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I often want to create joints like this:

enter image description here

Since I end up making these more than a little, I'd like a fast way to do it (i.e. on the order of < 10 seconds)

I've found a couple tools which come close to being the ideal solution, but I've had some problems with them as listed below:

  • When using the spin tool I usually end up having to fiddle with the location for a while in order to to get a natural curve:

    enter image description here

    Are there any techniques to expedite this process of fiddling?

  • The bridge tool is nice because I can precisely specify where both ends of the joint will be, however I often end up with subtly uneven joints, probably due to my initial mesh being not quite square.

    enter image description here

    Is there a fast way to correctly line up the initial edge loops in a way that will result in an even joint?

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  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton I've tried that, but as far as I could tell it didn't seem to support the rounded joints that I want. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 5 '15 at 7:06
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    $\begingroup$ Bridge edge loops works wonderfully. To fix the uneven joints use the smoothness slider. $\endgroup$ – cegaton Jan 5 '15 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ @cegaton I did, but it remained uneven.. (or maybe it's just me) $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 5 '15 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, it remains uneven. Then how about building from a 1/4 torus? Though it's not what you are asking. I think it would also be fast enough to create such model. :P $\endgroup$ – Leon Cheung Jan 5 '15 at 7:34
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The spin tool is well suited for creating joins:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Spin Alt-R it works best (expected results) in orthographic mode. The selected parts of the mesh will be rotated around the 3D cursor. The 3D cursor should precisely set vie the properties panel N.

enter image description here

The last operator settings allow to adjust the angle and steps:

enter image description here

If you focus more on modelling speed than accuracy the the bend tool could also be useful: How does the bend tool work?

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This is a combination with more mesh and less curve:

  1. Create a cube;
  2. Bevel an side edge;
  3. Extract a path;
  4. Convert to curve by AltC1, set depth and resolution.
  5. Convert it back to mesh by AltC2.

enter image description here

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a curve with a bezer circle as bevel object:

enter image description here

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice :) I'm mostly interested in mesh solutions though, as I normally want to do this while working on existing mesh models. I'm also looking for speed, and I doubt I could do this and join it into my mesh object very quickly.. Useful trick regardless, will keep it in mind. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Jan 5 '15 at 7:13

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