[PreForm] Keep layout when importing or copying

Dear all, I think this has been discussed already but I can’t seem to find the thread…

When dealing with a group of parts, either small similar parts or a group of different parts going together, it would be great if we could lay them out and be able to copy this layout. Currently the bevaviour is as follow :

Group of parts

Select “duplicate”

Result after selecting duplicate

Expected result

The behavior is the same when importing a .form file.

We currently have to lay the parts out manually and with the slowness of PreForm when managing dozens of parts if quickly becomes a huge time sink when this whould be a simple copy/paste operation.

The reason behind this request, despite the obvious ones, is that in this particular situation it is much easier to manage the removal of the parts from the PB when they are grouped together so the automatic layout feature doesn’t work well. In other cases, you may want to merge multiple prints into one and keep the grouping for easier post-treatment.

As a follow-up request, being able to select a group of parts and rotating the group instead of the individual parts would also be a big help.

Thanks for the feedback :wink:


Agreed! Duplicate Group and Rotate Group need to be implemented!

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Wouldn’t it be easier to layout multiple components in CAD and import a single STL? This would also minimise the amount of resin used.

I’d love to have that option to!

@billb That is only an option if you use the automatic support generation. Otherwise you have to create the supports for every part by hand (or in CAD)

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Yes and it also doesn’t work if you need to orient the parts in a certain way. I mean it would be pointless to change the coordinate system in SW just to upload it at the right orientation in PreForm.
I almost always use the automatic support generation, but I always tweak them afterwards.

I have often been the advocate of not turning PreForm into a feature creep unorganized piece of software , however I think, when following a correct workflow., that these copy/paste operations really have to take place in PreForm and not in the modeling software.