Set Array modifier to duplicate the object in both directions

I modeled an object and want to have it 5 times in a row. I am using the arraymodifier, set the offset in my desired achsis to 1,1 (for a small gap) and the count to 5. My problem is now, that this extends the object to one direction only. I want my modeled object to stay in the center, 2 copies left, 2 right. I tried adding another array modifier with the negated offset, but that modifies the output result of the first one, obviously.

Is there a way for doing this? I could of cause apply my modifier and move the object back to where it belongs, but i dont want to apply yet and also i'm curious now if there is a solution for this.

• Been there too, but I don't think this is possible using the normal array modifier. – coCoKNIght Apr 6 '16 at 17:35
• You sure know how to ask the popular question! Perhaps you can ask questions for me. – atomicbezierslinger Apr 6 '16 at 18:16

Works with three Modifiers for a x-Axis symmetrical centered model from Front view:

• Then Add a Cube, translate it 1 BU to the left (minus x-Axis) in Edit Mode (thus keeping its Origin) and scale it up if necessary to encase the complete left half of your Mesh.

• Now add a Boolean Modifier behind your Array Modifier selecting this Cube as Object in Difference Mode splitting your center Object in half, optionally hide the cube (H) and afterwards
• Add a Mirror Modifier to replicate the right half to the left side...
• Wow, that actually is a nice way i haven't thought of, but it has one problem: It only works with symmetrical objects. When using this method and trying to edit the shape in an un-symmetrical way you dont get the desired result – Erik Brendel Apr 6 '16 at 18:20
• @ErikBrendel: As mentioned ;-) feel free to Upvote if you like it... I'm thinking about a different solution for asymmetrical models... Try using symmetrical ones for now. – Samoth Apr 6 '16 at 18:22
• Oh i didn't realize the first line :) – Erik Brendel Apr 6 '16 at 18:26
• @ErikBrendel: Added another answer for asymmetrical models... give it a try and some feedback - the workflow is pretty similar. – Samoth Apr 6 '16 at 18:51
• looks a bit like overkill but might come in handy someday. thanks for sharing. – coCoKNIght Apr 6 '16 at 20:57

Okay, based on the answer of @atomicbezierslinger (wich gave me the idea) i did it now as following:

• In object mode i created a Linked copy of my object (with Alt-D) and left it at the same position (RMB)
• I added a modifier to each object, one time with an offset of +1,1, on the other object with -1,1
• The count of each modifier was at 3, to get 5 resulting objects (in reality there are of course 6, but two are directly overlapping... When applying the modifier one may need to remove one of the overlapping instances)
• There we go. When editing one objects vertices in edit mode now, through the linked copy and not-yet-applied modifiers, all copys are modified (even though you see the change not instantly on the linked copy)

Important annotation: Hitting Apply Rot+Scale on the object before doing these steps can prevent from weird errors

For asymmetrical Models it's a bit more complicated and they should be non-manifold (e.g. Suzanne might get her eye lost) but the principle is like in my other answer.

• Just make a linked Duplicate (AltD) and leave it at it's position, you might Parent it to the original mesh. As it shares the Datablock all further edits will be applied as well. I use a two colored one-sided-deformed Suzanne here for demonstration purposes.
• add the Cube translated -1x in Edit Mode and hide it.
• Add a second Cube, translated 1x in Edit Mode and hide it.
• Add your Boolean Modifier with the first left-translated Cube to your original Object in Difference mode.
• Add the same Array and Boolean Modifiers but with a negative Offset to your linked-duplicated Object and the second right-translated Cube splitting your Object in half.

In the above image the yellow center object has no array modifier. The two flanking object meshes have array modifiers and are cyan in color. We assume you have a desire to change the number of copies of the mesh. There is no symmetry requirement. The two different colors are for explanation purposes only. Change the number copies in both array modifiers as suits you.

• Use 3 object meshes, right side, middle, left side. They share the same mesh datablock, and appear identical. Both cyan flanking meshes have array modifier in the different directions. Relative offset 1 and -1 for example.
• You can animate the visibility of the cyan flanking meshes to appear later than the center. The camera icon in the outliner allows you to do this. Insert a keyframe as indicated.

• Please be more artistic and excruciatingly exact then the example above.
• If your scene were more complex a simple driver may help to keep the [count] value the same across the two array modifiers.
• Mirror Modifier may come into play.
• An empty with a negative axis scale may come into play
• I think it would be useful to expand on some of these bullet points to explain how to do them. – Ray Mairlot Apr 6 '16 at 17:48