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I would like to use the Magenta cylinder from dandelin spheres, but I want to have the illusion that the cylinder goes to infinity in the positive z direction.

I am ignoring the rest of the code since it isn't necessary.

How can I produce such an illusion?

Just removing the top circle wouldn't do it in my eyes.

When I show a plane extending to infinity, I have it look like

enter image description here

so the edges are uniform.

enter image description here

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You could just extend the lines a little bit (randomnized)? –  Qrrbrbirlbel Oct 3 '13 at 19:42
    
I would try and do a waved circle boundary on the thick magenta line, however your skewed coordinate system does not make this my trivial thing to do. However a neat trick which is quite nice is to add:\draw[magenta,very thick] (1,0,{2*\h}) % upper circle \foreach \t in {10,20,...,360} {--({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)*cos(\t)},{2*\h})}--cycle; and you will get the infinity sign... ;) –  zeroth Oct 3 '13 at 19:47
    
I've always seen extended cylinders portrayed using a curvy edge, something like length = l + sine(2x) where x is that angle around the cylinder. –  John Kormylo Oct 4 '13 at 14:30

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Option 1
As discussed in the comments. Apply a sinusoidal shape to the upper edge of the cylinder. This is common for drawings of pipes and shafts in engineering, see US Patent 6338336.

I implemented that solution using the following modifications to the TeXample code:

\def\amp{0.25} % amplitude of sine wave
\def\phase{-90} % phase shift (rotates sine wave around the cylinder)
\foreach \t in {20,40,...,360}% generatrices
  \draw[magenta,dashed] ({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},0)
    --({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},{2.0*\h+\amp*sin(2*\t+\phase)});
  \draw[magenta,very thick] (1,0,0) % lower circle --- unchanged
    \foreach \t in {5,10,...,360}
  {--({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},0)}--cycle;
  \draw[magenta,very thick] (1,0,{2*\h+\amp*sin(\phase)}) % upper circle
    \foreach \t in {10,20,...,360}
      {--({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},{2*\h+\amp*sin(2*\t+\phase})}--cycle;

This draws the upper circle in a sinusoidal shape. The amplitude and phase shift can be adjusted to your liking.

The result:

enter image description here

Option 2
One other method I thought of is to fade out the dashed vertical lines. This could also be used in conjunction with Option 1, but this one is shown on its own here.

I could not get my fading method to work properly with a dashed line, and the fadings library seems to not play nicely with 3D coordinates. So I've made the "generatrices" magenta!50 from z=0 to z=2*\h with a transition to magenta!0 after that.

The relevant code:

\foreach \t in {20,40,...,360}{% generatrices
  \draw[magenta!50] ({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},0)
    --({cos(\t)},{sin(\t)},{2.0*\h}) coordinate (temp);
  \foreach \i in {50,49,...,0}
    \draw[magenta!\i] (temp) -- ++(0,0,0.02) coordinate (temp);
}

Additionally, comment out the drawing of the upper circle. This gives the result:

enter image description here

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