About this project
Penrose refrigerator magnets brighten your kitchen, mind and conversation. Start by playing and connecting them in any way you like. Once you're familiar with the darts and kites, challenge yourself to create unique patterns that grow infinitely (literally). Support us and buy them today!
Based on five-fold (pentagonal) symmetry, Penrose tiles capture the self-similarity of natural crystals. This quasicrystalline pattern is remarkable because it can completely cover an area without repeating itself. It also exhibits self-similarity at larger and larger scales. This means the placement of tiles not only depends on the tile next to it, but those all around it! Although, you will not observe this effect with two or less tile packs, the genius pack will let you explore the remarkable pattern (and added difficulty!).
31 Kites and 19 Darts
In a large quasicrystal, Kites outnumber Darts 1.618 to 1. This is the famous ratio known as the Golden Ratio (Phi or Φ). Found in subatomic particles, sunflowers, seashells, and even the spiral of our Galaxy, Phi is at the very heart of nature. Phi is also at the heart of our pattern, and is used to determine both the number of tiles needed and the length of the sides of the Darts and Kites.
Creating an Infinite Pattern
It will take a little practice, but with just one simple matching-rule, you can create an infinite variety of infinite patterns (these instructions will be printed on each pack of magnets).
Rule: Adjacent tiles (Dart and Kite) must have vertices of the same color
Hint: Start with a sun or star for best results
We are offering three different color combinations. The combinations are Lime Darts with Purple Kites, Tangerine Darts with Purple Kites and Tangerine Darts with Teal Kites. You can see the color combinations in the images below:
In order to obtain the required level of precision to ensure perfect patterns, we have chosen to use professional grade die cutting. The magnets have been prototyped with the assistance of local businesses which specialize in die manufacturing, magnetic sheeting, and die cutting. Your contribution will be used to fund the creation of production dies and to source the colorful magnetic sheeting. Once these items are received we will cut the magnets and ship without delay. You can expect your packet a month after funding is complete.
Who discovered Penrose Tiles?
Inspired by Johannes Kepler’s work in 1619, Roger Penrose first described two shapes that create a quasicrystalline pattern in 1974. It is an exceptional achievement, considering the Golden Ratio is an irrational number, and the shape of the tiles could not be found with a computer.
This looks too easy. What is the catch?
While it is easy to build a Penrose pattern, it is much more difficult to find a pattern that continues to grow. We tested the magnets with friends and family, and while they caught on quickly, they were surprised by how rapidly the difficulty increased as magnets were added. You'll find yourself rebuilding again and again to uncover that perfect sequence!
How are the magnets made?
We use die cutting machines to press the tiles out of .030” thick magnetic sheeting. We chose sheeting that is twice as thick as a standard refrigerator magnet to ensure the magnets adhere strongly and will not bend easily.
How many magnets are in a pack?
There are 50 magnets in each pack. Since the shape of the magnets is based on the Golden Ratio, the ratio of darts to kites is also 1:1.618. Thus you will receive 31 kites and 19 darts in each pack.
How are the magnets packaged?
The magnets are packaged in small paper envelopes that fit in a traditional seed packet stand.
Do you have high-resolution images of the magnets?
Yes! Please visit PenroseMagnets.com for a link to images.
Risks and challenges
We consider our product a relatively low risk product. All that is left to be done is (1) ordering the magnetic sheeting, (2) having a die made locally in San Francisco, (3) having the magnets die-cut by a local business in San Francisco (which we have identified and priced) and (4) then shipping the product to consumers.
The biggest challenge we face is having the die made. We want these magnets to be high quality, so the die must be very precise. We have budgeted for one revision of the die, but if it does not meet our quality standards we will have it revised.
None of the above would prevent or delay our shipment of Penrose Magnets to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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