I’ve been shown, by the program’s creator, a function of *Stella 4d* which was previously unknown to me, and I’ve been having fun playing around with it. It works like this: you start with a polyhedron with, say, icosidodecahedral symmetry, set the program to view it as a figure with only tetrahedral symmetry (that’s the part which is new to me), and then stellate the polyhedron repeatedly. (Note: you can try a free trial download of this program here.) Several recent posts here have featured polyhedra created using this method. For this one, I started with the snub dodecahedron, one of two Archimedean solids which is chiral.

Using typical stellation (as opposed to this new variety), stellating the snub dodecahedron once turns all of the yellow triangles in the figure above into kites, covering each of the red triangles in the process. With “tetrahedral stellation,” though, this can be done in stages, producing a greater variety of snub-dodecahedron variants which feature kites. As it turns out, the kites appear twelve at a time, in four sets of three, with positions corresponding to the vertices (or the faces) of a tetrahedron. Here’s the first one, featuring one dozen kites.

Having done this once (and also changing the colors, just for fun), I did it again, resulting in a snub-dodecahedron-variant featuring two dozen kites. At this level, the positions of the kite-triads correspond to those of the vertices of a cube.

You probably know what’s coming next: adding another dozen kites, for a total of 36, in twelve sets of three kites each. At this point, it is the remaining, non-stellated four-triangle panels, not the kite triads, which have positions corresponding to those of the vertices of a cube (or the faces of an octahedron, if you prefer).

Incoming next: another dozen kites, for a total of 48 kites, or 16 kite-triads. The four remaining non-stellated panels of four triangles each are now arranged tetrahedrally, just as the kite-triads were, when the first dozen kites were added.

With one more iteration of this process, no triangles remain, for all have been replaced by kites — sixty (five dozen) in all. This is also the first “normal” stellation of the snub dodecahedron, as mentioned near the beginning of this post.

From beginning to end, these polyhedra never lost their chirality, nor had it reversed.

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