Thursday, October 3, 2013


Just a quick one inspired by Tim Waldock's session at RTC Auckland. Actually I just took one of the ideas from the first part of his presentation and went off at a tangent.
I think it;s fairly obvious that infinite regression is not going to work in Revit.  But you can nest a family inside itself several times with interesting results.  

I started with a simple 2D circle with a radius parameter.  Duplicated this so you have Circle 1 & Circle 2.  Nest C1 into C2, reduce the radius and place 2 of them like ears on the circumference.

Repeat in reverse.  Now you have ears with ears on them.  You can also set up a parameter to control the relative size of the nested components.  That's all the hard work done.  After that just keep nesting the families back inside each other.

For my next trick I turned the circles into spheres.  I'm sure there is some kind of marine animal that looks like this.

Version 3 was based on cylinders which allowed me to introduce a height offset and some variation in proportions. 

It's looking a bit like an abstracted cactus now.

Building on the botanical resemblance my fourth generation fractal was based on a sweep with an L shaped path.  This time I could extend outwards 3 branches at a time and rest 4 copies of the fractal beast on a cylindrical base. 

What would I use this for ?  I really don't know, it's just a game at present. 

So far it's all been very orthogonal.  I was intrigued to see if I could build in a nested change of angle.  It wasn't very hard.  Again just a matter of setting up a relationship between two elements and then nesting them back inside of each other. 

That's as far as I got.  Just a little exercise to file away for a rainy day. 


  1. Andy,

    Nice to see some new ideas of family. Halloween is around the corner. Looks like you are getting ready aleady for the buildz pumpkin contest. Just curious, the examples you are showing are generic family or massing!?

  2. Good work Andy. Stephen Elliott done a dynamo package for fractal which is also very interesting.

  3. Hi Andy,
    Good to see that my RTC presentation inspired some more "Fractal Fun". I also presented an updated version of my talk at RTC in Europe a couple of weeks ago. Tim Waldock


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