Structure Synth is a cross-platform application for generating 3D structures by specifying a design grammar. Even simple systems may generate surprising and complex structures. The design grammar approach was originally devised by Chris Coyne (for a 2D implementation see the popular Context Free Art).


  • Graphical environment with multiple tabs and OpenGL preview
  • Integration with third-party renderers (such as Sunflow and POV-Ray) using a flexible template based export system.
  • Built-in raytracer (with ambient occlusion and depth-of-field)
  • Native OBJ export
  • Built-in JavaScript interpreter for scripting animations
  • Eisenstein Engine driven by dual Mersenne Twister streams

Structure Synth is built in C++, OpenGL, and Qt 4. Builds are currently provided for Windows and Mac. It is possible to compile Structure Synth on Linux as well. On Debian and Ubuntu a 'structure-synth' package exists.

The progress and design considerations can be tracked at the Syntopia blog.

Syntopia Logo


22 nov 10
Structure Synth Version 1.5 ("Hinxton") has been released. See the new features or download it here.
10 oct 10
MeshLab now has native EisenScript support.
10 jul 09
Structure Synth Version 1.0 ("Potemkin") has been released. See the new features or download it here.
28 apr 09
Structure Synth Version 0.9.5 ("Haiku") has been released. Lots of new features. Download it here.
23 jan 09
Structure Synth Version 0.9.0 ("Glasnost") released. Now with camera export, preprocessor constants, and more... Download it here.
15 sep 08
David Burnett has kindly provided a binary Mac build of Structure Synth Version 0.8.5 (more info at this forum post)
13 jul 08
Structure Synth Version 0.8.5 released. Some missing dependencies in the Windows build caused the earlier version 0.8.0 not to work on most Windows XP systems. Also other bug fixes.
5 jun 08
Structure Synth Version 0.8.0 ("Exonautica") released with binaries built for Windows. Features the new templated rendering system and improved control of the random seed.
30 mar 08
After a short development break, hopefully I'll be able to dedicate some more time to this project the coming months. I've upgraded to Vista and VS 2008 as my primary development platform, and managed to create a build on Mac Os X as well. (see the build notes)
25 dec 07
Structure Synth Version 0.7.0 ("Nostromo") released with binaries built for Windows.
21 Sep 07
Structure Synth Version 0.5.0 ("Graf Zeppelin") released with binaries built for Windows.
5 Sep 07
Structure Synth now compiles on Linux.
27 Aug 07
Created a Flickr group for Structure Synth creations.
19 Aug 07
Created this website.
6 Aug 07
The project was moved to SourceForge.
10 Jul 07
The first code added (to a Google Code repository).


A public gallery is now available at Flickr:

Everyone is welcome to upload their Structure Synth creations here, preferably with the script included.


Structure Synth is being developed by Mikael Hvidtfeldt Christensen (mail: mikael (at) hvidtfeldts.net). It is free software, licensed under the GPL/LPGL license.

Export template contributions by Subblue, Neon22, Groovelock, SourceZuka, David Bucciarelli, and François Beaune. The Mac builds are provided by David Burnett. Debian and Ubuntu packaging by Miriam Ruiz.

Structure Synth was heavily inspired by the CFDG syntax by Chris Coyne, and the Context Free GUI by Mark Lentczner and John Horigan. The icons in the GUI are part of the Everaldo: Crystal project. Structure Synth is built using the Qt cross-platform GUI framework.

The website uses an Open Web Design by NodeThirtyThree. It also uses GreyBox JavaScript. The Flickr slideshow is powered by PictoBrowser.