..been messing around off and on trying to create a 3d cellular automata model in Maya using expressions. It is fairly difficult to create an agent based or object-oriented system using expressions because once you drive an attribute from within an expression it cannot receive any other inputs (unless I am missing something or there is a utility node that allows this). So it was a little harder than doing something like this in Flash. The only changing input from the outside is time, which is controlled by the timeline. Files are below for download: the original cell + an updated duplicate script that allows you to create a 3d grid of the cells. Also through in an already built 8x8x8 cell grid. Make sure you set all of the cell’s Timer attribute to -4 and then go to frame 1 on the timeslider. Choose a cell and set Timer to 0 (this will be the starting point) and playback the animation. It works best with over 6 cells in each direction, but it can get heavy with over 20.
Download Source: cell.mb + 8x8x8 cells.mb + duplicated3d.mel