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Mesh Align Plus v0.2.0 (New Precision/CAD type Addon)

6

Eric Gentry writes:

Mesh Align Plus is a precision modeling addon (free/open source) that lets you move mesh parts and objects around, by picking points of interest and using them as targets for alignments, rotations and other types of transformations. For example: rest a plane against the tips of three separate pyramid objects...or select an edge and rotate part of your mesh around it (or even take that axis and shift it to a new location, then rotate from there).

There are Quick Tools for fast and easy access to common operations (like aligning real points, lines or planes together), and Advanced Tools (for working with imaginary/implied geometry, measuring and calculating quantities in your scene, like line length or face normals, and composing new targets for your transformations).

Come test it out, and help develop the next/improved version of the tool! :)

See the youtube demo video below (or read the wiki/manual) for more information, and to get a complete view of the addon's capabilities.

About the Author

Eric Gentry

I'm a software engineer and designer by training with a BS in Design. Technology, photography, video games, and programming are all interests that led me to Blender. I discovered Blender as an undergraduate (since about 2.49), and have been using it as an artist and python developer ever since.

6 Comments

  1. This looks interesting... but it's too complicated at the moment. For the first example, aligning faces, imagine a workflow like this...

    1) Select the rotated target wedge, tab, select the angled face, tab out.
    2) With the target wedge still selected, select the second object, tab, select similar face, click a button marked "Glue faces".

    With all that grabbing stuff under the hood, the tool now aligns the faces as shown in the tutorial. But let's say I don't want it glued inside the target wedge (as shown) but stuck on the 'outside' of it? So immediately after the glue operation, provide a panel with XYZ rotators (with 90 degree preset options) to rotate the glued object about the glued faces until its in the required orientation.

    This sequence is much more Blender-like in operation. For example, adding a hook requires selection of two objects and tabbing into the last selected, then applying an operator (Ctrl+H > Hook to Selected). In this case that operator would be Glue Faces. Similarly, immediately after adding a mesh, a panel appears in the tools panel to set vertices etc; in this case that would the rotation options.

    • I agree with REACTION. It is too complicated for the moment. Personally, I'm searching for a workflow as easy as in Sketchup, where you have the inference system that makes manipulations so fast, and completely in the 3D view.
      I personaly think that transform tools should have minimal uses of dialogs, or panels.
      * Moving should be as easy as selecting one point (corner, middle, tangent, ...) then start the operation, then place to the destination point (corner, middle, tangent, ...).
      * Rotating should be as easy as selecting the rotation point, then the starting reference point, than the destination reference point.
      * Same principles may be applied to scaling.
      Then using alt keys (Alt, Ctrl, Shift, and combinations of those keys, you modify the general behaviour).

      In short, I prefer having a simple tool that does a specific task that I have to use several times, than having a more complex tools that requires to be preset before using it.

      Just my own opinion.

    • Have you seen this answer on Blender Stack Exchange for Mesh Align Plus? The workflow for aligning two objects by faces is almost exactly as you described (select the source, hit grab, select a destination, hit apply):

      http://blender.stackexchange.com/questions/539/snap-object-on-top-of-surface-of-other-object/60418#60418

      You mentioned having some operators for modifying the operation after you have applied it (The Blender way). That's a great idea, and will be a future target for the addon :) You should consider stopping by the Blenderartists thread and posting any other thoughts for the next version of the addon, thanks for using it! :>

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