Periodic table as 3D paper sculpture

Theodore Gray sends news of this beautiful three-dimensional papercraft Periodic Table of Elements.
The Alexander Arrangement is a three-dimensional paper sculpture of the periodic table designed by Roy Alexander, with whom I collaborated on this version. For the first time this clever form of the table has been combined with my photographs of real element samples, resulting in a quite lovely object. (...)

The Alexander Arrangement deals with the fundamental problem of gaps in the traditional arrangement of the periodic table by wrapping the transition metals and the lanthanides/actinides into loops, so all the elements that are supposed to be next to each other actually are next to each other. You can read it as a complete spiral loop through all the elements without any gaps.

The table is printed on top-grade, heavy paper printed on both sides, and includes detailed instructions for assembly. The result is a sturdy object you can carry around, put on a table, hang as a mobile, or, if you're like me, use as a tree-topper for a festive seasonal science tree.

"It takes about 10 minutes to put together if you don't read the instructions," Theodore tells us. "No idea how long if you do read them, that's not the kind of thing I would stoop to."


  1. I’ve bought Gray’s book The Elements a couple of months ago and it’s fabulous, especially for a highly visual person like myself.  The information is very well laid-out and fun to read. As a gemologist, I also enjoyed how many crystals and minerals he used to illustrate each element.  It made me want to start an element collection but our small house and budget might be a setback… for now…

  2. Not a bad idea for use in a science classroom. I know that lots of students get confused by the cyclic nature of the table and how the lanthanides and actinides fit in.

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