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I have a elbow pipe joint and I want to extrude the selected edges out to extend the pipe:

enter image description here

However, there is no convenient axis to restrict movement to.

Any ideas?

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A 'coplanar' mode for the transformation widget to become visible when the selected vertices are in a plane would be a clean UI solution, but the extrude method just works. – zeffii Apr 24 '14 at 18:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Press F to fill the face with an n-gon and then extrude.

Once a face exists the extrusion can happen along the normal of that face.

If you then want to move the face along that axis again you can change the transformation widget to the 'Normal' axis:

transform widget mode

Allowing you to move like so either by using the widget pictured...

transform widget on open edge loop

or by pressing G,Z,Z.

You can then delete the face after the extrusion is complete via X.

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When extruding an open edge loop the move operation is free of any axis constraints, while extruding from a face will be constrained along the face normal.

The quick solution is to fill in the face then extrude and delete the face.

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