Mathematically Ideal Non-Transitive 3D Printed Pine Cone(s) is the idea for the new year gift, problem: abysmal maths and python knowledge. There are a lot of 'that script can do (a lot of complex maths things) and by this you can do (a lot of another strange words)', but it doesn't look too helpful. Create it manually petal by petal isn't so efficient way i assume. Please, step-by-step instructions of the process (if it include math - please explain how it works) if possible, thanks.


1 Answer 1


You can model a pine cone-like shape using icospheres and vertex bevelling.

  1. Add an icosphere (Add > Mesh > Icosphere). In Edit Mode, select the topmost vertex, turn on Proportional Editing (O), and translate up (G > Z). Use the Mouse wheel to increase the size of the proportional editing influence area as needed, until you get an egg-like shape. enter image description here
  2. Select all vertices (A), then bevel the vertices into hexagonal faces using the shortcut CtrlShiftB. Try to scale the faces until they are as large as possible without overlapping each other. enter image description here
  3. Select all faces except the few on the bottom, then extrude the faces individually (Tools Shelf > Mesh Tools > Add > Extrude Individual). enter image description here
  4. With the extruded faces still selected, change the pivot to Individual Origins (through the menu at the bottom of the 3D viewport screen). enter image description here
  5. Scale the selected faces down in the Z axis to flatten them a bit (S > Z). enter image description here
  6. Change the pivot point back to Median Point. enter image description here
  7. Turn off proportional editing (O) and move the selected faces up a bit (S > Z). enter image description here
  8. Add a Subsurf modifier with at least 2 subdivision levels (Properties Window > Modifiers > Add Modifier > Subdivision Surface), and change the shading to smooth (Tools Shelf > Edit > Shading > Smooth). enter image description here

If you want a slightly more twisted version, experiment with adding a Simple Deform Modifier in one of the steps along the way: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ It's amazing, thanks! So there is a way to do it without sophisticated maths) adding an icosphere with right amount of faces can give us right fibonacci spirals at the base of the pine cone? $\endgroup$ Nov 12, 2015 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ This structure probably does not provide an accurate representation of a pine cone with precise Fibonacci spirals arrangement. If you really want an accurate representation, you should probably start from one spiral, then duplicate it in a circular manner and connect the edges to form faces. $\endgroup$
    – TLousky
    Nov 14, 2015 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ yes, it should be mathematically accurate, precise and flawless, not accurate representation of the pine cone) math is the basic subject here, i can create pine cone manually, but it will lack preciseness of ideal math, it should contain right amount of scales at the right angle, that's why i am trying to find as far 'anti-manual' way as possible. by the way, how can i put numbers on all of these scales in carved-out style? $\endgroup$ Nov 15, 2015 at 21:08

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