What is a cube? That’s a simple question, and I thought it had a simple answer . . . until I took on the project of building cubes with Lux Blox. Lux can be bought at this website, but one thing you won’t find there, or in shipments of Lux, are directions. This was a little frustrating at first, but I understand it now: the makers of Lux don’t want directions getting in the way of customers’ creativity.

A cube has six square faces. This is the six-piece Lux model based on that statement.

This first cube model is interesting, but it is also severely limited. Lux Blox connect at their edges, and all edges in this model are already used, joining one face to another. The model has no openings where more can be attached, and added to it.

Next, I made a cube out of Lux Blox which is open, in the sense that more Lux Blox can be attached to it. It also has an edge length of two.

Besides the openness of this model to new attachments, it also has another characteristic the smaller cube did not have: it can be stretched. If you take two opposite corners of this model and gently pull them away from each other, here’s what you get:

Stretching a cube in this manner creates a six-faced rhombic polyhedron known as a parallelopiped.

The third cube model I’ve built of Lux Blox uses Lux Trigons in addition to the normal square-based Lux Blox.

In this model, the black pieces in the center are the Lux Trigons — twelve of them, occupying the positions of twelve of the twenty faces of an icosahedron. The other eight faces are where the orange triangles (or triangular prisms, if you prefer) are attached. The orange triangles mark the eight corners of a cube. This model has pyritohedral symmetry — the symmetry of a volleyball — as I hope this last picture, a close-up of this third type of cube, helps to illustrate.

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