Ross Macintosh, an architect and one of the fellow moderators in the Xara Conference, posted the illustration shown below of a Buckyball, a shape used by architect Buckminster Fuller to create domed buildings. Ross used a 3D application to create the shape and then applied the shading in Xara X.
I responded that I though one could create the same Buckyball shape in Xara X without the need for a 3D application. Notice that each of the hexagon facets of the Buckyball shape are divided into 6 triangles. We can do that. Here is how.
Select the QuickShapes Tool. Set the Number of Sides to 3 and press the Create Polygons icon. Hold down the Ctrl key and drag a triangle. Reduce the height by 50% by first clicking the black lock icon on the Infobar to disable Lock Aspect Ratio, entering 50 in the Height % text entry box and pressing Enter . Make six duplicates and arrange them as shown. Drag a guideline from the left screen ruler (Ctrl L to display rulers) through the center of the first triangle and drag a second guideline to the right top side of the last triangle. Drag a third guideline from the top screen ruler and align it to the top of the triangles.
NOTE: I have applied different colors to identify the first triangle and the duplicates. You do not need to change the colors.
Clone the row of triangles (Ctrl k). Press the Flip Vertical (the two flopped triangles) icon on the Infobar and tuck the cloned row of triangles up and to the right of the first row. Select the two rows of triangles and clone the selection. Move the cloned selection down to form a new row. Select the two rows and repeat last step until you have 7 rows as shown above. Group all the triangles. Add a new guideline along the bottom of the triangles.
Create a rectangle that is taller than the triangles and wider than the portion of the triangles that extend beyond the left guideline. Select the rectangle and the grouped triangles and Arrange > Combine Shapes... Subtract Shapes. This trims off the edge of the triangles. Repeat this step with a new rectangle on the right side. I have made all the triangles the same color and now you can see the hexagons.
Our group is not quite square. Make sure the Lock Aspect Ratio icon is in the up position (disable proportional scaling). In the W and H text entry boxes, key in 300pix and press Enter to apply the changes. Press the lock icon again to enable proportional scaling. (I prefer to leave it in this mode).
Select the group with the Mould Tool. Press the Circular Envelope icon to apply a circular mold. Drag four more guidelines through the four tiny black control points. Notice how the shape is still very flat looking even though it is now a circle. We will fix that problem in the next step.
Convert the mold to Editable Shapes (Arrange). Apply a new Circular Envelope. Click the left black control point to make the two Bezier control handles appear. Drag the end of each handle to the intersection of the guidelines as shown. Repeat for the other 3 corners. This gives the shape a more spherical appearance.
The problem with our shape is the lines are now round. Ross's Buckyball has straight-sided triangles. Convert the mold to Editable Shapes (Arrange > Convert to Editable Shapes ). Ungroup the mold 3 times or until the Ungroup option is grayed out in the Arrange menu. Marquee select the entire shape with the Selector Tool then switch to the Shape Editor Tool. On the Infobar, press the diagonal line icon (Make Line) to convert all the curves to lines.
I have applied a Circular fill to the group (above left) to give more of an appearance of roundness. But in reality, every hexagon contains 6 triangles that are all on the same flat plane. In the example on the right, I have created hexagon shapes using the Shape Editor Tool. Then applied a Linear fill to each hexagon using the Color Picker Tool (the eyedropper) in the Color Editor (Ctrl e) to sample the starting and ending colors. A duplicate was made of the triangles and the lines converted to shapes. A 3-color Circular fill was applied to the lines.