Introduction: How to Align Objects in 3D - the Easy Way | SelfCAD
Generally, there are 2 ways to align objects in most CAD software.
First one (the traditional one) is to measure your workspace and place the objects in the exact position you want them to be, and the second one (the easy one) is to use a specialized tool to do all of that for you. I’ll show you how easy it is to align objects by using SelfCAD’s specialized tool dedicated to that.
SelfCAD's free account and access to the internet - the software is both browser and cloud-based, which means you don't have to download anything to use it.
Step 1: Select an Object
The first step is always to choose an object you want to align. In SelfCAD you can do that either by selecting an object on the grid (workspace) or by choosing it from the panel on the right side of the screen.
Step 2: The Align Tool
As I said in the beginning, there is a hard way and an easy way to align objects. I’m going to show you the latter. Move your cursor over the Utilities drop-down list and choose Align (or use command U+A).
Step 3: Set Up the Settings
And now we just need to set up the settings.
Step 4: Point of Reference
At first, we need to set the point of reference of the alignment: it can be either the grid (workspace) itself or another object (if you work with multiple objects it might be a good idea to name each of them to keep everything nice and tidy).
Step 5: Alignment
Next, we need to set up the Alignment itself. There are 2 drop-down lists with separate settings. The first one allows you to choose a vertical alignment, and the second one the horizontal alignment.
What’s great in SelfCAD is that you can see the changes you make in real-time, which means you can experiment freely with each setting, and immediately see how any change affects your object, and if you’re dissatisfied - you just need to undo the change before closing the tool. Furthermore, SelfCAD itself is very intuitive - the name of each tool and option gives you the idea what can you manipulate, so it’s easy to grasp what the change is going to be.
Step 6: The Offset Tool
And in the end, we have a cherry on top. The Offset tool. This is what - in my opinion - sets SelfCAD above most other CAD software. With this inconspicuous tool you can set very precise distances between aligned objects up to a hundredth of a millimeter on each of the three-axis, which - as you probably can imagine - can result in very precise designs, as well as completely rearrange the structure of the alignment, with the previous options serving as a starting point.
Step 7: The Example
With proper manipulation, you can not only merge objects together (please, see this video to learn more about merging objects with the Magnet. Link to the Instructable about the topic is here.) but make them intersect or cover each other. The only thing restricting you with this tool is your desired outcome and imagination.
And that’s how you align objects The Easy Way. After this episode, you should know how easy it is to align an object with the specialized tool in SelfCAD.
That's all I have prepared for you today. Feel free to share your thoughts on the Instructable in the comment section below.
We prepared a video instruction for you as well: