(Solved) I need to deform a complex array


I’m not super sure whether this fits in this particular subcategory, but it looks close enough. Here it goes:

I need to build a regular structure (Think a three dimensional net) out of strings and deform it, as if it were slack in some spaces. This is supposed to be printed with a resin printer, so I need actual structure and no shaders.

This is a first sketch of what it’s supposed to look like:

The bottom half shows the bottom view, so it’s not as chaotic as it looks.

As you can see, without modifiers, this is a huge amount of vertices and the part in the picture is just to show what I need to do; I need at least thirty times as much.

A short summary of what I did (in that order):

I created the string using the screw modifier on some circles.
I built curves for the knots and so on and had the strings follow them (curve modifier).
I used regular arrays to create the web.
And here’s where my issues start, I tried multiple ways:

4a.: I applied all modifiers, joined the meshes, then moved some vertices with proportional editing active (That’s what the pics show). This is what I am trying to achieve, but not in such a small scale, but around thirty times the area that is shown. With the computational resources I have, I’m not able to make this happen. I need modifiers or reliable placeholders.

4b.: I applied the Warp modifier, but it compresses the meshes too much.

So, to sum up, I need to deform a highly complex, three dimensional web before applying modifiers.

Another thought I had was whether maybe I can slice the thing into smaller portions and work on them individually (Since it’s going to be printed, it needs to be sliced into chunks eventually anyway), but then I’m not sure how to ensure that the cuts will line up later. I guess I could try to make a master deformation pattern that I could apply to those chunks, if anyone could give me pointers as to how to do this exactly, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Any help is appreciated!

If that’s relevant: I’m currently on 2.80, but have access to 2.93 during the week.


Maybe lattice with want subdivs and lattice modifier ?

Just spitballing this based on what I am understanding…
Make it based on curves or edges. Work on that for the fine tuning of the 3D array you need to make and deform.
Skin it or some other “replace with” tool after the structure is assembled.

Thought 2: if you are weighting areas , for the droop, then make vertex groups in those areas to confine and reduce the computational area for a simplified cloth simulation.

Looks like it will print a mess. :wink: And on a resin printer… I am curious as to how big you will print it? Adhering to the base or supports? Interesting.


Lattice deform did the trick, thanks :slight_smile:

To go into a bit more detail:

The different layers of the web are separate meshes, so I can work on them individually. When I apply the lattice, they all deform by the same amount, so they line up as if they were just one big mesh. This way, I can work on it in chunks that my machine can handle and combine them once everything is done.

Looks like it will print a mess. :wink: And on a resin printer… I am curious as to how big you will print it? Adhering to the base or supports? Interesting.

It will have a solid base. The strings will be around 2-3mm thick. We already printed a similar web, but without the rope structure, it worked out quite nicely. The trick is to design the web in a way that it basically is its own support structure. And little imperfections won’t matter as much since the rope structure already is quite organic. What will be a far bigger mess (and i’m not even sure how to tackle that part yet) is to divide it in a way that it can be reasonably glued together.