Isohedral figure


In geometry, a tessellation of dimension 2 (a plane tiling) or higher, or a polytope of dimension 3 (a polyhedron) or higher, is isohedral or face-transitive if all its faces are the same. More specifically, all faces must be not merely congruent but must be transitive, i.e. must lie within the same symmetry orbit. In other words, for any two faces A and B, there must be a symmetry of the entire figure by translations, rotations, and/or reflections that maps A onto B. For this reason, convex isohedral polyhedra are the shapes that will make fair dice.[1]

A set of isohedral dice

Isohedral polyhedra are called isohedra. They can be described by their face configuration. An isohedron has an even number of faces.

The dual of an isohedral polyhedron is vertex-transitive, i.e. isogonal. The Catalan solids, the bipyramids, and the trapezohedra are all isohedral. They are the duals of the (isogonal) Archimedean solids, prisms, and antiprisms, respectively. The Platonic solids, which are either self-dual or dual with another Platonic solid, are vertex-, edge-, and face-transitive (i.e. isogonal, isotoxal, and isohedral).

A form that is isohedral, has regular vertices, and is also edge-transitive (i.e. isotoxal) is said to be a quasiregular dual. Some theorists regard these figures as truly quasiregular because they share the same symmetries, but this is not generally accepted.

A polyhedron which is isohedral and isogonal is said to be noble.

Not all isozonohedra[2] are isohedral.[3] For example, a rhombic icosahedron is an isozonohedron but not an isohedron.[4]


Convex Concave
Hexagonal bipyramids, V4.4.6, are nonregular isohedral polyhedra.
The Cairo pentagonal tiling, V3., is isohedral.
The rhombic dodecahedral honeycomb is isohedral (and isochoric, and space-filling).
A square tiling distorted into a spiraling H tiling (topologically equivalent) is still isohedral.

Classes of isohedra by symmetry

Faces Face
Class Name Symmetry Order Convex Coplanar Nonconvex
4 V33 Platonic tetrahedron
tetragonal disphenoid
rhombic disphenoid
Td, [3,3], (*332)
D2d, [2+,2], (2*)
D2, [2,2]+, (222)
6 V34 Platonic cube
trigonal trapezohedron
asymmetric trigonal trapezohedron
Oh, [4,3], (*432)
D3d, [2+,6]
[2,3]+, (223)
8 V43 Platonic octahedron
square bipyramid
rhombic bipyramid
square scalenohedron
Oh, [4,3], (*432)
12 V35 Platonic regular dodecahedron
Ih, [5,3], (*532)
Th, [3+,4], (3*2)
T, [3,3]+, (*332)
20 V53 Platonic regular icosahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120  
12 V3.62 Catalan triakis tetrahedron Td, [3,3], (*332) 24       
12 V(3.4)2 Catalan rhombic dodecahedron
deltoidal dodecahedron
Oh, [4,3], (*432)
Td, [3,3], (*332)
24 V3.82 Catalan triakis octahedron Oh, [4,3], (*432) 48     
24 V4.62 Catalan tetrakis hexahedron Oh, [4,3], (*432) 48         
24 V3.43 Catalan deltoidal icositetrahedron Oh, [4,3], (*432) 48         
48 V4.6.8 Catalan disdyakis dodecahedron Oh, [4,3], (*432) 48         
24 V34.4 Catalan pentagonal icositetrahedron O, [4,3]+, (432) 24  
30 V(3.5)2 Catalan rhombic triacontahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120  
60 V3.102 Catalan triakis icosahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120       
60 V5.62 Catalan pentakis dodecahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120        
60 V3.4.5.4 Catalan deltoidal hexecontahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120      
120 V4.6.10 Catalan disdyakis triacontahedron Ih, [5,3], (*532) 120          
60 V34.5 Catalan pentagonal hexecontahedron I, [5,3]+, (532) 60  
2n V33.n Polar trapezohedron
asymmetric trapezohedron
Dnd, [2+,2n], (2*n)
Dn, [2,n]+, (22n)
Polar regular n-bipyramid
isotoxal 2n-bipyramid
Dnh, [2,n], (*22n)
Dnh, [2,n], (*22n)
Dnd, [2+,2n], (2*n)

k-isohedral figure


A polyhedron (or polytope in general) is k-isohedral if it contains k faces within its symmetry fundamental domains.[5] Similarly, a k-isohedral tiling has k separate symmetry orbits (it may contain m different face shapes, for m = k, or only for some m < k).[6] ("1-isohedral" is the same as "isohedral".)

