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Magic Hands

This object is not about a function that is to be fulfilled (carrying a table top or bowls etc.) but only about the principle "Tensegrity".

The thread between the two hands - besides the three threads connecting the upper and lower ring - builds the tension in this object. It's a bit magical how the physical conditions create a tension that makes this object a unit - a perfect unit. At first sight a bit confusing ... you have to look twice to understand the principle.

To get a better impression, have a look at the video:

The printer file of this beautiful hand, obviously the hand of a woman, I found on Thingiverse or Tinkercad some years ago. Unfortunately, I can’t find out who put it there or who it belongs to.

Dimensions: Ø 114mm, H approx. 160mm


Start to insert the hand parts into the top and the socket. To ensure a good fit, the fitting accuracy is very tight. It may be necessary to correct the fit with a cutter knife or sandpaper. Option: apply superglue.

When the hand parts fits well, you can make the connection between the two hands with a short nylon string. Thread or dental floss will also do the job! The length of the thread - measured between the two palms - should be a maximum of 50mm but not much less.
Then you can start with the more difficult part. You need 3 nylon strings of about 25 cm. At the top ring the you see 3 holes. The holes - at bottom ring too - are drawn in the designer with only Ø 1,2 mm. During printing the holes can sometimes be narrower. Therefore it may be necessary to drill them out.
Take one thread and make a multiple knot at one end and then pull the thread through one hole. Place the top ring with the bottom side facing up. Then feed the thread through a hole in the socket. Pay attention to the alignment of top and base! At first just clamp the string. If the notch is not clean, try to open it with a cutter knife.

Do the same with the other 2 strings. Now you can start with the adjustment. The distance between the hands will be about 35-40 mm. So when the strings are slightly tightened, socket and top are aligned horizontally and the force of attraction is sufficient to ensure a stable stand, then you can secure the strings. Hurray! You did it! … tensegrity works!

I hope that I did not forget anything in my description. If you have any questions please contact me!

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