modelling editable duplicates


I wanted to know how I can have an instance of an object that can be edited across all objects. To clarify: If I have an object, duplicate it and then make changes to the first which updates to the second. Then, when I am happy with that I can go to the second and make changes, which updates to the first.

The reason I am asking is I want to model an object that has several ways of being placed on a surface (it’s a sculpture), but I want to make sure that it sits exactly right without having to keep rotating the object or making artificial planes to simulate the floor surface.

thanks - K

you’re looking for alt-d, instead of shift-d. alternately, you can select your columns, press ctrl-l, then select “mesh data” from the list that asks you what to link to.