Angling the tabs on my 3D part model (buttplate)


Ok, so here is my part i made in SU pro 2015. The tabs, i am trying to angle them down towards the bottom of the cap. Here are some pics of what i am trying to do. The first pic is the original part. Some of you will recognize this from an earlier post. Now that i have learned how to draw it correctly, it is now time to learn how to angle the tabs the way i need them which is the bottom picture. The image on the left is the side view of the original part and the image on the right is what i am trying to accomplish.


New photo by Matt Thomas New photo by Matt Thomas


Of course, there’s multiple methods of skinning cats. (Don’t worry, I have nothing against felines)

I’m not claiming to know the best solution, but maybe if the tabs were separate groups, you could just rotate them on the green axis, and from what I’ve heard, 3d printers will recognize it as one entity, even if you can’t figure out the subsequent subtraction methods (though it would be pretty simple).


One of the simplest ways is to use autofold.
Just select the two end, then move them on the blue axis either by hitting alt or the up arrow.
And you can soften any creases that is creates with the eraser +ctrl.


Nice job, didn’t think of that.

Of course, in my line of work, this would be “too messy”, but it suits the purpose here perfectly, in my opinion.


Wtf, i was trying to do that on my own before posting and could never get it to work. I used all the arrow keys and nothin. I did however make each tab and the main body their own groups and dis it that way but when i do a section view, some of the geometry of the tab goes into the inside of the main body.

Ok, i will try again using this method. I get my code next week from work for 2017 yay. So happy bout that. Also, rotate tool is really weird to use. Had to watch a 20 min video on it and its still a pain haha.

I need to know more tricks like this. Is there like a quick reference book that talks about autofold, groups etc etc, things that are complicated and shouldnt be type of guide?




The arrow keys won’t work for you in SU2015, so use the alt key.


Ok, i just watched a 2 min video on autofold. Way awesome, but now it leads
me into another question. If i drew a 3d box, then ontop of said box i draw
a paper thin rectangle and i try to move it, it only moves in the same
direction as the plane is on. So how to i make the paper thin rectangle
move above the plane or in any direction i want? Ie i want paper thin
rectangle to move up 2 inches in the blue direction?

Ok, now one last question for this reply… how do you draw paper thin
shapes above other shapes? Not sure if that makes sense. So take a 3d box
and above that at any height i choose, i want to make a simple pyramid or
cylnder? Am i asking to strange of queations?? I feel like im asking
useless stuff at the moment haha



You need to group your geometry so it doesn’t stick together, then you can move it.
Here the box is a group and the square is just a face, I use the edge of the box to help move the face up on the blue axis.


Ahh, the box needs to be a group and then if needs be i can explode it later on. Thats good to know. Thank you much for that.



With few exceptions, I would use components all the time, not groups. Not critical in smaller models, but even if there’s only one of it in a model, I would still use a component rather than a group.

I can only think of one circumstance when I’d use a group, if both these conditions apply:
1 there’s only one instance of the element in the model, AND
2 I don’t want the item to list in the Component browser.

Since for me, 2 almost never applies, I can’t remember the last time I made a group instead of a component.


Inyeresting. So i take it there is a pretty big difference between a group and a component?






From a user’s point of view, the biggest difference between groups and components has to do with copies:

If you copy a component, then change the geometry in one, the same geometry changes apply to the other. If you copy a group, then change the geometry in one, nothing changes in the other.

You CAN sever the relationship between copies of the same component by using the “Make Unique” option that appears when you right click on a component.

There are lots of other differences, but this one is, in my opinion, the most significant.


So why is component better than groups? Where is the advantage of using one over the other? To me, groups seem less of a hassle. But that is me at this moment of my education


one often overlooked advantage is being able to create a ‘history’ that you can go back to if needed…



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