Beginner trying to make flexible electrical conduit

Hello everyone,

I’ve been working on a mechanical hand/arm for the last couple months and am pretty happy with it, but I’ve run into a problem trying to make flexible electrical conduit . It seems like a very basic thing to make since it’s pretty much just a uniform spiral that forms a tube, but I can’t seem to do it properly. I’ve watched a tutorial about making spirals by cutting a torus in half, angling it, and repeating it, but this method only seems to work because the torus is round and I’m trying to make the square style flexible conduit rather than the rounded. Also, when I reduce the torus’ X Division Density to 4 sides it’s oriented in a diamond pattern rather than a square so it doesn’t form the tube properly and the 2 ends don’t line up. I’m currently trying to do it by using radial symmetry to Mask/Extrude, but so far it also isn’t giving me the desired effect and the poly count required is way too high for such a basic object. The only other things I can think of are:

  1. Use a Cylinder Primitive, add a Hole, cut it in half, and slowly and meticulously use the Move Tool to raise it upward along the curve, or
  2. Slowly and meticulously use the Tube Tool to move around a cylinder and then reduce the X Division Density to 4, but I doubt this will work the way I’d need it to.

I don’t know if either of these methods would work properly and I think it’ll take a lot of trial and error to prove/disprove it so any other ideas or insight would be greatly appreciated. I’ve seen exactly what I’m trying to make done in Blender and a few other programs, but I don’t know if the same thing can be achieved in Nomad Sculpt. Thanks for any/all advice and insight!

Something like that ?

Yes, that is almost exactly what I had in mind, Thank you! The only thing I would adjust is the spacing so that the spiral and the gap are nearly equal and then add a hollow cylinder through the centre so that its only open on the ends. How were you able to render this? Thanks again so much!

Here’s how to do it.


Thank you so much, I really appreciate it!

Thanks again for showing me this video, but I’ve run into another issue. After making the spiral following this method I used the Selmask and extract feature,
but I’m not able to move it as a single piece even though they’re merged together. Instead it just pulls apart the individual spiral segments. I tried merging a cylinder in the centre, but the pieces are still pulled apart and the cylinder moves independently from the spiral. I’ve rewatched the video and remade the spiral several times and keep having the same problem. Please advise and thank you again for your help!

In the stroke menu (at the top on the right from your screen grab), scroll down to the bottom and uncheck connected topology.

All Simple Merge - switch off connected topology.
But it is tricky to bend the cable .
Bend: Nomad Sculpt - Curved Surfaces - bend Planes - YouTube


Thanks so much, that’s a tremendous help! I really appreciate it!

Thanks again for all your help, it’s greatly appreciated! I’ve experimented a bit with bending it section by section using the SelMask and it seems to work well. Thanks again!

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Would using the tube tool and masking of the spiral using a radial mask and extracting it not work and be easier ?

Just a quick thought


What do you mean by a radial mask ?
Can you send an example as a screenshot how you mean it ?
A spiral has an upward slope on one side and a downward slope on the other, so a stamp mask won’t work. Do you mean painting the mask on by hand like a spiral ? A mask is also totally jagged because of the square vertices and very inaccurate. With a mask you also need a very high polycount.
Unfortunately I don’t know any way to create any kind of spirals precisely with a mask - (only the side of a snail shell :grinning: works)


This is how you do a radial mask.

It may not work / may take some experimenting. But it depends on what you need and what level of detail.

Or possibility another thought just came to me … make it from the tube tool ?

Just ideas :slight_smile:


Ok, all right, you meant Radial Symmetry, with the Mask Tool.
Thanks for your video, but unfortunately you can NOT use Radial Symmetry here. A spring / spiral has only 1 turn - Radial Symmetry has at least 2 turns, so one too many.
The example in your video is useful for organic shapes, e.g. a vase or horns of animals. The normal mask brush is rather unsuitable for technical constructions, because it is very inaccurate when painting on and unfortunately you also have no precise straight edges.
As I said, try it out, try to paint a spiral with one turn on a slightly longer cylinder and extract.
I have tried such things with the mask and spirals in at least a hundred different ways and unfortunately nothing works reasonably.:weary:

Hmmmm :thinking:

There has to be an easier way … I’m wondering if creating a “coil” with the tube tool set on spline and a low topology might do the trick ?

If not perhaps we should ask Stephane for a spring / coil tool :slight_smile:

How about this:

  1. Add a curve (use path and draw a straight line upwards)
  2. Add multiple points by tapping on the curve. Should be a higher number. The curve still is a straight line
  3. Go to top view
  4. From top view you should see the points from top down (ideally you see one point only if the curve still is a straight line). Start dragging the points outwards. First one goes up, second one goes to the left, third one downwards, fourth to the right - continue.

This will generate a spiral. I just tried this on my phone but it’s a little bitch when done using fingers. If you use a pen, selecting the next point should be no problem. If you need a reference you can add a cylinder below the curve. So when you look at it from top view the cylinder shows you, where to drag the points. With a curve long enough and enough points you can basically create a spiral of any shape.

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Okay, that’s officially cool. How’d you do that?


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :pray:
That is clever!