Introduction: How to Position One Object Onto Another in 3D - the Easy Way | SelfCAD

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There aren't many ways of positioning objects onto each other in most CAD software. Most of the time you simply have to position and rotate your objects in a way that will connect them the way you need them to, and oftentimes figuring out the exact measurements and angles of rotation of complex objects can be both tedious and exhausting.

In this Instructable, I'd like to show you how to easily position one 3D object onto another, by using one of the unique tools available in SelfCAD. Thanks to this feature, you'll never struggle again with connecting models on different sides and angles, no matter how complex they are!

In one of the previous Instructables, I’ve shown you how to align objects with SelfCAD’s Align tool, with setting up precise distances between them thanks to the Offset option. While this method is great for aligning objects, it doesn't allow you to freely position them onto another from different sides and angles without them intersecting each other.

And that's where the Magnet comes into play.


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Step 1: The Magnet

The option itself is located in the advanced settings in the Move tool in the menu. After turning on the Magnet option, you can simply click & drag the magnet symbol to move the selected object around and connect it to another surface.

But that's only a part of what this tool allows you to do. With the following settings, you can choose exactly how you'd like to connect your 3D models with each other.

Step 2: Horizontal Origin

In the first drop-down list, you can set the horizontal position of the magnet, which means you can select which side or even edge of the figure will connect with another object.

As you can see, by selecting the horizontal origin on the Right, I set the point of connection at the edge of the cube.

Step 3: Vertical Origin

In the second drop-down list, you can select the vertical position of the magnet, which means you can select the height of the model that will connect with another surface.

As you can see, by selecting the vertical origin of the magnet at the top, I set up the peak of the cone as a point at which the figures connect with one another.

Step 4: Manual Gizmo Position

There is also the option to set Manual gizmo position, which means you can set the origin of the magnet, simply by clicking on any position on the workspace. This is something that you'll have to experiment with on your own because every change in the position of the magnet will affect the way how figures connect and react to each other.

Step 5: Try It Out!

I have here 2 copies of the same model, and as you can see, with selected Magnet option I can connect them at many different angles, simply by dragging my cursor around. In the beginning, I told you that simply changing the position and rotation will only suffice while working with shapes that don't require complicated measurements. Just imagine how long it would it take to figure out just the angle of rotation, so you could merge these 2 figures perfectly. With this tool, you don't have to!

And that’s how you position one 3D model onto another The Easy Way. After this episode, you should know how easy it is to connect objects thanks to this unique tool available in SelfCAD.

Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to Szymon Śliwiński, here on Instructables. His work focuses mostly on architectural designs. When you consider the amount of detail he pays attention to, his work in 3D modeling could be considered an art, so check him out!

And that's all I have prepared for you today. Feel free to share your thoughts on the Instructable in the comment section below.

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