I'm trying to create something similar to this example:
What tool should I use, or is it just squares and circles attached together? Great if you know a tutorial for this effect.
Which part are you referring to? If it's the spiral, don't use the spiral tool. You'll want a linear/Archimedean spiral for that. You can find a tutorial on creating those here: http://vectorguru.com/tutorials/013-archimedean-spiral-in-illustrator.html
If it's the circled segments of the spiral, just split your spiral into individual paths and give them circular caps (under the 'Stroke' menu).
If it's neither of these, please clarify and I will try to help/analyse. :)
That kind of tight, uniform spiral is called an Archimedean spiral (aka Archimedes spiral). They can't be made by the regular spiral tool which only makes expanding (logarithmic) spirals.
There are two ways to make them I know of:
A method using art brushes described on vector guru:
Object > expand
I have a published a script that can do this, and more. The script can be found in my scripts bundle.
This script allows you to graph any mathematical function. The GUI is a bit rough along the edges at writing of this message but I'm planning to overhaul that some day.
Here's how you do a linear spiral with the script:
Fill in the following values:
5*(t+2)*sin(t) 5*(t+2)*cos(t) 0 PI*2*4 PI/4
Image 1: Settings in the dialog window. Offsets are optional so the image is not in top corner.
Press Ok. You should get:
Image 2: Result.
You can do plenty of other mathematical shapes too. Hope this helps somebody. Feedback and bug reports welcome.
Image 3: Ideas for other graphs you can do.
The default spiral in Inkscape can be nicely shaped according to our needs. It is three parameters that control our spiral:
Below are some examples for various settings (inner radius always at
0.1, radial fading gradient for stroke color):
I have found a tutorial from lynda.com: http://blog.lynda.com/2012/08/14/dekes-techniques-drawing-a-perfect-spiral-in-illustrator/ No need for extra scripts and gives a lot of control(more paths) not like a circle in the vector guru.
They are suggesting using Polar Grid tool, by using arrows up,down and right,left we can add or remove the circles(up/down) and spokes(right/left), then select bottom half of all the circles using "A". Cut and 'paste in front', select all the circles and ungroup twice, to break all the connections. then select the bottom half of all the circles again and move it by one increment. This will create 2 spirals that looks like this:
the unselect all and select just one of the spirals by shift select all the paths and delete or group... this will look like this:
I stand corrected; I was a little too fast there. What you want is, as @user568458 and @rpauldesign points out, an Archimedian spiral. I will however let this answer stand, as it might be useful to someone some day. And the last bit on the bottom is still valid.
The spiral tool:
Duplicate the first spiral, and then use the scissors to divide into the black objects. The square mesh I suspect are simply that. Create dotted lines and distribute with the distribute-options: