How Do You Model A Spring or A Slinky Like Geometry?

What is the method method to model a spring or a slinky? Thank you.


It is imperative that you do this in the front view.
That being said, how do you rig it to behave like a real spring? I mean stretching and bending without deforming the cross section of the coil? It was an interesting challenge which I couldn’t find a satisfactory solution for. Armatures, curves and lattices deforms the spring unrealistically. :confused:

make it a linked armature, and in every full turn 4 ore more armatures (so, very much armatures :wink: ) just coil the linked armature inside your spring

That’s the second setup I tried with armatures. I can’t get that to work, either. I mean, even if you have patiently coiled the bones to correspond to every edgeloop of the spring, how would you bend and stretch the rig? IK? It would uncoil your spring…:confused:
I did manage a setup that works in a limited way with armatures. It involved creating a long chain running along the center of the coil, then lots of extruded bones radiating from it. Each cross sectional edgeloop of the spring is then parented to the corresponding radial bone. It is very tedious to set up, but is more controllable, via an IK setup on the linked armature at the center. But as with typical IK limitation, you have to “bend” the linked bones in the IK chain to get it to work, so the spring can only bend in one direction, not every direction like a real one. :frowning:

Cool. Time to crack open the wiki all over again =p

Here’s what you should do.

1). Start with a circle
2). Spin once
3). Select the end and turn on proportional editing
4). using linear falloff and connected mode tweak the range and drag it down so all sections are affected equally.
5). Turn P.E off Copy the section, rotate it 90 degrees, then match it to the end of the first section
6). Do step five two more times
7). now you have a complete 360 degree spin going downwards, copy it and match the beginning of the new selection to the end of the spring.
8). Repeat step seven how ever long you need the spring to be.
9). Remove doubles
10). For curving create a curve and put a curve modifier on the mesh.