Generate a snow flake pattern Excel [holiday fun]


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Yesterday I saw a tweet from @JanWillemTulp,

That got me thinking…? Why can’t we make a snow flake pattern in Excel?

This is what I came up with.


Download Excel Snow Flake Maker

Click here to download the Excel workbook. Press F9 to make another pattern. You can also make pentagonal snow flakes. They are very rare, so go easy on them 🙂

Snow flakes in Excel? How…

I am a little too lazy to explain the calculations behind this. But here is the gist. Examine the calc tab in download workbook for more.

  1. Let’s assume we have regular hexagon with unit radius (r = 1)
  2. We calculate the vertices of a regular hexagon (x=sin θ & y = cos θ, where θ = {60,120,180…360})
  3. Then we rotate the hexagon by random degrees (between 3 to 21) on both sides, shrink r by an arbitrary fraction (20% to 80%) and calculate new vertices. Say these are (x1,y1), (x3,y3)
  4. We also calculate the vertices of original hexagon when r is multiplied by a random number (between 1 and 3). Say this is (x2,y2)
  5. Now we have 3 points for each vertex of the hexagon
    1. (x1,y1) – original hexagon rotated by random degrees to right and shrunk
    2. (x3,y3) – original hexagon rotated by same random degrees to left and shrunk
    3. (x2,y2) – original hexagon expanded by a random factor
  6. We then draw a line connecting the origin (0,0) to (x1,y1) to (x2,y2) to (x3,y3) and back to origin – (0,0)
  7. We repeat this process for all vertices
  8. We now have a teeny tiny snow flake.
  9. When you repeat steps 3 to 7 few more times and overlay all these shapes one on top, we get a nice looking snow flake.

The logic is similar for pentagonal snow flakes. We just use different θs in step 2

Enjoy your snow flake, or the real snow if you live in a colder country. Alas, in Vizag, this winter has been a mild summer. So I am going to imagine snow while lounging under fan with a book in my hands.

Happy holidays.

PS: For more visualization fun this holidays, check out Madelbrot fractals in Excel, 3D Dancing pendulums and Excel fire works.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Share this tip with your colleagues

Excel and Power BI tips - Chandoo.org Newsletter

Get FREE Excel + Power BI Tips

Simple, fun and useful emails, once per week.

Learn & be awesome.

Welcome to Chandoo.org

Thank you so much for visiting. My aim is to make you awesome in Excel & Power BI. I do this by sharing videos, tips, examples and downloads on this website. There are more than 1,000 pages with all things Excel, Power BI, Dashboards & VBA here. Go ahead and spend few minutes to be AWESOME.

Read my storyFREE Excel tips book

Chandoo is an awesome teacher

– Jason

Excel formula list - 100+ examples and howto guide for you

100 Excel Formulas List

From simple to complex, there is a formula for every occasion. Check out the list now.

20 Excel Templates

Calendars, invoices, trackers and much more. All free, fun and fantastic.

Weighted average formula in excel

Weighted Average in Excel [Formulas]

Learn how to calculate weighted averages in excel using formulas. In this article we will learn what a weighted average is and how to Excel’s SUMPRODUCT formula to calculate weighted average / weighted mean.

What is weighted average?

Wikipedia defines weighted average as, “The weighted mean is similar to an arithmetic mean …, where instead of each of the data points contributing equally to the final average, some data points contribute more than others.”

Calculating weighted averages in excel is not straight forward as there is no built-in formula. But we can use SUMPRODUCT formula to easily calculate them. Read on to find out how.

5 Responses to “Generate a snow flake pattern Excel [holiday fun]”

  1. Puneet Gogia says:

    Awesome Works. It can be use in some presentation work.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Modeste Geedee says:

    Hi chando... 😉

    another alternative approach

  3. Issac paul says:

    Wow !!! Awesome tutorial dude. You nailed it 😀 keep sharing much more cool tutorials

  4. joe shipley says:

    Thanks for doing this!

Leave a Reply