the drawing is linked in the video description. It's a very simple model so I'm not sure how much time it would save you. I can email you the inventor and/or STEP files. Let me know if you want them.

    You made me squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I lurve M.C. Escher and this is amazing! =D

    -Gashly!

    0
    ninjacheese
    ninjacheese

    6 years ago

    Wow love it I'm so makeing one

    0
    mtairymd
    mtairymd

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Correct...here is the movie clip.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uUzBIR-dOwg

    0
    mtairymd
    mtairymd

    6 years ago

    @metalshiflet

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uUzBIR-dOwg

    0
    stevenvachon
    stevenvachon

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I remember hearing about people creating similar things (Escher art) in 3D about 15 years ago, but I never got to see the renders. This is perhaps a little more interesting :) Thank you for sharing.

    0
    psardinas
    psardinas

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Well after watching this I have concluded that you sir are a WITCH!

    0
    T-BONE3
    T-BONE3

    6 years ago

    ??????

    0
    hunter999
    hunter999

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great! Thanks for sharing and I loved the impossible triangle :-)

    0
    hotfarts
    hotfarts

    6 years ago

    This is way cool. Good work!