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I am creating this simple windmill model for a tutorial:

enter image description here

I have created one blade. What is the most efficient method to create the other three spaced 90 degrees apart around the main shaft? Array modifiers only work in Object mode correct? I see two ways:

  1. Create the blade as a separate object and in object mode use the array modifier.

  2. Manually copy/paste 3 more versions of the blade and manually position each.

Appreciate any thoughts.

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  • $\begingroup$ Array modifier will be harder to tune. Copy/Paste can be easy if you set your cursor as pivot point at the good location (and you can alt+D in object mode so that you can rework one blade to impact them all). Third possibility is to use duplifaces (but not so interesting as there is only 4 blades). Also you can spin the blade in edit mode. $\endgroup$ – lemon Feb 7 '17 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ Related - blender.stackexchange.com/questions/6023/…. I don't think Array is complex for this situation, it's just snapping cursor to somewhere around center of the tube and adding an empty. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 7 '17 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ Also - blender.stackexchange.com/questions/31961/… and blender.stackexchange.com/questions/23659/… $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Feb 7 '17 at 15:16
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In the edit mode as you have made 1 blade and you want to. Set the 3d Cursor. Make duplicate Shift+D of the 1st part and do not move it and just press r and type 90 and the 2nd blade is set same way repeat for 3rd and 4th blade . enter image description here

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Go to object mode, set the 3D cursor to the center of the shaft by selecting the shaft, hit CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + C and set origin at center of mass. Then, hit SHIFT + S and click cursor to selected. Now, go back to the blade, go in edit mode select everything. Set the Pivot point (button located next to 'Mode' and 'Material' buttons in the 3D view, and choose 3D cursor. Last, hit CTRL + D to duplicate, hit R and then the axis it should go around, type 90 and ENTER. Then keep hitting SHIFT + R to redo the that duplication until you have the right amount of blades.

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