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I'm new user of Blender and I have a question about modelling. I would like to create the model of this object:

enter image description here

It starts from a metal sheet cut with a laser-cutting machine, then manually deformed into the shape in the photo.

I have no idea about how to model this. Searching I found "How can I create a hollow sphere with regularly spaced holes?" but that isn't my situation. Can someone help?

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  • $\begingroup$ A couple of really useful answers generated from this question. $\endgroup$ – Sean Houlihane Dec 6 '17 at 19:28
  • $\begingroup$ If you found an answer that works for you, please accept it. $\endgroup$ – Reinis Mazeiks Dec 20 '17 at 22:43
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You could easily do this with the classic combination Array + Curve modifiers.

enter image description here

Since your metal sheet seems to be cut in a repeating pattern start by defining a mesh shaped as one module of said pattern. Make use of a Mirror modifier, if it is symmetrical.

enter image description here

Add two Bezier Curve objects to your scene, one defining the larger radius of the desired shape, the other defining the shorter radius and the section of the torus like object.

Make sure the smaller curve is set to 2D in the Properties Window so it doesn't accidentally create gaps. Also make sure both curves are at the same scene position and world coordinate as the pattern mesh.

It also helps if the curve origin is set at one of the end vertex for the section.

enter image description here

Now to the pattern mesh add one Array modifier set to Fit Curve, and pick the smaller "section" curve. Then add Curve modifier pick the same Bezier object.

Adjust spacing and rotations as necessary if the deformation is unexpected.

enter image description here

Repeat the above steps of Array + Curve for the larger curve.

enter image description here

Now adjust the shape and deformations of the mesh by entering Edit Mode in either of the curves and playing around with its shape. Move vertex around or alter their Radius property for a scaling or collapsing effect.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Disclaimer: The gaping deformations that naturally happen by stretching a metal mesh won't be recreated using this technique, but you can manually model them while defining your base pattern object, or apply the modifiers and sculpt them over (a copy of) the final mesh if you don't need a non destructive workflow.

Also see related How to model braided nylon sleeve

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    $\begingroup$ When I looked at that question I had no clue where I would even begin. I have been using Blender for 3 years. Yet every time I see your answers I learn something new. Good Job. I would love to see your personal work. $\endgroup$ – icYou520 Dec 6 '17 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks mate, glad you like it. My personal work is a lot more boring and less flashy than this I'm afraid, that is why I spend too much time here. There is a link to my portfolio in my profile page. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Dec 6 '17 at 18:32
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    $\begingroup$ Just looked great work, and good luck in Group B this world cup. lol $\endgroup$ – icYou520 Dec 6 '17 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Ramos, many thanks for help! I would like to ask for clarification. I cannot understand how to deform correctly my mesh with the curve modifier. Always I have strange deformation and never my "mesh segment" fit the curve. I am sure the problem is in my "short radius" axis rotation. I tried to applay rotation before switching to 2D but my "short radius" curve always always flattens out. blender.stackexchange.com/questions/33485/… Can you explain me how to correctly create the vertical "short radius" bezier curve? Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Project Dec 12 '17 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ Don't rotate nor apply any transforms to the section curve, just leave it be in place as is, as a simple 2D curve object. Optionally move it in Edit Mode so that the origin point coincides with the starting vertex. See blender.stackexchange.com/questions/65567/… and blender.stackexchange.com/questions/64579/… or blender.stackexchange.com/questions/51909/… $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Dec 12 '17 at 16:46
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Another way to do this would be to use Tissue add-on.

final

  1. You need to have two meshes. Base mesh (from Sphere) and Component mesh.

    Important thing here is the Sphere topology. Tissue add-on is placing Component Mesh on faces of Base Mesh so shape and density of faces on Base Mesh will determine how it will look at the end.

    Also rotation of Component Mesh will be important. Remember to Apply Rotation for it.

meshes

  1. Select Component Mesh then Base Mesh and go to Create tab and select Tessellate.

tesselate

  1. Move newly created mesh to different layer, go to Edit Mode and W > Remove Doubles.

  2. Mesh clean up. Select faces as shown in the screenshot (only one block) and Shift+G > Face Region. You will have this:

face

  1. Switch to Edge Select mode and hit Ctrl+Num - to shrink selection.

edge

  1. X > Dissolve Edges and you should have something like this:

dissolve

  1. Go back to Object Mode and add Cast Modifier (Factor 1) and Solidify Modifier (this one should always be at the end).

modifiers

  1. Set Shading to Smooth and turn on AutoSmooth.

Mesh deformation:

You have couple of possibilities here.

First could be just manually edit mesh with Proportional Editing.

Second one (non-destructive) could be using Lattice:

lattice

Blend file:

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