QSN - 3D Printer Torture Test Art (Quasicrystalline Spin Network)

by RWGresearch, published

QSN - 3D Printer Torture Test Art (Quasicrystalline Spin Network) by RWGresearch May 17, 2017
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This is the QSN (Quasicrystalline Spin Network.)

First and foremost, Please watch the video attached so you have most of the information you need to print this. :


Second, This is my challenge to the 3D printing community, Can you Print it?

I spent over 3 months trying to get this to print extremely well. It took all kinds tweaks and Tests, BUT the very first one I tried WORKED! So i know you can do it too. after you get one printed, its all tweaking from there! How much better can you make it? I have about 30 of them Printed now. each with a new tweak!

My coworker Ray had this pulled up on his screen when I went into his office and I said, "I think I can print that"... and 3 months later here we are!

I spent way to much time trying to tune my built from scratch Restock delta to make perfect prints of the QSN. I eventually achieved this goal. Now I can print some really amazing prints of the QSN.

This is no easy print, however, I really would LOVE feed back from others who try to print one. I'm interested in seeing your method of printing this. Things such as:

How did you generate support?
What printer you are using?
What filaments did you try?
What slicers did you get to work?
Were you able to generate a solid?
Anything else you think would be helpful to share!

I have had almost No luck making this a solid. It's currently "stick and balls". You will need to make sure your slicer can handle that. I did get Meshmixer to make it a water tight solid, but it has to many triangles. Its almost overloaded for most average computers. You need a lot of ram.
So if you try this, use the stick and balls version, and make sure your slicer can handle it.

If you have any luck making this a solid please let me know.

Something I did not mention in the video was that I did try to build custom supports in Meshmixer as well as PreForm, but it was not achievable. Please give it a go and let me know if you get custom supports to work.

Challenge excepted ? :)

I'm not giving out my slicer settings just yet, because I'm interested in how you get it to work best! Later I will publish my Slicer settings that I have. However, in reality each system will be different any how and require your own settings...

You can find more of my 3D printing research here:

Much Love & God Bless,

~Russ Gries

My YouTube(s)...
Main Content:

Live 3D printing & Stuff...

Time laps:

This Was Awesome! Showing Angus & Joel the QSN in Person!

Print Settings


Custom Rostock (Built in 2012)


Doesn't Matter




.175mm-.2mm for big models




only use raft if you dont get good bed adhesion. use 1 layer and less Than 50% infill. works for me...

Some filament I used:

green PLA

Translucent Red

How I Designed This

Ray Did The Math, Russ Did Some Small changes...

We build the QSN by taking a cuboctahedron, an Archimedean solid made of 8 triangular faces and 6 square faces, and 12 vertices, and keep only 4 triangular faces, not touching one another, built on the 12 vertices.
We link these 4 triangles to the center and get 4 tetrahedra sharing a vertex in the center, the basis of a FCC lattice.
We translate each tetrahedron along an edge bringing the center to an external vertex, and repeat the operation, getting an FCC lattice.
Then, we “Fibonacci-space” this lattice, by inserting gaps of the edge size divided by the golden ratio, such that each ray emanating from the center becomes a Fibonacci chain. We get a Fibonacci-spaced FCC lattice.
Then we duplicate this lattice 4 more times, to finally get 5 copies; and we rotate four of the five copies, such that the 20 tetrahedra sharing the center aligns all their faces in only 10 planes.
There is two ways to get there, and the object made of the 20 tetrahedra in the center becomes a 20-group, a geometric figure discovered by our team some years ago.
The two ways assign a chirality to the object, and to the compound of the 5 Fibonacci-spaced FCC lattices. We choose one of the two possible chiralities.
We have later found that the 60 vertices of the 20 central tetrahedra are the vertices of the regular compound of 5 cuboctahedra (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_of_five_cuboctahedra )
And more recently we have found that the cuboctahedron is the Dirichlet sphere of radius square root of 2, while the 20-group is the next Dirichlet sphere of radius square root of 8, where we have defined the Dirichlet spheres as the spheres whose 3D radius is equal to the 6D radius, if x,y,z are Dirichlet integers of the form a+b phi (a, b integer and phi the golden ratio), and restrict to regular tetrahedra made of one equilateral triangle on the sphere and the fourth vertex at the center, which explain their non-arbitrary algebraic emergence.
Now that we have this superposition of 5 differently oriented Fibonacci-spaced FCC, otherwise seen as a bunch of regular tetrahedra, which we name our possibility space, we select only from the available vertices, the ones which are themselves centers of 20-groups: they become a set of vertices.
We automatically select all the pairs of this vertices which are at two possible distances, one being golden ratio times the other. These edges are what is 3D printed.
We check that they are organized as a set of dodecahedra, and two sets of icosahedra, the larger edge to the smaller being the golden ratio.
You can search and find this dodecahedra and icosahedra in the QSN.
Because of the limited combinatoric ways of connecting this edges and the fact that all the space is covered, this is a 3D quasicrystal.
Our team has also published many relationships between this quasicrystal and the Elser-Sloane quasicrystal obtained by projecting the E8 lattice, which links it to particle physics.

