Customisable Spirograph Vase Generator

by PaulM, published

Customisable Spirograph Vase Generator by PaulM Feb 24, 2013


Remember Spirograph? Now available in 3d!

Classic spirograph involves rotating one cog around the inside or outside of another fixed cog. A pen is used through a hole in the rotating cog to trace out a spirograph pattern.

The spirograph vase extends this to the third dimension by extruding and twisting the spirograph pattern.

The parameters describing the "rotating cog" radius, "fixed cog" radius and distance of the "pen" determine the shape and pattern of the walls of the vase - which can take on many forms. You can then twist the resulting pattern and raise to whatever height you require.

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Dont forget my friends, 3 solid bottom infill...

Beatifull form. thanks PaulM.

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Open in customiser to generate your own custom STL.

Note the render time is slow, so wait for the render to complete before changing another field otherwise the result may not match what you have in the customiser.

The vase shape and complexity is dependent on the ratio of the radius of the fixed to rotating cog, the number of turns and the distance of the virtual pen. Some settings will generate relatively simple, but attractive patterns, others will be highly complex. Experiment here to try things out quickly: http://www.artbylogic.com/spirographart/spirograph.htm

The number of nodes is dependent on the ratio of the fixed to rotating cog. If this ratio is integer then you'll only need one turn otherwise you'll need to increase "turns" to complete the pattern - however increasing it further will just trace out the same path.

Fine precision and layer height will cause very slow render times - note the layer height does not need to be really fine to produce smooth curves.

You can specify parameters which are not possible with a real spirograph such as the pen distance larger than the radius.


  • Render times can be very slow. Try out some spirograph parameters somewhere like this: http://www.artbylogic.com/spirographart/spirograph.htm The default should render in a minute or two, whereas fine resolution may take hours.
  • For vases with a large number of "nodes" on the spirograph circumference you'll need to increase the number of segments and hence the render time.
  • Setting the wall width to the same as your nozzle won't necessarily produce a good single walled print because unfortunately the slicer is unlikely to follow the spirograph path.
  • These vases can form slicer torture tests with endless retraction and lobes not sticking to the main vase - you should be able to improve this by adjusting wall widths and other parameters.

Dont forget my friends, 3 solid bottom infill...

Beatifull form. thanks PaulM.