I am interested in 3D Printing an iris mechanism but tinkercad doesn't give me the versatility I need, so I am using blender but I am trying to figure out how to split a circle into the iris blades so they're all even. I have split my octogon into triangle divisions, but I'm having a hard time trying to separate the triangles to mimic the shapes in the similar to the blades in the image below: (I apologize in advance for any improper verbiage, but I am still new to blender.)

enter image description here

Does anyone know if there is a modifier or a tool to separate my shapes below? enter image description here

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ you can select faces and press p to separate faces into new mesh,or also you can select connecting edge and pres v to rip edge and repeat other edges to split in same mesh. But how are you going to obtain 5 blades with that octagon. $\endgroup$
    – Feenix
    Nov 17, 2018 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


Ok. Actually, to model this blade, you have first to understand the underlying geometry. Its the intersection of 3 circles that make up that shape. In the following I will show you how to make that shape (with the hole) step by step.

0. go into Top Ortho by pressing Numpad 7

  1. Create a circle with 30 vertices enter image description here

  2. Go into Edit Mode (press Tab) and make sure the circle is selected (if not press A until it is). Press Shift+D to duplicate the circle. Before confirming the action press Y and type in 1 to move the circle by one up. enter image description here

  3. Press . (not on your Numpad) to select Cursor Pivotcenter. Then press Shift+D again and this time press R and type in -72 to rotate your Circle correctly. enter image description here

  4. Next select the vertex at [0, 1, 0] (where the 3D Cursor is in the next image) and press Shift+S. Select Cursor to Selected in the popup menu. Your Cursor should now be where it is in the image. Then create a Circle by pressing Shift+A and make sure it has 6 vertices. enter image description here

  5. Activate the little magnet in the bar at the bottom of the 3D Viewport. Select Vertex in the combobox right next to it. Now press R and let the rotation snap in place exactly as shown in the image below. Then Confirm by LMB or Enter enter image description here

  6. Now Scale with S and let it snap to the same vertex. Again shown below. enter image description here

  7. Reset your Cursor to the Center py pressing Shift+S and selecting Cursor to Center. Make sure the setting with the magnet stayed the same and press R. Let the rotation snap in place like shown below and confirm. enter image description here

  8. Press S to scale and let it snap like shown below before confirming. enter image description here

  9. Select the vertices as shown in the image below and press Alt+M. Select At Center in the popup menu. enter image description here

  10. Next up you have to remove all temporary vertices. Make sure you are in Wireframe Mode (to the right of the Edit Mode combobox). If you are not in Wireframe Mode press Z to enter it. Press C to use the circle selection tool and select the vertices shown below. When finished press X and select Vertices to delete them. enter image description here

  11. Select everything whats left (press A until that is the case). Press W and select Remove Doubles. (In 2.8 press Alt+M and select By Distance)

  12. Select the two vertices like shown below and press X and select Edges. enter image description here

  13. Select every vertex around the big face (every vertex except two which are part of the hexagon) and press F to make a Face. Select (only) the 6 vertices of the hexagon and press F. Then press I and adjust the size of the hole that you what to be in there. Then after you confirmed press X and Faces to make the hole. enter image description here

  14. The following part is completly optional and because you are a beginner it may be hard to do for you. In the picture below I made a beautiful topology to be used with the Subsurf Modifier. I made that mostly by using the Knife Tool (K). If you want you can copy my topology with that tool. The most important step here is to add the Edge Creases at the inner tip. Select the 3 vertices that are the closest to the 3D Cursor in the image and press Shift+E. Move your mouse until a Crease +1.000 appears in the bottom left corner of the 3D Viewport and confirm with LMB. enter image description here

  15. Press Strg+2 to add a Subsurf Modifier and exit the Edit Mode (Tab). enter image description here

  16. Add a Solidify Modifier in the Modifier Tab (shown in the image above) by clicking on Add Modifier and select it there. You can then Adjust the Thickness of the blade and Apply that modifier.

  17. Enjoy tinkering

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for this answer! This was a perfected illustrated example. Another thanks for the cut tool suggestion, after I looked it up it really helped! $\endgroup$ Nov 18, 2018 at 4:10

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