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to_nfold - change the rotational symmetry of a polyhedron

Usage    |    Examples    |    Notes


Usage: to_nfold [options] fraction [input_file]

Generalise an axial model by changing its rotational symmetry. Read a model,
in OFF format, with an m-fold rotational axis on the z-axis, and create a
new model, generally non-planar, with the same relative connections, but
with an n-fold axis instead. fraction is given as n, or n/d (n and d
integers). Vertices of a face originally separated by x/m of a turn around
the z-axis will be separated by xd/n of a turn in the final model. If
input_file is not given the program reads from standard input. to_nfold is based 
on an idea by Bruce R. Gilson.

  -h,--help this help message (run 'off_util -H help' for general help)
  --version version information
  -o <file> write output to file (default: write to standard output)


Increase rotational symmetry, e.g. pentagonal prism to hexagonal prism
   to_nfold 6 pri5 | antiview

Decrease rotational symmetry, e.g. pentagonal prism to triangular prism
   to_nfold 3 pri5 | antiview

Change rotational symmetry with a fraction, the denominator introduces a step, e.g. pentagonal prism to {7/2}-prism
   to_nfold 7/2 pri5 | antiview

Change the basic step of a model, e.g. pentagramic dipyramid to pentagonal pyramid (2*3 = 1 mod(5))
   to_nfold 5/3 dip5/2 | antiview

Open an edge, taken as a digon, e.g. convert snub disphenoid to (non-Johnson) snub square antiprism
   to_nfold 4 j_snub_disphenoid | antiview

Close a polygon down to a digon, e.g. convert snub square antiprism to (non-Johnson) snub disphenoid
   to_nfold 2 j_snub_square_antiprism | antiview

Convert a polyhedral torus
   unitile2d -s t | off_trans -R 90,0,0 | to_nfold 11/2 | antiview



First the cyclic symmetry of the model, Cn_from, is found. An arbitrary sector of angular width 2π / n_from is considered, and this sector is scaled by rotation to have angular width 2π · d_to / n_to. This determines the new vertex positions unambiguously.

The faces are determined by considering each set of faces which are equivalent under Cn_from symmetry, and then choosing a minimal chain of edges that will repeat by this symmtry to recreate the edges of this set of faces. The chain is transformed, edge by edge, to match the final symmetry and step. It is then repeated by the final symmetry into one or more circuits, which are the final faces.

To transform each edge, the original central angle is considered positive if the symmetry axis lies in the sweep of this edge and the last, otherwise negative, but if the edge intersects the symmetry axis (180 degree edge) then its sign is ambiguous. In this case, if the sum of angles with the adjoining edges is positive then the sign is taken as negative, and vice versa. If the sum is zero, then the sign is chosen, arbitrarily.


  • If a model has faces that meet at a 180 degree edge in the base model then they may not meet in the final model.
  • Some polygons may have a face that shares the axial symmetry but will not divide into valid edge chains, e.g. a rectangular bow-tie quadrilateral has 4 edges and 2-fold symmetry, but a chain of two of its edges cannot be repeated by 2-fold symmetry to recreate the original bow tie.
  • Some models have an axial fractional polygon, or a form that can be identified with one (e.g. a polyhedral tube might follow the path of pentagram edges). The step of a polygon tends to be preserved when applying to_nfold, and it may be that the apparent final model step will divide the final n_to. Such models are not constructible, and will lead to a broken final model, likely with edges from a vertex onto itself, e.g. to_nfold 3 pri7/3.
  • Faces that slant and are intersected by the axis may lead to skew polygons that wrap the axis several times. This may not be the desired result, however, it is correct for the algorithm. e.g. to_nfold 7 ant5/3.

to_nfold is based on an idea by Bruce R. Gilson.

     Next: unitile2d - make uniform tilings on a surface
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Contact:      -      Modified 30.9.2016