This question is based on a question I have posted here previously: Adobe Illustrator: Creating an helix

In Illustrator, I am able to create the following tube-like shape, by creating a blend out of two circular shapes by giving them a gradient stroke:



How can I turn a tube like this into a helix? In other words, I want the tube to follow the path of a helix.


EDIT: As one of the commenters suggested, replacing the spine of the blend with the path of the helix actually works fine, here's the result:


  • Edit blend replace spine... though this is not a good idea.
    – joojaa
    Dec 31, 2016 at 16:38
  • @joojaa Why ain't it a good idea?
    – JoSch
    Dec 31, 2016 at 16:39
  • Your creating a lot of redundant objects.
    – joojaa
    Dec 31, 2016 at 16:54
  • @joojaa And what would be a better idea to go about this?
    – JoSch
    Dec 31, 2016 at 16:55
  • @joojaa Replacing the spine actually works just fine for me. What did you mean by redundant objects?
    – JoSch
    Dec 31, 2016 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


If both ends of the spiral are hidden behind other structures, then a pile of simple identical rings can be a plausible fake spiral:

a pile of rings

Used ring is 3D revolved ellipse. To get it tilted, do envelope distort. To keep tens of rings light for the computer, make one and use it as a symbol.

This job is much easier in a proper 3D program, but the created scenery is not available for Illustrator as AI shape, only as a bitmap image. In real 3D there are no difficulties with spiral's ends and viewing angles.

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