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I am trying to model the sides of a car axle, but I end up with ugly results and shading, no matter how I approach it. I could model it as seperate pieces, but the reference object is a single piece.

My object: enter image description here

My desired result: enter image description here enter image description here

Results I achieved by myself, but look far from the reference photos: enter image description here enter image description here

Result I have achieved thanks to the thread: enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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You could begin with this kind of cylinders, and boolean. You need to avoid boolean when it's possible but this is typically a case where boolean is the best solution imho. The hard part is probably to guess how many vertices for each cylinder, 32 here is probably not good for the long one on X so I had to lower down to 16:

enter image description here

Then once booleaned begin to work a bit, J to join, K to knife, merge vertices with Auto-Merge and vertex Snap activated, etc. At one point you need to give your object a Subdivision Surface in order to test and modify the topology accordingly. Tris and ngons are acceptable as long as they don't create artefacts. Here (image below) it's not finished, just work in progress, it will need bevels on the edges, etc:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I have been trying to wrap my mind around cleaning the resulting topology from the boolean approach, and I have not been able to. $\endgroup$
    – H01
    Jul 14, 2021 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ I've edited my answer to show how I would begin to rework the topology once booleaned, it's not finished but I hope you get the thing $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 14, 2021 at 19:48
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you so much. I have made a notable progress thanks to your teachings. I will attach Images of my model so far to the main post. $\endgroup$
    – H01
    Jul 16, 2021 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ glad I helped ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Jul 16, 2021 at 7:23

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