~Raymond Aschheim

For more read this paper:


YOU are responsible for any damage caused by attempting to 3D Print these files! Always keep an eye on your 3D Printers when attempting challenging prints.

FAIL's ( only a few) but finaly it works!

Deeper Look At What The QSN is.

The QSN or Quasicrystalline Spin Network is a 3D representation of a 4D quasicrystal, called the Elser-Sloane Quasicrystal, which is created by projecting the E8 lattice to 4D. This 4D quasicrystal is made entirely of regular, 3D tetrahedra, which is achieved due to the particular angle of the E8 to 4D projection. When we take any five, 3D subspaces of this 4D quasicrystal (one subspace being all tetrahedra that are oriented in the same direction) and then rotate them from one another by 15.552* degrees, we come up with a 3D quasicrystal that can be seen as a representation of the 4D, Elser-Sloane quasicrystal. We call this new, 3D quasicrystal the “compound quasicrystal.” Why is the compound quasicrystal important? It is important because of its relationship to the QSN.

The QSN is the densest possible 3D network of point-sharing Fibonacci chains and is the most computationally efficient point space in 3D. It is created by taking the FCC lattice (a point space that provides the densest packing of 3D spheres) and then spreading its points until they are spaced according to the Fibonacci sequence. We then take this new lattice of Fibonacci spaced points, clone it five times and rotate the five clones from one another by 15.522 degrees to create the QSN.

As it turns out, the compound quasicrystal is an exact subspace of the QSN: the QSN contains all legal configurations of the Elser-Sloane, E8-to-4D quasicrystal.

The QSN therefore is deeply related to the E8 lattice and its 4D projection.



a more fun video of the QSN

extra videos

first " clean" print

live print of the very first try!

lights and sounds af a MICRO QSN

This Was Awesome! Showing Angus & Joel the QSN in Person!

25MM QSN With .4mm Nozle & Quick Look At My Hotend / Extruder ( In 4K)

2017 Bridges Conference Short Film Festival Entry Video - Hypothetical Substructure of Spacetime

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I did one more print - pretty good result with the little 25% size at .1 mm resolution using clear resin. Very sweet little geometric figure! This was after trying a 14% size ( ! ) with engineering resin at .05 mm. I couldn't even get it to adhere to the build platform. Pics & details: https://www.thingiverse.com/make:340046

QSN - 3D Printer Torture Test Art (Quasicrystalline Spin Network)

Wow...this is really nice! Can I share this on the QGR facebook page? Some people don't like to...so don't worry if not;)

Thanks! Sure - feel free to share : )

Ok, so we seperated the surfaces, and added custom supports. The only problem we are having is that its adding supports everywhere when we slice it.We think thats its due to the custom supports only being applied to a few of the surfaces (the ones its making contact with) and its generating automatic support for all the rest. Any suggestions?

can you add a screen shot of your "support" tab? that will help me see any differences.

also, how long did it take to separate the parts on your computer? and do you know the processes and ram? I'm just wondering so i know what the limit's are.

