I am using Mandelbrot Set function in Mathematica to get the Mandelbrot plot. I want to 3d print this model, so want to specify thickness for each contour and then convert into .STL file. Is this possible?

  • $\begingroup$ What Mathematica function are you using to create a Mandelbrot Set contour plot? ManderbrotPlot produces a raster plot, according to its documentation. $\endgroup$
    – bbgodfrey
    Oct 31, 2018 at 22:27
  • $\begingroup$ Can you provide some type of example of what you wish the output to be? In my experience the neat features of a M-Set are far too fine to be rendered with current 3D printers. $\endgroup$ Nov 1, 2018 at 15:28

2 Answers 2


Here's an approach based on converting the image to LAB and using the L channel

baseData = ImageData[
    MandelbrotSetPlot[Frame -> None, PlotRangePadding -> None],

ListPlot3D[baseData[[;; , ;; , 1]], PlotRange -> All, Boxed -> False, 
 Axes -> False]

enter image description here

This won't print well at all because of the tiny spikes. You can also smooth some of that out if you want a somewhat more printable version

  Clip[baseData[[;; , ;; , 1]], {0.001, 1}, {1, 1}],
  {3, 2}
  ], PlotRange -> All, Boxed -> False, Axes -> False]

enter image description here

Finally, if you are willing to figure out what L value each contour corresponds to, you can use Map to set things to that heigh


enter image description here

pts = ImageData[ColorNegate@Binarize@bild];
g = RegionPlot3D[
    pts[[Sequence @@ Round@{i, j}]] == 1, {i, 1, #1}, {j, 1, #2}, {z, 
     0, 1}, PlotPoints -> 100, Mesh -> False, Axes -> False, 
    Boxed -> False] & @@ Dimensions[pts]
pts = Cases[g, x_GraphicsComplex :> First@x, Infinity]

extruded Mandelbrot plot

This can be exported to STL via the built-in.

Modern alternatives are:

With[{h = 50},(*height*)
 RegionProduct[ImageMesh[bild], MeshRegion[{{0}, {h}}, Line[{1, 2}]]]]


ImageMesh[Image3D[ConstantArray[bild, 50]]]

h is here pixel.

Export["Test.stl", pts, {"STL", "BinaryFormat" -> False}]

This example might not be complete on Import.

  • $\begingroup$ OP wants to be able to specify a different thickness for each contour. This only provides a uniform thickness. $\endgroup$
    – b3m2a1
    Mar 11, 2021 at 17:46

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