Cam Spline 1.0.0
Please note: This script was written and uploaded here before the release of 3dsMax 2013, which now includes an 'egg' spline shape.
What it does:
Cam Spline is an interactive, parametric spline tool which produces spline shapes based on two circles joined by two straight or curved lines, or a 'cam' shape. Cam Spline faithfully keeps the intersections at a true tangent, regardless of the diameter of the circles or the distance between them.
How to use:
The basics are really simple:
Each 'end' circle and the distance between them is controlled by their respective spinners.
Each of the four central vertices also has a spinner which will rotate it about it's respective circles' center.
That's all there is to it. The other buttons allow you to 'link' or 'equalize' certain spinners to aid in producing symmetrical shapes.
Just playing around with it should give a good indication of what does what.
A help menu is included, as are a few basic shape presets.
At the moment Cam Spline can only CREATE in the TOP viewport, but can be moved in X and Y AND rotated about the Z axis.
Movement in Z or rotation around X or Y will reset the spline to zero on next spinner change.
Rotation about X or Y is reserved for a later version.
'Holes' are not interactive with any 'extrude' based modifier you may add. They will only show once the spline is 'finalized'. This feature is reserved for a later version.
Using 'undo' will probably crash 3dsMax. We don't think you'll need to use undo anyway but advise against using 'undo' on Cam Spline operations.
Due to the unlimited amount of different variations its impossible to error check every one, therefore it IS possible to crash Cam Spline. The spinners will read 100000 and stop working. Use the 'Re-' and 'set' buttons to reset Cam Spline to its starting shape.
A 'help' menu and presets are included.
I apologize for the vast amount of (small) images included. I Tried all ways to script them but nothing proved as reliable as having a folder full of images.
See it as a way to 'customize' Cam Spline to your own colour scheme.
A small donation is always appreciated to continue development of CamSpline.
1. Extract the zip file to a folder.
Run 'camspline_free.mse' from the folder using MAXScript > Run Script...
Cam Spline CAN be broken if used to the extreme. Keep the spline from intersecting itself.
Creating shapes similar to those in the presets will produce best results.
Modifiers such as 'Bevel' and 'Extrude' can be applied to the spline during creation.
Cam Spline remains a standard spline 'shape' and therefore all the parameters associated with a spline shape are still available....such as 'thickness'.
Using 'thickness' is a good way to produce normal chain 'links' as opposed to a 'roller' type link.
One valuable use for Cam Spline is the creation of 'bicycle' chains, the 'path' for the chain and the links themselves can both be created by Cam Spline.
Cam Spline can also be used for creating the 'holes' in cogs, gears, wheels, panels etc...
Many, many uses.
I Apologize for any errors or omissions.