Thanks ~Russ

We are using a Mac to slice it. 27" iMac Late 2009. Core 2 Duo 3.5Ghz, 8GB ram. It took approximately 1hs 30 min to separate. We didn't monitor RAM and CPU consumption, but we will do it next time.


interesting that's quite fast. cool. i wonder if you scale it up or down if it changes the time. it should not for that step. but will for slicing...

ok, thanks!

on my supports is have:

dense support layers set to 0


max over hang angle at 89

everything else is the same.
also i think when you generate the support, use the custom and insert those using the same settings so, 89 degrees.

I think if you have custom support, the automatic support will not be generated.

let me know if those settings make a difference.

Thanks ~Russ

Hey Russ - I may be outside the rules here doing SLA but I did one of the 50% size on the Form 1+. Main problem was getting supports off. Whew! Photos & details on "I Made One" post.

even SLA has its challenges as we see :) now how small can you make it! lol nice work! I'm surprised how much you can see the layers. I'd be interested in much finer layers, and in that other blue resin you have? ~Russ

I just posted pics & info of 2nd print.

Yes, next I'll try a really tiny one - at finer resolution.

OK, so we tried slicing the file with simplify but its showing a lot of errors.

Take a look at the picture in the far right. Every time a "branch" branches out, it has several layers missing. This happens all over the model :/

We downloaded the first file and we are printing at 56% scale.


We are gonna try sticks and balls now :)

yes, so here is the trick... and this is not a fun one. Because the model is stick and balls. you have to do the flowing:

you have to break the model down first. see this photo


you see on the left there, each part is isolated. to do this open the model, select from the Mesh drop down, " separate connected surfaces"

Then wait. and wait, and wait... and wait. it took a LONG time for me. Many hrs on my best laptop. eventually it will work. if you have enough ram... ( I use 16Gb but i think 8GB is enough, if you close all other programs, you might restart your computer as well before you start ) ( even tho it might say"(not responding)" it will chug away)

at that point it will combine those parts in a solid model. this is why i said not only is it a stress test for your 3D printer, but also for your computer!
after that make sure you have the settings in your FFF process: under the tab "Advanced" then the section " slicing behavior" check the box "merge all outlines in to a single model "
and check " Heal"

This is the only way i got it to work.

The only other thing you can do is try the Solid model.
its a big file. but it should work. its a full scale so just resale it to what you want.

The reason i dont like the solid model is that the edges that over hand are not " flat" but rather jagged, and that can make it hard to get those edges to show up on one later. so it bridges correctly.

let me know! Thanks!!

if a lot of people are having trouble, just respond to this comment and i can upload the Factory file that already has everything in parts. but even that dose not load correctly for me some times. so i did not upload it. its better for you to try to use the " separate connected surfaces" first.


Hey there,

Could you please upload your FFF file? I have been working on this for a friends birthday for days now and can't get any progress.

hi, were you able to break the model in to its parts? if not you need the factory file do do so.

the FFF file only has the settings, of witch will be different for your printer.

let me know!


Is your printer direct drive? Thats important for retraction settings!

here is a short video of my setup. First part is just printing, Then i give the over view @ 1:10. no commentary.


no, it has a 5-6" section of PTFE Tube. however its has no "slop" so its closer to a direct drive. Its a " flying " extruder. on a 5 year old Rostock Delta, with a bunch of custom parts. i even have a home made Hobbed gear.

your 100% right about the direct drive, Thanks for pointing it out!

I'm sure what worked for me will not work the same for everyone. so I'm very interested in others results!