Very intense 2 months coding marathon to bring into the world the new version of Mandalagaba.

I completely rewrote the symmetry engine to be universal. When I coded the first version, I only wanted to scratch a specific radial symmetry itch and had to expand on narrowly conceived code to accommodate for features that came up from the tool’s success. With this new version, I instead gave myself a broad framework built for expansion, I can translate any penstroke at any angle in any location. Beyond mandalas, it makes possible tessellations and even the 2 combined.

I used the opportunity to add many features which were lacking: zooming, forking, lines, color picker, et cetera. With many more to come. The interface was rethought to be more accessible. Doing so took much more time than building the core engine.

There is an obscene amount of math that goes behind every pen stroke you draw in the tool. It was kind of fun to go through it again in my life, 20 years later. Even though I had forgotten about it all, it came back nicely. It’s amazing to have the internet as a tool to look up methods, to be able to describe the problem in plain English and have potential solutions thrown at you. It used to be that you needed to know what you needed precisely to find it in a book.


I love that Robin copies what I do no matter the understanding level, we’ve had lots of talks about what is going on.

It’s not just the math but also algorithms, languages & infrastructure. Not to toot my own horn but in my 30s, I’ve never felt so intimate with every aspect of an idea’s implementation. It’s extremely enabling to know exactly where to go to achieve X. Honestly though I’m a little burnt out at the moment, something that was supposed to take 10 days took more than 2 months of coding every single night.

My hope is that the new tool becomes a reference online for this type of work. And it’s all 100% free; well… we’ll talk about that in the next post.

Lower tech fun found in a thrift shop

Multiaxis symmetrical drawing – A Mandala maker that doesn’t suck

I’ve had a terrible time finding a good piece of software to draw mandalas with. To be honest, I don’t care what mandalas are but I’m obsessed with how cool it is to draw with replicated symmetry on multiple axis.

Without further ado, here it is (drag your mouse to draw):

I hope you find it addictive. Click to pop out.

So wow… just wow, this blew up. This little tool ended up making the front page of Reddit in one amazing thread in which  many people shared their mandalas. It was an amazing day in many ways, first of all I’ve never seen so many positive comments in a single thread online. The amount of people who seem to have been positively touched by this program is humbling. Drawing mandalas is apparently great stress relief for many and I’ve received several personal notes on how much this program had done for them. I did not see that coming to say the least. Then the fact that this tools was picked up by real artists pushed it to build creations I didn’t even know it was capable of. Lastly, my solar powered raspberry Pi handled hundred of thousands of connections in a single day which turned out to be a technical challenge on top of the overwhelming response. When I set out to create this program, I did not have the slightest idea that it would hit such a sweet spot. I mainly wanted to scratch an itch and couldn’t find any good apps out there. It is a true privilege to have had the chance so see so many people use a tool I made, and have them report they were positively touched by it.

Here is a few of the most amazing mandalas that were posted on the Reddit thread, this is what it looks like when real artists take over your tool 🙂