Design of the Week: Sphere Autologlyph

By on March 25th, 2013 in Design


This week’s selection is the utterly fascinating “Sphere Autoglyph” by master mathematical modeler Henry Segerman. Segerman has used his extensive mathematical background to generate a vast collection of fantastic generated artwork; his Shapeways shop contains 94 items as of this writing, and all of them are Design of the Week-worthy. 

At first glance the Sphere Autologlyph appears to be merely (if that can be used for such a complex object) a mathematically generated sphere, but in fact it’s much more than that. It’s an “Autologlyph”, which is an “autological image”. Oh, you’re not sure what that is? 
It starts with Segerman’s concept of “Autological Words”. These are words that describe themselves, like “polysyllabic”, which, of course, does. Other such words: “unambiguous”, “repeatable” or “olde”
Segerman took this concept and created an “Autologlyph”, an OBJECT that describes itself. So, if you look very closely, you’ll see that the “Sphere Autologlyph” is solely made of the word, “Sphere”. Thus, the Sphere describes itself. It’s best seen in this video: 
Like this idea? We do too, and suggest you consider buying yourself a copy by heading over to Segerman’s Shapeways store, where you can punch out your own Autologlyph for as little as USD$21.99. 
We also suggest you check out Segerman’s personal site where all of this is explained to mathematical precision. 

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!