Guest Book
Tutorials
Gallery

          Blender Tutorials: V-Roller Guide - part 2






Back to Tutorials




Part 2 Guide Roller - Axle

We have now got the V-Roller with two bearings inside it, so the next thing is to design the axle. I intend to make aluminium castings to hold four rollers and the lead screw nut and at this stage a casting thickness of 10mm seems appropriate. One end of the axle needs to fit into the casting the other end needs to hold the bearings. These are the governing factors for the length and profile of the axle.





Outliner If it is not still open from part one, open V-Roller.blend.

In the outliner make sure the eye icon is open for the two bearings and closed for the V-Roller and Cylinder.

We only need the bearings in view to position the Object Centre for the axle and the section of the axle profile that the bearings sit on.
Bearings





Align Cursor RMB Select the right hand bearing and Tab into Edit Mode. Alt-RMB select a loop of vertices on the outer right hand edge of the bearing and snap the cursor to the centre of this loop of vertices Shift-S Cursor>Selection. Tab back into Object Mode.

Go into side view NumPad 3.

Press the Space Bar and from the Toolbox menu select Add>Mesh>Plane. In the Link and Materials panel change the name to OB:V-RollerAxle.
Add Plane





Delete Vertices
Shift-RMB
the top right hand vertex to deselect it, then press X to delete the remaining three vertices.

RMB the remaining vertex to select it, then Tab into Object Mode. (The vertex will be easier to locate when we Tab back into Edit Mode for the V-RollerAxle).

Select the right hand bearing and Tab into Edit Mode for this object. Select the top right hand vertex of the bearing bore (the vertex on the bearing bore not one of the fillet vertices, check you have the correct vertex in front view NumPad 1), snap the cursor to this vertex Shift-S Cursor>Selection. Tab back into Object Mode.
Align Cursor





Snap Vertex In the Outliner select V-RollerAxle and Tab into Edit Mode. The single vertex is selected so snap it to the cursor Shift-S Selection>Cursor. Tab back into Object Mode.

Select the Right Hand Bearing and Tab into Edit Mode. Select any vertex on the outer right hand edge and snap the cursor to it. Tab back into Object Mode.

Align cursor
In the Outliner select V-RollerAxle and Tab into Edit Mode.
Make sure the pivot point is set to 3D cursor.

With the single vertex still selected Scale the vertex along the Y-axis to the cursor position 0.
Snap Vertex





Extrude The vertex is now positioned aligned to the bearing bore and right hand edge. In side view NumPad 3 Extrude the vertex along the Y axis -17.5mm. RMB select the right hand vertex and Extrude it along the Z-axis 2mm.

In the outliner close the eye icon for the two bearings to remove them from view. You are left with two edges that when spun around the Object Centre will form the bearing location area of the axle.
Edges on Bearing Bore





Extrude Basic Profile
From the two edges that were positioned on the bearing bore extrude the following profile constraining the extrusions to the Y or Z-axis and dimensions indicated. The end chamfers are created by extruding 0.6mm in the Y-axis then grabbing and moving the vertex -0.6mm in the Z-axis. When complete this will form the basic profile of the axle.





Select Vertex A little more refinement is required before we spin the axle around the Object Centre. Fillet radius and chamfers need to be added.

First we will add a fillet radius of 0.3mm to the inside angle of the central up-stand.

Select the inner corner vertex indicated and Extrude this in the Z-axis 0.3mm to point A (vertex to spin), then extrude this vertex 
to point B (fillet centre). Snap the cursor to the vertex on the centre point.
Set Fillet Centre





Spin Fillet In the Mesh Tools panel set Degr:90 and Steps:5, then press Spin. The corner fillet will be formed.

Select the corner vertex and the fillet centre vertex (B) and delete them.

Before connecting the fillet to the rest of the axle we can add a chamfer to the top edge.
Delete vertices





Select Vertex
Select the vertex on the top edge above the fillet and move it G along the Y-axis 0.2mm. Now Extrude this vertex Y -0.2, then Grab this and move it Z -0.2. A 45-degree chamfer has been added to the edge.

Select the end vertex of the chamfer and end vertex of the fillet and connect them F.

.
Construct Chamfer





Re Make Edges

Reconnect the other end of the fillet to the end of the bearing location.

Add a similar fillet and chamfer to the other side of the central up-stand.
Repeat on other corners





Position Cursor
Tab into Object Mode and snap the cursor to the Object Centre.
Tab back into Edit mode.

Go into front view NumPad 1 and select All vertices.

In the Mesh Tools panel set Degr:360 and Steps:32, then press Spin. The axle will be formed.

When fitting the axle into the casting we need to be able to stop it rotating whilst tightening the retaining nut. The next step will be to add some spanner flats to the central flange.
Spin Axle





Add Plane
Tab into Object Mode and add a Plane. Select the two right hand vertices and move them G on the X-axis 3.9mm.
Cut Vertices
Select the two left hand vertices and move these -3.9mm on the X-axis. This will create a guide to cut flats 9.8mm apart for a 10mm spanner. Select All and Scale the Plane on the Z-axis till it is larger than the axle'sflange.

