Help with Lofting a Curve and Making it Screw

Hi there!

I’m new to this forum, and new to Blender itself, but I’m steadily improving! Right now I’m following a course in Blender and I got an assignment to model a piece of jewelry of my choice. Anyway, I have my piece chosen and all, but I’m having trouble getting the wire right. Here’s my reference shot:


I’m not sure if you can see it very well, but the wire is kind of a twisted metal shape, and that’s what I’m trying to recreate. Now as I said, I’m still on the beginner stage here, so there’s probably methods of accomplishing this that I simply don’t know about, but that’s hopefully where you come in! :wink:

What I’ve done so far is create a bezier curve that runs from the clasp to the other side of the clasp, and I was thinking I would bevel (or loft) it. The thing is, I only know how to loft a curve in 2D, and since this is supposed to kinda spiral around itself I’m not sure what to do. I tried adding a screw modifier to both the loft path object (which gave me the look I wanted, after a while, but it doesn’t copy over to the wire), and to the wire itself, and that just makes it spin all over the place.
I’ve also tried spin and screw in edit mode but they didn’t work either.

I’m hoping I wouldn’t have to simply model a segment and have to duplicate it all the way.

Any pointers? :slight_smile:

Try this simple method :

  • Add a Plane object

  • Go to Edit Mode , make sure you’re in Orthographic view , not in Perspective (Numpad 5)

  • Go into Top view ( Numpad 7 )

  • Delete 2 vertices from the left side of the plane then select the remaining edge
    http://i.imgur.com/ZCkkw7M.jpg

  • Click on the Screw button from the toolshelf (panel to the left of 3D view)
    http://i.imgur.com/A1f2MIU.jpg
    result :
    http://i.imgur.com/94JIMrR.jpg

  • Press F6 (or look in the operator panel, at the bottom of the toolshelf) and change the amount of steps and the amount of turns to what you need.
    http://i.imgur.com/l2GUyYH.jpg
    (note the “Steps” will increase the quality and roundness of the whole object, i set it to 8 just for the example but i guess you’ll want it higher, but remember the end result polycount will increase a lot too in the end)

  • Then select the whole mesh and press W -> Remove Doubles

  • Scale the mesh to what you need.

  • Now go into Edge selection mode
    http://i.imgur.com/pqUphFZ.jpg

  • Move your mouse cursor on one of the spiralling edge and ALT + Right Click to select the whole spiral
    http://i.imgur.com/qT64wMT.jpg

  • Press CTRL+B (or CTRL+E -> Bevel or click on Mesh -> Edge -> Bevel) and move the mouse until you obtain roughly this , then press ENTER/Left Click to validate :
    http://i.imgur.com/Md1Pt89.jpg

  • Press I to inset then press ENTER/Left Click to validate , now press F6 and set the Thickness to 0 , while increasing the Depth to obtain
    http://i.imgur.com/rJBkfJh.jpg
    (notice that you can give Depth a negative value if you want the spiral outside instead of inside)

  • Go to Object Mode and add a curve

  • With only the Curve selected, go to Edit Mode and edit the shape of the curve the way you want/need
    http://i.imgur.com/WtcfGHS.jpg

  • Back to Object Mode and select your spiralling object

  • Add a Curve Modifier to it , at “Object” select the curve object name and at the Axis set it to Y
    http://i.imgur.com/IaAHkak.jpg

  • With the spiralling object selected you can press G , then Y and move the mouse to move the object on the curve

  • You can increase the “quality” of the curve by selecting it and in the Curve panel increase its resolution
    http://i.imgur.com/SL9mCP5.jpg

Oh, wow! That was immensely helpful!!
Quick answer and excellent help, I’m impressed! :slight_smile: Thanks a ton, just what I was looking for!