[Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Updated 06-Jan-2012)

[Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Updated 06-Jan-2012)

Postby sdmitch » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:39 pm

Now accepts decimal values for angular increment.

In addition to now accepting a negative angular increment for those who like to go both ways, the plugin has had extensive re-write to help minimize the "kinks".

Pre-select the centerline then run plugin. You are prompted for the radius of the helix, and the linear and angular increments. The helix is a single curve. The smaller the linear and angular increments the more points are defined.

Improved the transition between segments around curves. Input values are retained between successive runs.

Added code to check angles between segments and offers to do a spline fit if needed.
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Last edited by sdmitch on Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby solo » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:09 pm

Thank you once again for this requested plugin, it does exactly what I needed.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby Jörg » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:08 pm

fantastic!!!
thank you very much!

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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby Dave R » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:09 pm

Interesting plugin. Thank you.

How would you get more than 5 segments in a turn of the helix? Actually that's what I got with the example below but if I run it on a straight line I get 12 segments
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:36 pm

The number of segments per turn is controlled by the angle increment. To only get 5 you would have to have a 72 degree increment.

It could be the linear increment also. In trying to duplicate your results, if I made it long enough, I got something like yours.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby Dave R » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:44 pm

Got it.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby majid » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:35 pm

verry handy and time saving plugin :)
Thanks dear mate :thumb: .
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby JClements » Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:54 pm

Nice.

Would it be useful to have optional method to Linear Increment in which the user inputs the number of equal linear increments?
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby JClements » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:01 pm

:?: Anyone aware of a script that could be used with Follow Me Helix which automatically stitch the vertices of two selected spirals and triangulate to create a "spiral road"?

So, for example, select a path, run Follow Me Helix twice. The only parameter that would be different is the radius.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:36 pm

JC, I'm sure TIG's EEbyRail would do the job but I'm assuming you don't have that so here is a little something I threw together that will work under the scenario you mentioned where on the radius is changed between runs of Follow Me Helix. In my example I used 30' and 50' for the radii and 1' and 10 degrees for the linear and angular increments.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby JClements » Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:40 pm

:)
Thanks
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby mitcorb » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:40 pm

Hi, sdmitch:
Somehow I missed that you had updated and posted with a [Plugin] heading. Perhaps that version in the [req] thread by solo is older? Anyway, as I mentioned over there, I will download and experiment with the version in the post above. Thank you, once again.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby K-TEE » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:15 am

It is very good. Thanks.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby jdadesignstudio » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:32 am

Not sure if im missing something obvious, but mine are coming out very choppy...:
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 10-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:57 pm

jdadesignstudio wrote:Not sure if im missing something obvious, but mine are coming out very choppy...:



It is usually a function of the linear increment entered and the length of the segments in the path. The increment entered is to long in comparison with the segments of the path in your case.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 20-Sep-2011)

Postby jdadesignstudio » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:01 pm

Hmm...still having issues. Take a look at the images below-the line and arc both had the same parameters plugged into the helix plugin. I also tried changing the number of segments in the arc (to change the length of the segments) anywhere from 2 segments up to 92 segments. It seems where 2 line segments intersect, it creates a crooked piece...Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 20-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:19 pm

jdadesignstudio wrote:Hmm...still having issues. Take a look at the images below-the line and arc both had the same parameters plugged into the helix plugin. I also tried changing the number of segments in the arc (to change the length of the segments) anywhere from 2 segments up to 92 segments. It seems where 2 line segments intersect, it creates a crooked piece...Let me know what you think.
Thanks,
Jon


Yes that happens because the linear increment starts on one segment and ends on the next one.
Again, the linear increment you are using is to long for the curve you are trying to follow. Sometimes the curve and what you want just doesn't work.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:03 am

Jon, After further testing, it looks like my last "improvement" wasn't an improvement at all so I have re-posted the privious version. I haven't been able to eliminate the "kinks" yet but it is still something that I am thinking about and have a few more ideas to try.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby jdadesignstudio » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:09 pm

sdmitch wrote:Jon, After further testing, it looks like my last "improvement" wasn't an improvement at all so I have re-posted the privious version. I haven't been able to eliminate the "kinks" yet but it is still something that I am thinking about and have a few more ideas to try.


Sounds good, thanks Sam! Its a really cool plugin, in the past I have used the draw curves plugin for helixes, but this plugin gives you some more control over the helix, in addition to the follow me feature.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby mattarth » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:22 pm

This is great for making a helix, thank you.

Does anyone know of a way to make a helix with a radius that is a function of the distance along the original curve? I would like to draw a barrel spring (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=barrel+spring&hl=en) but I don't know how to make it in sketchup. The radius would be something like r=x*(1-x)+1 where x is distance along the curve. Alternatively I could calculate a list of coordinates myself and input them; is there a way to do that in sketchup?

Thanks in advance,
Matt
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby crazac » Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm

Yea, thanks for this, it's an awesome plug.

I do have a question tho, I can only seem to make it revolve in one direction. Putting negative numbers in the fields produces the beach ball of death and a force quit. I've also tried adjusting the path direction to no avail. Is there a way to make the helix revolve in the opposite direction?
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:34 am

No there is currently no way to make it go the other way. I will take a look and see what I can do.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby mitcorb » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:49 am

In the meantime you could use Flip Along or Mirror.rb?
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby solo » Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:53 am

I don't see the point to reversing this, it's follow the line right?
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby Dave R » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:24 pm

mattarth wrote:I would like to draw a barrel spring.

Thanks in advance,
Matt


Matt, how accurate does your barrel spring need to be? Would this one play for you?



This was easy enough with Draw Helix and Follow Me. I didn't bother with the ends but they would be trivial, too.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby crazac » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:01 pm

sdmitch wrote:No there is currently no way to make it go the other way. I will take a look and see what I can do.


Thanks sdmitch, that would be great!. I really appreciate this plugin. I didn't have much hope when i started this project until i found it. :thumb:


mitcorb wrote:In the meantime you could use Flip Along or Mirror.rb?


mitcorb, thanks for the heads up. The Mirror is handy, but isn't producing the result i'm after. The helix needs to be inverted...
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 03-Oct-2011)

Postby sdmitch » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:50 pm

In case you missed it, I posted an updated version yesterday that, if negative angular increment is entered, reverses the direction of the helix.
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 03-Oct-2011)

Postby crazac » Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:00 am

sdmitch wrote:In case you missed it, I posted an updated version yesterday that, if negative angular increment is entered, reverses the direction of the helix.


AWESOME!, I did miss it, it works great! Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it...
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Update 21-Sep-2011)

Postby mattarth » Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:11 pm

Dave R wrote:
mattarth wrote:I would like to draw a barrel spring.

Thanks in advance,
Matt


Matt, how accurate does your barrel spring need to be? Would this one play for you?



This was easy enough with Draw Helix and Follow Me. I didn't bother with the ends but they would be trivial, too.


This is great, DrawHelix is exactly what I needed to know, thank you.

I've since tried to make it using a spiral road intersected with a barrel shape:



but it wouldn't follow the whole curve, only the upper or lower half (I was getting the "this does not appear to be a valid path" error when I tried to follow the curve as a whole).
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Re: [Plugin] Follow Me Helix (Updated 03-Oct-2011)

Postby Dave R » Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:38 pm

Matt, I used Draw helix to draw three different helices. All three have the same pitch. The first was the bottom, straight helix for 5 turns (because that was the default number when the plugin launched) and it got copied up for the top straight section. The second helix tapers from the first helix's radius out to the larger radius. I copied and flipped the copy to make the top taper as well. That one also has 5 turns. Then there's a three-turn straight helix for the center part of the spring.

All these helices are created as groups which I exploded. Then I welded them together to make them easier to select as a path for Follow Me. It's an instant spring but it doesn't take that long to do. I definitely make a component of the spring so I could easily reuse it.
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