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I'm trying to use collection instances (I think, the whole collection stuff is strange, confusing and in desperate need of a rework from the ground up, but I'm pretty sure that's what I'm doing) as you can see in the picture. The problem is that when I try to snap it to other objects it only snaps with the center, no matter what snapping options I choose (currently I have closest point).

enter image description here

How do I fix this? Also, how do I remove the base instance object without also removing the instance collections? I should probably just look up more tutorials on instance collections, to me it just seems like an extremely dumb way of not doing "components"/"prefabs" like Sketchup or Unity does.

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  • $\begingroup$ More tutorials certainly couldn't hurt. By the way, collections were originally a rework of an older layer system from the 2.7x days that probably wasn't as usable as it could have been, and certainly wasn't as versatile as it could have been. In this regard, collections are a great improvement. Though still fairly new as a feature, it may be that they have some ways to go to fully grow into something robust and extraordinary. But better is better. And the software is still free. Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective. $\endgroup$ – R-800 Mar 11 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ Related, though it no longer works for 2.8+ blender.stackexchange.com/questions/64064/… $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Mar 11 at 22:45
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You can only snap the Origin of Collection Instances.

I see this as design limitation that you have to work around. The Instance doesn't really know about its own geometry. You can however snap things to Instanced collections geometry.

Aternatively you can use linked duplicates with ALT+D, but you won't be able to one-click-select your group objects anymore unless you parent all but one objects to the last one and deactivate selection on these. But this is not always desirable.

I feel this kind of workflow is not ideal with the Blender toolset. You could try your luck in Vertex or Face Instancing with an object which you use as a parent to your instance collection.

It might help put the matter into perspective to reflect on the actual thought process behind Collections. They are not meant to be a modeling workflow, and they are more than a simple container, because objects and other collections can be part of an indefinite number of collections.

Collection Instances are a great way to reduce load on the hardware, and they can save a ton of clicks, but they definitely weren't designed to be used in an actual modeling workflow. They are great for scattering multiple instances of grouped objects, but you will have trouble actually placing individual ones precisely. I think we'll have to wait for either a big improvement in this regard or a new tool altogether.


To hide the source Collection, Click on the checkbox next to the eye icon in the outliner (top right of the screen). This will exclude this collection from the current view layer.

If you want it to disappear from the outliner altogether, right click on the source collection > Id Data > Unlink. You won't be able to modify it afterwards though (unless you're fine with the finicky process of re-linking it to the scene) so I wouldn't recommend it.

Or you can use it in another scene or another blend file and instance it in your current working scene but again this is more tedious than excluding from the view layer.

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  • $\begingroup$ So basically the collection system is shit and useless for modelling :( From my experoence linked doubles doesn’t bring modifiers with it, so. they don’t work either since I mostly work in a non destructive workflow... So there’s literally no way to do what pretty much every other 3D program had built in from the start? Is there sone component addon or something? How is this a thing? I thought blender was anong the best programs :s Now I am very dissapointed :( $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Mar 12 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Blender is not a CAD software : You either have to deal with it or use another software. If you don't want to pay for industry standards, there are free alternatives. $\endgroup$ – Gorgious Mar 12 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ I get that blender isn't CAD, but some type of "component" editing is available for most modeling software, right? :S $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Mar 12 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I'm using blender for my CAD modelling because I want to become better at blender to make good looking art too :) Also, getting pretty renders of my CAD models is a bonus. I guess I'll just have to work around these limitations, moving the origin of collection instances isn't that big of a deal I guess :P $\endgroup$ – Beacon of Wierd Mar 12 at 11:06

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