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 Basic Tutorial: Step stool  
 Objective: Modeling initiationto the box modeling world with a basic example: a plastic step stool.
 Difficulty: Low
 Required time: 2 hours ( approximately )
 Progress files: Due to the low difficult of this tutorial, this one does not have progress files.
The model is available in .max format (tut_free6_step_max.zip)
 Language Notes: tutorial original language: Spanish - comments about the translation to info@tutorials3d.com (we will gratify your help)
 Page: 1 of 1

Polymodeling Tutorial – Step Stool

Hi!! :-) let's model an easy model to train the main polymodeling methods. When the model will be finished let's apply a Mesh Smooth modifiers to give our model a smooth and quality finishing.

This is a beginner tutorial, but if you don't have any experience with 3dsmax remember that we have other free tutorials that can help you.

et's start with a primitive, a cylinder:

We are going to convert this primitive to Editable Poly. Right click over the cylinder and select ‘Convert To -> Editable Poly'. An “Editable Poly” is a complex object that allows select and edit its vertices, edges… so we can model it. We have a lot of tools to model.

n the Top viewport, select the vertices of the cap segments and move it out, use ‘Select and non uniform Scale' to do this, press ‘Absolute Mode Transform Type-In' to type the values and move the vertices:

In the Editable Poly tree, select the ‘element' sub-object level:

let's copy the element, go to Front viewport and ‘shift + drag' the element to copy it, select ‘clone to element' in the dialog box so the new element is also a new piece of the Editable Poly:

An interesting option is that we can hide / unhide the geometry of the Editable Poly to work more comfortably. Hide this new element:

Ok, now we can start the model. Go to the Bottom view and select the polys as shown in the image:

Let's extrude it. Press the Extrude button and type the value:

If the faces are not centered, select it and using the bottom view move it. Finally, select the extruded faces and press ‘Make Planar' to make coplanar all that faces:

Let's go to the vertex sub-object level. Let's weld vertices with ‘Target Weld', select the vertex to weld and then the target vertex:


select the bottom faces and extrude it again:

remove that faces. Unhide all and move the other element:

Now select this faces and remove it:

if the program ask you about remove isolated vertices, you say ‘yes' :-) Move the second element close to the other and using ‘target weld' weld these two elements:

weld all the vertices of the holes:

Now we are going to make a cut. One options is use ‘Cut' but if we need cut all the geometry in a plane, the best choice is use ‘slice plane' and then slice the object. Select the faces to slice, press ‘Slice Plane' and move the plane to the correct place then press ‘Slice' press again ‘Slice Plane' to deactivate this mode:

this slice is needed to control the smooth when we apply Mesh Smooth. Select and move the vertices of the image:

scale these vertices from the Top viewport (115% XY):

Now is the time to model a gap in the bottom part of our object. Select the bottom faces as in the image:

weld the vertices of the image using target weld:

the result alter weld should be something like this:

now bevel the faces you had selected:

Ok, this is the basic model of the Step Stool. Let's add some details :-)

Select the top faces:

and inset these polygons:

select the faces between the insets and extrude it with a very low value, the bevel it:

now its time to smooth. Select Mesh Smooth from the modifiers list and apply 2 iterations, if everything is right, we'll have a good result.

The final detail is done with a spline like this (Left viewport):

apply a lathe modifier to this spline (Y axis and 18 segments). I'm sure the result will be something like this:

No problem. Go to the modifier tree and select axis, align it to the object center with ‘align':

Once this object has been centered, select the Step Stool and press the ‘attach' button to attach the last detail. We can select and assign different materials to the elements:

…and that's all. Hope you have no problems to follow this tutorial and your result has been good. Best regards.


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