Out of the Box


I love those techniques!


I made them into Christmas ornaments. It took me a second to learn how to twist the curves with FredoScale, but I feel like I learned something from this. Thank you for all the tips and tricks!


9 posts were split to a new topic: Using Clothworks to create distorted grid images


Here’s an odd one, and I’ve thrown in several quick renders to help show the structure.
The geometry is one continuous solid with no intersections, it is a sausage.
Who can tell me how to make it.

IanT's Experimental Gallery

Any extensions used? (Yes/No)


Just one. And that’s sort of the point, the simple plugin makes simple geometry into something quite complex.


I would have a guess at that you draw a square spiral shape on a single upright face. Then used a bending extension such as Fredo Bend or Trubend to bend it top/bottom then bent the sides around to form the donut.
I haven’t tried it though.


Hmmm, oh well, wasn’t as clever as I thought it was.
Figured I could go to bed and see what ideas people had when I had time tomorrow.
I’ll just go to bed then, I may not bother getting up tomorrow.


I think it’s very clever. I’ve been looking at it for around 15 minutes trying to figure out how you did it, and decided it must not have started in a donut form because of the positions of the corners. If my guess were anywhere near right I’d be surprised.

I’m not sure how to take your comment, but if I caused any offence I apologise.


No no, no offense, you basically got it in one, Truebend is the plugin and it started as a square spiral.
I was hoping for a few guesses before being so easily exposed.


Here’s a simplified version of making the above with truebend. For the more complex one I did modify the ends before both bends to make the spiral continuous and solid. Easy to do but a bit too much to fit into the gif. It just requires making the ends half thickness and removing the face before the first bend, and trimming off the ring etc for the second bend. It’s not very smooth because I’m fighting a dodgy mouse.


That is something that you absolutely must have 3D printed to turn in your hand and think about the topology.


It would be nice @Anssi, but not from my printer. It would end up a strangled mess of support and shape.
I’ll think about it, would be nice done in metal.


I may have got it wrong. I’m on a different computer so I don’t have access to the original model. Which I’m sure was a single sausage spiral. It is late at night for me and I’m going to bed, but I replicated a version of what I think I did and I’m too tired to work out if I got it wrong then or now.
This version has one ring that isn’t connected to the rest of the sausage. I’ve uploaded it to the warehouse if anyone wants to explore it and point out where I got it wrong this time, or if I got it wrong the other time. Or both times.
Either way you can wander through it here.


That’s really cool :grinning:

There is one issue … it looks like there’s a “floating” ring:



Oh dear Jim, we wont mention the one from the other day…


I can see this starting some sort of modeling cult…

If the last one were done the same as the gif, maybe it’s something with the right hand vertical face of the ”squiral”. The gifs a bit fast to tell but it appears that part ends up in the middle, but I’m not too sure.


The thing is you need to have a go yourselves to see the reality of the issue. Being a 360 degree modification you have to make the relevant faces and sausage connect correctly. This model is wrong, but I think my other model is right, but as it is sitting on a computer on a boat that I won’t get to until after Christmas I can’t confirm that it is possible to make a single sausage square spiral. Unless I try again tomorrow.


I tried a few and came to one that worked (I think) by using guidepoints to define the group outer, avoiding bringing the geometry to touch again. I realise it’s different to what you have been showing, but I thought I should share how I came to the result.

(The bottom one is my most successful).BOX TEST.skp (1.5 MB) (I worked in meters for good measure)

It does make you think and gets the cogs whirring, it’s quite fun trying to figure it out.

When I did the final bend the group reported “solid” but I got “SketchUp Fix” upon save. That gave me two surface borders I were able to fix afterwards to make the solid.

Later Edit
I found a caveat using guides in the way that they don’t move with the geometry as it gets bent. Any “secondary” rotation before the final bend ends up in the final shape being larger and probably distorted, because the guides stay where they are and so the Group boundary is larger that defines the bend. You could “manage” them but it’s just too complicated.

(I don’t know why I didn’t do this before) Instead I used four small edges “inside” the Group at the center of the spiral, again the length of 1/2 the gap distance. These move with the geometry as it is bent and so the Group boundary remains the same throughout. At the end of the bending there are just 4 stray edges to delete to make the Group solid.

Here’s the latest idea with “secondary” rotation BOX TEST 2.skp (939.1 KB)

Sorry if I’m spamming a bit, I’ve been drawn right into this one…


No @IanT, that’s ok, I’m happy that you are having a play with it. I haven’t looked at your models yet but here’s a quick one that came to me in my sleep.
I made it with less spiral so it’s easier to follow.
Simple sausage.skp (211.9 KB)