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Magical Floating LEGO Tensegrity Structures

Tensegrity has taken the LEGO world by storm over the past couple of weeks. You have probably seen these fantastical “floating” creations on social media, as more and more LEGO fans are sharing their own tensegrity structures (image below: Floating Island by Seb_E).

According to Wikipedia, “tensegrity, or tensional integrity, or floating compression is a structural principle based on a system of isolated components under compression inside a network of continuous tension, and arranged in such a way that the compressed members (usually bars or struts) do not touch each other while the pre-stressed tensioned members (usually cables or tendons) delineate the system spatially”.

In simpler terms, tensegrity is a physics principle whereby objects push and pull against each other creating opposing forces which causes an object to be held in place. To give you an idea how this works, take a look at the video-demonstration below by LEGO fan Jason Allemann.

Looks magical, isn’t it? To join in the tensegrity madness, even the LEGO Ideas team challenged the fan community to build and submit their own floating structures in an activity titled Can You Tensegrity? LEGO Ideas Activities aren’t official contest, but more like small building challenges to keep the community engaged. There are still rules and deadlines to keep the submissions high quality. For example, for this activity, participants had to use real LEGO bricks (so no digital entries) and a short video demonstrating that the tensional integrity of their creation actually works. Submitting projects to this activity is already closed so you can no longer submit new entries, but I recommend checking out the page anyway to see all the amazing creations.

I especially like the LEGO tensegrity structures that also add a bit of story to the creation, like the Floating Cloud City by JakeSadovich77, the Floating Castle in the Sky by fortheloveofbrick, the Floating Rock by BrickinNick, and Floating DeLorean Time Machine by Jamie Wass.

What do you think? Have you tried building your own LEGO tensegrity structure? Or are you planning to? Feel free to share your creations or link to your favorites by other LEGO fans in the comment section below!

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • The Brick Lot May 5, 2020, 11:27 AM

    My brain can only comprehend so much…

  • yoladiel May 5, 2020, 11:45 AM

    What? How is this possible?!

  • Henry III May 5, 2020, 11:53 AM

    Is this for real? Admin, are you pulling our leg?

    • Okosh May 5, 2020, 12:00 PM

      Yes, they are very real. Try it out yourself. Jason’s one is fairly easy. You just need three chains and handful of parts.

  • LEGOJeff May 5, 2020, 12:03 PM

    This hurts my brain. I can understand some of them, but then some of the others, like the floating island on the first picture and the UFO, I just don’t get it. How is such a large thing floating?

    • walrusmaster May 5, 2020, 4:32 PM

      It’s all physics. If you look at the pictures closely, you can see the strings or chains tensioned the opposite way to balance out gravity. They are really clever.

  • brickmaster May 5, 2020, 2:11 PM

    I don’t know how this trend started, but I’m enjoying it. This is another really good one I saw on flickr. It’s they yellow castle! https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidroberts01341/49802418702/

  • Tito May 5, 2020, 3:24 PM

    I wonder what is the size limit for these. Some of these are much larger than I thought possible. Really great stuff.

  • Håkan May 5, 2020, 5:51 PM

    I know it’s supposed to be physics, although it really looks physically impossible…

  • TomTom May 5, 2020, 7:17 PM

    Like Emmet said: “I think I got it, but just in case, tell me the whole thing again.” Mind blown! 😀

    • Emmet May 5, 2020, 7:22 PM

      Hey, that’s my quote! 😀 But seriously, these are some wizardy! 😀

  • Chris May 6, 2020, 12:30 PM

    These are fascinating. I love the cloud city and back to the future builds. I need to try building one.

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