Nny, good tip, but it works as long as you want the same bevel on all edges.
Well, i found a way to get clean poly-bevels in Maya, which works for me. I didnt know about soften/harden normals, but fiddling around with that option is good to get rid of those weird "seams" i got on my surfaces. Also, on the corners of a cube, problems can be solved with merge vertices. It takes some time, but not as much as manually modelling bevels. besides, with the bevel tool, you can specify an exact radius.
Oh yeah, i also tried the bevel tool from byron (www.byronimo.de
). This plug-in makes clean chamfers. To make real rounded edges with this tool, you have to make multiple chamfers. This tool is free. theres also some sort of package with chamfer/bevel/split poly etc on offer on that website. Haven't tried that, coz it's not free. cheap me.
But i saw on another site some movies which show those tools in action and it all really works pretty well. So if your looking for good poly-bevel tools, byron might have the solution for you.
Still i guess when it comes to modelling objects with a lot of bevels, i guess i rather model in SolidWorks, then afterward import it into maya. It then needs some cleaning up (cause SolidWorks is a Solid modelling program instead of a surface modelling one) but for the most time it works well for me.