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Lego Penrose Triangle


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About the Penrose Triangle

The Penrose triangle (also called the impossible triangle) is one in a series of optical illusions called impossible objects, forms that initially appear possible but after being examined for a moment are realized to be impossible. The Penrose triangle was popularized by psychiatrist Lionel Penrose and his son, Sir Roger Penrose, while the original designer of this fascinating, optical illusion is Swedish artist, Oscar Reutersvärd. Reutersvärd's design was broken up into cubes rather than one solid triangle such as the one I built here.

Why I Built It

I originally submitted this model to the "Create ART to be enjoyed by all!" contest that was held here on LEGO Ideas. The impossible triangle has always been fascinating to me as I stare at it and fruitlessly try to "make sense" of it. Roger Penrose described it well calling it, "impossibility in its purest form."

How it works

To form the illusion, the user views the model from the correct angle such that the two free sides of the triangle align and appear connected (see animation below.) Also, as seen in image #3 above, the model can be displayed with or without the stand; the illusion works either way.

About the Model

This model is filled with illusion, obviously the most prominent illusion is the triangle itself. More than that, however, the sides of the triangle all appear to be of equal length, but in fact they all have different lengths. Plus, the stand isn't centered but shifted towards the longest side to support that side's extra weight as well as to appear centered when the model is seen from the proper viewing angle.

The model measures (with stand) 8.8 in. (22.3 cm) tall, 7.7 in. (19.5 cm) wide, and 10.2 in. (26.0 cm) long. The total piece count is 164 pieces, all of which exist in the colors shown in the images. The triangle simply rests on the display stand by sliding over the two extensions on the stand. I designed and rendered the model in Studio and composed the images on According to the built-in stability feature in Studio, there are zero stability issues.

Why I Believe this Would Make a Great LEGO Set

I believe this model would make a neat display piece for anyone who enjoys optical illusions, especially since the illusion actually works when viewed from the correct angle. I expect the set would be fairly inexpensive, due to its relatively low piece count. Also, according to Studio's stability feature, the model is stable.

Thank You!

Thank you for reading! If you like it, press the support button and leave a comment, both are appreciated. Have a great day!

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