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I've been trying for a good 30 minutes now to simply snap a little object to a neighboring face, by following this simple explanation. Instead of going nuts I just thought I'd ask.

The result is never accurate, whatever I try: the smaller object always goes "through" the other mesh at an angle, rotates in every direction except the right one, etc.

enter image description here

I want the little piece to point outwards, with its largest flat face against one of the flat faces of the large shape - as in:

enter image description here

I've tried flipping normals, applying loc/rot/scale on and off, moving the origin of the object to the middle of the face I want it to snap to, tried every setting in the snap tools, but nothing helped.

What are the things to check when trying to snap an object to another, what am I missing?

Blend file:

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  • $\begingroup$ Answer provided with screenshots and updated .blend file. Please accept and upvote the answer if it solved your problem. $\endgroup$ – Tak Jan 29 '17 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ Can you explain what you mean with "adjust the rotation of the small object with the correct angle"? $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Jan 29 '17 at 3:53
  • $\begingroup$ I've updated my answer. The small object is not rotated properly to fit on a flat surface, so it need to be rotated so that its base is parallel to the face of the big object to fit on smoothly. $\endgroup$ – Tak Jan 29 '17 at 3:58
  • $\begingroup$ Wait, isn't the point of snapping to avoid having to do it by hand? I don't think your answer allows me to position the object on a complex surface as seen in the video I gave in the original question. I edited the .blend file for you to understand, please look at it $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Jan 29 '17 at 4:05
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To avoid these situations you should rotate your original mesh in Object Mode, not Edit Mode. Rotation in Object Mode preserves the local co-ordinates. You have change the object orientation and that is what Blender is now reading when it snaps = it is doing it's job correctly.

There is a way to correct the rotate in Edit Mode but does require an add-on which can be found here https://github.com/egtwobits/mesh-align-plus/releases/tag/v0.3.0. CG Masters also have some explanations / solutions here.

...but all of this could have been avoided by not rotating your original mesh in Edit Mode.

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  • $\begingroup$ I cannot get snapping to work, even in Object mode. It just makes the small object explode/deform. If you think you succeeded (from the blend file of the original post), please write detailed steps or even screenshots to help me reproduce it. $\endgroup$ – MicroMachine Jan 29 '17 at 10:26
  • $\begingroup$ G to grab and drag it towards the surface - it's not more complicated than that. The only issue is the rotation orientation. I am getting no explode / deform from your original file. $\endgroup$ – Patdog Jan 29 '17 at 10:32
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  • First you need to adjust the rotation of the small object to be fitted on the surface with the correct angle as shown below:

enter image description here

  • After that, switch to edit mode of the big object and switch to Face selection and select the face as shown below:

enter image description here

  • Then hit Shift+S and select Cursor to Selected as shown below:

enter image description here

  • After that select the small object and hit again Shift+S and select Selected to Cursor this time and it will work as shown below:

enter image description here enter image description here

Updated .blend file can be found here:

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First of all, your Screw object has to have correct coordinates. If you rotated it in Edit Mode and it's base is not correct you have to rotate it back so it has nice X, Y, Z axes with Z pointing up in the direction that the screw. Like this:

Then you turn snap to face on, set it to active (so the object's center is used for snapping, not it's closest vertex) and also the "align rotation with the snapping target" right next to it so that it rotates automatically based on the face it snaps to.

After that you just move your screw around at it snaps to whichever surface correctly.

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