A monohedral polyhedron or monohedral tiling (m = 1) has congruent faces, either directly or reflectively, which occur in one or more symmetry positions. An m-hedral polyhedron or tiling has m different face shapes ("dihedral", "trihedral"... are the same as "2-hedral", "3-hedral"... respectively).[7]

Here are some examples of k-isohedral polyhedra and tilings, with their faces colored by their k symmetry positions:

3-isohedral 4-isohedral isohedral 2-isohedral
2-hedral regular-faced polyhedra Monohedral polyhedra
The rhombicuboctahedron has 1 triangle type and 2 square types. The pseudo-rhombicuboctahedron has 1 triangle type and 3 square types. The deltoidal icositetrahedron has 1 face type. The pseudo-deltoidal icositetrahedron has 2 face types, with same shape.
2-isohedral 4-isohedral Isohedral 3-isohedral
2-hedral regular-faced tilings Monohedral tilings
The Pythagorean tiling has 2 square types (sizes). This 3-uniform tiling has 3 triangle types, with same shape, and 1 square type. The herringbone pattern has 1 rectangle type. This pentagonal tiling has 3 irregular pentagon types, with same shape.

A cell-transitive or isochoric figure is an n-polytope (n ≥ 4) or n-honeycomb (n ≥ 3) that has its cells congruent and transitive with each others. In 3 dimensions, the catoptric honeycombs, duals to the uniform honeycombs, are isochoric. In 4 dimensions, isochoric polytopes have been enumerated up to 20 cells.[8]

A facet-transitive or isotopic figure is an n-dimensional polytope or honeycomb with its facets ((n−1)-faces) congruent and transitive. The dual of an isotope is an isogonal polytope. By definition, this isotopic property is common to the duals of the uniform polytopes.

  • An isotopic 2-dimensional figure is isotoxal, i.e. edge-transitive.
  • An isotopic 3-dimensional figure is isohedral, i.e. face-transitive.
  • An isotopic 4-dimensional figure is isochoric, i.e. cell-transitive.

See also



  1. ^ McLean, K. Robin (1990), "Dungeons, dragons, and dice", The Mathematical Gazette, 74 (469): 243–256, doi:10.2307/3619822, JSTOR 3619822, S2CID 195047512.
  2. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Isozonohedron". Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  3. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Isohedron". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  4. ^ Weisstein, Eric W. "Rhombic Icosahedron". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  5. ^ Socolar, Joshua E. S. (2007). "Hexagonal Parquet Tilings: k-Isohedral Monotiles with Arbitrarily Large k" (corrected PDF). The Mathematical Intelligencer. 29: 33–38. arXiv:0708.2663. doi:10.1007/bf02986203. S2CID 119365079. Retrieved 2007-09-09.
  6. ^ Craig S. Kaplan, "Introductory Tiling Theory for Computer Graphics" Archived 2022-12-08 at the Wayback Machine, 2009, Chapter 5: "Isohedral Tilings", p. 35.
  7. ^ Tilings and patterns, p. 20, 23.
  8. ^ "Four Dimensional Dice up to Twenty Sides".
  • Olshevsky, George. "Isotope". Glossary for Hyperspace. Archived from the original on 4 February 2007.
  • Weisstein, Eric W. "Isohedral tiling". MathWorld.
  • Weisstein, Eric W. "Isohedron". MathWorld.
  • isohedra 25 classes of isohedra with a finite number of sides
  • Dice Design at The Dice Lab