Creating a Circular Array

I am re creating a number of models I made easily in Maya years ago. But I am running into unexpected results which is killing my confidence in Blender.

For example, trying to build a speaker basket here, I managed to make a curve, project it and knock out some faces okay. But now I want to take that curve and array it in a circle, a simple process in Maya. But there’s no circular array option in the Array modifier. I watched a number of tutorials and tried those ideas, but as you can see in this video, it’s not working out…

Take a look a this step by step - I sometimes have to revisit it to get a circle array to act right.

Here is a convoluted way of doing this… :upside_down_face:

Literally a one click operation in C4D…

So yeah, the array modifier desperately needs a radial (checkbox) option…

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For an exact circle, you want the Spin Tool.

But yeah, my confidence in Blender was dramatically lowered by the difficulty of curved arrays.

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Hi Mark,

You might want to checkout these add-ons which should fit the bill (one is free other isn’t):

Same addon. Added here only if you are able/willing to support the author.

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Free and simple way

Blaming the tool?

Furthermore, for simple destructive stuff like this, you can just duplicate and rotate once and then do a Repeat several times. Just need to make sure to do the duplication and rotation in one go, not duplicate, cancel, rotate.

There is one, it’s called Object Offset.

Nope. That’s a nasty hack… :slight_smile:

But people are trying to fix it… but as always the devs are the barrier, unfortunately…

A hack, by definition, is a misuse. Object Offset for circular arrays is not a misuse, it’s literally one of its purposes. That there could be more straightforward implementations - I have no doubt. But what’s there - works, and in no way a hack.

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Not always… A hack can be an inelegant but effective solution to a specific problem… And that’s how I see it…

maybe it’s harder than on C4D & MAYA
but, on 3ds max it’s even harder

so yes I trust the blender since it always comes forward!
(not as autodesk!)


It’s no easier in Maya, what with going into a dusty menu and having to input a bunch of numbers with 0 visual feedback. It’s also pretty rubbish considering it’s a one-off and you can’t edit radius, angle or number of copies after the fact.

it takes me 20 seconds on blender

I will have shown a video but I don’t have the nerves of fertility :confused:

The middle one works a treat! At first, I tried it out on a new scene with one object. Didn’t seem to do anything. But I poked around and noticed there was an axis within the array and looking in wireframe, I found all objects were superimposed in the same space. Then I moved the axis out of the center and voila! Just what I was looking for.

So now I’ve made an array of the projecting curves and did a Knife Project to cut the mesh below. In this situation, I end up with a lot of faces to delete (this is a double sided mesh created with the Solidify modifier) but snort of using the Lasso mode of the selection tool, it would be horrendously tedious to select all faces for deletion. Even with the Lasso, there’s still a considerable amount of cleanup. I’m sure there’s a more efficient way that the experts here might be willing to share?

you could have extruded the curve to give it volume then convert to mesh and use in boolean operaton to pokes holes in the cylinder, then you would have no faces to delete.

Or you can alt+click and select the outline of the edges created by your curve and press V to split them from the rest of the mesh. You can then deselect all and hover your mouse over that shell/island and press L to select all components linked to whatever your mouse is over. Then delete faces.

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Knife Project is supposed to select the faces inside the cuts for you. But if you somehow lost that selection, you can select the loop of the cut, and just do a Select -> Loop -> Loop Inner Region (as opposed to splitting the edges as @thinsoldier suggests, as that’s IMHO more work). Sometimes you have to toggle its ‘Select Bigger’ option though, even if the inner portion is smaller, as Blender gets confused which side is the outside.

After selecting one island, you might try a Select -> Select Similar -> Face Regions. Depending on the exact topology it might well find all the other cuts for you.


didn’t know about that one, I assumed something like that existed but didn’t think to look under loops

Now that you mentioned that Knife Project is supposed to select the faces, I created another mesh and built another closed curve to act as the cutting shape and yes, I somehow missed that (must have clicked somewhere inadvertently) it pre selected all the faces.

Now I’m trying to replicate this with the radial array tool, but but when I choose Knife Project, it doesn’t actually execute. Blender seems to work on some days and other days features I used in the past seem not to work later on. I was able to Knife Project an array of curves yesterday, but in this new test project I created to find out at what stage I’m presented with selected cut faces, the arrayed curves won’t cut the mesh.

Perhaps they should rename it. :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

Rename it to what?