A set of interrelated
tools in 3ds Max Design gives you precise control of the scale, placement,
and movement of objects in your scene. These are especially important
tools for those who build precise models in real-world units of
The tools for precision
are grouped as follows:
Define different measurement
systems. Besides the generic unit, you have your choice of feet
and inches in both decimals and fractions. Metric units range from millimeters
to kilometers. You can also define other units.
Include the home grid and
special grid objects. Both types of grid can act as construction
planes. 3ds Max Design constructs objects using the orientation and
position of the active grid. While the home grid is fixed in world
space, you can rotate grid objects and place them anywhere in a
scene, and align them to other objects and surfaces. You can also
give each grid object its own spacing, and display any grid as a
- Object alignment
Matches an object with the
position, orientation, or normal of another object, or to a point
- Object snaps
Ensure precise placement when
creating and rearranging objects. Keyboard shortcuts let you change
object snaps as you work. You can also set snaps to find grid lines
and intersections. An angle snap sets the increment for rotation,
and a percent snap sets the increment for scaling.
These are specialized tools
in the same category as grid objects. For example, the Tape object
measures distances in current units, and the Protractor object measures
angles. The Dummy helper is useful in constructing hierarchies,
and the Manipulator helpers let you use custom controls in the program
- Additional Tools
Rounding out the set
of precision aids are tools and utilities for checking geometry,
measurement, and rescaling units.
How the Tools Work Together
The tools themselves
establish a general order of use and interaction, although you can
always change settings as needed without following this sequence.
- Choose a measuring unit. The default
is generic units, sufficient for many purposes.
- Set grid spacing (the size of the smallest
square), based on the measuring unit. The home grid and grid objects
can have their own spacing, separate from the grid spacing.
- Move and align grid objects to a useful
- Set or vary snap settings as needed in
- Use other helper objects like Point and
Tape as part of the precision process.
As you work, you can
change your settings (including the measuring unit) without losing