I figured as much. I guess the only reason you not do it is personal challenge/preference.
It can be incredibly useful, and realistic if used to place small parts inside struts. And occasionally you get that weird attachment glitch where rockets won't stick to decouplers unless you attach them somewhere else first, so part clipping helps with that too.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
I don't see any reason not to use it, the way the game's construction system works means many completely feasible and realistic designs are not possible without part clipping.
The 'Guess Again!' Spaceworks and Plane Emporium
Colliding things with things so you don't have to!
Been playing a month or so heavily, and haven't tried turning on clipping yet. I discovered how useful and fun tri-couplers could be while playing with spaceplanes and ram air. I was able to do this (in work) without turning on clipping, with a lot of patience. It has heavy clipping, but without turning anything on.
Feel like there's more to learn with VAB issues still.
Also my freakin mechjeb disappears in VAB constantly ((((((( Restart required. Grrr.
Last edited by Sorcie; 19th May 2013 at 13:49.
Generally, I don't clip parts. There are a few exceptions, as others have said: things inside struts/empty fuselage elements is the most common, but I also clip jet intakes all the time. The problem is that the stock intakes have an unrealistically horrible flow rate, so you need a half-dozen per engine if you want to fly at high altitude. Seriously, a 1.25m part (meaning it has an area of ~1.2m^2) has an effective intake area of 0.01? Ridiculous, unless the units aren't in m^2, in which case the number should be raised for gameplay reasons. And its intake storage value of 0.2 (presumably liters, given how the fuel system works) is also horrible. I'll likely just create/download a mod part that has a higher flow rate, to reduce the graphical headaches, but for now I clip them using girders.
There are a few other things I regularly place inside fuselage elements. The two most common are the avionics package for my spaceplanes (since I prefer using the Mk1 cockpit, which has its own nose cone) and the RTG. In both cases, what I'd really like is a thin 1.25m stack version of each, but until that happens I'll continue to put them inside my other components to reduce the ugliness.
But in most cases, the thing I use the debug noclip for most is just when the game won't allow me to connect something even though there's no reason for it to refuse. This happens a lot when you're using symmetry; I was putting objects on the ends of the wing of my spaceplane, and I could put both sides on individually, but when I tried to use the symmetry to put them on together it refused. Other times it's even stupider; I'd connect A (new part) to B (my core ship). I'd then attach C to A. But if I then pulled A off, and tried to put it back on, the game would refuse because somehow it thought C was now conflicting with B, even though it hadn't had a problem with them before.
Bottom line, I use clipping in cases where the game SHOULD have allowed you to do things that way in the first place. I don't use it for things like sticking an engine inside another engine, or putting a fuel tank inside another fuel tank, because those are giving you a clear advantage over the core game.
There is multiple uses for using the debug noclip (getting round the radial mounting bug that doesn't let you validly attach tanks is my main use) but BEWARE.
There is one thing that plagues KSP and only seems to happen at the worst possible time and is linked to clipped parts... THE PHANTOM FORCE MENACE.
For those who don't know, the Phantom Force Menace is when your ship begins to turn for no apparent reason, whether in outer space or during liftoff. Two parts, crossing into each other confuses the physics engine enough that it goes bonkers. I've had ships fold themselves in two when I had a clipped ladder. I've had ships that when you put SAS on to stop a spin would burn out all their RCS fuel fighting this bug.
But the more... errr... energetic clipping events can lead to this...
So do go ahead and clip parts. It lets you make stupendous rockets and planes. But if it starts behaving wierd or blows up for no reason... then try to eliminate the clipped parts.
If you are having problems playing KSP, just read through some of these :- Specialist290's Tutorials and Other Info & air805ronin's Beginner Guide
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I think of part clipping as the KSP staff taking a handsaw to some of the rocket parts to make them fit inside each other Since this seems like a very kerbal thing to do, I have no problem with it.
I use part clipping a lot, mostly for aesthetics, but without turning it on in the debug menu. I don't know if that is the same thou or if you get a different kind of part clipping by "enabling" it. Many parts can be set in a clippy way without touching the debug menu and I exploit that plenty.
I think it enables you to make interesting/different shaped craft. Even if you use it to smush two tanks into each other, its not like you get a reduction in weight or drag, so its doesn't give you some 'magic' advantage. And all hell can break loose if you decouple a part that intersects another part, so it can't be used too recklessly.