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Stands for the pipes-Current

I want to create 3 metallic rods (solid pipes) which start from the solid block on left, pass through the holes on the other two stands and a few more off-camera, and end in a similar solid block. The blocks will have a transparent acrylic/plastic material. Two rods will be towards bottom of holes, and one on top. They have to be in that arrangement because some balls have to pass through them.

Crude drawing of objective Real world object

I can't figure out how to create such 3 curves that always stay equal distance from each other, which touching the boundaries of those circles at the same time. My best guess is a single bezier curve, which is then converted to a single object/circle, and then it is modified to have 3 pipes on its edge, but have no idea how to go about it.

Please mention steps instead of only techniques and workflow names if possible, as I am a complete beginner in modeling.

Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ I can't imagine that. Could you draw on this screenshot how it should look like? $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 5 '18 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ I have added more images to make it clear. $\endgroup$ – soslearn May 5 '18 at 20:12
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Final

final

Bevel for Curve (wires)

In this step you will create Bevel object for main curve.

Changed to method Duarte Farrajota Ramos mentioned in comments.

  1. Shift+A > Curve > Circle.
  2. In Edit Mode select all and duplicate your Circle than scale it down.
  3. Turn on Snapping and move duplicated Circle up.
  4. Switch Pivot Center to 3D Cursor.
  5. Duplicate smaller Circle and rotate it by 120 degrees.
  6. Repeat step 5. for another Circle.
  7. Remove bigger Circle.

wires

Main Curve

Here you will make Bezier Curve which you can manipulate as you want and it will keep your wire in place.

  1. Shift+A > Curve > Bezier.
  2. Go to Data tab.
  3. Select Bevel Object.
  4. Crank up Preview Resolution.
  5. Most probably you will need to scale down your Bevel Object.

main_curve

Placing Main Curve in holes

I've used a bit tedious way. Most important thing here is to have the same number of vertices in Bezier Curve (Main) as number of hole objects.

  1. Select inner loop of hole object and place 3D Cursor in it - Shift+S.

4

  1. Select vertex from Main Curve and move it to 3D Cursor - also Shift+S.

5

  1. Repeat for every hole selecting another vertices from Main Curve.
  2. Select all vertices in Main Curve and V > Vector than V > Automatic to have unified handles.
  3. Tweak handles to be round.

6

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  • $\begingroup$ This is exactly how I'd go about doing it too +1. Only thing I'd do different is probably use rotation about the 3D cursor instead, to accurately place the three circles radially equidistant $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos May 5 '18 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ @DuarteFarrajotaRamos yeah, I have though about it after posting the answer. This way was just quicker. I have thought also about making triangle, and placing Bezier Circles on it's vertices with snap > median. $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 6 '18 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ @LukeD Thank you very much. That was very helpful. For some reason I couldn't adjust the vertices after snapping to cursor, which was needed in a few holes. I ended up manually moving the vertices in proper places because I needed the start of pipes to be free in air. One thing that I had forgotten to mention is that I need the top pipe to extend more than the bottom 2 at the start. Would that be possible? $\endgroup$ – soslearn May 8 '18 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ @soslearn could you please explain a bit more what does it mean that top one should extend more? Should it be longer than the rest of them? $\endgroup$ – cgslav May 8 '18 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the ambiguity. Right now I can only do this: i.imgur.com/37i35Bz.png Is it possible to have this: i.imgur.com/ugJUKqI.png $\endgroup$ – soslearn May 8 '18 at 13:34

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