Making corkscrews, slinky
by Dennis Kelley
Date Added: 7/25/2001
Category: Modeling
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!div style="display:none"!fjrigjwwe9r2content:tip!/div!!div style="display:none"!edf40wrjww2content:tip!/div!This is a tip I originally listed for somone wanting to make a corkscrew. It also works for any similar objects, such as springs and slinky's.
The only difference is that you omit the tapering. The actual creation of the object is much easier than the instructions make it sound.

1. Using the oval tool, make a flat oval shape. If you want the oval perfectly round, which
works better for the example, hold down the shift key while drawing it. NOTE: If you are making a
slinky the profile is rectangular, not oval.

2. Click on the lathe tool with the shape selected, and a bounding box will appear around
the shape. There are 4 red dots spaced around the box. Click on one of the dots and pull
it. The T-shaped lathe handle will appear. It has four control dots (this is probably not the
correct term, but it is the one I'm using for it) on it. One at the bottom of the T and three
across the top bar. Depending on the way you pulled the red dot on the bounding box, the
T shape may appear upside down.

3. Pull the lathe handle (T shape) up to around 90 degrees. (You can set the specific
degree of rotation if you want by typing it in in the object tab in the object properties. The
actual degree is not especially important, just what I'm using for the example.) At this
point, if you click another tool the object will appear sort of like a quarter of a doughnut.

4. On the T shape, click on the center dot on the crossbar (The one with three dots.) and
pull out on it. This will increase the radius of the shape. If you click another tool the object
will now look more like a fourth of a ring. For the purpose of this example, think of this axis
as East / West if it will help.

5. Hold down the shift key and click on the same dot on the T. Pull along the opposite axis
(North / South) and release it when you have it where you want it. (The T-shape may snap
back to where it started from. Don't worry about it.) If you click on another tool the shape
will now appear like a twisted fourth of a ring.

6. In the objects tab in the object properties, manually type in the number of rotations you
want the corkscrew to have. (3-5 should be fine.) You can do this at any time, actually, or
you can just pull the T handle all the way around a few times as well. This is just the way I
prefer to do it. If you click on another tool the shape will now look like a spring (Not the
kind with water in it.) The ramp in my model for the anim project was drawn using these
steps. The only difference is I used a hand drawn filled bezier shape to make the profile of
the ramp.

7. In the object tab you will see the scale, with v (vertical) and h (horizontal) boxes. They
should both be at 1.0. Change them both to something like .2 or .1.(You can even enter
negative numbers in these fields (-.5 for example) although making these numbers too
small can distort the shape. If you look at the shape now it should look roughly like a

8. To adjust the shape exactly the way you want it, you can fiddle with the Object Scale
tool, the object tab scale settings, and the T han