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I would like to get an effect similar to the screw modifier but for linear instead of circular motion.

For example, consider a cone: enter image description here

If I apply a screw modifier I get a nice, smooth shape without any major signs of discretization. It's as if the cone was moved along the screw vector and the resulting shape is the trail of the movement (or the union of all intermediate positions).

enter image description here

I'd like to get the same effect for linear motion. I tried to use the array modifier but I only manage to get discrete offsets, which result in the effect shown below (e.g. the tips of the cones are all visible rather than being connected like in the curve modifier).

enter image description here

Is there a way to obtain the smooth shape of the screw modifier for linear offsets?

Thanks for your help!

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One idea that comes to mind is to Skrinkwrap another object onto the array result:

enter image description here

Skrinkwrap a subdivided cube onto the Surface of the Array object (with a tiny offset to keep the result on the outer edge of the array. Use some bombination of "Shade Smoth", Subdivision modifier (adjust levels to suit your precision needs), to further smooth out the result. May not have to subdivide the cube if Subdiv mod is about the Shrinkwrap. Experiment!

It might also be adequate to simply apply the Subdiv Surface Mod onto the array itself.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome. When posting here please avoid text inside images, always prefer typing it directly in the body of the post instead. Image content can't be indexed and thus can't be searched for or readily found in the future. It can't also be easily edited in case of errors or typos, nor updated when it gets outdated in case of future changes. $\endgroup$ Dec 12, 2022 at 0:48
  • $\begingroup$ thanks for your answer! so there is no built-in modifier (like screw) that can do it? I need to do this for many objects of different shape so having to fiddle around with levels of various additional modifiers is not really practical $\endgroup$
    – mpr
    Dec 12, 2022 at 8:28
  • $\begingroup$ @mpr -- when I mention "experiment and adjust" -- perhaps only on the first object. If there are a tedious number of objects to work on: that is what Python scripts are for! $\endgroup$
    – james_t
    Dec 12, 2022 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ @james_t ok, thank you! I'll give it a go $\endgroup$
    – mpr
    Dec 13, 2022 at 21:31

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