I have a pretty simple question to ask regarding duplicating objects and creating arrays, however I am very new to blender and am stuck. I want to make a hexagonal array of a grouped object that I have created to the following basic config (see attached figure):
- Alternating rows switch between two orientations, where the object is identical but rotated -60 degrees about the z axis
- The resulting array is not a n x m array, but will resemble something of a circle (i.e. there will be varying instantiations of the grouped object).
- The result array will have >1000 total instantiations, and so a relatively parametric approach is required
- The grouped object contains many sub objects, with various rotations about their respective centers, all of which will need to be copied in the array.
What I have tried:
So, I have the grouped object saved and labeled "Pixel." I have found how I can add a group instance, after which I can place the instances in their proper XY positions and apply my rotation, as drawn in the figure. However, I cannot then apply an array modifier to create a 1 x n row of the complete objects. I found that I can apply a modifier to individual objects within the group by first hiting CTRL-SHIFT-A, however it only applies to one sub object at a time. The real object consists of many different sub objects, all which have various respective rotations, so simply copying the modifier from one object to another results in a complete mess (objects in all the wrong positions).
I see that I can probably produce a brute-force solution by manual creating a new modifier for each subgroup and then applying it to every version that I have copied in the array. However, I'm sure there is a much simpler solution that I am not seeing.
My experience with other CAD software allows the designation of a group that can then be copied and altered as a single entity. However, this solution doesn't appear to be obvious to me within blender. Is there any way to do this? I have tried merging the items into a single mesh using CTRL-J, however this results in loss of many features from the discrete group. Maybe saving the individual cell as an exported item, and then instantiating it in a new file? I tried this by using the File->Link option, but the problem of being unable to array this object as a group persists.
Any help is greatly appreciated.