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How can I get a spiral curve to wrap around an object in blender? More importantly, an object with some degree of complexity.

I've been using the shrinkwrap modifier with varying degrees of success. In the example, I can get a spiral to wrap around simple shapes pretty well. But in the second example, as soon as introduce different angles to the wrapped object, the spiral messes up completely. Also in the second example is the type of curve/spiral I'm using. I've tried all three different types of spiral, but none gives any better result than the other.

Any ideas?

enter image description here

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Use the Curve Modifier to slide your Spiral Curve along a Bezier Curve

With the Add Curve: Extra Objects add-on enabled, Add a spiral object by pressing ShiftACurve > Spirals.

Add Spiral

In the Operator Panel customize the spiral's shape.

Customizing the shape of the spiral

Set your Curve settings as you want them. Curve Context Tab

Add a Bezier Curve. (ShiftACurve > Bezier)

Use the Curve Modifier on the spiral object to make it follow the Bezier Curve object. Set the Axis correctly (usually it will be Z). Enable the third and fourth modifier options, to Display Modifier in Edit Mode (makes it easier to see what you're doing) and Apply on Spline (makes for a nicer curve shape).

Curve Modifier settings

Make sure their Object Origins are at the same point, and that both objects have the same rotation (to avoid confusion). If you need to slide the spirals position along the Bezier Curve, Select All (A) and Grab (G) the spiral object and move it in Edit Mode.

Positioning the spiral in Edit Mode

You can also scale the spiral along Z to stretch, or X,Y to fatten it.

Scaling the spiral curve in Edit Mode, to make it fit the Bezier Curve length

Above: Scaling with the 3D Cursor as the Pivot Point, to fit the spiral to the Bezier Curve.

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  • $\begingroup$ Definitely more in depth than I had expected, but a great answer nonetheless. The thought of using another curve to modify the direction of the curve is something that went right over my head. I found myself trying to manually go in and rotate the vertexes, which was pretty time consuming. Thanks a lot, I appreciate it. $\endgroup$ – Axi0m Feb 13 '16 at 1:01
  • $\begingroup$ No worries. I can imagine nudging around the curve points was tedious. Glad this will be a solution for you. :-) $\endgroup$ – Mentalist Feb 13 '16 at 4:27

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