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First Post,

Iv been using blender on and off for very very basic poly models, mainly square shaped things where I can use loops cuts etc, but i'm trying to model a steel support structure, i've tried a few approaches from making it with planes and then extruding, bool tool or attempting to cut angles into a face with the knife tool but i always run into some issues.

I'm aware the overlapping geometry is not great, but it that's the shape i'm trying to make

I know there will be a simpler way to approach this that im either not aware of or don't have the right way of thinking to do it.

i'm looking for some tips to help produce this kind of model, with it being triangle based, I have already made the cubed versions as they where simple with loop cuts.

any advise or links to tutorials appreciated

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "triangle based and "cubed versions"? Is your goal to achieve a "watertight" version of the model on the screenshot? Please provide a reference to the object you want to model. $\endgroup$ Nov 4, 2023 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ @RumenBelev Im assuming that having the geometry overlapping the way i have is bad? after this I used the join function but the frames still overlap one another. I mean this is purely for visual purposes but i still think having shapes overlap like that is bad ? $\endgroup$
    – Steve O
    Nov 5, 2023 at 11:52

1 Answer 1

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There are many Vector Graphics (Inkscape) and CAD (FreCAD) programs that are designed for working with 2D shapes with ease and great precision.

Unfortunately, Blender does not have the strongest 2D toolset but still can do the job via:

  • importing the 2D file formats with your blueprint as Curves (.svg, dxf, etc)

  • using the available modeling tools.

We will use the capability of the Blender's 2D Curve to have holes using smaller shapes inside a bigger one. Note that in order for the holes to appear the small shapes must have an opposite direction than the big surrounding shape.

You can import your blueprint as an Empty of type Image and trace the lines of your design from Top View starting from a single Mesh vertex:

enter image description here

Notice that only edges and vertices are used (no faces)!

Once complete - convert the Mesh to a Curve object (Right Click on the Mesh in Object mode and select Convert To > Curve. By default the type of the Curve is Poly, but it can be changed to Bezier if curved segments are needed:

enter image description here

Go into your Curve Data properties (located in the Properties Editor) and set the Shape to 2D and Fill Mode to Both. This will automatically fill the curve and show the inside triangles as holes. In case you don't see a spline as a hole that means its direction needs to be reversed (select the spline and go to 3D Editor menu Segments > Switch Direction):

enter image description here

As additional final step you can extrude the 2D shape. Go to the Curve Data and give Geometry > Extrude parameter a value to your liking.

enter image description here

I am not going into details how to use the Mesh modeling tools but I strongly recommend learning more about Meshes, Curves and Snapping options in the Blender' manual. Also you are welcome to ask further questions.

https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/3.6/modeling/meshes/index.html https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/3.6/modeling/curves/index.html https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/3.6/editors/3dview/controls/snapping.html

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  • $\begingroup$ Amazing Thank you, I actually model within fusion 360 and Auto Cad,so this shape seemed trivial, but I did end up making it in fusion and importing it however iv always wanted to pick up blender for some more abstract stuff and scene building with lighting etc to be honest I did try looking for just basic lines or even just to add vertices and then join after the fact, but I guess you cant do that ? I don't want to have to design stuff in fusion just to extrude it in blender if I get stuck :( $\endgroup$
    – Steve O
    Nov 6, 2023 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ You are welcome @SteveO. There a two built in Blender add-ons that you can try: tinyCad: docs.blender.org/manual/en/3.6/addons/mesh/tinycad.html and Snap Utilities Line: docs.blender.org/manual/en/3.6/addons/mesh/… Both could be useful when designing your 2D shapes in Blender $\endgroup$ Nov 6, 2023 at 21:47

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