Challenge to align spheres

I have several spheres I wish to line up, but the align tool doesn’t do the job, unless I want them all concentric!

Do I have to do the trick as suggested by TigerMike (How do I align a spherical body to the center of another body? - #2 by TigerMike) of putting a flat on each sphere?
I’m not the only one to suffer from the lack of a simple alignment tool. Here’s how it’s done in TinkerCAD, a free 3D modelling app. Select objects, click align tool and select how you want things aligned. Easy eh?

You can align them concentric…then move them apart from each other to a desired distance.


Thanks Mike, that does the job. How would you line them up on their bottom edges on an horizontal plane without calculating the relative movement of each sphere based on their diameters?

Don’t know. Do you want them aligned, as shown in my example?
Or, do you want them lined up with their respective surfaces tangent to a surface?
If lined up, then I would use the Move-Rotate tool to move each one the distance to the target surface minus the spherical radius.

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Yes, as you say, one would have to do some calculation of the move distance taking into account the radius of the spheres. Easier if we had a align tool as I TinkerCAD :slight_smile:

Is it impractical to draw the circles tangent to the line, then revolve them? You’d lock the line, then draw the circles, making them tangent with the tangent tool, the create the bodies?

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Wow, I’ve never played with TinkerCAD, but that is dead simple. I love it!

Yes, it’s really quick to align objects, and you can fix one so the others move relative to it. How many times do we want to slide objects so their sides/centres line up in some particular direction without them flying off somewhere else and having to move them back, as with my original example. However, the Shapr implementors appear to be reluctant to give us this. :frowning:

Check this out…Align is useful...when you know how to use it! - #11 by Xdrakosha

Despite the title, I despise the Align tool.

Nice one! ‘Align is useful’ examples are helpful, if one is moving planar surfaces but not curved surfaces. Also, I can’t seem to align more that one object at a time … current project has 12.
Any response from Shapr3D Staff to this align issue given it’s popularity and years gone by?