Technote: Icosahedron Edge Calc

Technote: Icosahedron Edge Calculation:

Geodesic geometry is rather interesting and occasionally quite challenging. I have recently been involved in a project to explore construction options for a structure based on an Icosahedron form. Although the basic geometry was created using Inventor I was curious about the underlying mathematical formulae pertaining to this type of geometry. I also like to be able to verify key dimensions in the 3d model by separate calculation.

One site I would recommend for calculating this stuff is Rechneronline which provides various options for calculating based on known criteria, an example of which I have shown below.


The formula provided are comprehensive but lacking specifically the formula I was looking for to calculate the edge length for a given radius. The fourth formula in the list does include the value (a) which is the Edge Length and therefore can be transposed to determine the value we need.

Here I have rewritten the fourth formula with the value (a) shown as (L) for clarity.


To determine the value (L) the transposed formula would be thus:


This is a small snippet of information that I hope may be of some use for anyone interested in Geodesic geometry.  I should note that the 4 is a multiplication of the sum of the parenthesis and not a power to 4 superscript.

To use this in Inventor the formula can be entered as follows in the parameter dialogue box as a user parameter called “EdgeL”:


The resulting Model value verifies the “d112” dimension from the 3d model.


About Hugh

BIM & Cad Manager/Strategist, 3D/4D, multi-discipline cad workflows, integration. Interests include photography and historical aviation.
This entry was posted in Autodesk Inventor, Dome, Geodesic, Technote and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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