Easter Egg Maker 2016

Now you can customize your own 3D printed Easter Eggs using OpenSCAD or Thingiverse Customizer. This year’s script is shaping up. Check back for the latest information and a walkthrough of the code.


How it Works – The Egg comes First

Obviously, to start we’ll need an egg. That is, we’ll need a 3D model of an egg. There are no eggs in OpenSCAD, so we’ll have to make one ourselves from scratch. To do that we’ll need an equation to draw a curve that looks like the outline of an egg. I hunted around found an obscure lecture by a Japanese professor (http://www16.ocn.ne.jp/~akiko-y/Egg) where he presented an equation producing a curve closely matching that of an actual egg. What’s more, you could adjust the amount of ‘egg-ness’ by adjusting a coefficient. Setting the coefficient to zero reduces the equations to that for a sphere. Setting it to 0.5 is more like a goose egg, and 0.7 is almost a perfect hen egg shape. A value like 100 makes a blimp. So that is a great starting point.

To make the egg, you rotate this curve about the Z axis. I refactored and normalized the equation so it would produce a shape with the long axis 1 unit long. That way you could make an egg of any specific length by merely setting the scaling to that amount.

Wave Equations

Now that we have an egg, we’ll need a way to cut it. We’ll use waves. Waves are inherently beautiful in simplicity and symmetry. They are perfect for constructing decorative cutters using a repeated pattern such as in this application. The cutters could be linear and move in a straight line or radial and cut around in a circle.

The first wave we’ll use is a sine wave. (to be continued)…

Code Walkthrough (not complete)

Here I’ll give a play-by-play account of how the Egg-O-Matic script works. The first thing to note is that you don’t need to know exactly how it all works. In fact that’s the point. You should be able to take a quick look at this and start using it without really caring how it works down deep. The design is layered and abstracted so you only need to look at the surface to start making your own changes to get the script to do exactly what you need. I’ll go into that more at the end. But for now, lets start looking at the various sections of code and what they each do.


In case you don’t know, the lines that start with // are comments that are only there for measly humans to read, so don’t really do anything in OpenSCAD. Information for customizer, such as the range for a drop down box or a prompt, also goes inside of comments. Anything between /* and */ is also a comment, usually a multi-line comment.

//Easter Egg Maker 2016 from Richard Swika'
 //Rev: - centered abssin function for more even pieces
 //Rev: - first version
 //2014-2016 Richard Swika - Creative Commons - Attribution - Non-Commercial license.

EggOMatic Tab Page

This next section defines the ‘EggOMatic’ tab for customizer and declares all of the input parameters that appear on that page in customizer. You can edit these yourself and run off-line in OpenSCAD without even using customizer.

/* [EggOMatic] */
//use 1 for draft; turn up to 5 for best quality but slower regenerate
Quality=1; //[1:5]
//number of pieces cut across long axis of egg
AxleSliceCount=2; //[1:10]
//type of wave used for cutter (does not apply for flat cutter)
Shape="sin"; //[sin,abssin,tri,saw,square]
//type of cutter used on long axis of egg
Cutter="radial"; //[flat,linear,radial]
//Number of cycles for cutter wave
Cycles=3; //[1:16]
//Relative amplitude of cutter wave (normally keep this at 1 or 2, depending on slice count)
Amp=2; //[0:9]
//number of rotary slices (normally keep this at 2; use caution with values greater than 2)
RotarySliceCount=2; //[2:12]
/* [Size and Shape] */
//Length of the egg (mm)?.
egg_length=60; //[30:200]
//What shape egg? (use 7 for a hen egg; 0 for a sphere; 100 for a blimp)
egg_shape=7; //[0:100]
/* [Hidden] */
// preview[view:top, tilt:top]
space=2; //2 mm between parts on build plate
//set true to turn off the demo egg so you can use the modules instead
moduleMode=false; //[false,true];
//when false the egg will have quads where possible instead of all trigons
//this can lead to problems with non-plannar surfaces when using csg
//so only use it true if when not using a base
allTrigon=true; //[false,true]
function ud(ui) = ui*360/ucount;
function vd(vi) = vi*180/vcount;
//egg equation adapted from http://www16.ocn.ne.jp/~akiko-y/Egg
//(y^2 + z^2)^2=4z^3 + (4-4c)zy^2
// c=0.7 produces an almost perfect hen egg outline+
// c=0 produces a perfect sphere
// c>1 produces an elongated egg shape
//z ranges from 0 to 1
function egg_outline(c,z)= z >=1 ? 0 : (sqrt(4-4*c-8*z+sqrt(64*c*z+pow(4-4*c,2)))*sqrt(4*z)/sqrt(2))/4;
//map the egg's surface from uv to xyz with these functions
//function x(ui,r) = r * sin(ui*360/(ucount-1));
function x(ui,r) = r * sin(ud(ui));
function y(ui,r) = r * cos(ud(ui));
function z(vi,r) = r * cos(vd(vi)); 
function n(vi,r) = r * sin(vd(vi)); 
function zi(vi) = (1+cos(vd(vi)))/2; 
center = 0.5; //set to 1 to center at small end; 0 to center on fat end
//to avoid degenerate geometry at the poles we can not use quads 
//so we will generate phantom points as if we were using quads, but use tris instead 
//just to simplify indexing, but will only link faces to a single point at each pole
//but we will use the phantom points to calculate average displacement at each pole
//lets make an egg
points = [ for (vi=[0:vcount]) 
 for (ui = [0 : ucount-1]) 
 let (r=egg_outline(egg_shape/10,1-zi(vi))) 
 [x(ui,r), y(ui,r),(zi(vi))-center]];
faces = (allTrigon) 
 ? [ for (vi=[0:vcount-1]) for (ui = [0:ucount-1]) for (p=[0:1])
 (vi==0)&&(p==0) ? [vi*ucount,ui+(vi+1)*ucount,(ui+1) % ucount+(vi+1)*ucount]
 : (vi==vcount-1)&&(p==0) ? [(ui+1) % ucount+vi*ucount,ui+vi*ucount,(vi+1)*ucount]
 : (p==0) ? [(ui+1) % ucount+vi*ucount,ui+vi*ucount,ui+(vi+1)*ucount]
 :[(ui+1) % ucount+vi*ucount,ui+(vi+1)*ucount,(ui+1)%ucount+(vi+1)*ucount]] 
: [ for (vi=[0:vcount-1]) for (ui = [0:ucount-1]) 
 (vi==0) ? [vi*ucount,ui+(vi+1)*ucount,(ui+1) % ucount+(vi+1)*ucount]
 : (vi==vcount-1) ? [(ui+1) % ucount+vi*ucount,ui+vi*ucount,(vi+1)*ucount]
 : [(ui+1) % ucount+vi*ucount,ui+vi*ucount,ui+(vi+1)*ucount,(ui+1)%ucount+(vi+1)*ucount]] ;
//an adjustable Egg
module Egg(egg_length=egg_length,egg_shape=egg_shape){
 scale (egg_length) rotate([0,0,-90]) polyhedron(points=points,faces=faces);
//2016 "Egg-O-Matic" Code follows
function frac(x)=x-floor(x);
//All "fancy" cuts are done with these wave functions
function wave(kind,x) = kind=="sin" ? sin(x*180) : 
 kind=="abssin" ? 2*abs(sin(x*180))-1:
 kind=="square" ? (frac(x)<0.5?1:-1): 
 kind=="saw" ? (2*frac(x)-1): 
 kind=="tri" ? (frac(x)<0.5?-1+frac(x)*4 : 3-frac(x)*4) : x-floor(x);
//Declare a blade to make fancy linear cuts
module linearCutter(Shape="tri",Cycles=1,Amp=1,Samples=100){
 bottom=[for (x=[-1.05:1/Samples:1.05]) [x,1+(Amp+Amp*wave(Shape,x*Cycles))/10]];
 top = [[1.05,-1],[-1.05,-1]];
 linear_extrude(height = 2)
//Declare a blade to make fancy radial cuts
module radialCutter(Shape="abssin",Cycles=3,Amp=1,Samples=160){
 lowerpoints = concat([[0,0,-1-Amp/10]],
 [ for (i=[0:1/Samples:1-1/Samples+tiny])[sin(i*360),
 upperpoints = concat([[0,0,1]],
 [ for (i=[0:1/Samples:1-1/Samples+tiny])[sin(i*360),cos(i*360),1]]);
 cutterpoints = concat(lowerpoints,upperpoints);
 //echo (cutterpoints);
 lowerfaces = [ for (i=[1:Samples]) [0,i==Samples ? 1 : i+1,i]]; //normals reversed
 upperfaces = [ for (i=[Samples+2:2*Samples+1]) [Samples+1,i,i==Samples*2+1 ? Samples+2 : i+1]];
 endfacesquad= [for (i=[1:Samples-1]) [i,i+1,i+Samples+2,i+Samples+1]];
 cutterfaces = concat(lowerfaces,upperfaces,endfacesquad,[[Samples,1,Samples+2,Samples*2+1]]); 
//allow the various cutters to be selected 
module multiCutter(Cutter="flat",Shape="sin",Cycles=3,Amp=1,Samples=160){
 if (Cutter=="radial")
 else if (Cutter=="linear")
 else //Flat cutter uses a cube
module subSlice(z,deltaZ,n) //part, cutter
 //slice off a section
 children(0); //Part
 children(1); //Cutter
 //continue slicing up the remainder 
 if (n>1) {
 subSlice(z+deltaZ,deltaZ,n-1) {
 intersection(){//Part advanced one step (section above removed)
 children(0); //Part
 children(1); //Cutter 
 translate([0,0,deltaZ]) children(1); //Advanced cutter one step
//declare an operator to recursively slice a part into N sections
//it operates on two children, the part to be sliced and the cutter
//the part and cutter must be at the origin
//the cutter must be positioned surrounding the part with the cutting edge on
//the negative Z axis not touching the part
//Scale is 1 for a bounding box of radius 1
module sliceOmatic(N=1,Scale=1,Amp=1) //part cutter
 deltaZ= (Cutter=="flat") ? Scale*2/N : Scale*(2+Amp/5)/N;
 subSlice(0,deltaZ,N) {
 children(0); //Part(s)
 translate([0,0,deltaZ]) children(1); //Advance cutter one step
//rotary-slice a section from the part from A0 to A1 and align it for printing
module rotarySlice(A0=90,A1=120,Scale=1) //part
 difference() {
 rotate([0,0,A0]) translate([0,Scale,0]) cube(2*Scale,center=true);
 rotate([0,0,A1]) translate([0,Scale,0]) cube(2*Scale,center=true);
//slice the part into N sections by rotating a straight cutter about the Z axis
module rotarySlicer(N=2,Scale=1) //part
 //figure out where to place the first section and the spacing between them
 spacefactor = N==2 ? 2 : 1.5; //pack sections without overlapping
 spaceoffset = -spacedelta*((N/2)-1/2);
 if (N<2) children();
 else {
 for (n=[0:N-1]) {
 translate([spaceoffset+spacedelta*n ,0,0]) rotarySlice(n*delta,(n+1)*delta,Scale) children();
//this generates the main object
if (!moduleMode) {
 rotate([90,0,0]) //flat on build plate
// translate([egg_length/2,0,0])
 scale(egg_length/2) multiCutter(Cutter,Shape,Cycles,Amp,Samples);


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