Tab
back into Object Mode and with the Plane still selected Shift-RMB select the axle. Combine the two Objects into one Ctrl J.


Tab back into Edit Mode and cut new vertices to form the two spanner flats Knife (Exact) snapping the cut to the vertices of the plane Ctrl-LMB.

Spanner Flats

De-select All, then Box select the vertices that are outside the spanner flats.

Delete X these vertices.





Select Edge

Shift-Alt-RMB select the loop of vertices around the opening of the spanner flat.

Add faces to the opening Shift-F, then beautify the fill Alt-F and then convert the created triangles to quads Alt-J.

Repeat this on the other spanner flat.
Fill





To complete the axle select All vertices, Remove doubles W and Set Smooth W. You may also need to recalculate the normals to the outside Ctrl-N.

To create a smooth surface with sharp edges, add an Edge Split modifier with the default settings.

Press Ctrl-W and save your work.

At this stage I have deliberately left the axle with plane ends rather than generating a threaded profile. In large assemblies the axle will use substantially less computer overheads than one with a detailed thread profile.

In part 3, I will detail how to set up and use the screw function to create a detailed thread suitable for producing a realistic render.
Completed Axle





Continuing with the V-Roller assembly, in the Outliner open the eye icon for the two bearings and V-Roller. The assembly is starting to take shape but still missing a retaining nut and washer.

The nut should also impart a small amount of pre-load onto the bearing to remove any side piay. In true skateboard fashion I am going to use a 6mm nyloc-locking nut and washer.

To locate the washer and nut we only need the bearings in view, so in the Outliner close the eye icon for the V-Roller and V-RollerAxle to remove them from view.
V-Roller Assembly





Centre Cursor Select the left hand bearing and Tab into Edit Mode. Alt-RMB select a ring of vertices on the far left side of the bearing and snap the cursor to the centre of them. Tab back into Object Mode.

Press the Spacebar to open the Toolbox and select Add>Mesh>Circle. From the popup menu leave vertices at 32, but change Radius to 3.2 then press OK to accept. This will form the 6.4mm inside diameter of the washer.

Extrude (Only Edges) this vertex ring then press Esc to leave it in place. We will scale the extruded vertices to form the outside diameter.
Add Circle





Extrude Edges The Outside diameter of the washer is 12.5mm so to find the required scale factor:
          12.5 / 6.4 = 1.9531
With the extruded vertices still selected Scale 1.9531 to form the outside diameter.

The thickness of the washer is 1.6mm so select All and Extrude (Region) Y -1.6

The basic profile of the washer is formed, we now just need to add a chamfer on the corners.
Extrude Region
Go into edge select mode and Shift-Alt-RMB select the two outer and two inner edges.





Bevel Using the Bevel Centre script and following the details given in 608 Part-4 add a 0.1mm chamfer. Back in vertex select mode select All and Set Smooth W, in the Modifiers tab add an Edge Split modifier with the default settings. If Black areas are present on the surface of the washer press Ctrl-N to recalculate the normals to the outside.

The washer is complete but before going into Object Mode we need to set the cursor ready to add the final component. 
Alt-RMB select one loop of vertices on the left hand side of the washer and snap the cursor to the centre of these. Shift-S Cursor>Selection. Tab into Object Mode and in the Link and Materials panel rename the washer OB:6mmWasher.
Select outer loop - Centre Cursor





The next thing needed is to model the M6 nut. Some consideration should be given to how many vertices to use for the nut, as the external hexagonal section will only require 6 vertices and internal circle will require more.

Some extra detail on the external profile will be required to form the curves on the top edge of the nut so it would simplify the modelling to keep the same number of vertices on the outer and inner diameter.

Six vertices should be enough to form the curved detail on the top of the nut so with six sides this equates to an inner circle of 36 vertices.
Add Circle + 6 point circle





In front view NumPad 1 press the Spacebar to open the Toolbox and add a Circle with 36 vertices and a radius of 3 Add>Mesh>Circle.

Now add a circle with 6 vertices and a radius of 5.7735 This will form a hexagon with 10mm across the flats. With the 6 outer vertices still selected, subdivide each edge of the hexagon with 5 vertices, W Subdivide Multi. Change the number in the popup menu to 5 and press OK to accept.

Select All and fill the space between both loops of vertices with faces Shift-F.

To improve the fill pattern and remove the long thin triangles press Alt-F (Beautify Fill). Repeat the beautify fill command several times until the internal edges no longer change.

To convert the triangular faces into quads press
Alt-J.
Shift-F Fill





Blenders beautify fill attempts to produce triangles with the shortest possible sides and has overcompensated on the corners of the nut. If left like this the mesh would produce ugly edges when bevelled. It's worth manually rearranging these corners to form quads.

