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I have a curved pipe. This pipe will ultimately be fabricated as a thin-wall stainless steel pipe. The pipe will be approximately 4" in diameter and 6' long. I would like to know how to cut a slot 1" wide the full length of the pipe and keep the same exact curve. Also, the curved pipe does not curve uniformly, it has a decreasing radius as you move to the two ends of the pipe.

Here is a top and side view of the pipe:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ you could make it with a curve, then convert to mesh, duplicate one of the edge on its length, give it thickness then use it as a boolean object to create a slop on the pipe. But maybe show a drawing of what you mean because I may be wrong about what you mean... $\endgroup$ – moonboots Nov 9 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I created this curved pipe within the first hour of ever using software like Blender. Absolute newbie, so I have no clue what you are explaining when you say "mesh", "boolean object" LOL. $\endgroup$ – joe gaber Nov 11 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ Here is a top and side view of the pipe: photos.app.goo.gl/GghtkmBjcywdAkrP7 $\endgroup$ – joe gaber Nov 11 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ did you create your pipe with a bezier curve? does the slot cut a hole in your pipe or just a groove? $\endgroup$ – moonboots Nov 11 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes to bezier curve. See the end view - white circle with slot cutout of the pipe in the linked image: photos.app.goo.gl/aaeWak6Emr4z6UxV7 $\endgroup$ – joe gaber Nov 12 at 0:01
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So what you could do is:

  • First duplicate your curve to keep a safe copy somewhere. Now give it enough resolution, you'll have to make some tests but your mesh seems already smooth.

enter image description here

  • Convert your curve to mesh (header menu > Object > Convert To)

enter image description here

  • Select the edge where you want the slot to be, bevel with CtrlB, delete the faces, you have your slot.

enter image description here

  • Give your pipe a Solidify modifier to give it thickness, apply the modifier if your object is supposed to be printed at the end.

enter image description here

  • To have an even smoother object you need to add geometry with the Subdivision Surface modifier. As it will round the corners you need to add edge loops to sharp them. Again, apply your modifier if the object is supposed to be printed at the end.

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ These are awesome instructions; however, after doing the conver to, no mesh appeared. ctrl-B (command on Mac for me) didn't do anything. I am using the latest version of Blender. $\endgroup$ – joe gaber Nov 14 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ I'm on Mac and it should be ctrl by default, once you've made ctrl B then drag to scale the bevel and/or use the operator box on the bottom left of the 3D View $\endgroup$ – moonboots Nov 15 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ my email is jpgaber at gmail. Can you email me. I'd like to see if you can provide more direct support on this project as a contractor. $\endgroup$ – joe gaber Nov 16 at 19:00

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