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HP 7475A: Superformula Successes

In the course of running off some Superformula plots, I found what must be my original stash of B-size plotter paper. Although it wasn’t archival paper and has yellowed a bit with age, it’s the smoothest and creamiest paper I’ve touched in quite some time: far nicer than the cheap stuff I picked up while reconditioning the HP 7475A plotter & its assorted pens.

Once in a while, all my errors and omissions cancel out enough to produce interesting results on that historic paper, hereby documented for future reference…

A triangle starburst:

Superformula - triangle burst

Superformula – triangle burst

Superformula - triangle burst - detail

Superformula – triangle burst – detail

A symmetric starburst:

Superformula - starburst

Superformula – starburst

Superformula - starburst - detail

Superformula – starburst – detail

Complex meshed ovals:

Superformula - meshed ovals

Superformula – meshed ovals

Superformula - meshed ovals - details

Superformula – meshed ovals – details

They look better in person, of course. Although inkjet printers produce more accurate results in less time, those old pen plots definitely look better in some sense.

The demo program lets you jam a fixed set of parameters into the plot, so (at least in principle) one could reproduce a plot from the parameters in the lower right corner. Here you go:

The triangle starburst:

Superformula - triangle burst - parameters

Superformula – triangle burst – parameters

The symmetric starburst:

Superformula - starburst - parameters

Superformula – starburst – parameters

The meshed ovals:

Superformula - meshed ovals - parameters

Superformula – meshed ovals – parameters

The current Python / Chiplotle source code as a GitHub gist:

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  1. #1 by madbodger on 2016-01-12 - 11:16

    Yes, I think they look better in the same sense as vector graphics look better than raster graphics in some situations. This is why I’m breadboarding CRT power supplies, deflection amplifiers, and vector generators.