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Wave3D (Spiral) for AC3D


Download Windows version 1.0
Download Linux (RedHat/Fedora) version 1.0* courtesy of Eldon Brown
Download source code version 1.0

* NOTE: The RedHat version contains all source code as well as its own README.

This plugin was created by Eldon Brown using the source code for the Wave plugin. This plugin actually offers a super-set of the features from the Wave plugin, but the original Wave plugin remains available as a simpler utility.

Wave3D transforms the selected vertices using an axis-aligned waveform. Similar to the Wave plugin, but Amplitude is applied to two axes at once, and there is also a setting for amplitude decay. Using this plugin, creating spirals in AC3D is simple.

This plugin and code are freely distributable

AC3D versions prior to version 6have not been tested with this script.


Copy the wave3d.tcl and wave3d.p files to your AC3D plugins folder (for example, if using Windows, C:\Program Files\AC3D5\plugin) and (re)start AC3D.

You will find the "Wave3D..." menu item under the "Tools" menu.


Wave3D is based on the Wave AC3D plugin. Please refer to that plugin's page for the basics of creating Waves.

The interface options are similar to Wave's, but a couple of new features have been added.
Frequency axis Dictates the direction along which the wave will be applied ("length").
Frequency The number of times a wave will be repeated.
Frequency expressed in units

If checked, "Frequency" will be the number of waveforms that span a single AC3D unit.
If unchecked, "Frequency" will be the number of waveforms that span the current selection.

Amplitude axis 1 Dictates the direction in which the wave's "height" will be applied. Select "N" to disable wavforms along this axis.
Amplitude axis 2 Dictates the direction in which the wave's "depth" will be applied. Select "N" to disable wavforms along this axis.
Amplitude The maximum height of a wave in AC3D units.
Offset % The percentage to "offset" the waveform. Setting the percentage to 50% will cause the waveform's peaks/valleys to alternate.
Decay % Percentage that the waveform will decay ("lose height") over the length of the selection.
Additive If unchecked, the selected vertices will change to conform to the shape of a wave. If checked, the wave amount will be added to the existing vertices.
Apply wave with random offset Applies the settings to the selected vertices, but ignores the "Offset %" setting and instead starts the waveform's shape at a random point. This random offset is changed for each object in the selection.
Apply wave Applies the settings to the selected vertices.

Frequency, amplitude, and offset


Example : Creating a spiral spring

We'll create this spring in this example.

First, create a horizontal line with only two points in the Front (XY) view. Make the line four units wide.

Next, with the line selected, press Ctrl+Shift+I (or in the menu use "Vertex->Insert Vertex") a total of six times. You should have a line like the one below.

Select the "Wave3D..." menu item under the "Tools" menu. This brings up the Wave interface. Set the following options:

Frequency axis = X
Frequency = 4.0
Frequency expressed in units = unchecked

Amplitude axis 1 = Y
Amplitude = 1.0
Decay % = 50.0
Offset % = 0.0

Amplitude axis 2 = Z
Amplitude = 1.0
Decay % = 50.0
Offset % = 0.0

Additive = checked

Clicking Apply wave at this point should give you the following shape.

Create an Ellipse in any view. You will get a circular outline from this. I set my ellipse to have only 6 sides (we will be subdividing the shape to smooth it out). In the "Size to" dialog, set the size of the ellipse to 0.1x 0.1y 0.1z and click the Size To button.

With the ellipse still selected, Shift+click the spiral we just made, then perform an Object -> Extrude along path.


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All content Copyright © 2006 Dennis Hawthorne, except where explicitly noted
supercoldmilk © 2006 Dennis Hawthorne