Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Steve Degroof asks a really good question...

Steve asked: If you can do a helical gear, does that mean you could also do a helical shaft? Example: a 6" long, 1/2" diameter rod with 8 teeth spiraling up its length.

You asked a very good question. Turns out that we really can't even do a helical gear with the extrude feature as it stands. What we were generating only looked like helical gears. They weren't the real article since the helical twist wasn't helical, but only a straight line going in the same general direction.

I ran your spec just to see if it worked and this is what we got.

I gave the 6 toothed gear a 180 degree twist. As you can see the lines are straight, not helical.

Great catch, Steve. Anybody want to rewrite the twist option on the extrude code?

Could you approximate a helix by doing a series of small, straight-line rotations?
I'm sure we could. It would probably be better, though, to modify the existing twist feature Java code to do that automatically.
Er, just increase the number of segments in the extrusion and the problem goes away.

Looks to me like you're extruding with only one segment, which is kinda hard to twist....

Vik :v)
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