Product: Toy: Slinky
moebius strip slinky   (+10, -8)  [vote for, against]
what it says on the, um, side

… constructed in such a way that once started on its journey, it never ends…

until it bumps into the furniture of course.
-- po, Aug 17 2007

[xaviergisz, Aug 17 2007, last modified Dec 13 2011]

attempting to get your head around the concept. http://www.math.tec.../2/escher-cover.gif
Escher [po, Aug 17 2007]

Rectangular slinky http://www.webdesig...articles/4151/8.jpg
[ldischler, Aug 17 2007]

Here's a way to make it work :-)
The journey is the reward :-) [gtoal, Aug 20 2007]

This would be ideal for Slinky Polo Slinky_20Polo
[normzone, Aug 20 2007]

ACTUAL REAL Mobius Slinky! (called toroflux or torofluxus) http://www.grand-il...og/Toro_Fluxus.html
toroflux. this is it. =) it's also sold here: [zzyyfff, Aug 24 2010]

-- the dog's breakfast, Aug 17 2007

"Use other side"
-- Ling, Aug 17 2007

If the coil is a single-start helix, what you are making is a toroidal slinky rather than a Moebius strip. The key property of a Moebius strip is that you start with a two- sided surface and twist it so that the two surfaces become one.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 17 2007

oh no, no doughnuts please...

my worry is that it will veer off to the left or right and just go in circles rather than a straight line.

nice pics, xavier but that's not right - the slinky looks like an ordinary slinky but at the end of its slink, it kinda turns backs on itself and moves on.
-- po, Aug 17 2007

You need one of those never-ending Escher staircases, too.
-- phundug, Aug 17 2007

wow, I'd love a 3-dimensional Escher staircase picture with a moebius slinky moving up and down - it would make a great halfbakery clock.
-- po, Aug 17 2007

//nice pics, xavier but that's not right - the slinky looks like an ordinary slinky but at the end of its slink, it kinda turns backs on itself and moves on.//
But a half turn of a slinky produces no effect at all.
-- ldischler, Aug 17 2007

[po]What time is it?
-- Dub, Aug 17 2007

(-) Sorry, this is trying too hard.
-- jutta, Aug 17 2007

Is a mobius slinky even possible? [xavier]'s illustrations (accomplished though they are) seem to show a slinky linked to it's own end and twisted in the middle. To make a mobius band you need a strip with two (or more sides) - a slinky approximates to a cylinder and has no sides.
-- wagster, Aug 17 2007

I visualise this as comprising a flat strip as opposed to a thin round wire with a twist in it somewhere but I'm not sure where to place the twist.
-- po, Aug 17 2007

In which case it would be möbioid - how it would walk I know not.
-- wagster, Aug 17 2007

like a crab, I suspect
-- po, Aug 17 2007

//I visualise this as comprising a flat strip as opposed to a thin round wire with a twist in it somewhere but I'm not sure where to place the twist.//
How about a rectangular spring that, like a paper mobius, is continuous with a single half-twist.
-- ldischler, Aug 17 2007

sorry, explain?
-- po, Aug 17 2007

The cross-section of the spring is rectangular--like a strip of paper, but thicker.
-- ldischler, Aug 17 2007


is that like I said before?
-- po, Aug 17 2007

Perhaps. But I thought you were talking about the cross-section of the wire, not the cross-section of the spring.
-- ldischler, Aug 17 2007

hmmmm, a more square cross-section...

do we need goldfish?

yes, I was talking about the wire not the cross-section.
-- po, Aug 17 2007

Needs more jam and bees...
-- wagster, Aug 17 2007

It's just occured to me that a standard slinky is slightly möbioid anyway in that it has only one side. Well, I suppose it has an inside. Perhaps we need to construct a klein bottle slinky given the dimensions we are dealing with. Or a hyperkleinbottle slinky...
-- wagster, Aug 17 2007

I've had another crack at illustrating the moebius slinky; see what you think. It's hard to show (with the software I'm using), but I'm pretty sure it has moebius quality (i.e. start drawing a continuous line on one side and end up on the other side).

I've used a helix with a half-twist as the basis of the design (three of these bent together to form a loop).

It might not make a particularly good toy, but I think it would make a pretty good sculpture.

EDIT: oops, I was using a helix with a full twist. I've added three more pictures, this time based on a half-twist helix.
-- xaviergisz, Aug 18 2007

I have to congratulate you on your drawings, I wish I could do that.
-- po, Aug 18 2007

Me too, what's it done in, 3DMax?

Some interesting topologies going on there - both the rectangular slinky and the normal slinky with a twist in the... wire? I don't have a word for it... exhibit properties of both möbius bands and slinkies, but as you say they work better as shapes than as toys.
-- wagster, Aug 18 2007

Could there be a Dance of the Moebius Striptease Veil?
-- xenzag, Aug 18 2007

thanks po and wagster.

I use Rhino3d which, in my opinion, is the most user-friendly and easy-to-learn CAD software available. I was motivated to teach myself CAD after I found it was the only way I could communicate my ideas to others.
-- xaviergisz, Aug 18 2007

What bounces down stairs, on the bumps of its flairs
and makes a mobinkity sound?
Kaching kaching, it's all yang and no ying
You know that you want a Mobinky.
Mobinky, Mobinky,
A one sided perplexing ploy.
Mobinky Mobinky,
Two dimensional construct of joy.

-- 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 18 2007

Rectangular section requires 1/4 twist. Still maintain it is a wheel. Nothing else works.
-- the dog's breakfast, Aug 19 2007

[2 fries] awesome, just awesome

[+] to the idea

Would it be possible to force the metal into the shape by using bi-metallic strips of metal, and then heating and cooling the toy respectively?
-- evilpenguin, Aug 19 2007

gtoal, silly!
-- po, Aug 20 2007

who the feck is zzyyfff? thanks for the link anyway.
-- po, Aug 24 2010

random, halfbakery