Lego Pentagon




Speed build:


It's pentagon time... awwwww yeah! The wild offspring of Mr. Square and Mrs. Hexagon; baby Pentagon is here to rock your world!

Lego thought: Don't you just love the sound of Lego bricks? I love the sound a pile of 1x2s makes when you reach in to grab the ones you want. I also love the sound of two bricks snapping together, there's just something so satisfying about that sound. 

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Step 1: Parts

To build what will probably the coolest pentagon you will ever make, you will need:
-90 1x2 bricks

Two color: 45 of each brick
Three color: 30 of each brick
Rainbow warrior: go wild

Step 2:

Stack 3 bricks as shown. Repeat until all the bricks are used up. 

Two colors: 15 stacks of each color
Three colors: 10 stacks of each color
Rainbow warrior: 30 stacks of whatever kinda craziness you're into 

Step 3:

Connect the stacks, alternating the colors.

To turn the corner, turn the top brick of the stack as shown. The goal here is have each side consist of 5 normal stacks of bricks and two that are bent. The pictures make more sense. 

Step 4:

Keep building sides and corners until you run out of stacks. 

Step 5: Close 'er Up!

Bring the two ends around and attach those fools together! 

Now you're cooler because you have a Lego pentagon. 

Check out these other cool Lego shapes to be even cooler:
Lego Circle
Lego Triangle

Step 6:

Later this week I'll finish up the basic shapes with what I like to call a double trouble Instructable. That's right, it's gonna be a twofer! That means double the Lego and double the shapes. Then hold on tight because I'll be taking the bendy Legoness to the next level. No more kindergarten shapes, oh no, you can expect some 3rd grade level goodness in the coming weeks. There are even some shapes that I had to make my own names up for! Now that's Legolicious. 

To make sure you don't miss out on any of this excitement, be sure to click that little yellowish orangish button that says "Follow" ;) 

Want more 1x2 LEGO fun? Check out these other 1x2 bendy shape Instructables:
Lego Star
ego Saw Blade
ego Cog
ego Deltoid and Astroid
Lego Triangle
ego Circle
ego Starburst
ego Medical Sign
ego Heart

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    18 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    When building your polygons and circles, do you determine the "minimum size" by trial and error, or have you gone through the tolerance calculations numerically?

    There should be a relatively simple relationship:

    The brick-to-brick tolerance gap vs. the 1-stud side length tells you the angular tolerance, which determines both the extra opening or closing possible at each "right angle" corner, and also allows you to compute the incremental curvature along each side.

    For the circle, the angular tolerance divided into 2.pi tells you the number of bricks needed around the circumference. Interestingly, your trial-and-error circles can tell you directly what the angular tolerance is -- divide 2.pi by the smallest stable circumference and that's the maximum angular opening.

    For the polyhedra, the computation is more complex. There is a relationship between the straight (chord) length between vertices and the curved length you build, which can tell you the half-angle added onto the Euclidean polygon's corner angle. The sum of the Euclidean corner and the two half-angles must be close to 90 degrees, within the angular tolerance determined above.

    Since the Euclidean corner is determined from the number of sides on the polygon [Q = pi - (2pi/N) = pi * (N-2)/N], the derivation above can be written generally for any regular polygon.

    Once you've got that relationship -- angular excess/deficit from 90 degrees at each corner vs. curved length of side -- you can invert it and determine the minimum curved length possible given the angular tolerance.

    It would be very interesting to know how close your constructions are to the limiting values computed as above.

    4 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Okay. Let's plug some numbers in and see what happens. (Spoiler alert: everything comes out nicely consistent :-).

    For the angular tolerance, the 75-brick (1x2) circumference gives 4.8 degrees per joint. In that I'ble, you suggested that the 75-brick model might be close to minimal, so I'll assume 4.8 degrees is the maximum possible tolerance (over- or under-bend) on a 1-stud joint.
    If you have successfully made undamaged circles smaller than that, the angular tolerance would scale up proportionately.

    Your pentagons have 6.5-brick curved sides. Assuming the angular tolerance above, your pentagons should have interior angles of no more than 95 (90 + 4.8) degrees. A regular pentagon has interior angles of 108 degrees. That means the angle which each curved side makes with its chord should be 6.6 degrees = (108 - 94.8) / 2, and the total arc of the curved side is 13.2 degrees. With 6.5 bricks, the bend angle absorbed at each joint along the side is 13.2/6.5 = 2.03 deg, much less than the maximum tolerance; that's consistent with the picture, where the sides are curved much less than your circles.

    The triangles have 7.5-brick curved sides. A similar analysis suggests that the curve-to-curve angle should be no more than 85.2 degrees (90 - 4.8). With interior angles of 60 degrees on an equilateral triangle, the chord angles are (85.2-60)/2 = 12.6 degrees, and the total arc of the curves is 25.2 degrees. Each joint along the arc absorbs 3.36 degrees, still less than the maximum tolerance.

    Taking those analyses, I would predict that you could make your triangles with sides as short as 5.5 bricks (two bricks fewer per side), and your pentagon as short as 3.5 bricks (3 bricks fewer per side). In both cases, the sides would be curved close to their maximum (similar to the 75-brick circle).

    It's more trial and error and how much you value your Lego bricks.

    For example, I show how to make a circle with 100 bricks per layer because it is easy to curve around and snap together (that's the black and white one shown). I make the lime green one using only 75 bricks per layer and that is harder to bring around and connect. Though I could go smaller than 75 per layer, I don't make the circles much tighter than that because I don't want them exploding in my face and the likelihood of cracking a brick becomes higher when they are under that much stress.

    I also really like working with nice numbers (100, 75, 30, etc.) versus weird numbers (17, 23, 106, etc.) and it helps when making patterns to have multiples of 2 or 3.

    As far as the limits go, I think there is a lot more play then a standard equation would show. Even when a tighter shape like the triangles are built, there is still a bit of room for things to bend and add uneven amounts of stress to different parts of the structure.

    Hey, thanks for the reply! I do really love these projects of yours -- it's extremely cool to see LEGO do more "organic" curved objects. I'm going to have to play around with this stuff a bit and see what I can deduce.

    Making THE Pentagon would be really cool. I don't have enough bricks to make it happen but if you do I would love to see it done. The idea of a minifig scale one is making my mouth water.