[Addon] Add Dual Polyhedron

After reading this question, I was surprised not to find any addon for creating dual polyhedra in Blender. So I coded one.

Duality is quite a natural concept which turns faces into vertices and vice versa. From a cube you get an octahedron, from an icosphere without subdivision you get a dodecahedron and from a Suzanne you get a Negasuzanne. Just try it.

Save the following text into a .py file, install it as an addon and then, with an object selected, look for Dual Polyhedron in the Add -> Mesh menu.

EDIT: This addon can also flatten polygon faces of an arbitrary mesh, which may be useful on its own. See the next post.

bl_info = {
    "name": "Dual Polyhedron",
    "author": "Addam Dominec",
    "version": (0, 2),
    "blender": (2, 70, 0),
    "location": "Add -> Mesh -> Dual Polyhedron",
    "warning": "",
    "description": "Create a dual polyhedron of the active mesh",
    "category": "Add Mesh",
    "wiki_url": "",
    "tracker_url": ""

import bpy
import bmesh
import numpy
import mathutils
import random
from collections import defaultdict
from bpy_extras import object_utils

def pairs(sequence):
    """Generate consecutive pairs throughout the given sequence; at last, it gives elements last, first."""
    i = iter(sequence)
    previous = first = next(i)
    for this in i:
        yield previous, this
        previous = this
    yield this, first

def triplets(sequence):
    """Generate consecutive triplets throughout the given sequence"""
    it = iter(sequence)
    l = first = next(it)
    c = second = next(it)
    for r in it:
        yield l, c, r
        l, c = c, r
    yield l, c, first
    yield c, first, second

def get_smoothened_normals(faces):
    incidence = defaultdict(list)
    for face in faces:
        for vertex in face.vertices:
    neighbors = dict()
    for face in faces:
        neighbors[face] = [other for vertex in face.vertices for other in incidence[vertex] if other is not face]
    normals = {face: face.normal for face in faces}
    randfaces = [face for face in faces if len(neighbors[face]) >= 3]
    for iteration in range(5):
        for face in randfaces:
            nor = normals[face]
            nearest = [normals[neighbor] for neighbor in neighbors[face]]
            nearest.sort(key=lambda other_normal: (other_normal - nor).length_squared)
            normals[face] = sum(nearest[:3], mathutils.Vector((0, 0, 0))).normalized()
    return normals

def planarize(vertices, orig_coords, faces, normals, rigidity=1.0):
    planes = defaultdict(list)
    for face in faces:
        if len(face.vertices) == 3:
        plane_pair = normals[face], normals[face].dot(face.center)
        for vertex_index in face.vertices:
    for vertex in vertices:
        alpha = rigidity if len(planes[vertex.index]) >= 3 else max(rigidity, 1e-3)
        A = (alpha * numpy.eye(3)).tolist()
        b = list(alpha * orig_coords[vertex])
        for (nor, plane_c) in planes[vertex.index]:
        coords, residuals, rank, singular = numpy.linalg.lstsq(A, b)
        vertex.co = coords

class Planarize(bpy.types.Operator):
    """Flattens all polygons of the active mesh"""
    bl_idname = "mesh.planarize"
    bl_label = "Planarize"
    bl_options = {'REGISTER', 'UNDO'}
    rigidity = bpy.props.FloatProperty(name="Rigidity",
        description="Slows down the planarization effect", default=1, min=0)
    iterations = bpy.props.IntProperty(name="Steps",
        description="Repeats the calculation to get a better result", default=5, min=1)
    do_smoothen = bpy.props.BoolProperty(name="Smoothen Normals",
        description="Distributes normals evenly across the surface", default=True)

    def poll(cls, context):
        return context.active_object and context.active_object.type == 'MESH'

    def execute(self, context):
        recall_mode = context.object.mode

        mesh = context.active_object.data
        orig_coords = {vertex: vertex.co for vertex in mesh.vertices}
        normals = {face: face.normal for face in mesh.polygons}
        for iteration in range(self.iterations):
            if self.do_smoothen:
                normals = get_smoothened_normals(mesh.polygons)
            planarize(mesh.vertices, orig_coords, mesh.polygons, normals, self.rigidity/2**iteration)

