A developable roller is a kind of convex curved 3D solid that can roll indefinitely on a flat plane without stopping, such that eventually every point on its surface will come in contact with the plane. The surface of a developable roller consists of a single curved "face" that always touches the plane at a line segment, which may vary in length.
Classes[edit | edit source]
There are several known classes of developable rollers.
Prime polysphericons[edit | edit source]
The (p,k)-polysphericon is constructed by taking the solid of rotation of a regular p-gon, bisecting it along an p-gon, rotating one of the halves by 2kπ/n, and recombining the two halves along their p-gonal faces. A (2p,k)-polysphericon is a developable roller iff . A (p,l)-polysphericon where p is odd, is never a developable roller. The result can still have a single developable face, however it will not roll indefinitely because the solid of rotation has a circular face where the axis of rotation intersects an edge which results in culs-de-sac preventing the polysphericon from rolling.
The polysphericons which are developable rollers are called prime polysphericons. The prime polysphericons correspond 1-to-1 with the regular polygons (including the degenerate digon) with the n/k-gon corresponding to the (2n,k)-polysphericon.
Polycons[edit | edit source]
The polycons are an infinite class of developable rollers that generalize the construction of the sphericon. The n-polycon can be constructed as follows:
- Start with a cone with apex angle equal to the internal angle of a regular 2n-gon.
- Arrange n copies of the cone such that their apices lie on the vertices of a regular n-gon and their axes pass through the origin.
- Take the intersection of the cones.
- Divide the result in half along the plane which intersects the apices of the cones.
- Rotate one of the halves by π/n.
- Recombine the two halves to form the polycon.
This construction always results in a developable roller of n > 1. The smallest polycon is the sphericon with n=2. The edges of polycons are conic sections, with the sphericon's edges being circular, the hexacon's edges being parabolic and all other polycons having hyperbolic edges.
Platonicons[edit | edit source]
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The platonicons are a class of developable rollers based on the platonic solids.
External links[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia Contributors. "Developable roller".
- Steve Mathias. "Sphericon series".
- "Polysphericons". h-its.org. Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. September 2019.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- Hirsch, David (2020). "The Polycons: The Sphericon (or Tetracon) has Found its Family". Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. 14 (4): 345–359. arXiv:1901.10677. doi:10.1080/17513472.2020.1711651. S2CID 119152692.
- Seaton, Katherine; Hirsch, David (2020). "Platonicons: The Platonic Solids Start Rolling" (PDF). Bridges 2020 Conference Proceedings.