I need to re-model a handrail (originally made in 3Dmax) for an circular staircase (the staircase is not actually circular but rather based on a control points curve, so not a helix) and the ending of the rail needs to have a circular edge (see the images for reference). This model is something I’m not use to doing but I’m guessing it shouldn’t be that hard for the more seasoned designers.
Is the “circular” section intended to be planar and exactly circular, or conform to the top view shape of the handrail? If planar then a straight section in top view will be needed.
If the circular section is to conform to the shape of the hand rail in top view then it will not be exactly circular. It could be circle wrapped/projected/pulled onto a surface created by extruding the handrail. Projecting a circular section would be equivalent to creating a cylinder and intersecting it with the extruded surface.
“Simple” ideas can have several possible distinct variation. Someone needs to decide the design intent - either by an explicit decision or implicitly by selecting a particular approach to generating the geometry.
Additional thought: Assuming the “circular” section needs to conform to the top view shape, the differences between creating the geometry by wrapping, pulling or projecting will probably be visually insignificant. But they may matter to the builder of the handrail. If this is a project where the design will be created and then turned over to the builder to execute with the understanding the final result will “look” like the design but perhaps not exactly match it then the choice of method in creating the geometry for the design may be irrelevant. But if the builder will directly use the geometry in creating the handrail then consultation with the builder before creating the final geometry may be appropriate.
First this is just for concept design so this won’t be taken literally by any builder but is mostly about showing intent.
The pink mesh is the reference handrail, so the circular ending of the hand rail doesn’t need to be a literal circle, I know there will be a level of deformation of said circle since it’s bending following the shape of the rail.
The only one thing that is important is that the rail remains horizontal as it follows the curve, replicating the effect of a real hand rail, you know not bending sideways while it’s traveling through the path. So if seen from the top view I assume it would need to look planar.
The curve itself is not a circle but rather a control points curve so that is presenting the trick for me since I usually would use a helix command, which I can’t now
Thanks! Hope this helps you to help me find the best approach to design this
thanks @davidcockey ! that’s exactly what I was trying to do! I guess the commands I didn’t knew about were FlowAlongSrf and Fin. When using FlowAlongSrf what configurations did you use for the command, any special settings?
If I understand correctly the concept is you extrude the curve, then unroll it to create a flat board to work on and then re-roll it onto the surface?
Ps I guess my description wasn’t super accurate, so I guess a drawing would explain it better, I think it’s either the same or very close to what you did
@davidcockey’s method is the way to go. One wrinkle to add: If you have a profile section to the handrail it may be easier to create the solid from the flat curve (sweeping the profile along it and capping) and then flowing the solid onto the curved surface, instead of building the solid after flowing the line.