3D Fractal Generator

This is an extension of my wireframe applet. It generates 3D fractals by superimposing polyhedra upon themselves recursively. You get to pick the polyhedron, the level of recursion, and the spaces between the individual polyhedrons. You can set the fractal spinning by dragging on it with your mouse and releasing. If you have 3D glasses, you can use those, too.

Get a damn java enabled browser, would you?

gently drag and release to start the model spinning

* * *

unit shape :
levels :
separation :
3D glasses :
* * *
(PLEASE increase levels gradually - see below.)
Hint - spinning cubes look way cool with lots of separation.

Use CAUTION when selecting how many levels of recursion you want. A recursive tetrahedron with 5 levels contains 1,536 lines, and 6 levels has 6,144 lines. A cube with only 4 levels also has 6,144 lines (if your browser can survive it, either of these looks wild spinning slowly (with tons of space for the cube, optional for the tetrahedron)). But BE CAREFUL! A cube with 6 levels has 786,432 lines. Your computer would not stop thinking about it for a long, long time. All numbers are double if you are using the 3D glasses option, by the way.

In my computer, netscape3+4 or appletviewer can draw about 2,000 lines per second when running this applet. IExplorer3 can draw about 5,000 lines per second.

If you are a programmer interested in how such fractals can be generated, here is the source code. Note that the model generated here is to be scaled, rotated, given perspective, shaded, stereoscoped, centered, sorted, and rendered elsewhere in the program.

When the unit shape is a tetrahedron, this fractal is known as Sierpinsky's Tetrahedron.

Thanks to Renaud for getting this meta-model stuck in my head like some sappy commercial jingle.

S t e r e o s c o p i c ViewMaster T r i b u t e !

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Updated November 24, 1997