As you might have seen in the page on Zometool models of polyhedra, Zometool is a great tool for representing such stellations. One can, of course, represent them individually, as was done in this page in David Richter's site. However, because Zometool depicts only the edge arrangement, we can build a stellation around a smaller one and still see both. This allows one to depict several stellations with the same model; this in turn allows a direct visualization of how the different stellations relate to each other. This process can be extended to represent many stellations at the same time, as in the cases shown below.

We exemplify all of this below. We start with the full stellation diagram of the Rhombic triacontahedron:

Fig. 1: Full stellation diagram of the Rhombic triacontahedron,
made in Zometool. Only a few ultra-short yellow struts are missing,
this issue can be solved by making the whole diagram larger by the
golden ratio. Only one quarter of the diagram was actually built, the
rest of it was built by flipping the images.

Amazingly, as Fig. 1 shows, the Zometool system can depict

Expanding the 30 faces of the Rhombic triacontahedron as in Fig. 1, we obtain a

In what follows, we will focus on the inner part of the diagram that is covered by the Great rhombic triacontahedron. This includes the well-known stellations of the Rhombic triacontahedron mentioned in the polyhedron page. We later move farther out.

Fig. 2a: Inner part of the stellation diagram of the Rhombic triacontahedron,
the scale has been multiplied by the golden ratio relative to Fig. 1.
The outer Rhomb depicts one of the 30 faces of the Great rhombic triacontahedron,
all other lines depict the mutual intersections of those faces.

The inner red Rhombus is one of the 30 faces of the
Rhombic triacontahedron. The inner yellow Rhombus (without yellow side extensions) is one of the 30 faces of the
Medial rhombic triacontahedron.
The blue square is one of the 30 faces of the
compound of 5 Cubes.

Fig. 2b: Same as Fig. 2a, but now with numbering of the different parts of the stellation diagram.
This will be useful for understanding the construction stages below.

The model in Fig. 2a shows a) the relative positions of those important stellations, b) provides a count of the parts needed (it is the number of struts in the model times 15) and c) in Fig. 2b, we highlight how it shows us how to build the stellation models.

Like most complex Zometool models, we start from the centre, in this case by building first the Rhombic triacontahedron itself, this is region 1 in Fig. 2b. As we build each layer on top of the previous, we meet successive stellations of the Rhombic triacontahedron. Below we follow the order shown in Fig. 2b. This is not the only way - there are many other models and stellations that can be obtained by merely switching the order in which we build the different layers! The larger finished model is the Great rhombic triacontahedron itself, with all intersections of its Rhombic faces visible.

Fig. 3: First step: the Rhombic triacontahedron itself. Each face is represented by region 1 in figure 2b.

Fig. 4: Adding red and yellow struts, we cover region 2, obtaining the first stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 5: Adding shorter red and yellow struts, we cover region 3, obtaining the second stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 6: Adding some more red and yellow struts, we cover region 4, obtaining another stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 7: Adding some short blue struts, we cover region 5. This is yet another stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 8: With pentagonal pyramids of yellow struts on top of the blue pentagons, we cover region 6.
The outer shape is now the
Medial rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 9: Adding some red/yellow pyramids on top of the deepest holes in the previous model, we now cover region 7, obtaining
a beautiful stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 10: With some blue struts, we now cover region 8. The outer shape is now a combination of the medial rhombic triacontahedron
and the compound of 5 Cubes.

Fig. 11: As a side excursion, we can remove the yellow struts from region 6 and obtain the
compound of five Cubes.

The intersection of those 5 Cubes is the Rhombic triacontahedron itself.
The convex hull is
the Dodecahedron, which has the same vertex arrangement. This means that the dual of the compound of 5 Cubes,
the compound of 5 Octahedra, must be a stellation of the Icosahedron.

Fig. 12: Continuing from Fig. 10, and adding a few red struts, we now cover also regions 9 and 10. More stellations of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 13: Adding some long red struts, we cover region 11 and obtain a very beautiful stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 14: With 20 sets of three very long red struts we cover region 12, and the model of the Great rhombic triacontahedron is completed!

Fig. 15: Inner part of the stellation diagram of the Rhombic triacontahedron,
this time including all intersections of its 30 facial planes that are found within the
volume and surface of the Great rhombic triacontahedron. The yellow
connections that were problematic in Fig. 1 (too short) can be done at this scale.

In this case, the sequence of stellations continues from the penultimate step in the sequence above.

Fig. 13, repeat: OK, this is where we were...

Fig. 16: Another stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 17: Another stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 18: With 20 sets of three long red struts the new, more complex model of the Great rhombic triacontahedron is completed!

Fig. 19: Excluding most struts and connectors from the stellation diagrams
in Figs. 2 or 15, we see the faces of the four isotoxal stellations of the Rhombic triacontahedron much more clearly.
The inner red Rhombus is one of the 30 faces of the
Rhombic triacontahedron. The yellow Rhombus is one of the 30 faces of the
Medial rhombic triacontahedron.
The blue square is one of the 30 faces of the
compound of 5 cubes.
The outer Rhombus is one of the 30 faces of the
Great rhombic triacontahedron.

Fig. 20: Extending the 30 faces of the Rhombic triacontahedron as in Fig. 19,
we obtain this model, where the four stellations are easy to spot since they are
in different colors. This model uses 120 very long red struts, which are no longer manufactured by Zometool.
eBay is a good way of getting hold of some of these.

Fig. 21: The latter model can also be built in a smaller scale, which is cute and avoids the lack of very
long struts.

Fig. 22: This is the stellation net for the last stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.
The scale has been reduced by the golden ratio relative to the stellation diagram in Fig. 1.
Here we included only the parts of the stellation diagram in Fig. 1 that touch the outside of the polyhedron. A few internal medium red struts were added for stability.

Fig. 23: This is the last stellation of the Rhombic triacontahedron.
This model benefits from the use of very long struts, in this case 120 very long blues and
180 very long yellows. Their use saves 300 balls and 600 regular struts.

Fig. 24: A vZome model of the Rhombic triacontahedron with its full set of stellations.
Here we're looking at the model through one of its 5-fold symmetry axes.
The edges of all models above are sub-sets of the edges of this model.

Fig. 25:
Here we're looking at the model through one of its 3-fold symmetry axes.

For the vZome model itself, click here.
You then can load it in the online version of vZome.

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