Computer Software for Tiling
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Computer Software for Tiling
Doris Schattschneider, Moravian College,
Tiling Software for Low-End Platforms
- PlaneTiling Mathematica Package, by Xah Lee.
- PlaneTiling is
a graphics package for generating wallpaper designs, tilings, plane group
symmetry illustrations, and contains general two dimensional
graphics tools. Requires Mathematica version 3.x or 2.x.
- The Geometer's Sketchpad, by Nicholas Jackiw, Key Curriculum
- Cabri Geometry II, by Jean-Marie Laborde and Frank Bellemain,
IMAG-CNRS-UJF, 1994 (available from Texas Instruments).
- Two interactive dynamic programs for Macintosh or PC with Windows
that can be used to investigate symmetry of two-dimensional figures,
construct polygons and tilings, and verify theorems about the properties
- Symmetry Studio, by Timothy Binkley, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1992.
- An interactive program for Macintosh that automatically generates symmetric
rosette, border, or wallpaper designs from motifs freely drawn with the mouse.
User specifies symmetry type and the program uses the chosen symmetry group
to generate simultaneous copies of the motif as it is created freehand
with the mouse.
- RepTiles, by Daniel H. Huson and Olaf Delgado Friedrichs (shareware:
FSP Mathematisierung - Strukturbildungsprozesse, Universität Bielefeld,
33501 Bielefeld, Germany; Email: huson (or delgado)@mathematik.uni-bielefeld.de), 1992-1995.
- Macintosh program from which can be created (in theory) all tile-transitive
and k-tile transitive tilings. Works from databases of specified types;
user then alters shapes of tiles to create new tilings.
Tilings can be colored.
- ptile, by Stuart Levy, Geometry Center, Minneapolis, MN, 1995
(get free from
- An interactive program that depends only on tcl/tk, and so runs on UNIX
systems with X windows, Macintoshes, and Windows. User can build up a
tiling from a collection of tiles in the same manner as done "by hand,"
interactively gluing patches of tiles edge-to-edge. Includes some prebuilt
tiles (Penrose rhombs, Pattern Blocks). Tcl/tk is available from various places
(try a web search); the canonical site is
- subtile, by Roger Evans Critchlow, email@example.com, 1995 (used to be available from
ftp://ftp.bdt.com/home/elf/pub/subtile-0.2.shar, but that source seems to have vanished; requires tcl/tk)
- Program for interactively generating and drawing aperiodic tilings generated by
substitution rules, and computing Fourier transforms of their vertex sets.
Built-in rules include Penrose tilings (kite/dart, rhombs, triangles),
several Ammann tilings, the Pinwheel, chair, and others.
Requires tcl/tk, available for UNIX, Macintosh, and Windows from
A variant of this program, which adds tile-coloring and can save in
ptile's format for editing the tilings it produces, is available from
See also Dr. Matrix's informational WWW page on Penrose tilings:
http://scientium.com/drmatrix/puzzles/progchal.htm, which doesn't (yet)
include software but collects some good information.
- Kali, by Jeff Weeks, Geometry Center, Minneapolis, MN, 1995
(get free from http://www.geometrygames.org/Kali/index.html).
- An interactive program for the Macintosh or Windows that lets the user draw pictures
under the action of wallpaper, frieze or rosette groups. As the user freely
draws line segments with the mouse, the program draws several copies
simultaneously, under the action of the selected symmetry group.
Curved segments can be created with a "smoothing" option.
A Java version of Kali by Mark Phillips is
also available from the Geometry Center. This program will run on any
computer with a Java capable web browser, such as Netscape 2.0 and
higher or Internet Explorer 3.0.
- Kaleidotile, by Jeff Weeks, Geometry Center, Minneapolis, MN, 1995
(get free from http://www.geometrygames.org/KaleidoTile/index.html).
- An interactive Macintosh program that creates tilings on three surfaces:
the sphere, the Euclidean plane, and the hyperbolic plane.
Spherical tilings can also be realized as polyhedra.
Tilings are created by reflections in mirrors that surround a fundamental
triangular region that has been divided into three subsections by line
segments concurrent at a point in the region. The point of concurrency can
be moved with the mouse. Very easy to use; nice way to see relationships
between these tilings on the three surfaces.
- Artlandia, from Artlandia Inc..
- Not strictily a tiling software, but rather a package for using
symmetries for graphical design. There is a nice gallery of images. Requires Mathematica 3.0.
Tiling Programs for High-end Platforms
- FunTiles, by Daniel H. Huson, 1996. Available via anonymous FTP from:
- An interactive program that runs on an SGI platform. Takes as input a
"Delaney Symbol" and produces a picture of the corresponding periodic
tiling of a 2-D surface (Euclidean, hyperbolic, or sphere surface),
that can then be colored, manipulated, modified, or immediately changed
to a related tiling with a similar Delaney symbol (possibly on a
different surface). The program contains a large database of Delaney
symbols from which to create tilings.
- Quasitiler, by Eugenio Durand, Geometry Center, Minneapolis, MN, 1994.
NeXT binary by anonymous FTP from
- Computes a variety of quasiperiodic tilings, including Penrose rhomb tilings,
by the cut-and-project method. Allows interactive choice of the
cutting plane, can work in many dimensions. Runs only on the NeXT.
See also the Web version of this program on the Geometry Center's pages,
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Created: Sep 18 1996 ---
Last modified: Thu Nov 19 12:12:48 CST 1998