Learn how to model physically accurate bolt or pipe threads by using the helix object

Summary:

(4:12) Create a Helix object (Create-Polygon Primitives-Helix)
(4:53) Adjust Helix object attributes as desired

  • Coils: 10.6
  • Height: 1.0
  • Width: 1.015
  • Radius: 0.05
  • Subdivisions Axis: 3
  • Subdivisions Coil: 50+

(7:55) Bevel the helix

  • Double-click center edge of helix to select edge loop
  • Bevel (Edit Mesh-Bevel)
  • Fraction: 0.168
  • Segments: 1
  • Depth: 1

(9:40) Double-click the other edge loops to select. Translate and scale as desired to form the “trough” of the threads

  • Control-click on the Y-Axis scale handle to proportionately scale on the X and Z-axes

(12:50) Delete the end caps of the helix object using Face Select mode
(13:10) Delete all inner faces of the helix object

  • Shift-select one inner face of the helix, then double-click the face next to it to select a face loop

(13:50) Bridge both ends of the helix

  • Shift-select 2 edges
  • Shift-Right-click–Bridge
  • Bridge Type: Linear Path
  • Divisions: 0

(14:55) Bridge all gaps in the helix

  • Double-click an inner edge to select the edge loop
  • Control-select the ends to de-select
  • Shift-Right-click–Bridge
  • As long as there are an even number of edges selected, the bridge operation is smart enough to bridge all gaps in one action

(16:30) Add taper to the threads

  • Double-click the end edge loop
  • Press “B” to use Soft Selection mode
  • Hold down B, Right-click and drag to adjust soft selection area
  • Adjust tool settings in Tool Settings–Soft Selection
  • Be sure to use Linear Falloff Curve
  • Control-click on the Y-Axis of the scale tool to proportionately scale the X and Z-axes

(18:50) Cut the end

  • Switch to top view and vertex mode
  • Use the Multi-cut tool to slice across the mesh (Shift+Right-Click–Multi-Cut)
  • Delete excess faces

(22:30) Cap the end

  • Select edge loop
  • Extrude (Shift+Right-click–Extrude)
  • Fill Hole (Shift+Right-click–Fill Hole)
  • Poke Face (Shift+Right-click–Poke Face)

Resources:

Multi-Cut
Bridge
Bevel
Extrude

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