Circular Array/Pattern in Blender

Circular Array/Pattern(Blender Version: 2.81):

Array modifier in Blender repeats the objects in Linear pattern. But when modeling the objects whose geometry is repeating periodically about an axis like Gears, Wheel Rims and other geometric shapes a circular array is very much essential.

This can be achieved in Blender by using Array Modifier along with an Empty object. The procedure to make Circular Array is explained below:

Creating Geometry:

1. Create a Circle: Shift+A >> Mesh >> Circle

2. From the Add Circle property panel at bottom left corner of the screen: Change Number of “Vertices: 18”

3. Now, in Edit mode, remove vertices other than top three vertices as shown in the figure below. This creates sector of 400 i.e., part of the Circular array, which requires “9” instances to generate full model about the Center of the Circle.

4. Change pivot point to “3D Curser then Select the Three Vertices and Extrude (“E”) & Scale (“S”) inside with respect to Circle Center (i.e., with respect to 3D curser at the Circle center).

5. Create loop cut-1 (Ctrl+R) with “4” divisions and Loop cut-2 & 3 with 2 divisions each as shown in the figure.

6. Now, Select a node shown in figure-6 and delete to create a recess.

7. Select the top three Vertices, Extrude and scale with respect to 3D curser to create tooth profile. Then change the pivot point to “Individual origins” and Scale as shown in figure. Finally crate 2 loop cuts (Ctrl+R) in tooth profile. Exit Edit mode, This Completes the geometry creation process.

Creating Circular Array:

8.Create an Empty (Shift+A >> Empty >> Plain Axis) at Center of the Circle about which circular array is to be created.

9.Selecting the geometry created, apply Array Modifier. In Array Modifier options specify “count=9” i.e Six instances to generate full model, uncheck “Relative Offset” and Select “object offset” and select the “Empty” Created.

10. Now, Select the empty and Rotate “400” about the axis which is normal to the geometry, here it is Z-axis. You can see that “9” instances are created circularly.

11. Select the geometry, in Array Modifier options, “Check Merge”, “First and Last” to merge created instances.

12. Now apply Subdivision Surface modifier to create smooth contours.

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