This short tutorial describes how to perform a Radial Array or Circular Array using the Array modifier.
below is the older post relating to this topic, which might still be useful to someone.
benefit : the modifier lets you continuously edit geometry without having to re-spin the selection as would be required when using the mesh-spin-tool…
a few simple steps :
the object will be named ‘mech_p1’
- Determine the center-point that you want to array around, set your 3d Cursor there.
- Create an empty, name it ‘mech_p1_MT’ (MT for Empty)
- Divide 360 by the amount of total array objects you want. (example 5, so 360 / 5 = 72)
- Select ‘mech_p1_MT’ hit R (to rotate),then type X,Y or Z (for axis control), type 72, and hit Enter to complete the rotation.
- Select ‘mech_p1’, go to Modifiers, Add Modifier, choose Array
- In the Array Modifier: check Object Offset, and add ‘mech_p1_MT’ to the box below it.
- In the Array Modifier: un-check Relative Offset and Constant Offset
- In the Array Modifier: check Merge and First Last (Note: Pay attention to the Distance value : read below )
- Set the Count slider to (in this case) 5.
- The more exact you are with your geometry before the Radial Array process, the less likely you are to come across vertices that don’t join.
- recalculate normals (ctrl+n) on the mesh if you get banding (black surface colours)
- Distance value controls like ‘Remove Doubles’ how close vertices must be before they get merged automatically.
this is especially noticeable if you have tight edge-loops. If you find vertices merging that you don’t want to merge, then use the edge-length tool (3dview - hit N, scroll down to Mesh Display ) to find out what a more suitable Distance value is for the merge option. ( ie, if vertices between an edge of length 0.003 get merged undesirably then set the Distance value to something smaller than 0.003 )