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Aligning 3D Machine Parts

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I've been using VW, mostly for machine design, for about 30 years, but only doing 3D for a few. I have considerable difficulty assuring that 3D machine parts are correctly/precisely aligned in any view other than Top/Plan. I would expect to be able to specify an X,Y,Z value for some point on (or related to) any object or group, but can't. I'm currently using VW2015, previewing VW2017, hoping it would solve the problem, but apparently not. Can anyone help?


P.S. I can't tell which position/color of the circle in "Notify me of replies" is the affirmative position. I'm assuming that the default (Left, white) is the affirmative.

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The trick to snapping 3d parts precisely by points is -


- move into a 3d view.

- I always work in wireframe but if you can see the points you want to grab in OpenGL it will work too.

- make sure the plane dropdown in the mode bar is set to "Layer Plane".

- select your object, move the crosshairs over the snap point you want to move it from and click to grab it.

- move that point over the point you want to snap to. You should see a tool tip saying what type of point you're snapping to. (The Y key toggles these snapping tool tips on and off.)

- if you want to snap to a specific point in space, add a 3d loci first and snap to that.


There is no easy way to define a 3d point while moving a 3d object that I'm aware of (eg. you can't grab a point on an object, tab to activate the floating entry box and type in x,y,z).


If Screen Aligned plane is active in the plane dropdown you will never snap where you want to.... this mode is nothing but trouble.




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What I tend to do set my 3D Loci in Plan & Elevation to ensure I have the proper location. Then I can move objects based on know value or edges, top or side by using the Align tool:


A number of random parts in random locations 


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 4.36.34 PM (2).png


Set the 3D Loci in the centre,  in this case 10mm above 00


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 4.37.37 PM (2).png


In TOP PLAN Align to the Centre


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 4.38.12 PM (2).png


Use the same technique to move the items on the Z axis 


Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 4.40.51 PM (2).png


The same technique can be used to find different locations of parts and moving them by know amounts

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 4.41.40 PM (2).png

Edited by Jim Smith
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