Modeling a vacuum tube

Hi, I’m pretty new to blender.

I want to make one of those vacuum tube attachments, but I don’t know how to give the tube rivets/ridges (sp?)

Also, quick newb question, how do you curve text? I want to put text on a cylinder, and I want it to curve with the shape of the cylinder. Thanks so much!

Keeping your stated goal of “a vaccum tube” firmly in mind, go now to the “Wiki documentation” pages on and read every page through. Even if you do not understand what you are reading (yet), keep reading or skimming.

Don’t attempt to work on your project in earnest until after you have completed this exercise.

No, I am not simply trying to say, “RTFM.” There is a certain foundation of background knowledge which you need to acquire, or at least to have been exposed to, before you can make reasonable and sustained progress toward modeling your tube. Any one of us might be able to do the job fairly quickly, but only because our thinking would stimulate associations with the various things that we have already read. You need to do that reading, too.

Video tutorials, also, are very helpful. Again, you might not understand a tenth of what you are seeing, but your subconscious probably does… more than you realize. The more information you expose yourself to, the more connections will take place “spontaneously.”

I think that your choice of “a vacuum tube” is an excellent one. (Perhaps it should even be a Weekend Challenge.)

Yeah I’m trying to read the manual as we speak, but for us ADHD folks, it’s taking a little bit longer than expected. Just wondered if someone could give me a quick point in the right direction for a project needing to be done asap.

Couldn’t find any video tutorials on making tube rigids either…

If my request was of the magnitude of asking somebody else to do my homework for me, I apologize, that was not my intent.

did you d a seach on forum here for lamp ect…

i’v seen some done before at beginning of summer

can you show pic of what you want to do !

would be easier ot help !

happy blendering

Hey Ricky,

Something like so, notice the ridges on the tube. The only way I can think to do such thing would be to protrude each segment by hand, not sure if there’s a better way…


ok i was not thinking about somethng like this!
more like a filament lamp transparent !

can you explain what this is?



I too, thought you were talking about those old vacuum tubes that pre-dated transistors, not a hose on a vacuum cleaner!

Try reading up on the array modifier and the curve modifier, they might both be useful.

d’oh d’oh d’oh, my bad

@Ricky, it’s vacuum cleaner the part I’m looking to make is the tube part, but instead of a smooth surface, I want it to have numerous individual ridges like shown.

@Raw, thanks I’ll look into that!


ther is a video tutorial by Andrew Price.
He is doing a tire, but to do so he uses the array and curve modifier.
Maybe you can adapt this for your vacuum tube.




Did this for you to reverse engineer. See attached .blend F12 to
see final effect.

Profile modelled by hand then Screw tool to make one segment.
Then Array modifier and Curve modifier.

Hope this helps?

Kindest Regards,



Vacuum Hoover Tube 001.blend (164 KB)

can you explain a litttle how you did this helix witht the array!

i did one almost like that but use a curve helix then apply a bevel to it
and it gives a good results - that was for a teck able if you know what it is !

happy blendering


Have attached an updated version using two Array and one Curve modifier’s.

RickyBlender in answer to your question a quick rundown:

  1. Create a profile and use the screw tool with 32 steps over 360 degrees
    and 1 turn. See Fig. 1.

  2. Delete all but one segment.

  3. Add an Empty at 0,0,0.

  4. Select profile segment and add Array Modifier with Object Offset using
    the Empty the the Array count to 32.

  5. Rotate the empty 11.25 degrees (360deg/32=11.25)

  6. Move the empty up the required amount to make an exact duplicate
    of step 1. but using an array, which means easy modification. :smiley:

  7. Add an Edgesplit modifier and then Set Smooth.

  8. Now add a new Array Modifier with Z Relative offset of +0.5. and increase
    the count to 50 say.

  9. Now add a Bezier Curve make sure 3D is clicked and create a curve
    for the tube to follow.

  10. Add a Curve Modifier using the Curve created in step 9.

  11. Play with the curve to get a nice result, evenly spaced points will give
    more of a pleasing outcome.

Hope this helps,

Kindest Regards,



Vacuum Hoover Tube 002.blend (142 KB)

Wow Pixel, that’s awfully nice of you, I’ll work on this tonight. Thanks so much for your help!

Okay working on this right now, wow, this is really good, very cool of you to help out in such a way, thanks again!

How easily I do forget that this is a generation that only knows the uber-microprocessor and the iPod… :eek:

Well, the other kind of “vacuum tube” would still make a good Weekend Challenge.

Call it “educational television.” :eyebrowlift2:


Glad to be of help.

sundialsvc4: I remember and yes it would make a good challenge.:slight_smile: