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I have the following situation with a chimney on a roof:

Chimney on roof

I'd like to slide the chimney around on the plane parallel to the roof. One way I could accomplish this would be if I could somehow rotate the chimney's coordinate axes to be parallel to the slope of the roof, however I don't know how to perform this rotation without also rotating the chimney.

Is there a quick and easy way to do this type of coordinate transform?

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You could try is this, however it seems to me you are looking for Custom transform orientations.

In your situation:

  1. Select the triangle object and enter edit mode (↹ Tab)

  2. Select the edge along which you want the custom Z axis to be aligned and press ⎈ Ctrl⎇ AltSpace

  3. This should create a custom orientation and set it as the current orientation. You can switch orientations in the Header or the properties region (N) of the 3D view. In the properties region you can also delete unwanted orientations.

enter image description here

Note that to clamp a transform operation (translate, rotate, scale) to the axes defined by the custom transform orientation, you must press the axis key twice (e.g. GZZ).

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    $\begingroup$ you can move along two axis' by using shift + the axis you want to exclude. For a custom axis, you would press these keys twice. So if 'x' and 'y' lie along the plane of the roof and you only want to move along these two, you would press (shift+z, shift+z) to exclude the custom z-axis from the movement. $\endgroup$ – MarcClintDion Dec 22 '14 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ this should have more upvotes ... just emphasize more on "pressing axis key twice" and make it prominent :) $\endgroup$ – amit.user105387 Aug 16 '17 at 5:28
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A alternative way to move objects along the face of another object is with snapping.

Enable Face Snapping with CtrlShiftTab > Face Snapping. Enable snapping with Shift Tab. (Both are also accessed in the 3D view header) Then move you chimney with G.
You may need to change the Snap Target to Center.

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