Hello Community,

i stumbled upon one very wierd problem on my journey to learn Blender.

I want to connect the ends of 2 tubes accurately together while not needing to move/rotate the red one.

example picture

I dont have very much expierience in Blender since im in the process of learning the program.

I tried stuff like closing the red tube with a face, moving the 3D cursor on that face so its centered in the opening. then i tried doing the same on the blue tube and use "snap selection to cursor".example pic2 That did not work out since either it would deform the blue tube when just selecting the face, or moving the center of mass to the cursor. This also did not rotate the blue tube to align with red.example pic 3

Edit: This is what it should look like in the end: final

I hope that someone can help me with this. Regards, Nick.


I'm illustrating this with triangular openings, because it's easier to see. We're going to move green to red. All moves in edit mode. Pivot set to '3D Cursor'

  1. Starting with 2 skew open shapes. Snap set to 'Vertex', 'Active'. Create a new Custom Orientation : Ctrl Alt Space from 3 vertices selected on the target opening.

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  1. With all vertices of green selected, and a suitable vertex made active, free translate G and snap the active vertex to the corresponding vertex in red. These points will not move any more. Put the 3D cursor there: ShiftS > Cursor to Active

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  1. Free rotate green around until it's somewhere in the vicinity. This is only to make things easier to see.

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  1. Now we need a view straight across the plane of the opening in red. With 3 verts in the red opening selected, try the orthogonal views of them (ShiftNumpad1,3or7 and the CtrlShift variants) until you reach a view suitable for the next steps. Set snap to 'Edge', 'Active'.

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  1. Make a suitable vertex of green active, and rotate all in screen space, snapping the vertex to an edge of red in this view. We now have an edge in the right plane...

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  1. ...but not aligned to its corresponding edge. So we now rotate all in the Custom orientation we created earlier , RZZ setting snap back to 'Vertex', 'Active'.

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  1. Now we have an edge in place. We want to rotate around it. Create a new Custom Orientation from the edge....

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  1. ...and rotate around it, having made a suitable green vertex active.. (RYY)

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  1. ...so it can snap to its partner.

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  • $\begingroup$ Or search on 'Blender Face Align Addon' to find a tool to do it for you. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts May 5 '18 at 9:45
  • $\begingroup$ YES, thats what i was looking for. I googled about this for hours and couldn't find any answer. Thank you so much Robin. $\endgroup$ – Nick T. May 5 '18 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ There are other ways, like the ones illustrated in youtube.com/watch?v=Gc8BekthXAQ but personally I find this quicker. I'm slamming out custom orienations all the time, so I check the 'Use after creation' and 'Overwrite previous' boxes in the toolbar. The frustrating thing is that, in Blender, you can't create a custom snap orientation in the same way as you can create a custom transform orientation. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts May 5 '18 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ the good thing about your method is that i think it can also work when the 2 parts you need to connect are not perfectly even like in this case image. That will mostly be the case for me because i am mainly playing around with humanoid models. also after looking for the tool you mentioned i found this which seems very strong. mesh align plus $\endgroup$ – Nick T. May 5 '18 at 17:35

The easiest way is to do it: If you know the height of the cylinders then:

  1. Go into edit mode
  2. Delete the blue cylinder
  3. Select the edge loop at the opened side of the red cylinder then press F to make a new face
  4. Open the menu Mesh>Extrude>Region (Vertex normals) then enter the numerical value corresponding to the cylinder height
  5. Select the edge loop between the two parts then Mesh>Edges>Edge split
  6. Apply the blue material to the new cylinder
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. This method is indeed a nice workaround for this example. $\endgroup$ – Nick T. May 5 '18 at 16:14

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