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Fractal using Spirograph in Python

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Spirograph toy that is used to produce complex patterns using plastic cogs and colored pens. A fractal is a curve, that is developed using a recurring pattern that repeats itself infinitely on a low scale. Fractals are used for modeling structures (such as snowflakes) or for describing partly chaotic phenomena.
Spirograph can be used to draw various fractals. Some of them are given below

You can visit for more fractals design with their parametric equation. Some of them are given below

Mathematics behind the curtain

These are the two parametric equation to form a spirograph fractals, to understand these equations you have to consider a generalized figure of spirograph.


For the mathematics part you can refer to Wiki although i’ll try to explain a little of that mathematics in a short here. If we are interested behind the maths then you can check out the referred links. So as of now, these various curve can be drawn by using a parametric equation and varying some values of that equation we can get different fractals. So here’s the parametric equation:

  x(t) = R[(1-k)cost + lkcos(((1-k)/k)t)],  y(t) = R[(1-k)sint - lksin(((1-k)/k)t).


   k = r/R

R is a scaling parameter and does not affect the structure of the Spirograph.


   l = p/r

So, now let’s try to implement this in code.

#importing the required libraries
import random, argparse
import math
import turtle
from PIL import Image
from datetime import datetime    
from fractions import gcd
# A class that draws a spirograph
class Spiro:
    # constructor
    def __init__(self, xc, yc, col, R, r, l):
        # create own turtle
        self.t = turtle.Turtle()
        # set cursor shape
        # set step in degrees
        self.step = 5
        # set drawing complete flag
        self.drawingComplete = False
        # set parameters
        self.setparams(xc, yc, col, R, r, l)
        # initiatize drawing
    # set parameters
    def setparams(self, xc, yc, col, R, r, l):
        # spirograph parameters
        self.xc = xc
        self.yc = yc
        self.R = int(R)
        self.r = int(r)
        self.l = l
        self.col = col
        # reduce r/R to smallest form by dividing with GCD
        gcdVal = gcd(self.r, self.R)
        self.nRot = self.r//gcdVal
        # get ratio of radii
        self.k = r/float(R)
        # set color
        # current angle
        self.a = 0
    # restart drawing
    def restart(self):
        # set flag
        self.drawingComplete = False
        # show turtle
        # go to first point
        R, k, l = self.R, self.k, self.l
        a = 0.0
        x = R*((1-k)*math.cos(a) + l*k*math.cos((1-k)*a/k))
        y = R*((1-k)*math.sin(a) - l*k*math.sin((1-k)*a/k))
        self.t.setpos(self.xc + x, self.yc + y)
    # draw the whole thing
    def draw(self):
        # draw rest of points
        R, k, l = self.R, self.k, self.l
        for i in range(0, 360*self.nRot + 1, self.step):
            a = math.radians(i)
            x = R*((1-k)*math.cos(a) + l*k*math.cos((1-k)*a/k))
            y = R*((1-k)*math.sin(a) - l*k*math.sin((1-k)*a/k))
            self.t.setpos(self.xc + x, self.yc + y)
        # done - hide turtle
    # update by one step
    def update(self):
        # skip if done
        if self.drawingComplete:
        # increment angle
        self.a += self.step
        # draw step
        R, k, l = self.R, self.k, self.l
        # set angle
        a = math.radians(self.a)
        x = self.R*((1-k)*math.cos(a) + l*k*math.cos((1-k)*a/k))
        y = self.R*((1-k)*math.sin(a) - l*k*math.sin((1-k)*a/k))
        self.t.setpos(self.xc + x, self.yc + y)
        # check if drawing is complete and set flag
        if self.a >= 360*self.nRot:
            self.drawingComplete = True
            # done - hide turtle
    # clear everything
    def clear(self):
# A class for animating spirographs
class SpiroAnimator:
    # constructor
    def __init__(self, N):
        # timer value in milliseconds
        self.deltaT = 10
        # get window dimensions
        self.width = turtle.window_width()
        self.height = turtle.window_height()
        # create spiro objects
        self.spiros = []
        for i in range(N):
            # generate random parameters
            rparams = self.genRandomParams()
            # set spiro params
            spiro = Spiro(*rparams)
        # call timer
        turtle.ontimer(self.update, self.deltaT)
    # restart sprio drawing
    def restart(self):
        for spiro in self.spiros:
            # clear
            # generate random parameters
            rparams = self.genRandomParams()
            # set spiro params
            # restart drawing
    # generate random parameters
    def genRandomParams(self):
        width, height = self.width, self.height
        R = random.randint(50, min(width, height)//2)
        r = random.randint(10, 9*R//10)
        l = random.uniform(0.1, 0.9)
        xc = random.randint(-width//2, width//2)
        yc = random.randint(-height//2, height//2)
        col = (random.random(),
        return (xc, yc, col, R, r, l)
    def update(self):
        # update all spiros
        nComplete = 0
        for spiro in self.spiros:
            # update
            # count completed ones
            if spiro.drawingComplete:
                nComplete+= 1
        # if all spiros are complete, restart
        if nComplete == len(self.spiros):
        # call timer
        turtle.ontimer(self.update, self.deltaT)
    # toggle turtle on/off
    def toggleTurtles(self):
        for spiro in self.spiros:
            if spiro.t.isvisible():
# save spiros to image
def saveDrawing():
    # hide turtle
    # generate unique file name
    dateStr = ("%d%b%Y-%H%M%S")
    fileName = 'spiro-' + dateStr 
    print('saving drawing to %s.eps/png' % fileName)
    # get tkinter canvas
    canvas = turtle.getcanvas()
    # save postscipt image
    canvas.postscript(file = fileName + '.eps')
    # use PIL to convert to PNG
    img = + '.eps') + '.png', 'png')
    # show turtle
# main() function
def main():
    # use sys.argv if needed
    print('generating spirograph...')
    # create parser
    descStr = """This program draws spirographs using the Turtle module. 
    When run with no arguments, this program draws random spirographs.
    R: radius of outer circle.
    r: radius of inner circle.
    l: ratio of hole distance to r.
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description=descStr)
    # add expected arguments
    parser.add_argument('--sparams', nargs=3, dest='sparams', required=False
                        help="The three arguments in sparams: R, r, l.")
    # parse args
    args = parser.parse_args()
    # set to 80% screen width
    # set cursor shape
    # set title
    # add key handler for saving images
    turtle.onkey(saveDrawing, "s")
    # start listening 
    # hide main turtle cursor
    # checks args and draw
    if args.sparams:
        params = [float(x) for x in args.sparams]
        # draw spirograph with given parameters
        # black by default
        col = (0.0, 0.0, 0.0)
        spiro = Spiro(0, 0, col, *params)
        # create animator object
        spiroAnim = SpiroAnimator(4)
        # add key handler to toggle turtle cursor
        turtle.onkey(spiroAnim.toggleTurtles, "t")
        # add key handler to restart animation
        turtle.onkey(spiroAnim.restart, "space")
    # start turtle main loop
# call main
if __name__ == '__main__':


The above program draws 4 different kinds of spirograph fractals, try to generate other fractals and then upload your github links in the comment. I’ll be happy to help you out if any error comes up.

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Last Updated : 29 Sep, 2022
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