Our Radiolaria and Cell Cycle systems explore ways to create and customize cellular structures for digital fabrication. We were inspired by the logic, aesthetics and structural efficiency of the microscopic structures built by radiolaria. We have created a number of software tools based on simulating the behavior of spring meshes to create complex cellular objects.
Our system is built around the idea of using a physics simulation of particles connected by springs to build cellular structures in a responsive, playful and engaging manner. Particles have mass, speed, and a position. They can be acted upon by forces like gravity and constraints like springs. We simulate the dynamics of this system and update the positions of the particles over time.
The starting condition is a network of hexagons. Every node in the network is represented as a particle and every line is a spring that is in tension; these interconnected springs pull on one another, moving toward equilibrium. The network can be manipulated by applying forces (attractive, repulsive, or spiralling) that act on nearby particles. The topology of the network can be modified by subdividing or merging cells.