cell cycle webgl app by nervous system cell cycle webgl app by nervous system
mar 12, 2012

cell cycle webgl app by nervous system

screenshot of the app being used

cell cycle is a webgl design app for creating 3D-printable cellular models. you can shape, twist, and subdivide, transforming a simple mesh to a complex patterned structure. it’s a playful, dynamic physical.

cell cycle can be used to make jewelry, lamp shades, sculptures… whatever you want, entirely in the browser. the models you create can be saved, shared, and loaded for later editing. they can also be ordered in four 3D-printed materials: white nylon, black nylon, red nylon and sterling silver.

cell cycle was originally conceived of in 2009 by nervous system and used to design their first 3D-printed jewelry collection. the system was inspired by the microscopic shells of radiolarians. the design tool creates complex forms through simulations of the physical forces in a cellular network. a java applet version was released in 2009 allowing web visitors to create their own designs. however, this new version cell cycle is significantly more powerful and user friendly. it runs directly in the browser, no installations necessary. several pieces from the original cell cycle collection are currently sold at the museum of modern art store, now you have the chance to create your own.

we recommend viewing the site with the chrome browser. the website was built using processingjs and webgl.

screenshot of the app being used

screenshot of the app being used

example of custom wedding rings created with cell cycle

a finished 3d-printed design in white nylon


a finished design in sterling silver cast from a 3D-printed wax

a finished 3D-printed design in black nylon


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’  feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here

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