To make this rotating .gif, I navigated to the rhombic triacontahedron in Stella 4d, and then loaded images onto its thirty faces, with the image being the one I blogged in the post right before this one. This program, Stella, has a free trial download you can get right 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.
The great rhombicosidodecahedron is also known as the truncated icosidodecahedron (and, confusingly, several other names). Regardless of what it’s called, these pictures demonstrate that this Archimedean solid can be constructed using rhombic triacontahedra as building-blocks.
First, here’s one in the same color I used for the decagonal ring of rhombic triacontahedra in the last post:
The next one is identical, except I used “rainbow color mode” for it.
Also, just in case you’re curious, here’s the dual of this polyhedron-made-of-polyhedra — this time, colored by face-type.
These virtual models were all built using Stella 4d, software you may buy, or try for free, right here.
Ten rhombic triacontahedra fit perfectly into a decagonal ring. It’s not a “near-miss” — the fit is exact.
I made this with Stella 4d, software you can try for free, or purchase, at http://www.software3d.com/Stella.php.
Due to their high number of planes of symmetry, rhombic triacontahedra make excellent building blocks to build other polyhedra. To make this, I used a program called Stella 4d, which you can try right here.