Haven’t you ever looked at your car and had an idea for a set of rims that would turn headsí Maybe you have gone as far as sketching them out on a piece of paper. Well, now you are going to learn how to bring that idea to life! Well almost. In this tutorial I will teach you a simple technique that you can use to model your very own rims.
Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
I have tried my best to provide tool name and key combinations that I have used, still I assume that you are fairly familiar with blender and know your way around.
Lets Get Started
Once you have decided on your design and you know how many spokes your rim is going to have, then we begin laying out the foundation. For this tutorial we are going to model a five (5) spoke rim. So in order for me to be able to later correctly attach my spokes, I have to create a base whose vértices align perfectly with those of the spokes. So to do that I find a low number that can be equally divided by the number of spokes that I am going to design, which in this case is 5, but high enough to allow us to give the rim nice details and places a vertex dead center of my spoke. So I chose 25. Create a circle by clicking the right mouse button and selecting “add >> mesh >> circle” and rotate the circle so that one of the vertexes is aligned with the y-axis. Your worque should resemble Fig 1.
From the side view select the top vértices using the box selection tool. Now press “E” to extrude, but do not move the extrusion. Simply hit enter to leave it in place. Then from the top view, press S to scale down the extruded vértices until you have an image that resembles image number 2.
Select the entire object and press E to extrude again and hit enter without moving your selection. From the side view move the extruded vértices down a bit until the tube you are creating is the size of a rim. See Fig 3 and 4.
Select the entire object and clik the subdivide button from the Mesh Tool. This is so we have more polygons to worque with when we begin to develop our spokes and lip. From the side view select the line that runs around the tube and move it up close to the top. See Fig 5.
Select the entire edge of the inner tube at the top by selecting one edge and pressing “Crtl+E” and selecting “Edge Loop Select” from the menú. Now from the side view bring it down close to the edge that we earlier moved up near the top. Press S to scale the edge a bit so that it looks like Fig 6.
Now we are going to model the walls around the rim where the tire goes. Select all the faces along the outside of the tube. Make sure you do not select the faces from the inside or you will be in for some headaches. Use the knife tool (Shift + K), select multi-cut and enter the value 3. Your worque should resemble Fig 7.
Select the last edge of the three (TIRE?), near the bottom of the tube, and move it close to the bottom about the same as the edge we moved toward the top. Move the other two edges we created and center them so that we have two large rows running around the rim, then select all the faces. See Fig 8.
Scale down those faces so that it creates a lip near the top and bottom of the rim. See Fig 9.
There is one final detail that we need to do before we begin worque on the spokes of the rim. Select all the face of the inside of the rim that falls below the edge we had moved up. Press S and scale them down just a bit so that they make the inside walls smaller. Now use the Knife tool to make a new edge and move it down so that it resembles Fig 010. Finally, the base of the wheel is complete! Now we can start working on the spokes.
Center your cursor and add a plane. Move the plain so that the center of the planeis in the bottom left corner. On the modifiers panel add a mirror and enable clipping. Pull the top of the plane until it enters the walls of the rim. Then select the plane and move it to another layer. See Fig 011.
Select Knife >> Multi-cut and enter 5 and cut the plain horizontally. Move the points to give the shape of the spoke. See Fig 012.
From the side view select the plane and extrude it upwards to give the spoke its thickness and apply the mirror so that it becomes permanent. See Fig 013.
Hurray, we have our first spoke - four more to go. We can do this the hard way (By eye balling it) or we can do this like pros and do a little math. A circle has 360 degrees and we divide that by 5(the number of spokes we have), so we get 72. Which means we are going to lay each spoke at a 72 degrees angle from each other. So press tab to exit edit mode and enter object mode. Press “Shift + D” and press enter. It seems like nothing happened but something did, it created a clone. Now take your hand off the mouse and press “R”, to rotate, and using your number pad press 7, 2 and hit enter. If you noticed the clone is now visible to you and is laid out 72 degrees from the first one. Repeat this step three more times so that you have five spokes. See Fig 014.
Lets go bak to the first layer and start creating the center of the rim. Create a cylinder and scale it down so that it looks like Fig 015.
Select the vertex in the center both from the top of the cylinder and the bottom. On the proportional drop down menu, which is the one that looks like a donut, select connected and on the fall off menu, which is the drop down right next to it, select “Sphere Falloff.” From the side view use the arrow manipulator to pull the two vértices down until you create a concave shape. See Fig 16.
Go bak to the second layer, where you have the primitives for the spokes. Select the bottom four cubes on each spoke and delete the faces. Move the center of the spokes from the first layer to the second, where your spokes reside. See Fig 17.
This next part is a bit tedious but just as fun. Select both the cylinder (Rim Center) and the spokes and press and “CTRL + J” to merge both objects together. Now begin to merge each vertex on the spokes with the corresponding vertex on the cylinder so that the resulting image looks like Fig 18.
Now that we have the shape of the spokes, we have to create the holes where the bolts go. Create another cylinder and scale it down so that it looks like a long rod with the thickness of the holes we want to create. Place it near the top spoke and center it on the y-axis and so it traverses the spokes center. Place your 3D-Cursor at the center of the screen (x=0, y=0, z=0) and change the pivot point to 3D cursor. Press tab to exit edit mode and select the rod we just created and duplicate it by pressing “CTRL + D” and press enter. Press “R” and enter 72 on your number keypad. This should have moved the clone rod to the exact location as the first but on the second spoke. Do this three more time until you have 5 rods. (Note: remember to change the pivot point bak to its normal state or you will get frustrated later.) See Fig 19.
Next Press “W”, which brings up the Boolean Tools Menu, and select “difference” from the menú. This will create an object that is composed of all the meshes that do not intersect. Press “G” to grab your newly created object and move it off to the side. Select the previous two objects that you had and delete them, and center your new spokes with holes.
We are almost complete, so hang in there. Move the newly created object to the first layer. Move the spokes toward the top of the rim. Now that they are in place select both the rim base and the spokes and press “CTRL + J” to join the to meshes into one object. Begin to merge each vertex on the spokes with the corresponding vertex on the rim base near the bottom of the lip. See Fig 20.
All that is left is to add detail so I add a subsurface modifier and use “SHIFT + E” to make certain edges around the lip of the rim and the edges of the spokes are sharper. See Fig 21.
Texture, Position and Render to your hearts content !!! Enjoy !!!
See Fig 022 for my final render.
By: Pablo Delgado
: Pablo is 25 years old from Puerto Rico currently living in Miami, FL. He worque as a software engineer and do part time 3D worque for customers of using Blender and Lightwave.