Filling Space With Rhombic Dodecahedra

This is the cuboctahedron, one of the Archimedean solids. Its dual, shown below, is the rhombic dodecahedron.

The rhombic dodecahedron has a property which sets it apart from most other polyhedra: it can fill space with copies of itself, leaving no gaps. The next stage of such growth is shown below.

The next step is to add more rhombic dodecahedra on each face.

One more set added, and the edge-length of the cluster reaches four rhombic dodecahedra.

This could be continued without limit. As is does, the overall shape of the cluster becomes more and more shaped like a cuboctahedron, which is back where we started. You can easily see this in the convex hull of the last cluster.

All of these rotating images were created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, which you can try for free at