The Grid Modeler Addon is a refreshing destructive addon for hardsurface modeling. While the trend for hardsurface modeling is non-destructive, it’s not always desirable. That’s why it’s refreshing working with this addon. Actually, in practise I barely noticed the benefit of non-destructive modeling but your experience might be different. Another pro, is how the snapping grid is implemented. One thing that might scare you, are the shortcuts or the learning curve, but let me tell you just a few things so you understand the workflow within a few minutes. Another thing; Ever tried to start with an Icosphere instead of a cube? That was a hassle, right? Not anymore, with this addon it doesn’t matter much what shape you start with because of the grid that aligns to the normal of a selected face, edge or vertices.
First things to understand
Just a few handy things to know before you start. This will save you time getting familiar with the basics.
- You access the addon in Edit Mode > Right Click > Grid Modeler. Before you access the addon, select 1 (or more) vertices, an edge or a face.
- The position and angle of the grid depends on what selection you made. For example, when you select an edge, the grid aligns to the normal of the edge.
- You can click on the grid to make a shape. And confirm with Q or Enter. Next, the Redo-Panel will appear to adjust the thickness and offset.
- Optionally: before you confirm, you can right click, select the shape (left click), and you will see options like: Rotate, Move, Bevel, Delete, Array Copy, etc. This mode is called the selection mode and you can get out of it by a right-click again.
- Use Ctrl+Scrollwheel to change the resolution of the grid, and with Alt+Scrollwheel you can extend the grid.
That’s it. If you got that, you can work with the addon right away. Shortcuts are shown in the viewport and if you press H you see more extensive help.
The Pro’s and Con’s of the Grid Modeler Addon
As I said, destructive can be refreshing; it’s clean, fast, simple. And for me I barely, use the benefits of non-destructive. Though if need, I still can do a hybrid and use both. For sure, I don’t want all details to be non-destructive. And (non)-destructive not that black and white: I still can change the mesh in Edit mode, which is often not that hard actually.
Another pro is the Grid, which is really awesome: try to select an edge and see how the grid aligns. And if you have an Ngon, you can align the grid to every edge of the Ngon (Ctrl+Left-Click on Edge). You will see the benefit of the addon when you try this with an Icoshpere.
There is just one thing I would like to see different, and that is access to the addon. Right now I make a selection (face, edge, vertex), right-click, select mesh modeler. If that could be reduced to one click, or a shortcut that would be awesome. But… now that I doublecheck: good news we can easily assign a shortcut: Right-Click on GridModeler > Assign Shortcut. I assigned Alt+K because that didn’t seem to do anything (to lazy to find iskeyfree here). And there you go: Alt+K and GridModeler is there. Awesome!