Easy Sofa Cushion Piping in Blender

Today, I am going to show you a quick and easy way to create custom fitting piping or edging for sofa cushions or for anything else you might need some detailing and do not wish to create manually.  I find this method much easier, quicker, and more precise for me than trying to use muddle through modeling it with Bezier Curves or Paths.

For simplicity sake, I am going to demonstrate using a cube for this tutorial. Please be aware there is a lot of tabbing back and forth between Object & Edit modes so it may be confusing till you practice a few times.  


1. Delete the default cube then add a new one (don't ask me why but all the other tutorial tell you to do this so why buck the tend :-) cube in Object Mode.

2. Select your cube and tab into Edit Mode.

3. Using edge/line select,  select the lines where you wish your edging/piping to be. Yes, if you select all 4 lines like I have, the entire face will be selected, which is correct.

4. Once your edges/lines are selected, duplicate the edges by hitting Shift-D. Move up the newly created face on the Z axis. 

I suggest you stick with moving it up on Z axis so it is out of the way to work on but, will still be in precise alignment on X & Y axis when we move the piping/edging into place later.

5.  After moving your newly created face/object, while still in Edit Mode, separate the new selection from the cube by hitting P then Separate by Selection.   This will make the newly created face into a separate mesh object.

6.  Tab back into Object mode and select the newly created flat object...not the cube...just the new face. 

7.  Tab back into Edit mode...make sure the entire flat object is selected..hit X and delete FACES ONLY...you should have just your lines afterwards.

8. Tab back to Object Mode, hit ALT C to convert the edge object to a Curve From Mesh/Text then tab back into Edit Mode.  We want to convert to a curve in order to make use of some of the curve function.

9.  Once converted it...go to the Properties Panel (far right), Select the Curves tab...icon looks like a backward C with dots on the end. You will see a bunch of options under Shape.

You can do this in either Object mode or Edit mode.  If in Edit Mode you will see the curve and the handles, which can be moved, scaled etc. like a normal curve.  For my purposes, I am doing the above in Object Mode.

10. If it is not already highlighted, click on 3D.  Under 3D is an option called Fill, which should be set to Half by default.  Click on it and change to Full.  At this point, you will not see any changes to your edges/lines.

Now the fun part!

11. Now, scroll down to to GEOMETRY section...Modification...you will see 4 oval boxes. These are going to determine the properties of what our piping/edging will look like.

A) Offset...Leave at default 0m
B) Extrude...Set to 2cm
C) Depth..Like in Extrude, Set to 2cm
D) Resolution..Set to 2...no cm needed.

Now, we can start seeing the changes to the curve.

NOTE OF CAUTION:  The higher you adjust any of these settings the more vertices, tris and faces are added increasing the overall geometry of the object or scene.  

12. When you are happy with your piping/edging, go back to Object Mode, hit ALT C and select Mesh from Curve/Meta/SurfText.  Once this has been converted back to mesh, you can edit it to your heart is content!

OPTIONAL:  Still in Object Mode, under the Tool Shelf on the left, scroll down to Edit and Set Origin to Geometry.  Then move your piping/edging back to the cube.  Now, we have perfect edging with origin centered in the middle of the edging object. 

If you would like to learn more about using Bezier Curves and/or Paths, I suggest the following video to watch. BornCG also tells you more about the Curve setting and their function.

Blender 2.7 Tutorial #58: Extruding a Path & Bezier Curves By BornCG

Happy Holidays!


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