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Peter Telleman

Finding or making snap points

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Hi everyone, I made a chain link by composing two arcs and two straight 3d poly lines. And then I extruded alond path to give a diameter. But the result appears not to have any snap points. Am I doing it wrong/unhandy, or is there a way to create or find snap points so I can link several chain links??

Schermafbeelding 2019-01-22 om 18.54.47.png

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I think the quickest way would be to add 3D Loci objects at the points you want to be snappable, then with the link geometry and the 3D loci selected, create a symbol. Most likely with the symbol's insertion point being aligned one of the snappable points. That should let you both insert it at one of the snap points if desired, in addition to keeping file size down and letting you mod all the chain links at once later if need be.

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In addition to what Jim said about making a symbol with 3D loci for easy snapping I would also make a symbol that has two links joined together.  If your symbol has two links and 3D loci; one flat like you have drawn and the other rotated 90° like a chain hangs, this will allow you to easily make any length of chain without having to rotate each link upon insertion.  If you need a single link at the end just use the single symbol and rotate appropriately.  This is how chain is drawn in the content department for the chain motors.

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I have the rotated link already, but obviously that one also comes without snap points. Are you saying to make the loci before extruding? Because I know I can put loci on it to create snap points, but it's kind of hard to put them on the exact spot without any snap points.

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I mean draw the 3D loci afterwards, separately from the extrusion.

I recommend selecting one link and one 3d loci, then using Right Click > Align/Distribute > Center followed by Right Click > Align/Distribute > Center. That should give you a perfectly centered snapping point. Then either duplicate that snap point and move it in 3D via Modify > Move the desired amount relative to the overall dimensions of the object and where you want the snap points to be and then repeat that operation duplicating the center snap loci each time you need to offset a new one.

You should only need to do this to one link, then just select that link and its needed loci and duplicate/rotate that into place, then save the two links and their identical snap points as a repeated symbol.

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Unfortunately this is one of the biggest drawbacks to the Extrude Along Path. There have been a variety of wishes about improving this. Other methods of generating curved geometry also exhibit this issue (sweeps for example).

 

Here's a couple of other methods to make links which result in various snap points inherent in the geometry.

 

From top to bottom -

 

  1. Two 180 degree sweeps,  ends of one extruded with the Push/Pull Tool. Add solids to form a link. Gives you snaps where the straight sections join the curves but doesn't give you end snaps.
  2. 90 degree corner snaps. Push/Pull Tool to extrude straight sections. Mirror and add solids. Similar snaps to above.
  3. Half link path and circle. Create extrude along path. Mirror and add solids. Gives you snaps around the circular profile at each end of the link. Probably the best solution for a chain.

Kevin

 

423459866_ScreenShot2019-01-22at12_34_32PM.thumb.png.127e1235d14b76c4da4bbdaf6b728862.png

 

 

Chain Link Methods.vwx

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With the align/distibute method I managed to get my loci at the right spot. I made a very small measuring mistake, but the method worked. Thanks a lot for all your help and suggestions.

Schermafbeelding 2019-01-23 om 12.37.42.png

Edited by Peter Telleman
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