What Would Escher Do?




About: Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX. Buy my projects at bit.ly/LWLaser

I love XKCD, and one particular cartoon has been preying on my mind for quite some time.

I decided to make it real.

(If you haven't realised by now, I'm making a real version of XKCD strip #88, "What Would Escher Do?".)

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Step 1: The Needings

You will need...
  • A silicon wristband.
  • A very sharp knife
  • Gorilla Glue*
  • Clear adhesive tape
You may also need something to decorate the band, but I'll leave that to your own imaginings.

*Before using Gorilla Glue, I tried this with super glue (failed) and welding with the heat of a soldering iron (failed).  If you find another method for sticking silicon bands together, please leave a comment about it.

Step 2: The Cutting

Cut across the wristband.  If your blade cannot be pressed straight down, use a metal ruler to ensure as straight a cut as possible.

(If you're going to decorate your band, now is the time to do it, because you can lay it flat.)

Turn one cut end through 180°, and tape the two cut ends back together, on only one side.

Step 3: The Gluings

Using the tape as a hinge, open the cut you just made, exposing the two cut surfaces.

If you're using Gorilla Glue*, use a twist of paper towel to lightly dampen one face, and another twist to apply a light smear of glue to the other.

Close up the joint, and use another piece of tape to close it tightly.

Leave the band taped up for at least two hours before checking the strength of the joint.

(*If you're using a different glue, such as a cyanoacrylate "crazy" or "super" glue, make sure you follow their instructions...)

Step 4: The Meanings

What you have made, of course, is a Möbius band.  Escher didn't invent it, but he used it a lot in his work.

This novel structure has only one surface, and one edge.  It can thus be seen as even "more endless" than a simple circle.  Eternal and unending.

I made this one from a plain band, with no logo or legend, but you could use a band for your favoured charity or saying.  It is even possible to get custom-made bands that say whatever you want them to.

Whatever kind of band you use, turning it into a Möbius band adds that extra layer of meaning to it.

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    47 Discussions

    Lord SneezyC

    3 years ago

    Shoe Goo is a bit thick, but it's flexible when dry. It works on most surfaces.


    5 years ago

    also perhaps the glue used for model airplanes would work it srrms to excel at plastic adhesion

    2 replies

    If in theory a mobius strip has only one side, then a three dimensional version should truly be identified as a triangle. It may take a while to understand if you are not highly interested in geometry and physics. If you don't understand at all it may help to know that if you put your fingers on the "two" main sides, you are really just touching one side in two spots. Your mind has just been blown, you can in theory say you are touching a tangible triangle!

    2 replies

    No, because a band like this starts with four faces; in, out and two edges.

    So, if you're going to be pedantic, this becomes a three-dimensional object with two faces, joined at a single edge at 90 degrees.

    Right, I guess I may have used improper terminology in calling it a triangle. However it is a three dimensional shape with only three sides, so in other word I do not know what to call it. I would also like to point out as I did before that if you touch the two sides you are touching two points of the same plane only from different angles. I could also have been wrong, but the way I see it in brain is hard to put into words.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Am I really reading an instructable about cutting a rubber band and taping and gluing it back together?

    I can't put my finger on it but something is terribly wrong with the world.

    3 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    [looks for the thumbs up button for this comment ;) but not even a like button]


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey, just because you didn't think of it first...

    (Can't really argue with nearly 4000 views and over 200 referrals...)