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CAD/CAM to create 3D fractals


use CAD/CAM to create 3D fractals? Because they are mathmatical in
nature, but very organic looking! Is there a clearcut formula for
creating 3D fractal objects? dp


Hi* The thing that makes fractals so fascinating, is the
variation/repetition of complex patterns-within-patterns, best
appreciated on a large scale. The canvas we work on in jewelry
design, is vastly smaller. If you scale down something as complex as
a fractal, it will be unmanufactureable. Perhaps you can isolate a
small section of detail and work with that? It’s possible to create a
fractal pattern in a fractal generating program, crop a section, save
it a bitmap, and import it into a CAD program. There’s a free
companion program to Rhino, called Zsurf, floating around on the
Rhino newsgroup. It looks at an image and “heightfield maps” it as a
surface, based on contrasting tonal values of a grayscale image. I
tried it a few times, and it worked ok, but I’ve found that ArtCAM
will do the same thing with much more precision, detail and
predictability. ArtCAM with reduce the number of colors, allowing you
to create vector outlines of colors and patterns, which can then be
given shape and dimensionality. A while back, I tried a program
called Reptile. It’s supposed to be used to make wallpaper tiles for
web sites. I experimented with it a bit and made some neat patterns.
I brought one of them into Rhino… it looked just like reticulated
metal. I made a heightfield surface and flowed it around a circle to
make a ring. Reptile also makes great patterns that resemble ornate

Sorry for the longwinded-ness!



I’d like to second what Jesse commented on regarding fractals or
even representations of factals. In ArtCam I once accidentally
stumbled across an overlaid design using the star tool repetitively
at varying degrees and number of points. It looked great and
although it may not technically been a true fractal it sure did look
like one. It really looked great on the computer screen… then I
realized it would only look as good if one were viewing the jewelery
piece through a microscope. I like what Jesse said about finding a
small element and working with that. Happy Hunting. Mark Kaplan


Jesse, I would be interested to see how the ring you made with
reptile turned out. Any files or pics?

Regards J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio