I'm trying to create a spiral array but It always becomes a circle. i.e. I want to place Domino tiles on a path that looks like this Top view:

          ,adP"""'          `""Yb,_
       ,adP'                     `"Yb,
     ,dP'     ,aadPP"""""YYba,_     `"Y,
    ,P'    ,aP"'            `""Ya,     "Y,
   ,P'    aP'     _________     `"Ya    `Yb,
  ,P'    d"    ,adP""""""""Yba,    `Y,    "Y,
 ,d'   ,d'   ,dP"            `Yb,   `Y,    `Y,
 d'   ,d'   ,d'    ,dP""Yb,    `Y,   `Y,    `b
 8    d'    d'   ,d"      "b,   `Y,   `8,    Y,
 8    8     8    d'    _   `Y,   `8    `8    `b
 8    8     8    8     8    `8    8     8     8
 8    Y,    Y,   `b, ,aP     P    8    ,P     8
 I,   `Y,   `Ya    """"     d'   ,P    d"    ,P
 `Y,   `8,    `Ya         ,8"   ,P'   ,P'    d'
  `Y,   `Ya,    `Ya,,__,,d"'   ,P'   ,P"    ,P
   `Y,    `Ya,     `""""'     ,P'   ,d"    ,P'
    `Yb,    `"Ya,_          ,d"    ,P'    ,P'
      `Yb,      ""YbaaaaaadP"     ,P'    ,P'   
        `Yba,                   ,d'    ,dP'    
           `"Yba,__       __,adP"     dP"

But it always becomes some kind of circle,

How can I set increments to the radius?

How can I place Domino tiles in a spiral manner?

Is there any fast way other than placing them one by one?

  • $\begingroup$ Related Suppose that's one way to show what your spiral looks like. $\endgroup$
    – batFINGER
    May 23, 2018 at 11:21
  • $\begingroup$ @batFINGER ASCII art FTW!!! $\endgroup$
    – yossico
    May 23, 2018 at 12:49

2 Answers 2


Unless, for some reason, you need your dominoes to be an array, one approach, as mentioned, is to start with an Archimedean spiral curve, and use dupliframes. A curve deform modifier will deform your dominoes.

  1. In User Preferences (CtrlAltU) > Add-ons, enable Add Curve: Extra Objects.

  2. Create and adjust an Archimedean spiral, as a NURBS curve.

  3. Arrange your domino so its origin is at the point you would like the lie on the curve, and, for convenience, so that its 'forward' face looks down global Y.

  4. In the curve's properties, 'Data' tab, check 'Path Animation' and inside that panel, 'Follow'.

  5. Select the domino, then the curve, setting the curve to be the domino's parent. (CtrlP)

  6. In the domino's Properties, 'Object' tab > 'Duplication', select 'Frames', setting 'Start' and 'End' to adjust the region of the spiral over which the domino is to be duplicated. Uncheck 'Speed'

The frequency of dominoes on the curve can be adjusted by the total number of frames in the curve's Path Animation.

Other tweaks available, as per manual.

enter image description here

To convert the duplicate dominoes into linked instances: select the dupli-domino, ShiftCtrlA .. (Make Duplicates Real).

To unlink the object data, and make independent meshes: select the instances, hit U .. (Make Single User). From the Toolbar, check the options 'Object' and 'Object Data'.

UPDATE for Blender 2.8:

Now 'DupliFrames' have gone, another approach is to create a carrier for your duplicate object, whose distortion you don't care about.

  • Create the spiral curve as before
  • Create a small plane, same origin, say, up in Z
  • Assign the plane an Array modifier, constant offset, count set to 'Fit Curve', targeted on the spiral.
  • Also give the plane a Curve modifier, targeted on the spiral, deformation direction Z.

(left, illustrated)

enter image description here

  • Now you can create a domino. Its Z will face down the plane's normal..
  • .. when you parent the domino to the plane, and in the plane's Properties > Object tab > Instancing panel, set 'Faces'.

If, for example, you wanted variations in transform, or a variety of objects on the spiral, you could use the modified plane as a Particle emitter, one per face, instead.

Edit: (response to comment from @Ron Jensen) To make the domino duplis into a real object, to use as a Boolean Cutter..

  • Arrayed Plane selected, CtrlA > 'Make Instances Real'

  • CtrlJ Join selected instances of the domino into a new object, and use as a cutter.

I haven't found a way of cutting with a collection instance, which would have been nice, to save data?

  • $\begingroup$ I'll check your method today, your attached image looks great - It's exactly what I wanted! If I understand you correctly your method will not deform the tiles right? $\endgroup$
    – yossico
    May 23, 2018 at 14:19
  • $\begingroup$ Great, I'll try it this in a couple of hours, regarding the ascii art: asciiarte.com/-Figuras-geometricas-.html and there is also this: patorjk.com/software/taag/… $\endgroup$
    – yossico
    May 23, 2018 at 14:36
  • $\begingroup$ how can Make them all separate objects? Clicking "U" and unlinking doesnt work... I want to animate this with physics...\ $\endgroup$
    – yossico
    May 24, 2018 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @yossico .. I've checked that for myself: it works as described in the manual .. and I've expanded my answer to include that step. $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    May 24, 2018 at 21:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RobinBetts, the OP asked (and I also needed to know) how to make the instances separate objects. The answer I found was (at least in 2.91) instances can be applied under the Objects->Apply->Make Instances Real. In my case I was trying to use an instanced object as a boolean cutter and it wasn't working. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Jensen
    Feb 11, 2021 at 22:02

Create a Bezier Circle, make it non cyclic in the curve settings then in Edit mode add and move points to make a nice (but not mathematically perfect) spiral.

Then add a Curve Modifier under the domino Array Modifier and set the Object to the Bezier circle. Set the Array length and the dominos appear in a spiral.

One caveat to note is that where the spiral is particularly tight the dominos are ever so slightly deformed by the curve. The outer edge was stretched and the inner edge shrunk. But this should not be very noticeable.

  • $\begingroup$ as @batFINGER noted in his comment you can create a mathematically correct spiral using the built in AddCurve:Extra Objects add-on and use that as the curve object. $\endgroup$
    – rob
    May 23, 2018 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ With the addition of Geometry Nodes, (2.9.x or 3.0) this could have a simpler (or at least different) solution. Very simply: Add an archimedean curve spiral, add a point instance node, add a cube (Object) and you've got a spiral with the cube. That's as far as I got. The next thing to do is to resize the cube to Domino dimensions and rotate it accordingly. There are some examples available. There's also a "Spiral" node. Worth a look? $\endgroup$
    – unkerjay
    Sep 15, 2021 at 15:05
  • $\begingroup$ This provides an answer for the scaling and rotation problem: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/233392/… $\endgroup$
    – unkerjay
    Sep 15, 2021 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ This too: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/68514/… Using the Transform node. But, the object is to have the "Dominoes" rotate along with the spiral as shown in the example above. And that I think requires more "math" to the solution. Not sure how "Parent" would work using Geometry nodes. $\endgroup$
    – unkerjay
    Sep 16, 2021 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ Geometry nodes (3.0) has added "Geometry) to the Point Instance node, meaning it's now possible to add geometry (internal to Geometry nodes - "Cube" for example) rather than an external object. That could prove useful as well. More on that here: youtube.com/watch?v=pvxpbuJ_AfY $\endgroup$
    – unkerjay
    Sep 16, 2021 at 23:26

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