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Exact Edit is a set of tools designed to make certain kinds of precision editing (like CAD work) easier with Blender. The zip contains 2 separate tools: Set Measure and Free Rotate. Both tools let you place up to 3 “reference points” that create an “axis” for Blender’s built in transform operators like grab and rotate. These reference points can be added, removed, relocated, and switched out. Each of the tool’s have different functionality after the reference points are placed:
With 2 reference points selected objects will move along the “edge” between the 2 points depending on the input distance. With 3 reference points selected objects will rotate around the face-normal “axis” of the 3 points as it passes through the 3rd pivot point depending on the input angle.
Exact Edit’s Free Rotate tool sets up rotations for Blender’s built in rotate tool. Unlike with the regular Exact Edit, these rotations are not to a specific angle measurement and are instead “free hand” like with Blender’s rotation operator. With 1 reference point you can set a global axis lock at the point’s location for rotations. With 2 reference points the line connecting the points becomes the rotation axis. And with 3 reference points, like with Exact Edit, the face-normal “axis” of the 3 points (as it passes through the 3rd pivot point) becomes the rotation axis.
Some background info: Originally I planned to add these features to Exact Offsets, but ran into problems because of design limitations with the way that add-on was implemented. Instead of trying to work around those limitations, I decided to start over with new code and made significant changes to the design. The functionality of Exact Edit is similar to that of Exact Offsets, but there are several important differences to keep in mind:
- Exact Edit should work with any object: meshes, lights, cameras, empties, etc.
- The “Free” point is placed first instead of the “Anchor”
- If a 3rd “reference point” is placed, the third point is the pivot (the 2nd point remains unchanged)
- Only selected objects/geometry are affected by transforms (if the object the “Free” is on is not selected, it will not be transformed)
- Because of the underlying design issues, I have no plans to port most of new features to Exact Offsets. Exact Edit can be considered the “official” successor to Exact Offsets.
Set Measure - Translate \ Move:
Set Measure - Swap points, Rotate \ Change Angle:
Free Rotate - Free rotate around custom axis: