Jul 2, 2012

How to model a Computer Fan in 3Ds MAX

Hello and welcome to another 3Ds MAX Tutorial.

 Tutorial Difficulty: Medium
 Time required to complete: 15-25 minutes.

Today we will learn how to model a 3D cooling fan using some basic modeling techniques. This is a step by step tutorial and I tried to explain everything as well as I could but if you still get stuck make sure to check the images under each step as they can help you understand better what's going on. So let's get started:

Step 1: Open 3Ds MAX and from the Create Tab create a Cylinder, then go to to the Modify Tab and change its values to:

Radius: 27
Height: 20
Height Segments: 1
Cap Segments: 1
Sides: 7

Step 2: Right click under (or on) the Cylinder inside the Modifier Box and convert it into an Editable Poly so we can manipulate its geometry:

Step 3: Now inside Edge Selection select the Side Edges:

Step 4: With the Edges still selected go and apply a Twist modifier from the Modifier List.
Change the Twist Angle to 30 and make sure Z axis is selected:

Step 5: Now Right Click under the modifiers and Collapse All into an Editable Poly. Choose YES when the dialog pops-up.

Step 6: Now go back to Edge Selection and with the side edges selected press on Chamfer settings and choose a Chamfer Amount of 0.5 and 1 Segment:

Step 7: Now go to Polygon Selection and select everything else except our vertical small polys and hit DELETE on your Keyboard:

Step 8: Now select all our small polygons and go to Extrude settings. Make Extrusion Type as Group, the Extrusion Height 30 and press on OK.

Step 9: Now do another Extrusion by hitting Extrude settings again but this time choose a value of 2:

Step 10: Inside the Editable Poly by using Vertices Selection select all the bottom vertices as in the image below:

Step 11: Now with the vertices selected press on the Rotate Tool (shortcut E) and then type a value of -40 on Z axis at the bottom:

Step 12: Now go to Edge Selection again and select all our vertical edges:

Step 13: With these edges selected go to Connect Edge settings and choose a value of 2 for Segments a Pinch value of 90 (this will be our support edges and will help for smoothing the geometry)

Step 14: Now apply a Turbosmooth modifier from the Modifier List and change the Iterations value to 2:

Step 15: With the geometry selected go to Hierarchy tab and choose Affect Pivot only and then press on Center to Object (this will make our pivot point into the center of the fan):

Step 16: Now select the Move Tool (shortcut W) and change X, Y and Z values to 0 to bring the center of our object into 0,0,0:

Step 17: Now go to the Create Tab and create a Cylinder, then go to the Modify Tab and change the following:

Radius: 28
Height: 21
Height Segments: 1
Cap Segments: 5
Sides: 70

Then select the Move Tool (W) and change X to 0, Y to 0 and Z to 0 to bring this Pivot to the center:

Step 18: Now let's focus a bit on our Cylinder. Apply an Edit Poly modifier from the Modifier List to the new Cylinder then go to Edge Selection and select one edge from the top side (top circle) and one from the bottom side (bottom circle) then press on Loop to select the entire Circles:

Step 19: With these two circles selected press on Chamfer Edges settings, choose an amount of 0.6 and 2 Segments:

Step 20: Next apply a Turbosmooth modifier to this Cylinder and leave Iterations to 1:

Step 21: Next select our fan and then go to the Move Tool (W) and type a value of 10.2 on Z axis:

Step 22: Next create a Rectangle from the Create Tab > Shapes > Rectangle  inside the Top View. Go to the Modify Tab and change its Length and Width to 140 and then with the Move Tool (W) as we did before change X,Y,Z to 0 to bring the center to 0,0,0:

Step 23: Now Create a Circle from Create > Shapes > Circle change its Interpolation to 40 to make the Circle smoother and its radius to 63. Then with the Move Tool (W) change X,Y,Z to 0,0,0:

Step 24: Now select one of our Shapes (the Rectangle or the Circle doesn't really matter) and covert it into an Editable Spline by right clicking under the Modifier List:

Step 25: From the Editable Spline's Geometry tab click on attach and attach the other Shape (Circle or Rectangle) by clicking on it into the Viewport:

Step 26: Make sure to increase the new Editable Spline Interpolation to 40:

Step 27: Now with the Vertices Selection select the the 4 vertices that define the rectangle and scroll down to Fillet and type in 8:

Step 28: Apply an Extrude Modifier onto our Editable Spline and change its Amount to 25:

Step 29: Create a New Cylinder and change:
Radius: 28
Height: 3
Height Segments: 1
Cap Segments: 5
Sides: 80
Then select the Move Tool (W) and type 21 on Z:

Step 30: And now this step it's a little hard to explain, just convert the Cylinder into an Editable Poly then go to the Polygon Selection and select the 2 polygons that face the points that define our rectangle (90 degrees between them) and extrude them by a value of about 35:

Step 31: From the Create Tab > Shapes > Circle create a small circle and then make 3 others by cloning them and placing into the far edges as in the image below:

Step 32: Now go back to our Editable Spline (the big rectangle and the circle) and click on the Attach Mult. button and attach all 4 Circles (this will create holes for every circle):

And that's it, you should end up with something similar to this:

And here is a render that I've done with V-Ray:

To animate this just select the Fan and with the Autokey go to frame 10 and with the Rotate Tool just rotate it at 360 degrees then render those 10 frames and you can make a GIF from them as the one below:

Thanks for watching! If you got any question about this tutorial make sure to post it into the comment section below and I will try to answer it as soon as I can. See you next time with another tutorial !

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