Punch holes

 From:  Michael Gibson
2749.6 In reply to 2749.1 
Hi Angelo, I'm glad that you like MoI and this is a very interesting project you have!

Let me answer this one first:

> BTW, how can I distribute objects? Something like Align/Distribute in Illustrator.

There isn't currently any specific tool for that in MoI, but you may get some help by using the Transform / Array / Dir tool to replicate a single object with evenly spaced copies and then you can use those copies as a snapping guide for where to place any other objects.

If you're having problems with trying to distribute some specific objects, maybe you could post an example file with just those objects?

So yes, like you saw if you want to just mark the location of where each wire intersects your slabs, the Construct / Curve / Isect command can be used to intersect your curves with the slabs to place marker points at every point of intersection.

But it sounds like you want to actually burrow a kind of path of the wire through the slab. You can't use a point as a cutting object in a boolean because the point has no volume or area to it.

So I think to get what you want you will need to thicken all your wires into tubes.

There is a shortcut available for this which should help you a lot though!

It's a plug-in called "Pipe", which you can find out about from here:

To install it you unzip that Pipe.zip attached to that linked message above, and copy the 2 files (Pipe.htm and Pipe.js) into the \commands sub-folder inside of MoI's main installation folder.

That will then make a new command called Pipe available to you, you can launch it by setting up a keyboard shortcut with Pipe as the command name for the shortcut, or in v2 by typing in <tab> Pipe <enter> which is an alternate way in v2 to launch commands.

Pipe allows you to select multiple rail curves in one batch to create tubes around, so it should help you a lot with this case.

When you run Pipe, you'll want to enter in just an "Outer radius" value and leave the "Inner radius" value alone, since you probably don't want to make hollowed out pipes.

One other note though, piped objects can be rather heavy and complex objects, and it also can cause problems if your pipe has a tight enough bend in it which causes the generated surface to fold back on itself.

So it may be a good idea to prepare your curves that will be piped to be as small as possible by drawing in some vertical lines parallel to your slabs and using Edit/Trim to cut your wires and leave only a piece large enough to produce what you need, like this:

It looks like some of your curves are made up of multiple segments and not necessarily all smooth single segment pieces, which may cause you some issues since the sweeps/pipes will be created in multiple segments as well on those curves.

But hopefully that may be useful...

- Michael