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Figure 3: Falling Sticks: Six Vectors Provide Minimum Stability

Figure 3:  Falling Sticks:  Six Vectors Provide Minimum Stability

  1. Stick standing alone is free to fall in any direction.
  2. Two sticks: free to fall in any direction.
  3. Two sticks top-joined by falling toward one another and as a group now: free to fall in two directions and to slide apart at bases.
  4. Three sticks: free to fall in any direction.
  5. Three sticks top-joined by falling toward one another and as a group now: only free to slide apart at bases.
  6. Four sticks: a propped-up triangle -- both the triangle and the props are free to slide out.
  7. Five members: two triangles may collapse as with a hinge action.
  8. Six members: complete multidimensional stability -- the tetrahedron.
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Copyright 1999, Estate of Buckminster Fuller, all rights reserved.