My plan is to 3d print a giant scaled up version of the bones of a hand, complete with ligaments, tendons, and magnetic attachments.

Lets say I've embedded "holes" for magnets inside of the meshes I would like to print, and lets say I've finished positioning them where they should be in the bones, etc.. etc.. like so: enter image description here

Now, when I go to 3d print it, I'm hopefully going to print several bones at the same time, and when the printer gets to a certain height where I can access the holes to put magnets in, it will pause and wait for me to put in the magnets. Because of that, ideally all of the holes are at the exact same height (from the build tray, so the same z height in blender I guess), so I only have to pause once. Is there a way I can select all of the "holes" from several of the bones and snap them all to some imaginary z plane? This would rotate each bone in a different way so that the "holes" all ended up at the same plane. Does that make sense?

Not perfect because I did it manually and eyeballed it, but this is kinda what I have in mind: enter image description here


1 Answer 1


It's certainly an awkward task, but doable if I understand the situation correctly.

In short I would develop an alignment mechanism with an armature:

  1. Snapping the head and tail of corresponding armature bones to each hole of a bone model.
  2. Parent each bone model to it's respective armature bone.
  3. Duplicate another armature bone per existing armature bone to serve as a target for a damped track bone constraint.
  4. Enable "affect only locations" in the viewport and scale all of your bones in Pose mode to zero in the z-axis.

Here's a brief video of the process.


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