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3-Sided, triangular shaped snow crystals can appear with the same weather conditions that produce 6 sided, hexagonal shaped snowflakes. The most common snow crystal shape is the 6 sided hexagon. The hexagon is a polygon with six edges and six vertices. The hexagon is a primary natural shape that can be seen in honey combs of bees. Just as with squares and equilateral triangles, regular hexagons can fit tightly together without showing any gaps. Snowflake patterns are paper cut-out shapes which are not only fun to make but useful to help introduce math concepts to children.
How do 3-sided snowflakes form?
Triangular Crystals are no different from ordinary six-sided crystals at the molecular level. Triangle plates sometimes truncate at around -2 C (28 F) temperature. When corners of the plates sprout branches or arms, an odd version of a stellar plate crystaln can form. Three-sided crystals are rare. How these 3 fold symmetrical crystals form continues to be a mystery. Refer to the Science of snow and ice crystal formation page.
Snowflake fold and cut paper ornaments can liven up any dull winter day. Bring the blizzard inside with snowflake ornaments and garlands. Decorate the windows, Christmas tree, classroom or office cubicle with paper snowflakes.
Print all patterns on regular or colored paper. Trace the patterns onto foam sheets and aluminum foil to create unique designs.
3-Sided, triangular snowflakes, like the 12 sided variety, are a mystery to science. Here is a close-up set of photographs showing three sided snowflakes. Here's another three sided snowflake that is featured right here on this page. Can you find it? (hint look for #730). Design your own triple sided work of art with blank templates.
Print these patterns on regular or colored paper. Use sharp scissors. For intricate patterns use small cuticle scissors.