Introduction: Penrose Triangle (modified)

About: I like to design and build random things.

This is a modified version of the Penrose “Impossible” Triangle which is an interesting example of how the brain can be fooled. The main difference in this version is the use of hardware to simulate the triangle side connections. Watching the video is the easiest way to see how it works.

Note that this is a very simple project. It took about 10 minutes and was “free” since I used pallet wood and recycled bolts. I’ve included a drawing which is included in the video description.

Step 1:


  • Saw
  • Tape measure
  • Drill & bits
  • Sander (optional)


  • Wood (enough to make three 2” slats, 8” long)…I used one slat from a pallet
  • Wood glue
  • Lag bolts or something similar – used only for show

Step 2:

Cut three boards – 8” long x 2” wide x ½” thick. Note that the size can be scaled up or down.

Step 3:

Attach board together with wood glue – use a clamp to apply pressure

Step 4:

Drill holes and add bolts/screws. Note that these bolts are just used to give the illusion that the wood is connected.

Step 5:

I taped weights to the back side of the bottom piece to allow the triangle to stand upright. Other options include adding a center axle under the bottom to allow it to spin or placing holes in the bottom side and providing a matching plate with dowel pins. The second option would allow you to reposition the triangle in the exact same spot (relative to camera or person) which would be nice for video.

Step 6:


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 try to pick a middle spot between the near are far pieces which helps with the illusion.

Step 7: Painted

Also tried a couple of the photo suggestions mentioned in the comments.

Step 8: If You Like This, Check Out Another Example

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest