Blender to the rescue?
After working pretty extensively with Solidworks for 2 years, I was tasked to model some realistic looking coiled up cables for solar panels. SW is definitely not made for that kind of thing, so I started to experiment with Cinema4d recently.
The workflow in C4D is not as time efficient as I'd like and I'm wondering if Blender wouldn't be a better choice.

My Workflow in C4D
I started with a helix that I turned into a spline by making it editable until I got the length of 10 meters right. Then I created a sweep and began to mainly use the Magnet tool to adjust the spline points of the cable from end to end.
There is a "Rope Simulation Tag" in C4D that I can use in conjunction with a surface collider body and gravity, but it is seemingly impossible to introduce the needed amount of stiffness to the cable and other problems as well.

The video shows what I got so far (the plugs were not made with C4D).
The last 5 meters of the cable took me 3 hours. But since I need to model several lengths of cables, I feel like there should be a more time efficient way to do this.

Does Blender have some type of applicable simulation tag that would allow me to let a simple cable (think of the stiffness of a power cable for a desktop PC) arranged in a helix fall into place on a surface? I could then adjust the cable here and there without the need to adjust EVERY spline point completely manually.
Or what would you try to do in my case?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


what you could do is using cloth for example.

Make a spiral curve, give it bevel with 4 vertices, convert to mesh, give it a cloth modifier.

Create a vertex group and assign all vertices to 1 of that mesh.

Create a cylinder with the radius of your spiral and move it slowly upwards.

Give your spiral mesh a vertex proximity modifier with these settings:

enter image description here

cloth modifier:

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set that vertex group as shape/pin for your cloth:

enter image description here

What this essentially does, is "free" the vertices of the pin group of the cloth from the bottom so that is slowly can animate the cloth.


enter image description here

Maybe this inspires you to make it even better ;)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ nice approach +1 $\endgroup$ Sep 12, 2023 at 14:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thank you!!!!!!! $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Sep 12, 2023 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ This looks super promising! Very much what I was imagining. I'll try this out and report back, thank you! :) $\endgroup$
    – Magnesia
    Sep 13, 2023 at 13:08
  • $\begingroup$ pls click on the checkmark left of my answer if my answer helped you. thx. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Sep 13, 2023 at 14:12

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