How I make pipes

The kind that slither up walls and plug into those little boxes.

The Blend.

Become a better Blender artist in 5 minutes each week.

By Samuel Sullins

The Blend

Recently I’ve been modeling some pretty strange bits and pieces.

I was modeling an operator’s cab for a vehicle, and I needed some pipes. The straight, non-curved kind that go on walls:

Do not ask why the pipe has holes along it.

That kind.

I used to try making these with curves (which is not fun.)

Instead, I found a great way to makes them with Geometry Nodes (and it only takes 4 nodes.)

That’s what today’s Blend is about.

Today’s Technique

I’ll break this into simple steps, then give you a picture of the nodes so you can skip over the steps and just look at the picture instead.

  1. Add a plane. The edges of this plane will become pipe, so delete and extrude to taste. Small short sections and crazy angles don’t work well with this method. Try to make one long continuous line of edges (pretend it’s a pipe.)

  2. Go to the Geometry Nodes tab. Click on New to make a new node group.

  3. Add a Mesh To Curve node. Your mesh is now a “poly” type curve (this kind has hard straight edges and no curved parts.)

  4. Add a Set Spline Type node. Set the type to Bezier. This will let us make rounded corners in the next step.

  5. Add a Fillet Curve node. Adjust the Radius to taste.

  6. Add a Curve To Mesh node to change it back into a mesh.

  7. Plug a Curve Circle node into the Profile Object socket. Adjust the radius of the Curve Circle to change the thickness of the pipe.

  8. Connect both Radius sockets to the Group Input node, so you can adjust them in the modifier.

  9. Done!

Here’s the final nodes:

To texture the pipe, I apply the modifier so that it’s a real mesh, then add a UV seam down one edge of the pipe. You can line it up with your desired texture in the UV editor.

Also: pipes need little brackets to hold them to the wall. These are very simple: add a cylinder, delete the ends and part of one side to make a “C” shape, then extrude the ends to make little tabs. Add a solidify modifier for thickness, then duplicate and position it along the pipe (but not too many.)

If you really like details you can model a bolt and bolt it to the wall. I didn't.

Next up: the Blend has been rearranged! ↓

Samuel’s Selections

  • Artist Cartesian Caramel built an entire particle system in Geometry Nodes…and then made it free to download.

  • There’s this really awesome tutorial that teaches you how to model scrappy metal awnings (which are cooler than it sounds.)

  • Random: Grayscale Gorilla, an online asset store, always has the coolest 3D renders on their homepage.

Today’s featured render is by Hrishikesh Bedre.


Not a ton to comment on other than “wow, that’s a lot of details, must have been tough to make.”

It’s really impressive.

Extra Tip

I did a post on big fat twisty pipes a couple weeks ago, might be useful.

New: pick next week’s topic.

Reading this online? Cool but still that’s a bit strange. You know you can just subscribe and get this in your email right? You won’t have to try to remember to come here and check for new posts all the time.

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