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Tried using a spiral wrapped around the cone as a curve to make the stairs array follow, but the stairs array either disappears when I try to link it to that spiral curve or it gets crazy :) any help please?

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    $\begingroup$ Hello, maybe show some pictures or even share your file: pasteall.org/blend $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ I couldn't make anything useful for a file or picture.. the stairs disappears when linked with the curve. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ yes but if you share your file we can find out what's happening, or please show a drawing of what you're trying to achieve. Generally Curve modifier doesn't work because the origin are not at the same position, or the curve vertices have not a radius of 1 $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 21:14
  • $\begingroup$ Adding a blend file that show all of your setting might make it easier for someone to see what went wrong. If you can: (Grab the URL of the question. Go to blend-exchange.com. Select the blend file. Add the url of the question. Grab the url that results. Go back to the question and edit it. Add the new url to the bottom of the post.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ Here is my latest version: <img src="https://blend-exchange.com/embedImage.png?bid=g36sx7Sy" /> I want to make stairs for this (historic building- Iraq). I made the needed spiral and attached it to the building but couldn't convince the stairs to follow it. I tried also with (supposedly simpler) version to wrap the stairs on a cone, with no success. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 23:48

2 Answers 2

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You could use a lattice object to bend your staircase.

I used a single vertex and a screw modifier to get a spiral :

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Then another screw modifier to create small faces oriented along the tangent of the staircase. This will help orient the steps afterwards.

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Create your step object and parent it to staircase using CTRL + P

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Go into the spiral object properties and enable instancing on faces.

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Should look like that :

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Create a lattice object, scale it in OBJECT mode so it's slightly bigger than your staircase.

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Add a Lattice modifier to the staircase object

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Select the lattice, go into EDIT mode and scale the top 4 vertices down.

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Afterwards you can disable the spiral rendering in viewport and render :

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If you want more usability you can add a shape key to the lattice before editing it in edit mode. Add another one directly after and modify the lattice the lattice in edit mode while the second shape key is selected. You can go overboard since we'll be using the slider to adjust the effect.

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You'll notice the steps are instanced at an angle, that's because the vertical faces get rotated by the lattice. Simple solution is to place the lattice modifier in second position in the modifier stack :

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You can even add another shape key to tweak the spiral height.

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Play with the first Screw modifier to change the staircase :

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Inspired by Moonboots :)

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    $\begingroup$ Wow, that is beautiful @Gorgious, and the flexibility is great.. exactly what I need. There are some features that I haven't used yet, so it is a chance to get aquainted with. Can I have the file too please? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 10:16
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    $\begingroup$ "Gorgious' Goodness" at work again :)) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 11:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks :) @SaiebKhalil l Added the file at the end of the answer feel free to dig into it $\endgroup$
    – Gorgious
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 13:06
  • $\begingroup$ @JachymMichal Echo that ;) $\endgroup$
    – Robin Betts
    Commented Jul 28, 2021 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ In other words, the stairs built is not "user friendly" (but blender friendly :) ) I think the concept is general more or less, to all designs by blender or any other similar software, and the quality of the product is represented by its position between these two factors (user vs software) (or real vs simulated) $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 7, 2021 at 8:06
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This answer is inspired by Gorgious' answer here.

First array a simple edge along your spiral, put the edge object origin at the exact same position as the spiral origin, use the Array "Constant Offset" option, otherwise you won't be able to array it. Then give your edge a Screw modifier with an Angle of 0° and a Steps of 1 in order to create planes from each edge. Your curve must have its Shape > Twist Method set to Up.

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Create your stair step, parent it to the edge. Select the edge, go in the Properties panel > Object > Instancing, enable Faces. The step should be duplicated on each edge position:

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Here is the file:

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  • $\begingroup$ thanks alot @moonboots. I can't say I understood how does your solution work and the whys and whynots, I could't follow all your steps too, in spite of much time spent. there are always surprises that I don't understand. It seems to me that I have taken a too advanced project for my beginner level :).. thanks again $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ you're welcome, yes what you ask is not easy even for non beginners imho ;) $\endgroup$
    – moonboots
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 20:09

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