How to space bolt holes?

I’m trying to make a design the shape of a beer bottle to collect beer bottle tops.
I have the design down, but am a bit stumped on how to easily create a bolt pattern to bolt the clear acrylic cover on top.
Manually spacing the bolt holes is tricky as you will see any misalignment.
So, I was wondering if there is an easier way.

Have a look at ‘Copy Along Path’ under the ‘Tools’ menu. This might help.

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Had a look at the referenced thread and tried everything it suggests.
I give up. I just can’t get it right.

Can you elaborate a little more? You’ve not given much to go on, but we can probably help if you share a bit more detail.

As a guess, if you offset the outline of your shape inward by half the wall thickness, then use that path to arrange the holes onto (possibly with some editing) it should work.

I have the above design that I want to stack on top of one another and create a bolt hole pattern to bolt them together.
I have tried creating a 3mm circle and "copy along path’ command in various ways as described in the link posted by Rick.

I create a 3mm inward offset to my design, along which I want to ‘copy along path’. It does not matter whether I select x number of copies or choose a set spacing, the path is always offset from the selected path as well as not symmetrical along the central plane ie the bolt holes do not line up with one another from left to right regardless of changing the start point or not.

I’m sure it is operator error though. I just can’t seem to figure it out.

If I understand you correctly, I would suggest you position the holes correctly on one bottle eg the one on the left. The Group them. Then use the array feature to make copies across the other bottles assuming you have made them the same distance apart.

If not, I would centre one of the bottles on the work area. Then put the holes in the place you want them and group them. Make several copies and, one-by-one, centre each bottle. Add the holes using the centre function then group the bottles and holes together.

The “Copy along path” thing keeps the offset from the path to the object when you do the copy, because I can’t know whether you want it centered on the path, shifted a little, touching the edge, etc.

So, you have this:

I made the above with a 5mm offset between the outside and inside, so 2.5mm would be exactly halfway between. So, make another offset at 2.5mm, like this:

Edit the offset path to remove the top bit so the lines start / end where you want:

Next, draw a circle by clicking the end of the path and dragging outward, holding the Ctrl key to drag out from center, and the Shift key to make it a perfect circle. Starting the drag from the end point of the line will automatically snap the circle to it.

Then set the size you want in the edits up top (you said 3mm). Select your circle, then select the path, then Tools > Copy along path:

(I had to manually add the last one - looks like a tiny rounding error that I’ll look into)

With the two slices lined up over each other, it looks like this:

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Oz, thanks very much for going to all that trouble. Much appreciated.
At least it confirms I am not going mad!
I have tried the steps exactly as you have laid them out but no joy.
I’m thinking its a Mac/Windows difference (eg you use ctrl to snap to the start point, I use cmd).
Once I’m at the point where I need to ‘copy along path’ that option is not available (it is grey, not black). Could it be that the path is ‘open’? If I close it, ie leave the top piece on it allows the ‘copy along path’ function , but not symmetrical along the centre line.

Your path is a group - I can tell because of the dash-dot pattern, instead of just plain dashes. Ungroup it and you should be able to go from there.

Oz, once again, thanks. You have been a great help.

What I was doing to edit the top piece out was Tools>Break Apart and then selecting a section to remove and deleting it. I then had to group them to get them back together. Not the correct way.

I should have been in Node Edit and deleting nodes.
All sorted, many thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

Final design.
Now to wait a month before I can get home and play with my machine!

Thanks again for all the help Oz, much appreciated.

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Grouping doesn’t attach things, it just allows you to move them together. Your way could still work if you select the disconnected pieces and use “Auto-Join selected shapes” to reconnect them. The node editing is likely faster in this case, and also allows you to insert new points if the existing ones aren’t quite where you want.