Finding the Dual of the Tetrahedral-Octahedral Space Filler

Eva Knoll and Simon Morgan
Meeting Alhambra, ISAMA-BRIDGES Conference Proceedings (2003)
Pages 205–212


The goal of thiS paper is to illustrate how octahedra and tetrahedra pack together to fill space, and to identify and visualize the dual to this packing. First, we examine a progression of 2-D and 3-D space-filling packings that relate the tetrahedral-octahedral space-filling packing to the packing of 2-D space by squares. The process will use a combination of stretching, truncation and 2-D to 3-D correspondence. Through slicing, we will also relate certain stages of the process back to simple 2-D packings such as the triangular grid and the Archimedean tiling of the plane. Second, we will illustrate the meaning of duality as it relates to polygons, polyhedra and 2-D and 3-D packings. At a later stage, we will reason out the dual packing of the tetrahedral-octahedral packing. Finally, we will demonstrate that it is indeed a 3-D space filler in its own right by showing different construction methods.