How to create duplicated 3D models that updates each other?

Hi, I am currently creating an arena that has 6 stairs. These stairs are all look the same, and planned to always look the same. Is there a way where I can just work on one stair and have the other 5 updated automatically based on that one stair?

An extra question, the stair will also have its treads to look the same except the first and last ones, so I want these to work just like the above. So far, I am using Array modifier work just fine, but is there another way?


you can use dupli vert of face
or simply use Alt D

happy bl

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shift + D = Duplicate alt +D = Instance
Edit see @Richard_Culver

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instead of shift d to duplicate, use alt d which will create a linked duplicate(s) which are referenced.

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For stairs, I always like using what you have done. Usually works well for me. To add something to the start and end you can try a set up like this:

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Tested the alt + D and it works like what I want, thanks for the answers guys.

@Richard_Culver Thanks for the first and last tip!

Sure… There is even a more sophisticated level you can go to. And that is put your stair pieces in a collection. Then Add/Collection Instance, and choose the collection.

Now whatever you put in the collection is replicated. It is yet another level of cool when instancing. The added benefit here is saving ram. Consider a stadium full of stairs.

Alt D is not really a true instance in terms of saving ram.

Either way with a collection instance you can have more than one object and it starts to get real flexible and powerful.


That info Right there was really helpful! Thanks for that!

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Thanks for that, it’s new to me that alt + D is not a real instance.

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Oh I’m looking for that too, thanks for that! I’m used with features of Unity’s Prefab or UE4’s actor instance if you are aware of how they work, which is I think more or less the same idea.

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Yes. It is very similar. Probably more like a Softimage Model, or an Instanced Group in Maya. But yes. That is the idea.

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Yes. In pre-2.8 it was a Group Instance. You had to put everything in a Group.

And just since we are talking about this in general. It is good to know that this is not really a “true” instance either.

At least not in the way you’s do it in Maya for example. In Maya you would have the object as the Duplicate Instance option. You could move both instances independently.

In Blender if you move the original object inside the collection, the Instance moves.

And it is still a bit limited. You can’t animate or change materials on the instance separate from the original. So it is really more like a a Softimage Model, which is basically a like an old Blender Group.

In some situations I have used this limitation as a feature to my advantage and it is pretty cool in the right situation.

A group of objects animated and replicated at different angles kind of thing. I had a project that this was perfect for.

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