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View Full Version : Looking for help on how to make a coiled guitar cable

jlthorne
02-03-2016, 09:13 AM
Hello I have never used this forum (or any forum) but I am new to modeling and I would like to make a model of a coiled guitar cable. I have looked everywhere and tried a lot of things but it never looks right. Is there anyone who has an idea that could help me get started? I am sorry if I am posting this incorrectly but in 64 years, I have never used a forum before so forgive me. The image I am going for is this 132190. Thanks for any help.

02-03-2016, 09:53 AM
Hi and welcome,

Make a flat poly and do lathe, under the parameters do offsetting in order to get spiral shape, then use taper to make it smaller at the top,
So simple.

02-03-2016, 10:02 AM
A better approach would be to extract curve (points from lathe and then make an open curve of it) and then use rail extrude by using a circular 2d shape.

you should note that 360 degree for lathe will not suffice and u should do a multiplication of it to make more turns.

MonroePoteet
02-03-2016, 05:11 PM
Welcome to the LW forums! Your post is just fine.

Here's a video by William Vaughan (proton) about the Helix tool:

It doesn't allow a fixed reduction per rotation (instead using a percentage, so the coils get closer together), so you can use Pole Evenly to right-drag an area of influence about 1/2 way out and pull the inner coils farther away from each other.

Once you commit the Helix tool, it clones the object you have in the foreground. So, do an Undo (CTRL-Z), align the 8-sided disc on the head of the helix curve, and use Rail Extrude. Select the end-caps (polygons with >4 sides), and use Multiply=>More...=>Make Pole to convert them to triangles. Hit TAB to convert to subpatches, and color it blue. You can then grab the ends and curve them up out of the coil to add the connectors.

Here's a quick example. The steps I used were included below, although I should have left the 8-sided disc a little larger to reduce the space between each coil.

132195

Have fun!
mTp

1) Create a small 8-sided flat disc in the X,Y plane (this will be converted to subpatches)
2) Invoke Multiply=>Duplicate=>More...=>Helix
3) In the Helix panel, specify: 12 rotations (per your picture), Radius of 2m, Height of 0m, Taper of 5%, clear Double Helix flag, all else default
4) Hit OK
5) Hit CTRL-Z to get rid of the clones
6) Hit apostrophe (') to switch to layer 2, where the Helix was created
7) Invoke Modify=>Transform=>More...=>Pole Evenly Tool
8) Starting at the origin, Right-drag the blue influence circle about halfway out the helix
9) Again at the origin, Left-drag down-left to spread the inner circles toward the center, evening out the helix
10) Hit apostrophe (') again to switch back to Layer 1
11) Align the 8-sided disc on the head of the helix in Layer 2
12) Type CTRL-H to get into Polygon mode, double-quote (") to select the polygon
13) Make sure it's normal (dotted line) is pointing away from the Helix, Flip normal (f) if needed
14) Size it down until it's about half the distance to the next coil of the Helix
15) Use Multiply=>Extend=>Rail Extrude, making sure Align to Start is not set
16) Select the End Caps ("w", then press "+" the two polygons with more than 4 vertices)
17) Use Multiply=>Subdivide=>More...=>Make Pole to convert the end caps to triangles
18) Press TAB to convert to subpatches
19) Use Magnet, Bend, etc. to get the ends of the cable out where you can add connectors

To select just the ends:
select two adjacent polygons around the circumference
use right-arrow to select the ring
use } to expand the selection until you have what you need

jeric_synergy
02-03-2016, 08:05 PM
That's good for purely native tools, which are always good to know.

If you'd like to dl a FREE 3rd party plugin (donations accepted, IIRC) go to here: http://artssphere.com/plugins/torusplus.php

and grab the appropriate file. One of this excellent plugin's features is the ability to leave the extruding path(s) behind after creation (see the EXTRA tab). You can select these paths, specifically HELIX and SPIRAL paths, and use them separately in your own process. Here's an image of the two extrusion paths selected (4 total), one for a helix, one for a spiral.
132198

jlthorne
02-08-2016, 09:20 AM
Thanks for the great idea. I will try this tonight. I would like to thank everyone for their response. Being new I never thought of any of these concepts. Thanks to everyone. I will try them all. Jeff Thorne

jlthorne
02-08-2016, 09:40 PM
Thanks Monro Potent,I went thru your tutorial, I would have never thought of that. Thanks so much for the insight. And the cable looks great too.
Thanks Jeff Thorne

jlthorne
02-08-2016, 09:48 PM
Thanks for your assistance. I tried to load the plugin but the plugin must be for PC's and I use a Mac. It would not load. Says cannot load external plug-in file. Thanks Jeric_synergy

spherical
02-08-2016, 10:52 PM
Thanks for your assistance. I tried to load the plugin but the plugin must be for PC's and I use a Mac. It would not load. Says cannot load external plug-in file.

Yes. Check the main plugins page. Some are compiled for Mac, but most are not.

jeric_synergy
02-08-2016, 10:57 PM
7) Invoke Modify=>Transform=>More...=>Pole Evenly Tool
8) Starting at the origin, Right-drag the blue influence circle about halfway out the helix
9) Again at the origin, Left-drag down-left to spread the inner circles toward the center, evening out the helix
That's a really interesting use of the POLE EVENLY Tool. :thumbsup:

:stumped: Is it necessary because the taper factor is adding up?

The obvious next step is to ask for a switch that ignores the taper and makes it a pure offset that does not accumulate like a taper factor, but I haven't checked the other available similar tools (Seashell, Torus+) to see if they've already got it-- I think Torus+ might....

MonroePoteet
02-09-2016, 08:15 AM
:stumped: Is it necessary because the taper factor is adding up?

The obvious next step is to ask for a switch that ignores the taper and makes it a pure offset that does not accumulate like a taper factor, but I haven't checked the other available similar tools (Seashell, Torus+) to see if they've already got it-- I think Torus+ might....

Yes, exactly. The first loop ends up 5% (i.e. 1.05 times) bigger than it's starting radius, but the second loop ends up 1.05 x 1.05 times larger than the original radius because of the additive percentage, and so on. A fixed offset would work, especially because of LW's in-field calculator, so I could have 2m as the radius and specify 2m*1.05 as the fixed offset.

The Pole Evenly Tools isn't a perfect solution, but it works OK. The minor discrepancies between the loop sizes as the coil progresses outward is probably more "real-life" anyway, unless it was a perfect cord coiled by a machine.

mTp

JoePoe
02-09-2016, 10:26 AM
Rather than making a helix with an initial taper (which is obviously "seashelly" in it's progression), and then trying to wrestle that back into submission....

1) make the original helix straight up and down. 132331
2) a simple click and drag with Taper constrain will give you even spacing. 132332
3) flatten.
4) do your rail extrude thing.
(I left out a bunch of Monroe's more detailed step by steps... i.e. how to get to Helix etc.)

P.S. I do believe Torus+ does have the ability to control loop spacing. I think you can do this exact cable coil in one step with that plug.... not just the rail.
But, I can confirm there is no MAC version.... I wish. At the very least you'll gain invaluable experience in making your own :).

MonroePoteet
02-09-2016, 10:50 AM
Good technique!

mTp