The stars on the pentagonal faces were drawn using Geometer’s Sketchpad and MS-Paint. The icosidodecahedron itself was created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, which you can try for free at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
This polyhedron combines the faces of an icosidodecahedron (red and blue) with the those of a rhombic triacontahedron (green). The gaps between those two sets of polygons are the yellow rectangles. I made this using the “morph duals by expansion” function of Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. You can try this program for yourself, free of charge, at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
This is the icosidodecahedron. It’s one of the thirteen Archimedean solids. To make an expanded version of it, I first augmented each of its faces with a prism.
Next, I formed the augmented icosidodecahedron’s convex hull.
This expanded icosidodecahedron has the twelve pentagonal faces (shown in red) and twenty triangular faces (shown in blue) of the original icosidodechedron. It also has sixty rectangular faces (yellow), and sixty isosceles triangles (shown in green). That’s a total of 152 faces.
To do all of this, I used a program called Stella 4d. If you’d like to try Stella for yourself, for free, just visit this website: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
There’s one icosidodecahedron at the center of this cluster, with more icosidodecahedra attached to each of the central figure’s 32 faces. In the first version, the coloring is simply based as the number of sides for each face.
In the next picture, the coloring is by face-type (position in the overall cluster).
The last image shown here has the cluster in “rainbow color mode.”
I used Stella 4d to make these — a program you may try for free right here.
I made these using Stella 4d, which you can try for free here.
These two polyhedra are the icosidodecahedron (left), and its dual, the rhombic triacontahedron (right).
One nice thing about these two polyhedra is that one of them, the rhombic triacontahedron, can be used repeatedly, as a building-block, to build the other one, the icosidodecahedron. To get this started, I first constructed one edge of the icosidodecahedron, simply by lining up four rhombic triacontahedra.
Three of these lines of rhombic triacontahedra make one of the icosidodecahedron’s triangular faces.
Next, a pentagon is attached to this triangle.
Next, the pentagonal ring is surrounded by triangles.
More triangles and pentagons bring this process to the half-way point. If we were building a pentagonal rotunda (one of the Johnson solids), this would be the finished product.
Adding the other half completes the icosidodecahedron.
All of these images were created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. You may try this program yourself, for free, at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php. The last thing I did with Stella, for this post, was to put the finished model into rainbow color mode.
This was made using Stella 4d, a program you can try for yourself at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Images obtained by NASA’s New Horizons space probe. Geometrical rendering done using Stella 4d, available at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
To make these three rotating cluster-polyhedra, I started with one icosidodecahedron in the center, then augmented each of its 32 faces with overlapping, additional icosidodecahedra, for a total of 33 icosidodecahedra per cluster. In the first image, only two colors are used: one for the triangular faces, and another for the pentagons. The second version, however, has the colors assigned by face-type, which is determined by each face’s placement in the overall cluster.
For the third version, I simply put Stella 4d (the program I use to make these images) into “rainbow color mode.” If you’d like to give Stella 4d a try, you can do so for free at this website.
I have made many posts here using polyhedral augmentation, but what I haven’t done — yet — is explain it. I have also neglected the reciprocal function of augmentation, which is called excavation. It is now time to fix both these problems.
Augmentation is the easier of the two to explain, especially with images. The figure below call be seen as a blue icosahedron augmented, on a single face, by a red-and-yellow icosidodecahedron. It can also be viewed, with equal validity, as the larger figure (the icosidodecahedron) augmented, on a single triangular face, with an icosahedron.
When augmenting an icosidodecahedron with an icosahedron in this manner, one simply attaches the icosahedron to a triangular face of the icosidodecahedron. The reciprocal process, excavation, involves “digging out” one polyhedral shape from the other. Here is what an icosidodecahedron looks like, after having an icosahedron excavated from it, on a single triangular face.
Excavating the smaller polyhedron from the larger one is easier to picture in advance, just as one can imagine what the Earth would look like, if a Moon-sized sphereoid were excavated from it, with a large, round hole making the excavation visible. (This is mathematics, not science, so we’re ignoring the fact that gravity would instantly cause the collapse of such a compound planetary object, with dire consequences for all inhabitants.) What’s more difficult is picturing what would result if this were turned around, and the Earth was used to excavate the Moon.
This “Earth-excavated Moon” idea is analogous to excavating the larger icosidodecahedron from the smaller icosahedron. If one thinks of subtracting the volume of one solid from that of the other, such a creature should have negative volume — except, of course, that this makes no sense, which is consistent with the fact that it would be impossible to do such a thing with physical objects: there isn’t enough matter in the Moon to remove an Earth’s worth of matter from the Moon. Also, moving back to polyhedra, with excavation only into a single face, it turns out that there is no change in appearance when the excavation-order is reversed:
(Well, OK, there was a small change in appearance between the two images, but that’s only because I changed the viewing angle a bit, to give you a better view of the blue faces.)
Things get different — and the augmentation- and excavation-orders begin to matter a lot more — when these operations are performed on all available faces at once, which, in this case, means on all twenty of each polyhedron’s triangular faces. Here is the easiest case to visualize: an icosidodecahedron, augmented by twenty icosahedra.
If you use the reciprocal function, excavation, but leave the order of polyhedra the same, you get a central icosidodecahedron, excavated by twenty smaller, intersecting icosahedra:
It is, of course, possible to have other combinations. The ones I find most interesting, using these two polyhedra, are “global” augmentation and excavation of the smaller figure, the icosahedron, by twenty of the larger ones, the icosidodecahedra. Why? Simple: putting the icosidodecahedra on the outside allows for maximum visibility of both pentagons and triangles. On the other hand, the central icosahedron is completely hidden from view, whether augmentation or excavation is used. Here is the augmentation case, or what I have called a “cluster” polyhedron, many varieties of which can be seen elsewhere on this blog (just search for “cluster,” or “cluster polyhedron,” to find them):
The global-excavation case which has the icosahedron hidden in the middle is similar to the cluster immediately above, in that all that can be seen are twenty intersecting icosidodecahedra. However, it also varies noticeably, because, with excavation, the icosidodecahedra are closer to the center of the entire cluster (the invisible, central icosahedron’s center) than was the case with augmentation. The last image here is of an invisible, central icosahedron, with an icosidodecahedron excavated from all twenty triangular faces. The larger polyhedra “punch through” the smaller one from all sides at once, trapping the central polyhedron — the blue icosahedron — from view. The remaining object looks, to me at least, more like a faceted icosidodecahedron than a cluster-polyhedron. I am of the opinion, but have not verified, that this resemblance to a faceting of the icosidodecahedron is illusory.
[Image credits: all images in this post were made using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator. This program may be purchased, or tried as a free trial download, at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.]