In edge select mode Shift-RMB select the two edges indicated and delete them X (Edges).
Select Edges





Repair Faces In vertex select mode select 4 vertices (A, B, C, & D) and insert a face F, select the next four vertices (C, D, E & F) and add the next face. The corner will now have a much better face pattern. Repeat this until all 6 corners are done.

To make modelling easier we need to rotate the nut so two flats are parallel to an axis. Select All and Rotate -15 degrees.

Rotate -15





Extrude Only Edges To make the side faces of the nut Shift-RMB select the seven vertices of the top edge and Extrude them Y -4. 

To form the radius on the top of the side face we need to spin a 
Set Cursor
Check Angle


vertex from the faces bottom centre vertex. Select the vertex indicated and snap the cursor to it. To determine the angle of the spin, with the centre vertex still selected Shift-RMB select the two vertices on the corner of the opposite edge and temporarily form a triangular face. With the face selected click on the Edge Angle button of the Mesh Tools 1 panel. The corner angles of the triangle will be displayed in the view. The spin angle is 71.635 degrees. Press Ctrl-Z to remove (undo) the triangle




Select In top view NumPad 7 select the bottom right hand vertex indicated and in the Mesh Tools panel set Degr: 71.635 and Steps:6.

Press Spin and the ark at the top edge of the face will be formed.

Spin





Merge Shift-RMB select two corresponding vertices and merge them together Alt-M at the vertex point on the ark. The selection order will determine whether you choose "at first" or "at last" from the popup menu.

Merge the rest of the vertices on the top edge of the nut face to the ark using this method.
Select Verts





Centre Cursor Shift-RMB select all the vertices on the side face of the nut, then Tab into Object Mode.

Snap the cursor to the object centre Shift-S Cursor>Selection. Tab back into Edit Mode.

In the Mesh Tools panel set Degr:360 and Steps:6, press Spin Dup and the other sides of the nut will be generated.
Select All and Remove Doubles W.
Outer Shell





Extruce inner diameter Alt-RMB select the inside diameter of the nut and Extrude it on the Y-axis -5mm, then extrude it on the Y-axis a further 1mm.

Snap the cursor to the centre of the last loop of vertices.

The extra loop of vertices will allow us to set a different material for the nylon insert of the nut.

Select the centre vertex of the ark on the top face of the nut and extrude it on the Y- axis.
Extrude vertex
Check the Pivot Point is still set to 3D Cursor and Scale the vertex on the Y-axis to the cursor position 0.





Spin Fillet The above scale has set the vertex level to the top edge of the nut, but this edge needs a 0.5mm fillet radius. Grab the vertex and move it Y 0.5, then extrude it on the Z-axis -0.5 to set the centre of the fillet. Snap the cursor to this vertex, then select the previous vertex.

In the Mesh Tools panel set Degr:90 and Steps:5 and Spin the fillet radius.

To form the profile of the nylon insert we need to move the inside diameter back slightly.
Adjust Centre
Alt-RMB select the inside diameters top loop of vertices and move it G on the Y-axis 0.5mm.





Top Profile To complete the top profile of the nut extrude the top vertex of the inside diameter to the dimensions shown, constraining to the required axis and dimensional input.

Form the chamfer by Extruding the vertex Y -0.25 then Grabbing this vertex and moving it Z 0.25

Shift-RMB select the end of the fillet radius and join it to the chamfer with an edge F.

Shift-RMB select the 11 vertices of the top profile.
Go into front view NumPad 1.
Spin

In the Mesh Tools panel set Degr:360 and Steps:36 and Spin the top profile.





We are now left with a series of breaks in the mesh between the top profile and nut sides. To keep the mesh organised its best to manually fill these areas.

Select 4 vertices (3 on the corners of the openings) corresponding to where a face should be and press F to insert a face. Continue around the perimeter of the nut until all faces are filled.
Fill Openings





Filled Mesh
       Select Edges
In Edge Select mode Alt-RMB select the bottom edge of the nut, then Shift-RMB select the 6 corner edges. We will add a 0.1mm chamfer to these using 
the Bevel Centre script described in 608 Part-4.
Chamfer
Select All, Remove Doubles W, Set Smooth W and Calculate Normals to the outside Ctrl-N.





Assembly To finish add an Edge Split modifier, but because the edge angles are 30 degrees the same as the default settings for the modifier, ugly shading patterns will be created on the corners of the nut. Change the angle setting to 29 degrees to overcome this problem.

In the Link and Materials panel change the name to M6NylocNut

Tab into object mode and in the Outliner bring the other objects into view.

Save your work Ctrl-W.





I hope you have found this a worthwhile exercise. The intention was to demonstrate how components can be modelled together in assemblies using one component to help set the location and surface geometry of the next, using Blenders Snap tools to accurately locate the new Object.

Part 3 will detail how to use Blenders Screw tool to generate a thread profile





<< V-Roller Part 1 The Roller Tutorials V-Roller Part 3 Detailed Threads >>









Terms of Use Site Map Top

All Content © 2007 - 2017 Robert Burke, unless otherwise stated.
Please contact me if you would like to use any of this content.