Rolling Circles

  • Stan Wagon


A variation of the Reuleaux triangle was used in 1939 to describe a device that can drill a perfect square hole. The image shows how, when the outer shape rotates inside a square, the triangular cutting tool traces out an exact square. One can use this to build a device that transforms standard circular motion into motion that drives the Reuleaux rotor in the proper way, and so drills a perfect square hole.


Symbolic Expression Graphic Object Rolling Circle Full Revolution Approximate Real 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stan Wagon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceMacalester CollegeSt. PaulUSA

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