Minimal Surfaces

Hi All,

Sorry if this seems vague, but I am trying to achieve this form using minimal surfaces on Grasshopper, I am researching Radiolaria which is microscopic plankton and the cytoplasm interestingly works in the same way as soap and bubbles do. Following plateau’s laws and using a minimal surface. I have completed a variety of these tests physically and would like to analyse them digitally.

I think my issue is what the starting brep can be as I’ve started to play about with minimal surface scripts, any ideas of how to start this would be much appreciated, thanks

Try this:
soapbox.gh (29.0 KB)
soap5.rmtl (1.0 MB)


It uses the soapfilm goal, and a volume goal for the enclosed part, with a slider to inflate/deflate it. I also included a soap film render material I made a while back. You should be able to extend this general approach to other shapes.
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Really great stuff Daniel thank you very much, it is interesting how the beginning mesh is almost the final product, I was trying to imaging writing the script as if it were just the frame and applying a script that would cause the film to attach! But then remembered this is digital modeling after all! Thanks a million

Ah, like something where you could simulate lifting a wire frame out of liquid and have the topology form itself -that would be very nice, and certainly possible, but probably a fair bit harder to make.

I did play around with something like this in 2D a while back



in 3d it would probably require remeshing. Perhaps even already possible with the LiveSoap component coupled with SphereCollide.
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I will certainly have a look and a go! A fantastic video also to understand minimum surfaces!

Having thought about it some more, there’s not a way currently to combine the LiveSoap goal with line collisions, as you’d need access to the edges.
Really though instead of collisions, it would work better with something like the ‘zippering’ shown in this paper:

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