3Ds max tutorial
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3Ds max tutorial

How to model a transmission gear in 3Ds max

This tutorial is about modelling a transmission gear in 3Ds max starting from a tube, and using the Edit Poly modifier.

  1. Start with creating a Tube primitive from the Create > Geometry menu on the right.

    Use approximately the same setting as they will keep the proportions and the number of teeth of the gear element to appear correct. (you need to choose a number of sides that can be divided to 2 so there is an equal count of teeth and empty slots on the rim)

  1. After the basic object is done you can start adding the modifiers needed to edit the geometry so the tube turn into a technical element.
    The best modifier to use for the purpose is Edit Poly. Pick it from the “Modify” menu on the right > Modifier List > Edit Poly

    03. The next step is selecting all the polygons on the rim of the object that will later become the teeth of the gear. With the Edit Poly modifier selected, on top of the modifier stack, go to > Selection > “Polygon” sub object level, or the red square icon that you can see on the next image.    

    04. Select two by two polygons with a single click on each and go to the next step.


05. With all the necessary polys selected, from the Edit Polygons rollout, click the small dialog window icon right next to Extrude button. That will give you the options for extrude with certain value in the viewport. Enter 12 and click the plus button so that a second extrude comes up as shown on the next image.

06. This time enter value of 5 (this part will make the chamfered top of the teeth)  and click the tick icon below. (next image)

07. The next step is to “Outline”, again the small icon on the right of the button, similarly to the Extrude function you already accomplished. Circled in red at the following picture.

Enter a value of -2 and click on the tick icon below.

08. Last step is to create an additional detail. For the purpose select two neighbouring polygons holding the Shift key. That will select the entire ring as shown on the previous and next screenshots.

Than apply Extrude again with a value of -5. Click on the tick and that’s it.

09. Deselect the polygons and exit sub-object level with a click on the polygon icon. You now have a realistically looking transmission gear.

Note: For the final image there are several more steps that add the edge outlines, that will be covered in another tutorial.