Need help with a mailbox modeling

I need help with a mailbox. My first question is: as you can see, i have a cap of the mailbox and i want to make it like… “opening”. The problem is, i want to make it looks good, not like on the right image. It has a bad shape, or i did something wrong, but i want to look it more accurate and closer to the top of the mailbox. It could be deforming it (since you won’t see the cap from the inside anyway) or something like that. But i just can’t find a solution for this.

The second qustion is… there is a single bone in front of the box. I wanna use it, to deform/move a cap of the box. Like… a switch for a first question solution. How can i do that?

See attached blend.

Haven’t played with armatures in a while so hopefully it’s what you’re looking for.
Mailbox.blend (575.8 KB)

That’s exactly what i’m lookin’ for! But is there any way for not half-circlysh mailboxes? Ellipse, for example? If there’s not i will change my mailbox shape.

You have to make it look practical, for instance what he did is not enough. Model the mailbox in layers, and start with the details. Such as start with the lid, then the rails for the lid, then the inside of the mailbox which goes under the lid, then the shell of the mailbox which goes over the lid. That way you can design each part as you please.

In order for parts to line up correctly, it needs to be circular.

no they dont. Thats why you start with the lid, then build everything else around it.

if you want to model a mailbox like a mailbox, with a pivoting lid, then all parts need to be circular.

If your lid is flexible, then it can be whatever shape you want, but to accomplish this type of lid mechanically, you’ve gotta have circular arcs.

get somewhat creative please, you can model the lid whatever shape you want, it will work fine, it does not have to be circular

I can get creative all day, but the deformations the OP is describing stem directly from not using a circular profile for the top of the mailbox.

If you want a creative shape, model it square first, then put the whole thing in a lattice deform modifier. Or if you don’t care about how it opens, then do whatever, But I am responding directly to this picture:

The only way to resolve this ‘bad shape’ is to re-model it, either with a circular profile, or through some more elaborate deformation.

But if you want to get creative and show me what I am missing, go ahead.


Nothing here is perfectly circular, and this is a design that would work if 3D printed.

it sure would work better if the profile matched. Ff course you can add some slop to your clearance slots and make whatever wrong shape you can fit in there.

Reminds me of the old adage about a square peg:

Why are you so opposed to the mechanical reality of a central pivot door tracing a circle with its arc of motion?

Because for something to look right, it has to function. Even if we cant see it, it will feel as if somethings off, if its not functional. So my rule of thumb when doing things like this is, if it can be 3D printed, then its a pass. Everything on top of it is just ascetics.

Also, this is the point i wanted to get across. You said it had to be circular.

It only needs to be circular if you want it to fit well. If you are fine with those sloppy gaps, then rock on, it’s a lid.

For something to function WELL, you should really consider the underlying mechanics. As 3d artists, it’s important that we understand how things actually work in the real world. Knowing how to fudge things is good too, but starting from a mechanically viable design will save a lot of headaches later trying to force everything to work.

1 Like