Menger’s Sponge – named for its inventor Karl Menger and
sometimes wrongly called Sierpinski’s Sponge – was the
first three dimensional fractal that mathematicians became aware of. In
1995 Dr Jeannine Mosely, a software engineer, set out to build a level
3 Menger Sponge from business cards. After 9 years of effort, involving
hundreds of folders all over America, the Business Card Menger Sponge
was completed. The resulting object is comprised of 66,048 cards folded
into 8000 interlinked sub-cubes, with the entire surface panelled to reveal the Level 2 and Level 3 fractal iterations.
Dr Jeannine Mosely is a leading practictioner of business card origami. That might be the only practitioner of business card origami for all we know. There is more information on how the cube was constructed here (theiff.org). Where do you get 66,000 business cards? Well, ask friends and colleagues, and the odd printer’s error helped too. This was a level three sponge. A level four sponge would weigh over a ton and require a million cards and would collapse under it’s own weight. So a level three sponge is the largest that can be built.
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