Help aligning PVC pipe components

I am trying to build a canopy frame out of PVC parts, using pre-built parts from 3D warehouse:

I would think this would be easier to do, but I’m having a tough time lining the parts up without a four window view.
I tried adding crosshairs to the pipes, but I can’t make it snap.

Any tips on how to do this? I either need to make my parts snap to each other, or I need to be able to see top, side, and front views at the same time like most other 3D apps. Is there a way to do that I missed?


Hi Don , have a look at this and turn on hidden geometry to help you pick up an end points. You can also lock the move inference with the arrow keys

Hidden geometry and X-ray do help, but using these pieces you will have issues with the geometry. While they are good looking models, the 1" pipe and 45 degree elbow are both modeled with a 50 sided circle. This means that in order to snap the pipe into the elbow, the pipe has to be rotated to the same angle as the elbow (which they are not, in the downloaded SKP files).

You can use the hidden geometry to get the pipe flush with the top of the elbow, as I did here:

But then you will have to rotate the pipe so that the segments of the circular wall align:

You might be better off creating your own components with a number of walls evenly divisible by 4, then at least you can snap them in at any right angle.

Thanks. I didn’t realize there was s problem with the models.

If I could just get them close it would be fine. I’m just using this to plan how I’m going to build with real parts.

Is there a way to select a midpoint and align to midpoint?

Sorry, I can’t upload even a simple example. It says the model is too large.

And/or try the PipeAlongPath plugin, which allows you to draw a line then turn it into a cylinder or tube. Try 12 segment circles, or or even 8. Once you zoom out to see the whole, they will look fine.

You don’t need to draw tubes - cylinders will work fine for planning your structure.

I’ve drawn a bunch of Scaffolding tube fittings, which fit 1.9in outside diameter tubing. You could scale them down to your chosen pipe size. Will upload tomorrow if you’d like them. Away from my computer until then. Replying here from my phone.

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adding external guides in the component is often more useful than crosshairs…

if you put them on there own layer they can be turned on/off easily…