One of my coworkers brought in G.L. Legendre's book "Pasta By Design" (amazon.ca/dp/0500515808). It is full of photographs and parametric equations for 92 shapes of pasta. Of course, we had to set about plotting his equations in Maple. Orginally I was going to post about this before Maple 16 came out, but I was struck with how much better plots looked in the Maple 16 pre-release and so I decided to wait. As one example, here are the parametric equations for Giglio Ondulato noodles plotted using the default 3D plot settings in Maple 16 and Maple 15.
To expand on the improvements in a plots a little: there have obviously been changes in the default lighting and glossiness settings that give surfaces a more modern 3D look. The keen observer might also notice that the default grid size went up as well so that instead of a grid of 25x25, a grid of 49x49 used. This is nice because it allows you to get a lot more fine detail. To make this look good, the plot team changed things so that only some of the grid lines are drawn on the plot. For a more extreme example, here is what you get if you explicitly set grid=[225,225] in Maple 16 vs. Maple 15:
Big difference! It is really nice to be able to plot more detail without the view being cluttered up with all those extra grid lines.