Trouble aligning/mating objects

What is the best way to arrange objects:
For example, how to stack cubes?
Stack cylinders of different diameters so they are concentric?
Mate to objects so they are just touching?

Seems like OSNAPs don’t work for this - they are on.

Thank You

Have you tried the Align command?

I have - I guess I just need to play with that some more to figure out exactly what I need it to do.

I have used other CAD programs that snap to edges- like Sketchup, if you put two cubes close, they snap exactly on the edge etc.

It seems like the OSNAPS don’t work when using gumball - Seems like I have to go to the Wireframe view and different viewports to align 3D objects perfectly…

Thought there would be an easier way…

i came to rhino from a sketchup background and had similar feeling as you at first (snapping/aligning/etc was easier in sketchup) …but i’ve changed my tune since then for the most part.

it might be helpful if you upload a .3dm here which has the objects you’d like to arrange then a description of how you’d like them arranged…
there’s basically a hundred different ways to go about these things and without an exact situation to talk about, you’re going to get a lot of guesses instead of ‘do this’ :wink:

Great Idea, I didn’t want to over reach :smile:

The attached file has 3 cylinders and three cubes

Lets say I wanted to stack the cubes and cylinders vertically with the larger ones on the bottom and all of them aligned by their centers.

What would be the easiest method(s)

Thanks again!alignment-test-01.3dm (21.7 KB)

actually, using those three written examples, it possible to give a decent enough how-to

first, you’re going to want to use the Move command… (this command will temporarily disable the gumball if you’re using the gumball)

the Move command works pretty much the same way as the move tool in sketchup… pick a point on the object you’d like to move then click on a second point where you’d like to move it to…

if you want to snap to an endpoint in rhino then make sure you have the End snap turned on in the osnap panel.

to stack cubes, run the Move command, click on a bottom corner (or midpoint or whatever) of the cube you’d like to stack then click again at the corresponding upper corner of the cube you’d like to stack on top of

to stack concentric cylinders make sure you have the osnap ‘Center’ enabled… run the Move command… hover your mouse over the bottom edge of the cylinder you’d like to move until you get a center snap… click the mouse… do the same thing on the top edge of the other cylinder and click when you get a center snap… they’ll be stacked perfectly concentric…

(hmm. does anyone know of a video lesson or something which shows this type of stuff in rhino? probably easier to explain that way instead of with words… or my words at least :wink: )

[Edit- oh. just saw your latest post… some of that :point_up: may or may not apply]

here’s a quickie video…

(maybe view it on youtube at a larger size)

Well, the cylinders are actually easy… Rhino V5’s object snaps are active while dragging, so you just have to drag the cylinders from face center to face center with the “cen” osnap. It’s easiest if you temporarily disable the other snaps, but not 100% necessary.

Unfortunately, there is no “FaceCenter” object snap for planar faces (@pascal - perhaps there should be), therefore to align centers of boxes my way out is to use the “Between” object snap (with two corners) which I use all the time. I have an alias “bt” to call it in this case… Since “Between” is a one-shot snap you cannot use it with dragging, you have to use Move…

Here is a quick video…


Once again you guys are the best! Videos and everything!

Learning Rhino has been great and will continue to be I am sure. There are so many ways to do everything and it is great to see the different methods from people who are experienced.

Thank you Thank you…

Hi Mitch- actually, in V5 this works with dragging. V5 allows snapping the ‘from’ point on dragging, so for example, make a cylinder and a box. With Cen OSnap on, start dragging the cylinder from its bottom edge- as you drag, you should see the Cen OSnap kick in as the From point- while you are dragging and before you let go of the mouse button, type in your alias with the free hand - bt -Spacebar- that will get Between going and you can snap two points on opposite corners of the box. I am not sure it is better than Move but it does work.


no sound? what a rip off :slight_smile:
i usually read your words with an american accent but i sometimes think it’s supposed to be swedish sounding… the mystery continues.

i never knew the between one-shot existed… for whatever reason, i just thought the one-shot options were duplicates of persistent… it’s nice because i usually get my osnap panel via a thumb button or 3finger swipe on the laptop and the panel is right there under my cursor (mac command- ToggleOsnapPanelUnderCursor)
so yeah, thanks for showing that method.

[edit] lol… wait, you’re swiss?
so it’s been a tossup between american and scandinavian but i’ve probably had it wrong at all times.

Well, actually, there is no camera or microphone connected to this workstation, so no sound possibility… Even if there was, I work in an occasionally noisy environment - at the moment I was recording the video yesterday, someone was using a table saw in the same room…

I am Swiss… and American… if you read what I write with a California accent, though, you will be closest to reality… :smile:


Yeah, what I meant to say is that there is no on-screen “between” snap on mouseover, you have to actually call the between snap specifically with the keyboard or toolbar button… This would be an ideal SmartTrack thing, except SmartTrack also does not have an implied “between” snap either… It does work if you pick up the intersection of the 4 corners or side midpoints, though…

Please record my wish for the following Osnaps to be implemented:
FaceCenter (for planar faces)
Origin (so one can drag things to the origin with snap w/o typing “0”)
OnAxis X,Y, Z (like Near, but snaps anywhere along the desired CPlane Axis)


Yessir, got 'em…



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Also don’t forget, press Ctrl and mouse-over the Osnap control to see a second set of one-shot snaps.