Oberwolfach References on Mathematical Software



The primary goal of 3D-XplorMath is to allow users with little or no
programming experience to see, with minimal effort, concrete visual
representations of many different categories of mathematical objects
and processes. To accomplish this, objects from each category are
described internally by well-designed, parameterized data structures,
and for each category a variety of rendering methods is provided to
permit visualization of objects of the category in ways that are
appropriate for various purposes. Each of the hundreds of built-in
objects known to the program is assigned carefully chosen defaults so
that, when the object is selected from a menu, the program can immediately
construct a standard example of the object and render it in an optimized
view. The user may then use various menus and dialogs to alter the parameters
describing the shape and coloration of the object, change the viewpoint
from which it is seen, select different rendering methods, etc. Moreover,
as its name suggests, the program can display objects such as surfaces,
space curves and polyhedra using various stereo techniques. In addition
to the many built-in objects known to the program, a user can create
“user-defined” objects by entering formulas using standard mathematical
notation. Visualizations created by the program can be saved in jpeg and
other graphic formats and the data defining 3D objects can be exported to
other 3D programs (e.g., Bryce or POV-Ray) in formats such as .obj and .inc.
Both built-in and user-defined objects can depend on parameters, and the
program can create morphing animations by moving along a path in the
parameter space, and these animations can then be saved as QuickTime
movies. Each of the built-in objects has associated to it a so-called
ATO (About This Object) file that provides documentation for the object.
An early and more developed version of the program, written in Object
Pascal, runs under the Macintosh Operating System and a Java-based
cross-platform version is now also available.


David Eck, Hermann Karcher, Richard Palais


3D-XplorMath Consortium



projectstatus   officially approved by the authors

Available via

Operating Systems



Technical Category

General purpose system

Screenshot 1

Boys Surface


Screenshot 2

Dragon Curve

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