Other than manually typing in locations, is there an easy way to align objects on an axis like you would in Visio?
You can use Align Objects available in the 3d view header under Object > Transform > Align Objects.
This will bring up a panel in the toolshelf and you can choose the axis to align the selected objects on. You can also choose to align relative to and the mode to align by.
I like to use the Pivot Point Align feature in conjunction with zero-scaling.
- Press Alt, (comma) to activate Pivot Point Align, or click the button next to the pivot center selector in the 3D View header.
- Select your two objects.
- Press S to activate scaling. Then, press the axis key (X, Y, or Z) corresponding to the axis on which you want the objects to be aligned.
- Press the 0 (zero) key on your keyboard. This will scale the distance between the center points of the objects to zero (i.e., they will be on top of each other) but since Pivot Point Align is on, the scale of the objects is conserved.
I really like this method for a few reasons:
- It's quick: it only takes me about five seconds to do RMBRMBAlt,SX0Enter.
- It works in edit mode as well, to align vertices.
- You can easily specify where they should be aligned to with the normal pivot point settings. For example, by default, they will align at the median, but you could also choose to do the 3D cursor, active object, etc.
- You can select a local axis along which to transform. To do this, select the relevant object last (so it is the active object), and then press the axis key twice. For example, to align a cube and sphere on the sphere's local X axis, select the cube, then the sphere, then press SXX0. You can also do this with gimbal, normal, or view axes by selecting the appropriate axis type from the Transform Orientation dropdown menu.
- You can use proportional editing to gradually scale nearby objects in as well.
- Essentially, you can use all the editing features you normally use.
The feature you're looking for is the Quick Align Lines operator in the 3D View > Tools Panel (T) > Mesh Align Plus Tab, in its own panel.
1. Pick a destination target (stationary edge that you're aligning to)
- In edit mode (Tab), shift + right click to select the two edge verts you want to align your object with
- Hit Grab Destination
2. Pick a source target (edge that will be aligned with the destination)
- In edit mode (Tab), shift + right click to select the two edge verts that need to line up with the destination when the alignment is applied. Leave them selected.
3. Apply the operation
- Make sure the object you want to move is selected, and (in object mode or edit mode) hit Apply to: Object