Originally Posted by

**dnjona** Hi,

I need to calculate the surface area of the Menger Sponge and found the following explanation online:

N = number of square faces in the sponge)

N[0] = 6

N[1] = 8N[0] + 4x6x1 (each face of original is split into 8, and also 4x6 for the holes)

N[2] = 8N[1] + 4x6x20 (each face of N[1] is again split into 8, you then get the additional 4x6x20 for the new holes)

N[3] = 8N[2] + 4x6x20x20 (same again).

Noting that the multiplier for 4x6 on the right is the number of cubes.

N[n+1] = 8N[n] + 24x20^n

the area series is then given by

A[n] = N[n]/9^n

A[n+1] = (8/9)A[n] + (24/9)x(20/9)^n

which gives

N[1] = 72 which you can check from diagram of the sponge that it is correct

and

A[1] = N[1]/9 = 8

A further internet search also provided the direct formula below:

A[n] = 2*(20/9)^n + 4*(8/9)^n

Please could anyone explain to me how the direct formula was obtained from the iterative steps above.