Randomize Even Placement of Appendages/Arms/Protrusions Around a Sphere

A photographer friend asked if I could 3D print him something that looked like this:

I figured it would be a good opportunity to practice my organic shape modeling skills.

I’ve made the sphere and the appendage/protrusion (or whatever you call it) and was planning on making a bunch of copies and randomly placing them around the sphere.

Wondering if anyone knows of an easy way to randomly place something like this to a sphere in a way that was evenly spread out? Or maybe there’s a better workflow altogether that someone could point me towards?

My first thought would be turn on hidden geometry and use a random selection plugin to randomly select some faces of the sphere. Then use Chris Fullmers Componets to faces extension to place the protrusions.

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Do you know if it’s possible to randomly select faces, with a minimum distance parameter that would allow you to avoid selecting two faces immediately adjacent to one another?

You could use ‘Skatter’ Extension for true random distribution…but I’m not sure a Covid virus is random. There is likely some underlying geometry there. Here is quick test using CLF Components onto Faces…see comparison of 24 and 12 sided circle to make sphere. You could start with a ‘denser’ distribution and then selectively or randomly remove some for variation.

Edit: here is Skatter option to show what ‘Random’ looks like: