A Polyhedron Featuring 180 Kites as Faces, Plus Related Polyhedra

If one starts with the great rhombicosidodecahedron, then makes a compound of it, and its dual, and then forms the convex hull of that compound, this is the result:

180 kites 60&60&60

This polyhedron has 180 faces, all of them kites. What’s more, there are equal numbers — sixty each — of the three different types of kites in this polyhedron.

It also has an interesting dual:

180 kites 60&60&60 the dual

These virtual polyhedral models were created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, which you can buy, or try for free, right here. Stella contains a “try to make faces regular” function, and here is what appears if that operation is applied to the dual shown above:

180 kites dual with TTMFR

The dual of this figure is similar to the original polyhedron at the top of this post, featuring 180 kites, again: sixty each, of three different types:

180 kites with TTMFR

Flying Kites into the Snub Dodecahedron, a Dozen at a Time, Using Tetrahedral Stellation

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.

Snub Dodeca

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.

Snub Dodeca variant with 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.

Snub Dodeca variant with kites 1

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).

Snub Dodeca variant with kites 2

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.

Snub Dodeca variant with kites 3

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.

Snub Dodeca variant with kites 4

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

A Kite-Faced Polyhedron Based on the Cube, Octahedron, and Rhombic Dodecahedron

related to rd look at colors

Above is the entire figure, showing all three set of kites. The yellow set below, though, lie along the edges of a rhombic dodecahedron.

related to rd look at colors yellow rd shell

The next set, the blue kites, lie along the edges of an octahedron.

related to rd look at colors blue octahedron edges

Finally, the red set of kites lies along the edges of a cube — the dual to the octahedron delineated by the blue kites.

related to rd look at colors red cube

These images were made using Stella 4d, which is available here.

Polygons Related to the Golden Ratio, and Associated Figures in Geometry, Part 2: Quadrilaterals

The golden ratio, also known as φ, has a value of [1 + sqrt(5)]/2, or ~1.61803. It is associated with a great many figures in geometry, and also appears in numerous other contexts. The most well-known relationship between a geometric figure and the golden ratio is the golden rectangle, which has a length:width ratio equal to the golden ratio. An interesting property of the golden rectangle is that, if a square is removed from it, the remaining portion is simply a smaller golden rectangle — and this process can be continued without limit.

golden rectangle

While the golden ratio is related to many polyhedra, this relationship does not always involve golden rectangles, but sometimes it does. For example, it is possible to modify a rhombicosidodecahedron, by replacing that figure’s squares with golden rectangles (with the longest side adjacent to the triangles, not the pentagons), to obtain a “Zomeball” — the node which is at the heart of the Zometool ball-and-stick modeling system for polyhedra, and other phenomena. The entire Zome system is based on the golden ratio. Zome kits are available for purchase at http://www.zometool.com, and this image of a Zomeball was found at http://www.graphics.rwth-aachen.de/media/resource_images/zomeball.png.


In some cases, the relationship between a golden rectangle, and a polyhedron, is more subtle. For example, consider three mutually-perpendicular golden rectangles, each with the same center:


While this is not, itself, a polyhedron, it is possible to create a polyhedron from it, by creating its convex hull. A convex hull is simply the smallest convex polyhedron which can contain a given figure in space. For the three golden rectangles above, the convex hull is the icosahedron, one of the Platonic solids:


In addition to the golden rectangle, there are also other quadrilaterals related to the golden ratio. For example, a figure known as a golden rhombus is formed by simply connecting the midpoints of the sides of a golden rectangle. The resulting rhombus has diagonals which are in the golden ratio.

golden rhombus

One of the Archimedean solids, the icosidodecahedron, has a dual called the rhombic triacontahedron. The rhombic triacontahedron has thirty faces, and all of them are golden rhombi.

Rhombic Triaconta

There are also other polyhedra which have golden rhombi for faces. One of them, called the rhombic hexacontahedron (or “hexecontahedron,” in some sources), is actually the 26th stellation of the rhombic triacontahedron, itself. It has sixty faces, all of which are golden rhombi.

Rhombic Triaconta 26th stellation

Other quadrilaterals related to the golden ratio can be formed by reflecting the golden triangle and golden gmonon (described in the post right before this one) across each of their bases, to form two other types of rhombus.

rhombi for penrose tilings

In these two rhombi, the golden ratio shows up as the side-to-short-diagonal ratio (in the case of the 36-144-36-144 rhombus), and the long-diagonal-to-side ratio (in the case of the 72-108-72-108 rhombus). These two rhombi have a special property:  together, they can tile a plane in a pattern which never repeats itself, but, despite this, can be continued indefinitely. This “aperiodic tiling” was discovered by Roger Penrose, a physicist and mathematician. The image below, showing part of such an aperiodic tiling, was found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penrose_tiling.


There are also at least two other quadrilaterals related to the golden ratio, and they are also formed from the golden triangle and the golden gnomon. The procedure for making these figures, which could be called the “golden kite” and the “golden dart,” is similar to the one for making the rhombi for the Penrose tiling above, but has one difference: the two triangles are each reflected over a leg, rather than a base.

kite and dart for for penrose tilings

In the case of this kite and dart, it is the longer and shorter edges, in each case, which are in the golden ratio — just as is the case with the golden rectangle. Another discovery of Roger Penrose is that these two figures, also, can be used to form aperiodic tilings of the plane, as seen in this image from http://www.math.uni-bielefeld.de/~gaehler/tilings/kitedart.html.


There is yet another quadrilateral which has strong connections to the golden ratio. I call it the golden trapezoid, and this shows how it can be made from a golden rectangle, and how it can be broken down into golden triangles and golden gnomons. However, I have not yet found an interesting polyhedron, not tiling pattern, based on golden trapezoids — but I have not finished my search, either.

golden trapezoid

[Image credits:  see above for the sources of the pictures of the two Penrose tilings, as well as the Zomeball, shown in this post. Other “flat,” nonmoving pictures I created myself, using Geometer’s Sketchpad and MS-Paint. The rotating images, however, were created using a program called Stella 4d, which is available at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.]

Two Different Sets of Two Dozen Flying Kites

24 kites

Because (6)(4) = 24 = (8)(3), that’s why.

bowtie octagon dual

I used Stella 4d to make each of these. A free trial download of this software is available here.

A Strombic Hexacontahedron, Augmented with Sixty More Strombic Hexacontahedra

Strombic Hexecontahedra augmented with 60 strombic hexacontahedra

The faces of the strombic hexacontahedron, the dual of the rhombicosidodecahedron, are kites. I have no explanation for why the word “strombic” applies to it — is a kite a “stromb?”

I’ve already googled it, followed many links, etc., and it’s still as puzzling to me as it was the first time I read it. If you have a solution to this puzzle, please post it in a comment.

Software used to create this image:  Stella 4d:  Polyhedron Navigator, available at www.software3d.com/Stella.php.