November 9, 2018

3D Modeling Tutorial: How to Model Bolt/Screw/Pipe Threads | Maya 2017

Joe explains a technique to model threads in Maya 2017.


  • (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)


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