The Truncated Tetrahedron


The truncated tetrahedron is a 3D uniform polyhedron bounded by 4 hexagonal faces and 4 triangular faces. It is the simplest of the Archimedean polyhedra. It may be constructed by truncating the tetrahedron at 1/3 of its edge length.

The truncated
tetrahedron

The truncated tetrahedron has 18 edges, 6 of which correspond with the 6 edges of the tetrahedron. It has 12 vertices.

Projections

In order to be able to identify the truncated tetrahedron in various projections of 4D objects, it is useful to know how it appears from various viewpoints. The following are some of the commonly-encountered views:

Projection Envelope Description
Non-uniform nonagon

Parallel projection centered on a triangular face.

Non-uniform nonagon

Parallel projection centered on a hexagonal face.

Octagon

Parallel projection centered on an edge shared by two hexagons.

Non-uniform pentagon

Parallel projection parallel to three edges: one between two hexagonal faces and two between a hexagon and a triangle each.

The images of many faces coincide: the top and bottom halves of the image are the images of two triangles and two hexagons, respectively. The other faces project to the edges of the projection envelope: two hexagons to the top left and right edges, and two triangles to the bottom left and right edges. The top vertex of the projection envelope is the image of an edge.

This projection of the truncated tetrahedron appears in the icosahedron-centered projection of the truncated 600-cell.

Non-uniform hexagon

Parallel projection parallel to a hexagonal face and a triangular face.

Coordinates

The Cartesian coordinates for the truncated tetrahedron, centered on the origin and having edge length 2 are:

These coordinates give an “upright” truncated tetrahedron, in the sense that one of its hexagonal faces is orthogonal to the X-axis. They are obtained by radially expanding the edges of a tetrahedron outwards such that the resulting polyhedron has equal edge lengths.

Occurrences

The truncated tetrahedron occurs as cells in many uniform polychora:


Last updated 03 Feb 2014.

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