I made both of these while playing around with Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, a program you can try out for free at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Any of these rotating polyhedra may be made larger with a single click. All were created using Stella 4d, a program you may try for free at this website: http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Mathematicians have discovered more than one set of rules for polyhedral stellation. The software I use for rapidly manipulating polyhedra (Stella 4d, available here, including as a free trial download) lets the user choose between different sets of stellation criteria, but I generally favor what are called the “fully supported” stellation rules.
For this exercise, I still used the fully supported stellation rules, but set Stella to view these polyhedra as having only tetrahedral symmetry, rather than icosidodecahedral (or “icosahedral”) symmetry. For the icosahedron, this tetrahedral symmetry can be seen in this coloring-pattern.
The next image shows what the icosahedron looks like after a single stellation, when performed through the “lens” of tetrahedral symmetry. This stellation extends the red triangles as kites, and hides the yellow triangles from view in the process.
The second such stellation produces this polyhedron — a pyritohedral dodecahedron — by further-extending the red faces, and obscuring the blue triangles in the process.
The third tetrahedral stellation of the icosahedron produces another pyritohedral figure, which further demonstrates that pyritohedral symmetry is related to both icosidodecahedral and tetrahedral symmetry.
The fourth such stellation produces a Platonic octahedron, but one where the coloring-scheme makes it plain that Stella is still viewing this figure as having tetrahedral symmetry. Given that the octahedron itself has cuboctahedral (or “octahedral”) symmetry, this is an increase in the number of polyhedral symmetry-types which have appeared, so far, in this brief survey.
Next, I looked at the fifth tetrahedral stellation of the icosahedron, and was surprised at what I found.
While I was curious about what would happen if I continued stellating this polyhedron, I also wanted to see this fifth stellation’s convex hull, since I could already tell it would have only hexagons and triangles as faces. Here is that convex hull:
For the last step in this survey, I performed one more tetrahedral stellation, this time on the convex hull I had just produced.
Any of these images may be enlarged with a click.
They were all created using Stella 4d, available at this website.
This pattern could be continued, indefinitely, into space.
Here is a second view, in rainbow color mode, and with all the squares hidden.
[These images were created with Stella 4d, software you may buy — or try for free — right here.]
To enlarge any of these images, simply click on the ones you choose.
All of these images were created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, available at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Each of these polyhedral images (any of which may be enlarged with a click) was created using Stella 4d: Polyhedron Navigator, and this program may be tried for free at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Also, a question, for regular readers of my blog — you have probably noticed that this post has a different format, but it’s just an experimental thing I’m trying out.
Do you prefer this style of polyhedra-post, or the format I usually use?