Guest Post: Modeling in Blender (CG Cookie)

Modeling a Soda Can using Blender

Blender is an incredibly powerful 3D modeling tool and it can seem intimidating initially.
This article will help you create your first project in Blender so that you can see how incredibly fun it can be as well.

We don’t have the space for a comprehensive introduction to Blender here,
so for that you can watch the free Blender Basics course on
If you haven’t downloaded Blender yet or need to update, you can find it at
This article uses version 2.80.

Let’s get started!

To begin this project, delete everything in the default scene and create a mesh cylinder using the Add menu.

To make sure that it’s the proper size, switch the Units to Imperial in the Properties Editor scene tab and
change the Length to Inches. Open up the 3D View sidebar with the hotkey “N”, and then change the
dimensions to be 2.6, 2.6, and 4.83 for the X, Y, and Z values.

Switch into Edit Mode for the Cylinder, and add a loop cut with the hotkey Ctrl+R.
Before clicking to confirm, scroll up on the mouse wheel to make it two loop cuts.
Hit Enter or click to confirm, and then scale the cuts up along the Z axis so that they are near the edges of the can.

Grab the top and bottom faces, and scale them down along the X and Y axes by pressing “S” and “Shift-Z”.
Then hit “I” and make a slight inset.

With the top and bottom faces still selected, hit “E” to extrude, “S” to scale down, and “Z” to constrain to the Z axis.
This will create a lip on both sides.

Add another edge loop along the slanted surface at the top, and scale it down so that it matches the
width of the outside part of the lip. If you find it hard to see while zoomed in, decrease the Clip Start
value in the View section of the sidebar.

Head to the modifiers tab in the Properties Editor and add a Subdivision Surface modifier.
This will smooth everything out, so also add supporting edge loops around any edge that should be sharp.

Inset the top and bottom faces to give them supporting loops as well.
Then, only on the top, inset again, scale it down to the size of the drinking hole, and inset one more time.
Move both insets along the Y axis until they are near the edge.

Scale that area along the X and Y to make an oval, and then delete the face in the middle.

We’ve finished the main part of the can! Go back to object mode, right click and set shading to smooth,
and add a Solidify modifier so that the normals inside the can will face the correct direction.

To add the tab at the top, create a plane, scale it down, position it near the opening, and shrink it just a bit along the X axis.
I’ve enabled Cavity and Shadow in my 3D View shading options so that everything can be seen more easily.

Enter Edit Mode for the tab, and shrink the edge nearest the hole.
Then add two edge loops running perpendicular to the hole and scale those up.

Next, add one edge loop right down the center, perpendicular to those.
Then select the three faces to the right and inset those. Do the same to the three faces on the left.

Delete those six faces, and extrude a little notch for the hole nearest the hole in the can.
Once that’s done, you can also add a Subdivision Surface modifier.

With the modeling complete, go back to object mode, set the shading for the tab to be smooth in the right click context menu,
and rotate it into place. To give it some thickness, add a Solidify modifier and place it above the
Subdivision Surface modifier.

If that’s one of your first models, congratulations! If you want to take this project farther, you can try to make different kinds of cans,
or use what you’ve learned to make a cup or glass bottle!

For more in-depth training on how to use Blender, watch our free course on the Blender Basics. Happy modeling!
Written by: CG Cookie


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