        return {'FINISHED'}

class AddDual(bpy.types.Operator):
    """Create a dual polyhedron of the active mesh"""
    bl_idname = "mesh.dual_add"
    bl_label = "Add Dual Polyhedron"
    bl_options = {'REGISTER', 'UNDO'}
    planarization = bpy.props.IntProperty(name="Planarize Steps",
        description="If nonzero, flattens each of the resulting faces into a plane", default=0, subtype='UNSIGNED')
    def poll(self, context):
        return context.active_object and context.active_object.type == 'MESH'

    def execute(self, context):
        ob = context.active_object
        new_mesh = bpy.data.meshes.new(ob.name + "Dual")
        bm = bmesh.new()

        loops = dict()
        for face in ob.data.polygons:
            vertex = bm.verts.new(face.center)
            for a, b, c in triplets(face.vertices):
                print(a, b, c)
                loops[c, b] = vertex, (a, b)
        print(sorted((l, r) for (l, (v, r)) in loops.items()))
        while loops:
            first, (vertex, link) = loops.popitem()
            vertices = [vertex]
            while link in loops:
                vertex, link = loops.pop(link)
            if len(vertices) > 2:

        if self.planarization > 0:
            orig_coords = {vertex: vertex.co for vertex in new_mesh.vertices}
            for iteration in range(self.planarization):
                normals = get_smoothened_normals(new_mesh.polygons)
                planarize(new_mesh.vertices, orig_coords, new_mesh.polygons, normals, 1/2**iteration)
        # add the mesh as an object into the scene
        new_ob = object_utils.object_data_add(context, new_mesh)
        new_ob.object.location = ob.location
        new_ob.object.rotation_euler = ob.rotation_euler
        return {'FINISHED'}

def menu_func(self, context):
    self.layout.operator(AddDual.bl_idname, text="Dual Polyhedron", icon='MESH_ICOSPHERE')

def register():

def unregister():

if __name__ == "__main__":

1 Like

I added an option to flatten all polygons of the resulting mesh. This may be necessary in many situations where you want the dual polyhedron to look somewhat nice (such as when making paper models :wink: ).

It is accessible either as a simple numeric option of the Add Dual operator (increase Planarize Steps above zero) or as a separate operator called Planarize. The latter is accessible only through search by name.

Note that as the faces become more and more flat, they often get very distorted, cross each other and do other such ugly things. I don’t know a way around that.

I pasted the updated script into my first post above.

1 Like

To any (hypothetical, of course) people who might think this addon is not useful for modeling, I have a tutorial
How to Make a Soccer Ball:

  • Create an Icosphere with the default subdivision level of 2.
  • Create its dual and remove the original icosphere.

Nearly there! Now comes the tricky part, not related to duals in any way.

  • Go to Edit Mode, select all (A) and mark it as seams (Ctrl+E).
  • Go to Object Mode, add a Subdivision Modifier with View level 2 and apply it.
  • Go to Edit Mode, select a vertex in the center of a hexagon and a pentagon side (two vertices in total) and then select all the remaining centers by Shift+G -> Amount of Connecting Edges.
  • Use Extend Selection (Ctrl+<plus>) to select these islands within each side of the ball.
  • Switch to Edge select mode (Ctrl+Tab) and hide those edges (H).
  • Select one of the remaining edges that is not a seam and by Shift+G -> Seam, select all of these.
  • In the 3D View header (to the bottom of the screen), switch Pivot Point to Individual Origins. Now scale down the selected edges (S) to get a sharper rim around the seams.
  • Now select all seams by inverting selection (Ctrl+I) and scale them down a bit to emphasize the shape (that is, pull them towards the center of the ball).
  • Bring the ball back (Alt+H) and switch to Vertex selection mode (Ctrl+Tab). Select a vertex in the center of a pentagonal side. By Shift+G -> Amount of Connecting Edges, select all of these.
  • Extend selection (Ctrl+<plus>) two times in a row and assign a different material (black, perhaps) to these faces.

Easy as a roundhouse kick.

1 Like

it’s a great addon emu, it was fun to play on low poly objects and get variations
also the flattener should be useful, thanks!