I'm trying to redraw a diagram, and I'm having difficulty recreating the base spiral: Diagram/Spiral

I need to make the concentric spiral part.

Can you help me?

  • 1
    Welcome to GD.SE! What you're trying to do is draw bezier curves...knowing that term will help you as you search online if no one gives you an answer here right away.
    – Brendan
    Oct 1, 2013 at 11:20
  • 1
    "conical spiral" is another search term that might help. One quick thing you could try (not tested): draw one segment as a path with a stroke, copy, paste, scale up by X%, align, join paths, paste again, scale up by X% twice, align, join to the two existing segments, paste, scale up by X% 3 times... etc Oct 1, 2013 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


It is easy as usual!
For that i will use Illustrator CS5.

1) Take a "Spiral Tool"

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2) Now click on the screen and set some options for the spiral creation. Then click "OK"

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3) A new spiral will be drawn:

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4) Now transform the spiral:

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5) Rotate and scale:

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6) It will be look like this:

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7) Take a "Reshape Tool" (the magic begins :)

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8) Select the lowest node of the spiral and drag it to bottom:

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9) Thats all:

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  • That's exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for... unfortunately its using Adobe Illustrator which costs me money or requires me to seek out pirate copies. Do you know how to do this in something free like inkscape or gimp?
    – E_L
    Oct 1, 2013 at 15:01
  • @E_L Oww, sorry no :(
    – mast0r
    Oct 1, 2013 at 15:13
  • @mast0r all the steps excepts step 9 is available on inkscape. thanks
    – viyyer
    Nov 1, 2014 at 20:21

I realise this is an old question, but thought it worthwhile posting a method for Inkscape 1.0 since the OP mentioned doing this in something other than Adobe Illustrator.

  1. Draw a rectangle like this, and then do Extentions > Render > Parametric Curves, and use the settings shown below.

enter image description here

  1. Rotate and squash the spring a bit, then add a Perspective/Envelope Path Effect, set the type to "Envelope deformation"

  2. Using the Edit Paths by Nodes Tool (N) click and drag the control points to distort it.

enter image description here

  1. Convert back to a path using Path > Object to Path

  2. Select and break some nodes

  3. Do Path > Break apart

  4. Add arrow markers in the Fill and Stroke panel

enter image description here

  • Why not do this all in same formula?
    – joojaa
    Jul 25, 2020 at 9:33
  • @joojaa - That would be nice, if only I knew the formula to achieve it. LOL.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 25, 2020 at 9:38
  • Replace 3.2 and 2 with (3.2+0.32*t) and (2+0.2*t) where 0.32 and 0.2 are expansion multipliers and 3.2 and 2 are initial sizes
    – joojaa
    Jul 25, 2020 at 9:48
  • Yeah - also just changing the Y function to 1-2*cos(t)*t/8 seems to work quite well
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 25, 2020 at 9:51
  • 1
    If you want the height of each spiral to stay same and not scale. Anyway a more in depth explanatiom can be found bitbucket.org/joojaa/jooillustratorscripts/wiki/Documentation/…
    – joojaa
    Jul 25, 2020 at 9:53

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