Saturday, 19 December 2009

"Snowflake" Fractal

Hexagonal 'Corner-Cluster fractal snowflake, Eric Baird 2009
If you want something that looks more like a snowflake than the previous hexagonal carpet, you could always use the "Koch Snowflake" fractal, which is gotten by repeatedly adding triangles to the sides of other triangles.
Koch Snowflake FractalBut every single general text on fractals seems to include the Koch. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a fairly pleasant shape, but after the nth "fractals" text slavishly copying out exactly the same fractal set-pieces, you start to think ... guys, could we have a little bit of variation pleeeeaaase?

So here's a different snowflake. This one's built from hexagons. Each hexagonal corner forms a nucleation site that attracts a cluster of three smaller hexagons, and their free corners in turn attract clusters of three smaller ... you get the idea. The sample image has been drawn with about six thousand hexagons.

The resulting "snowflake" outline is really very similar to the Koch, but the internal structure's a bit more spicy. A suitable design for Christmas cards for mathematicians, perhaps.

No comments: