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I have the helix and I can't figure out how to do what I want to do with it.

I want to bend the helix back on itself to form a torus and nothing have tried works. The results are no anywhere near what I envisioned. I subdivided the Helix and I cannot seem to bend the thing 360 back onto itself. I tried making it follow a curve and nothing happens. I mean basically it is a cylinder but following tuts about how to do this with a cylinder just don't work right.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you add a pic of what exactly do you want? $\endgroup$
    – CoolCoder
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 2:40
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    $\begingroup$ You could try using a Simple Deform modifier, set to "bend", although this sometimes requires the object to have a certain orientation before it will bend correctly. Occasionally, an empty is used as a target object to achieve more specific deformations. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 2:57
  • $\begingroup$ and by the way Cloudrunner - it would be nice from you if you would check the "checkmark" left of an answer if this answer helps you for your question. It's good for everybody who reads your question and has the same problem and it's nice for the one who answers so that he knows his invested time was not in vain. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ blender.stackexchange.com/questions/57615/… $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 11:54

3 Answers 3

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  1. I'd start off with a curve object consisting of 4 circles. The origin is in the center.

base circles

  1. Then add a Screw modifier, set it to 360° or a multiple of 360° to make sure whatever profile you use, it returns to the start position on its end. The values depend on how the helix torus should look like in the end, so you have to find your own. In this example I'll go with an Angle of 720°, Screw 5 m in 2 Iterations on the Z axis. The Steps I've set to 64 to make it look smooth, especially for the next step.

screw modifier

  1. Next comes a SimpleDeform modifier set to Bend at an angle of 360°. I use the X axis but it depends on which way you want it to bend.

bend helix

  1. Now there's only one thing left: where the start and the end of the torus meet, the shading is wrong because they are not merged together. To change this, you can use a Weld modifier.

weld

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Use my answer from Can I make a helix with 4 strands?, then add these two modifiers and another empty:

enter image description here

result:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I shouldn't have spent so much time on creating screenshots... $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 9:52
  • $\begingroup$ @GordonBrinkmann: nah, nice answer!!!! +1 with my answer he has to click first on my old then on my new answer...with yours is all in one ;) and i love your yellow markings...everbody can see directly what you mean $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 9:53
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe that helps people that come directly to this question. Although "another question about making a circular object" is not a very expressive title which hints on what one can find here. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ That’s right….. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Commented Dec 2, 2021 at 10:36
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For another way to do this, using pure curves rather than a simple deform, we can make three different curves: a bevel curve, a twisty line, and a circle.

Start with the bevel object. For this, I created a bezier circle and duplicated it four times. Leaving the origin of the curve in the center of structure is convenient:

enter image description here

Now I want a straight "curve" to use that bevel object. I make a bezier curve, move it 1 unit in X in edit so that its origin lies at its first control, and straighten it out (by scaling in local Y+Z to 0.) We'll clean up the controls handles so that the controls have equal "lengths", for linear interpolation of anything like tilt along the length of the curve.

enter image description here

Now we want it twisty. To do that, we can select one of the controls enter a tilt. In this case, we want our tilt to be a multiple of 90 degrees so that the endpoints will match up. Let's keep it clean and just use 360:

enter image description here

Now we want a circle to describe our torus-shape. I create a bezier circle, move it one unit in X in edit so that its origin lies at the first control (probably doesn't matter here, but I'm in the habit of doing this for dealing with curve modifiers), and then scale it up a bit, just to eye. In properties/object data/shape, I'm also going to enable bounds clamp and stretch:

enter image description here

Now let's give our straight curve a curve modifier targeting this circle:

enter image description here

Not quite right. We need to weld the ends of the circle so that the normals are continuous. We should also increase the resolution of our straight curve, in properties/object data/shape/resolution U, so that it has enough vertices to describe the curve well:

enter image description here

Now we've got something wonderful where we can edit each parameter individually, from twist, to cross section, to eventual shape, just by editing each of our three curves. If we enable edit mode display of modifiers, we can even see our final shape as we edit. Let's increase the twist, change the cross section, and distort the circle. Not to make it pretty, just to demonstrate how easy it is to make this structure do anything you want:

enter image description here

Note, there's no reason to use subdivision on curves like this. If you want a smoother mesh, use higher resolution on the curve objects.

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