I have an odd-shaped object (I'll call it "A") that I have imported into a TinkerCAD drawing. Its dimensions do not align to any specific size, and therefore I can't really use the grid lock to help.

However, I need to get some other objects (called "B+") a specific and precise distance from the outside edge of "A". I was trying to get the ruler to lock to the edge of "A", but I can only get close.

Is there a way to do this so that I can get "B" perfectly positioned from the edge of "A"?


1 Answer 1


Consider to construct an object of any suitable shape that will properly align with the edge of "A."

The attached image is certainly an odd-shaped object (from a previous test project).

odd shaped object

Add a regular/symmetrical object such as a cube and size it appropriately for your purpose. It would not have to be a cube, although such a shape provides for convenient alignment in this case:

convenient symmetrical object added

Use the alignment tools feature in Tinkercad to align the desired edge(s). In this case, alignment is common right side, centered top to bottom.

unaligned image

After clicking on the alignment button, lower right corner:

aligned image

Group the two objects using the Group feature.

I created a sample alignment reference in this image and placed it in contact with the group.

second alignment item

Move the group or reference item the desired distance:

moved object

Select the group and ungroup it. Select the initial alignment item and delete it.

delete this object

Objective completed.

exercise completed

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Excellent answer fred.u. To the benefit of the OP I would add that if they find themself in need of doing this often, they would be probably best served by switching to a more powerful CAD package like FreeCAD, OnShape or Fusion360. Those packages typically have much more concise and unobtrusive ways to express these kind of constraints... as constraints (so the relationship between objects will hold true even if you manipulate them). $\endgroup$
    – mac
    Jan 18, 2018 at 3:57
  • $\begingroup$ My experience within our makerspace is that many Tinkercad users tend to shy away from parametric packages. I'm a fan of OpenSCAD, but the math-phobic folks are terrified at using something that requires manipulation of numbers. I've attempted to assist some users with Fusion 360, but tend to give up in short order due to the "numbers" aspect. $\endgroup$
    – fred_dot_u
    Jan 18, 2018 at 16:32

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