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Shape an object with Transformation modules

Updated: Apr 11, 2022

NOTE: this post was created with the old version of Slice-Up in mind. The new Slice-Up Beta features a new interface. However the information contained in this post are still useful and relevant to the new Slice-Up Beta.

Transformation modules are among the most powerful modules in Slice-Up, as they open-up a ton of creative possibilities.

In previous blog posts we explained how they works and how you can use them to create surface textures. In this tutorial I will demonstrate how you can use transformations in order to shape an object.


In order to demonstrate the concept, I first created a simple cylinder (height = 60mm, diameter = 50mm) using the vaseShaper module in Slice-Up.

Next, I created three different design variations of this cylinder, each one using a different transformation module: scalePath, rotatePath, translatePath.

NOTE: In the new Beta all transformations are condensed in a single module called Transform

The original cylinder in white, along with three different design variations originated with the transformation modules

Now let's see in details each one of the design variation.


In the first example we modify the cylinder shape by applying a rotation.

Since each layer of our cylinder is a circle by definition, a simple rotation will not affect the geometry. However, you can notice the effect of the rotation by observing the seam points.

Observing the seam points is always a great way to understand the effect of the transformations we apply. Here you can see the difference between a linear and parabolic (x^2) rotation.

In order to experience the rotation in our printed object, we need to offset the rotation center. The sample object has been created by offsetting a rotation which follows a cos(x) equation rule.

Offsetting the center of the rotation will affetct the geometry of the cylinder. Here the rotation follow a cos(x) equation.


The second example uses the scalePath component.

Scale transformations are a great way to obtain tapered or curved object.

You can taper or curve the profile of an object using the scaleTransformation module.

When applying scale transformations to a cylinder, it is not necessary to offset the rotation center. However, offsetting the rotation center can be a great way to break the symmetry.

the printed example is obtained by offsetting the rotation center, while applying a transformation that obeys the cubic equation (x^3)


The third example uses the translatePath component.

Translation are a versatile tool, in fact you can manipulate direction and amplitude separately.

For instance, you could choose to keep one of those parameter fixed, or use a different variation rule for each.

The example on the left use a fixed amplitude, while the example on the right use a fixed direction

In the printed example we designed a simple curvature by keeping the direction constant, while varying amplitude value according to the parabolic equation (x^2).

Here the direction is constant, while the amplitude varies following the parabolic equation (x^2).


Each transformation module gives you a different way to manipulate shape.

Within each module lie several possibilities, however it is also possible to combine several modules in series. In fact in Slice-Up, you can iterate through your design files as many times as you like (check slice-up workflow for details). You can even apply the same identical transformations multiple times in a row!

As things can escalate quite quickly, we always recommend to try and keep things simple in the beginning. It is always a good idea to focus on one module or parameter at the time, explore it thoroughly, and only add a further layer of complexity once you understand its inner workings.

Feel free to ask question in our forum as needed!

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