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floatplane boarding steps I am creating a model of the boarding steps used on docks to assist passengers to enter a floatplane. I have started with a cube and used extrude, edge loop cuts and boolean modifier to get where I am however I am sure there would be an easier method to use which would also enable the same dimensions of say the 'legs' on each side (I used a cube and boolean to cut out to form legs etc). I also used a cube rotated 45 degrees to do cuts using the boolean modifier. I feel this is a clumsy method. (Please note the model is far from complete eg I have steps to add which I will do using extrude). I just want suggestions on how I should have created the object.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Could you rephrase you title and post to read more like a direct inquiry, rather that a broader "Suggestions/Tuition"? The former would be on topic, while the later seems too open ended or subjective for our site $\endgroup$ Feb 16 at 0:14
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    $\begingroup$ Also an image or picture of what the model should look like would help. $\endgroup$
    – John Eason
    Feb 16 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry. I have now actioned those requests $\endgroup$ Feb 16 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Duarte Farrajota Ramos I have rephrased as you requested. $\endgroup$ Feb 20 at 3:24

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This was going to be a comment that got too long, so I posted I decided to write a full answer.

You have probably noticed that a lot of real world objects are inherently "bidimensional", and their shapes can often be expressed as a simple extrusion of some sort.

That is you can define a some 2D "profile" and sweep it along an (often straight) path, to get your shape. It may not be immediately apparent for all shapes, but if you analyse them closely you will find that many every day objects can be decomposed in an extrusion of some sort. Some may require additional holes but the base assumption still holds.

This can be justified by the fact that those types of shapes are relatively easy to manufacture with current technology and commonly found fabrication methods. Say creating sheets of materials, extrusion profiles, moulds etc.

You particular object could be decomposed into several bidimensional parts, like say a sheet for the landing and step treads, some sort of tubing or bar for the stringer, etc.

I'd try to decompose all those elements of the stairs into separate objects you can model separately as 2D based elements, and model them separately.

This has the advantage of avoiding booleans, which are computationally expensive and finicky to use, and you can reuse common parts, like extrusion profiles or recurring elements.

Bezier Curve objects, though unpopular as a modelling tool provide adequate tools for working with these types of shapes.

I understand this isn't a popular modelling technique, but they have served me quite well throughout the years, and I build whole scenes with them.

Dealing with many separate objects can be a pain when arranging your scene, I generally deal with that by modelling all my components beforehand in a separate scene, making collections out of them, and then instancing as components in a render scene. This answer is outdated because it was written way back before Blender had Collections, but the workflow principle still holds for working with groups of objects.

enter image description here

Notice how all the parts are separate obejcts. They are all bezier curves, set to 2D mode, so they don't inadvertently become skewed or non coplanar. A section profile is used for defining the stringers and shared among all. You can even add mirror modifiers to symmetrical objects, so you only have to model half of the shape, and let Blender deal with the rest.

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