I'm stuck. I am trying to model a spiral staircase which has been carved from a single block of wood (like a trunk of a tree). My ultimate goal is to import this mesh into zbrush so I can make it look like it's actually been carved from real wood. Anyways, the look of the thing will resemble a drill bit, albeit with stairs. It would be easy to make a step then array it up in a spiral, but that's not what I'm going for. I want it to be one solid, clean mesh. I have exhausted the boolean option as well. I'm using Max 8, and after I remove the first segment, boolean goes screwy. I have spent hours trying to get it to work and researching posts on it and I think it's the wrong approach for this type of modelling job. And I couldn't get the helix/loft option working either except with really really rough shapes which doesn't seem like it's saving me any time.
My question is how would you go about modelling the staircase from a single cylinder that ends up one clean, solid mesh. If I'm not explaining myself well, let me know and I can just upload a sketch. A picture's worth a thousand words, or a million of mine. Thanks.