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 Subject: Make a coil in Blender 2.6x

charlie43 opened this issue on Dec 04, 2012 · 16 posts

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  charlie43    ( ) ( posted at 10:21PM Tue, 04 December 2012 

I've been scouring Google and the forums tonight to try to figure out how to make a coil in 2.6x. I want the obj to be 1/2 inch tubing that is modeled into a coil that has about 8-10- coils. They must be symmetrical and I need to be able to manipulate the ends (i.e. bend to make connections.) I've tried messing with different modifiers and nurbs curves but have had no luck. I also need to be able to know the diameter of the cylinder. I have used a feature before in 2.5x that allowed me to see the numeric values of what I am working on, but this tired old man cannot for the life of him find where this parameter is checked! Basically what I need is a helix coil with same size coils and with 8-10 segments, and to know their numeric value. Any help most definitely appreciated!



  keppel    ( ) ( posted at 11:57PM Tue, 04 December 2012  · @4017069

Here is a less than othodox way of doing this.

Firstly (if not already done) enable the Bolt Factory Addon (User Preferences>Addons>Add Mesh>Add Mesh:Bolt Factory)

What you can do is use the thread of the bolt as a curve path for the coil.

Add a bolt to your scene (Shift+A>Mesh>Bolt)
Using the bolt parameters create a bolt so that the bolts thread matches your coil requirements.
In Edit Mode Alt+Select the outer thread.  This is the start of your coil.
Still in edit mode with the coil selected press "P" and Separate Selection.
Jump out of edit mode, select the bolt and delete, you should now be left with the coil.
Next step is to convert the mesh coil to a curve.
Press Alt+C and choose Curve from Mesh.
Now that the coil is a curve you can adjust the end positions of the coil in eit mode.
To give the coil curve some mass add a new curve>circle to the scene and name it Profile for ease of use.
Now select the coil curve and in the properties panel select object data (with the curve icon) and in the Bevel Object field select Profile.  This applies the curve circle (Profile) to the curve coil (Path).

All thats left is to scale the Profile curve to get the coil diameter.

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  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 2:36AM Wed, 05 December 2012  · @4017093

is an addon called curves galore (may need turning on or maybe have to d/l it)

it will make spirals then just add the bevel to the curve

  keppel    ( ) ( posted at 2:58AM Wed, 05 December 2012  · @4017098

There is also the screw modifier.


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  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 11:04AM Wed, 05 December 2012  · @4017198

gotta love blender!!! so many ways to do anything ;-)

  charlie43    ( ) ( posted at 9:22AM Thu, 06 December 2012  · @4017491

@keppel - Your suggestion has a lot of merit. I used your instructions to create a perfect coil of vertices that would meet my needs. Only one problem - I followed your instructions to Alt+C and nothing popped up to convert the curve to mesh. On the bolt, when I have it set to the parameters I need, I have a choice of verts or polys to make the curve. I am using the verts as would make the most sense. Am I missing something?

@heddheld - The addon "curves galore" was not available for download as of yesterday. I get a 404 message when trying to go to the script. I did manage to get the py script for screw modifier, but couldn't get it to load into Blender 2.64a. I'm working on another project that is giving me fits right now (see new thread) so will get back to it in a day or so.

Appreciate your help, guys. You're the best...


  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 11:10AM Thu, 06 December 2012  · @4017513

screw mod is "built in its on the T panel on the left

  keppel    ( ) ( posted at 4:14PM Thu, 06 December 2012  · @4017611

You are probably in edit mode when you are trying to convert to curve.  Alt+C will only come up if you are in object mode.

"In Edit Mode Alt+Select the outer thread.  This is the start of your coil.
Still in edit mode with the coil selected press "P" and Separate Selection.
Jump out of edit mode, select the bolt and delete, you should now be left with the coil.
Next step is to convert the mesh coil to a curve.
Press Alt+C and choose Curve from Mesh."

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  keppel    ( ) ( posted at 6:02PM Thu, 06 December 2012  · @4017637

Regarding the screw modifier, to create a coil I much prefer the actual modifier rather than the button on the left panel as hed suggested.  To "screw" a closed profile shape will generate an error.  Also using the modifier, you can continue to go back to it to make changes if you need to where as using the screw button your mesh shape is final once you start a new operation.

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  DramaKing    ( ) ( posted at 1:30AM Fri, 07 December 2012  · @4017718

If you need a rigged object, then you should check out Etch-a-ton. http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Manual/Rigging/Armatures/Editing/Sketching

It is better to do one thing well, than to do many things and excel at nothing.

  charlie43    ( ) ( posted at 11:49AM Tue, 05 February 2013  · @4038034

Okay.  So I spent the last month in the hospital and rehab, and I am just getting back to my work.You would think that something as simple as a coil would be a snap in Blender, but such doesn't appear to be the case. I followed @keppel's instruction and get a really great curve, but when I add a curve>circle to use as a profile, the results are disasterous at best. I can get about anything I want. As you can see from the mesh, it came our perfectly as @keppel advised. Adding the "profile" circle and attempting to adjust it to give my coil substance is something else all together. I am thinking it is just some little thing I am doing wrong, but what it is I have no clue. This is really holding my project up, and I would greatly appreciate any insight anyone can give me.



This is the beginning coil, and it is currently a mesh.

This is the results after converting mesh to curve and adding profile circle.






  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 1:09PM Tue, 05 February 2013  · @4038063

not sure but looks like your profile circle is not aligned/scaled for this, did you apply scale etc (ctrl+a)??

heres my way using the curves galore

change settings to suit

  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 1:11PM Tue, 05 February 2013  · @4038065

then add bevel


dont get too stressed until your fully fit ;-)

hope this helps

  charlie43    ( ) ( posted at 7:37PM Tue, 05 February 2013  · @4038177

Hi, heddheld~

This would be all well and good if Curves Galore were available for Blender 2.6x. I believe I mentioned this in a previus comment. After your first mention of this script, I searched for it, only to get a message that the script was no longer available. Your solution is perfect for what I need. I am getting very frustrated with this to say the least. It should be a simple, straightforward operation. This particular mesh is the finishing portion of my project. I am not a happy man...

Thanks for your help. I have spent all night tonight searching the web for a solution. There must be one somewhere!


  keppel    ( ) ( posted at 10:53PM Tue, 05 February 2013  · @4038212

  heddheld    ( ) ( posted at 2:35AM Wed, 06 February 2013 · edited on 2:40AM Wed, 06 February 2013 · @4038249

try this tut


at about 4 mins or so he does a coil


this is the wiki for curves, it says its built in for 2.6


thats maybe my fault cos curves galore is only a part of the addon NOT its name like I've had you looking for!! sorry

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