# Wrapping a rectangle to form a cylinder

I'd like to make an animation showing how we wrap a rectangle to form a cylinder (by joining a pair of parallel sides).

Here's my first pass:

 Manipulate[
ParametricPlot3D[
t {Cos[theta], Sin[theta], rho} + (1 - t) {rho, -1, theta},
{theta, -Pi, Pi}, {rho, 0, 2},
PlotRange -> {{-1.5, 1.5}, {-1.5, 1.5}, {-1.5, 1.5}},
PerformanceGoal -> "Quality", ViewPoint -> {-2.3, 0.77, -2},
ViewVertical -> {-0.08, 1, -0.06}],
{t, 0, 1}]


I'd much prefer the simpler looking transformation (without the twists this animation shows) which we'd do by simply rotating the pair of parallel sides until they touch to form the cylinder.

• Copy and paste code from your post to mma - nothing shows up. Nov 18, 2012 at 5:41
• Weird. It shows up for me. I re-pasted it just in case. Let me know if it works now. Nov 18, 2012 at 5:55
• Something for you to start with: With[{t = Pi/2}, ParametricPlot3D[{Piecewise[{{Cos[u], t <= u}}, Cos[t] + u Sin[t]], Piecewise[{{Sin[t] - u Cos[t], t > u}}, Sin[u]], z}, {u, 0, 2 Pi}, {z, -1, 1}, Exclusions -> None]] Nov 18, 2012 at 6:00

Think of this as of a flexible strip of fixed length glued to the side of a cylinder with shrinking radius. If radius >> strip length, strip looks almost flat. Making radius smaller will curve the strip more and more until its ends meet.

Manipulate[
ParametricPlot3D[{Sin[t]/a, Cos[t]/a, u}, {t, 0, a}, {u, 0, .5},
Boxed -> False, Axes -> False, PerformanceGoal -> "Quality",
ImageSize -> {300, 300}, MeshStyle -> Opacity[.3],
PlotStyle ->  Directive[Opacity[0.7], Orange, Specularity[White, 50]],
ViewPoint -> {-2, 2, -2}, BoundaryStyle -> Directive[Black, Opacity[.3]]],
{{a, .01, "wrap"}, 0.01, 2 Pi}]


• Very nice. I tweaked yours to get more of the behavior that I am after (where both ends curl up towards one another): Manipulate[ParametricPlot3D[{Sin[t]/a, Cos[t]/a, u}, {t,-a, a}, {u, 0, .5}, Boxed -> False, Axes -> False, PerformanceGoal -> "Quality", ImageSize -> {300, 300}, MeshStyle -> Opacity[.3], PlotStyle -> Directive[Opacity[0.5], Blue, Specularity[White, 50]], BoundaryStyle -> Directive[Black, Opacity[.3]]], {{a, .01, "wrap"}, 0.01, Pi}] which is great except that this parametrization results in nonconstant height of the rectangle. Nov 18, 2012 at 13:46
• @texasAUtiger Thanks. The height of the cylinder is constant as set by fixed range {u, 0, .5} . The "height increase" that you see is a perspective illusion that can be improved in your case, for example, with BoxRatios -> {Automatic, Automatic, 2} . Nov 18, 2012 at 17:16
• Ah yes. Yes thank you. Nov 18, 2012 at 19:24