I am an active woodturner and want to create segmented turnings for pens and bowls. One of the issues is that i can visualize what i want but after creating the segmented blank and turning it round, sometimes it does not look right. I have used Sketup for creating the blank to size and it works well. But it only really shows what the whole shape will be. Now, what i would like to know, will blender let me create a rectangle with the segments in place and then digitally turn it round to show what the final shape would be?

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome this sounds like an interesting question, but it could certainly benefit from some images and illustrations of what you are trying to achieve.I'm sure not everyone can visualize what you are talking about $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2018 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ Are you just interested in the pattern formed by the overall color of the segments after turning, or do you want to capture (at least an approximation of) the direction of the wood grain as well? $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2018 at 8:52

2 Answers 2


Yes! (and it is easy)

Make a pen blank just like you would do in the real world, glue different pieces together, then turn them round.

I'm just using colored cubes as my wood pieces. It is literally just scaled cubes duplicated and with different materials. (I'm sure you are planing more complicated turnings.)
stacked cubes in blender

Now to see what it would look like turned down.

  1. This works better if the different pieces are all separate objects. (If there not just go into edit mode and press P > Loose Parts).
  2. Add a cylinder the same size as a finished pen blank (using real world units would help) and position it so that is goes through all of the laminated cube stack. cylinder object added to my cube stack Do note here in these pictures I'm showing two different pen blanks. Thus I have two different cylinder objects, and twice as much work.
  3. Back on the pen blank object, pick any of the pieces (lets use the top piece) and add a Boolean Modifier to the pen blank object. Set the Object to the cylinder object you added in step 2, and leafe the Operation as Intersect.
  4. Now select all the other pen blank pieces, keeping the one you already added the boolean modifier to the active object, and press CtrlL > Modifiers.

Here is kind of what it will look like. (I kept the cylinder objects showing, changed them to wireframe display, but you should hide H them.) booleaned object

  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! That is a neat application. $\endgroup$
    – Ed Tate
    Oct 4, 2018 at 17:27

As no pictures have been provided, I will try to help as if you were having trouble modeling.
You may want to check out blenders online manual. Here are a few resources to help you

If you are having trouble moving, I've found that using Shift+F is a good way to move around
if you simply want to rotate your shape then use r and double-tap the desired axis to rotate on... double tap makes it rotate on local axis


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