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Author Topic: 3d printed dense Julia set  (Read 2729 times)
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Posts: 110

« on: June 16, 2012, 11:28:07 PM »


I'd like to share an experiment at 3d printing a fractal. I didn't print an honest 3d fractal, but rather a 2d dense Julia set, used as a heightmap on the sphere. The details can be found in this blog post:
To summarize, the limit on the number of polygons and the fact that anything but very small objects are quite expensive both limit the amount of details in the final sculpture. Still, I find the result interesting, and it's fun to be able to have it in your hand. smiley I printed it as a thin shell, what reduced the cost and leaves it translucent, creating a nice effect when a LED candle is put inside.

A gallery of photos can be found here:
Here are also rendered (not 3d printed) 3d models of dense Julia sets used as heightmaps:

Attached are two pictures of the 3d printed model, the second one with a LED candle inside.


* 20120616-3dLat1.jpg (63.77 KB, 500x465 - viewed 841 times.)

* 20120616-3dLat2.jpg (72.04 KB, 500x499 - viewed 843 times.)

Fractal Supremo
Posts: 1138

« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 04:10:58 AM »

Hi Sam,

It's a nice idea, but to be honest I don't like so much the result of the 3D print, maybe because of the limitations you mentioned, but also I think another of your patterns could have been better to use. I really like the rendered 3D models, though.

Btw, I was trying to use a 2D fractal applied to the surface of a 3D one using Syntopia's Fragmentarium but I couldn't make it work yet.


Posts: 110

« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 04:05:33 PM »

Sure, you can't compare it to the rendered 3d models, the latter are textured, in addition. I picked the simplest pattern because I was afraid it would look messy with the low polygon count. I'll make a few more attempts...

I never used fragmentarium beyond a short try. But more generally, it seems to me that raytracing softwares are useless when it comes to 3d printing, because you need the 3d model as a mesh. In my case it was rather simple to produce the mesh, because it's just a deformed sphere. For genuine 3d fractals, I can imagine it would be much more difficult to produce a mesh suitable for printing.


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