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That Smarticon Generator tool looks amazing.
Unfortunately there’s no similar extruding tool in Designer.
I think I remember reading some requests for a ‘long shadow’ tool which is a bit like a greatly-cut-down version of the one in the video.
Inkscape has an extrude function – and you can import SVGs that it creates into Designer - but I can’t remember how to use it.

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The kind of "extrude" tools depicted in maxmax's post are not 3D modeling tools. They are straightforward 2D drawing tools.

However, nor are the specific examples shown "isometric," because the original squares to which they have been applied are drawn "in-the-flat." In any axonometric orientation (of which isometric is just a special case), if the face of the extrusion were viewed "straight on", no perpendicular extrusion of that face would be visible. So those two screenshots are just arbitrary obliques.

Those extrude tools can be used to help draw objects in an isometric (or other axonometric) orientation, but to do so you would first draw the shape being extruded as if it were already parallel to one of the iso planes. In other words, you would have to do other transformations and calculations in order to correctly call the result "isometric."

Affinity Designer does not as yet have such an "extrusion tool." But constructing such an extrusion is fairly trivial. Just draw any shape on one of the iso grid planes, duplicate it, move it along the perpendicular axis the correctly proportional distance, use the Pen Tool in Line Mode to draw the  edges of the extrusion, and delete the "hidden" edges.

I quite agree that an Extrude Tool would reduce that tedium. But as always, I don't want to see Affinity merely mimic the functionally trite tools of other programs. I already have those programs. I'm frankly tired of the same old kindergarten stuff. I want to see innovatively better implementations. In this specific context, what I would envision is an enhancement to Affinity's Shape Tools.

First, a little explanation: Consider that most familiar example of an "isometric" cube. The reason why the perimeter of that cube forms a hexagon is simple 2D geometry. The cube is drawn as if oriented such that the diagonal between its nearest and farthest corners is parallel to your line-of-sight. Therefore, each side of the cube makes the same angle with your line-of sight. That angle is the specific angle imprinted on every isometric drawing template: 35°16" (thirty-five degrees, sixteen minutes). Each of the three visible sides of the cube are foreshortened (scaled in one direction) by the sine of that angle. Each of the visible edges of the cube are foreshortened by the cosine of that same angle. That simple "sine and cosine" proportional principle applies not just to isometric, but to any orientation in any axonometric drawing method.

The existing Shapes palette already provides a plethora of common shapes, each with special handles by which to adjust their own appropriate parameters. Corresponding numeric input fields also appear in the Control Bar for numerically specifying those parameters.

Now imagine this: Suppose all of the Shape Tools simply had two additional parameters, labeled "Tilt" and "Extrude."

So, for example, you use the Cog Shape Tool to draw a cog. You adjust its various parameters (inner and outer radius, number of teeth, etc.) It works as it always has for drawing a "cog" viewed "straight on." But now, in the Control Bar are the two added parameter fields. Entering an angle (or expression that yields an angle) into the Tilt field scales the shape vertically by the sine of that angle. Entering a length (or expression) into the Extrude field offsets a copy of that scaled shape and moves it vertically by the value entered multiplied by the cosine of the Tilt angle, and draws the connecting "extrusion" lines between the two. In other words, it does the same thing as those ordinary "extrude" tools in other programs, but does it in correct geometric proportion for any 3D orientation. And it does it in concert with the power of all the already existing shape-specific adjustable parameters of the Shape Tools.

That's an example of adding functional elegance to a program in which a small addition compounds the functional power of existing features. That would blow the doors off any 2D Extrude Tool in any of the existing mainstream 2D drawing programs.

Now imagine further that, over time, other Shape Tools were added. With the Tilt and Extrude parameters in place, imagine a Spiral Shape Tool which didn't simply "extrude" the shape along the Extrude value, but repeated the shape along the extrusion length. That could equate to a more powerful and more versatile drawing tool than the tool in Corel Technical Designer for drawing threads and threaded holes. It would be far more intuitive and less tedious than the little-known technique of using Illustrator's under-appreciated Reshape Tool for the same purposes.

Imagine further that, over time, functionality were provided for something called a Shape Group; a means by which to combine two Shape Tools which could share given parameters. A Hex Bolt Shape Group would include an instance of the Hexagon Shape Tool and an instance of the Spiral Shape Tool, and the result would be the ability to instantly create correctly-proportioned hex bolts of any diameter, head size, and length—at any visual orientation.


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@JET_Affinity This kind of functionality would be very nice, but it would also need to be consistent with Affinity's snapping options, and isometric grids.

I would also prefer the UI to be canvas based, rather than having to type values into a context toolbar.

Xara have / had an old product Xara 3D that did these extrusions very nicely. Sadly the output was raster rather than digital, but the UI was quick and intuitive.

A true vector version of this would be excellent.

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it would also need to be consistent with Affinity's snapping options, and isometric grids.

 I see no reason why it wouldn't / couldn't be. If an axonometric grid is active when the Shape Tool is employed, the grid plane would correspond to the Tilt value and the perpendicular planes would correspond to the scale factor for the Extrude value.


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  • 1 year later...

this is a tool that was introduced in Aldus Freehand 8.0 on the early '90's Affinity should be working on that tool as a common sense part of the toolbox already. I no longer use Adobe products since Affinity is too advance on Graphic design right now. Things like Extrude Tool and saving editing text in PSD are basic stuff they need to work with so more people can start replacing Adobe for Affinity. 

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