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Can't figure out how to model this curvy spiral staircase. I initially tried freehanding it, but to no avail. I tried to figure out something with curves or the screw modifier, but it didn't work.

It seems like there should be an elegant way to do this, but I can't figure it out.

Curvy thing

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Well I think this is just supposed to be a spiral staircase, a fairly simple helix.

One way to model it would be to make a square "U" shape with three edges (e.g. delete one edge of a plane). Rotate it so it's as shown in the image below (make sure to apply your rotation) and you'll want to offset the origin, in Edit Mode, just select the vertices and move G them to one side, which will leave the origin in place.

Then just add a Screw modifier as shown. I have set the Angle to negative to get the helix to twist the direction I want.

spiral staircase

Edit: as per @Duarte Farrajota Ramos, an Edge Split modifier would be a good addition to distinguish between the sharp angles and the smoother surfaces.

spiral staircase with edge split modifier

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    $\begingroup$ Might be worth mentioning adding an edgesplit modifier to the bottom of your staircase stack to get better smoothing, or turning auto smooth on. $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Jan 30 '18 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ Another thing to note is that the outer wall extends much higher than the inner wall. $\endgroup$ – Scott Milner Jan 30 '18 at 16:33

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