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2/27/2015

AutoCADTutorial|Basic3DandSurfaceModelling|CADTutor

Basic3DandSurfaceModelling
byDavidWatson

Introduction
AlthoughAutoCADhasanumberofcommandsforcreatingspecial3Dobjects,alotcanbe
achievedbychangingthepropertiesofbasic2Dobjectslikepolylines.Most2Dobjectscanbe
givenathicknessusingthethicknessoptionintheProperties(DDCHPROP)command.Although
objectswithathicknesscanbesaidtobeextruded,thisshouldnotbeconfusedwiththeEXTRUDE
commandwhichcreatessolidextrusionsgivinganobjectthicknessproducesasurfaceextrusion.
AllobjectscanbegivenanelevationbymovingthemintheZdirectionusingtheMOVEcommand.
WithacombinationoftheMOVEandPropertiescommandsyoucanquicklycreatesimple3D
drawings.
Usingthistutorialyouwilllearnhowtogiveobjectsathickness,howtomovethemvertically,how
toviewyour3Dcreationsandhowtousethe3DFACEandSHADEcommands.

TheDDVPOINTCommand
Toolbar

None

Pulldown

View

Keyboard

DDVPOINT

3DViewpoint

Select

Youcanusethiscommandtogetanaxonometricviewofyourdrawing.
ThereareanumberofwaystogetanaxonometricviewofyourAutoCADdrawingbutthe
DDVPOINTcommandisprobablytheeasiestandquickesttouse.Itis,however,buriedtwolayers
deepinthepulldownmenusoit'softenquickersimplytotypeitatthekeyboard,sincethereisno
toolbarbutton.Asyouprobablyrecognisefromthecommandnameitisadialogueboxdriven
command.TheViewpointPresetsdialogueboxisillustratedontheright.Asyoucansee,youdefine
aviewbyspecifyingtwoangles.ThefirstangleistherotationfromtheXaxis(thehorizontalangle).
ThesecondistheanglefromtheXYplane(theverticalangle).Usingthedialogueboxyoucan
specifyanangleeitherbypickingonthetwodialsorbyenteringanangleintoeachofthetwoangle
editboxes.Youcanevenlookatyourdrawingfromunderneathbyspecifyinganegativevertical
angle.Formostpurposesahorizontalanglealongoneofthediagonals,45,135,225and315anda
verticalangleof30givethebestresults.
YoucanreturntoaplanviewofyourdrawingbyusingthePLANcommand.Todothis,justenter
"PLAN"atthecommandpromptandthen

toacceptthe"CurrentUCS"default.Youcanalso

returntoanypreviousviewbyusingtheZoomPreviouscommandoption,Z
keyboardor

atthe

fromtheStandardtoolbar.

ThePropertiesCommand
Toolbar
Pulldown

Modify

Properties

Keyboard

DDCHPROP(singleormultipleobjects)DDMODIFY(singleobjectsonly)

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YoucanusetheDDCHPROPcommandtochangethecolour,layer,linetype,linetypescaleand
thicknessofanysingleormultipleobjectselection.TheDDMODIFYcommandgivesallofthese
changeoptionsinadditiontothosewhicharespecifictotheobjecttype.DDMODIFYisalwaysused
byAutoCADasadefaultforsingleobjectselectionswhenthePropertiescommandisselected
fromthetoolbarorfromthepulldownmenu.

CommandSequence
Command:DDCHPROP
Selectobjects:(pickoneormoreobjects)
Selectobjects:

Whenyouhaveselectedtheobjects,theChange
Propertiesdialogueboxappears.Tochangethethickness,
simplyenteravalue(indrawingunits)intheThicknessedit
box.Whenyouclickthe"OK"buttonyourobjectswillbe
extrudedbytheamountspecified.
Theillustration(right)showstheresultofapplyinga
thicknesstoacircle.Acirclewithnothicknessisshown
ontheleftandacirclewiththicknessontheright.
Effectivelyacirclewiththickness
becomesacylinder.Youcantellby
theorientationoftheUCSiconinthis
illustrationthatthisisanaxonometric
view(see"TheDDVPOINTCommand"
abovefordetails).

MovingintheZDirection
BynowyoushouldbequiteusedtousingtheMovecommandbutupuntilnowyou'veonlybeen
moving2DobjectsintheXYPlane.Movecanjustaseasilybeusedtomoveadrawingobject
vertically,perpendiculartotheXYPlane.YoucandothisbyusingXYandZcoordinatesorby
pickingpointsin3Dspace.

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Intheillustrationontheleftacirclehasbeen
movedfromthebaseplaneofacubetothetop
faceofacube.ThisisdonebyusingtheMOVE
command(Modify

Movefromthepulldownor

fromtheModifytoolbar).Juststartthe
MOVEcommand,selectthecircle,pickoneof
thelowercornersofthecubeasthebasepoint
(usetheendpointOsnap!)andthenpickthe
correspondingtopcornerasthesecondpoint,
againusingtheendpointOsnap.Ifyoulookat
thecircleinplanthereappearstobenodifference
init'spositionbecauseithasnotbeenmovedin
theXYplanebutperpendiculartoit.Youcanusethesameprincipletomoveanydrawingentity.
BearinmindthatyoumustalwaysuseanOsnapwhenyouarepickingpointsin3Dspace.Ifyou
donot,thepickedpointwillalwaysbeonthebaseplane,whichdoesn'tmakeanysense.Oneofthe
problemswiththisisthatyoumaynotrealiseyourmistakeuntilyouchangeyourviewposition
becauseinthecurrentviewtheobjectswillappeartohavebeenmovednormally.It'sagoodideato
keepswitchingyourviewpointasacheck.
Intheaboveexamplethemovewasfairlyeasybecausewehadacubetouseasaguide.Very
oftenyouwillneedtomoveanobjectverticallywithoutanyguide.Insuchacaseyoushoulduse
coordinates.Forexample,ifthecubeintheillustrationabovewas40drawingunitshighthenIcould
movethecircleusingthefollowingcommandsequence.

CommandSequence
Command:MOVE
Selectobjects:(selectthecircle)
Selectobjects:
Basepointordisplacement:0,0,0
Secondpointofdisplacement:0,0,40

NoticethatIusetheUCSoriginpointasabasepoint,that'sbecauseit'sstandardpracticebutin
principleitcouldbeanypointinspace.ThemostimportantthingisthattheXandYcoordinates
remainthesame(becausewedonotwanttomoveintheXYPlane)andtheZcoordinatemust
increasebythedistanceyouwanttomoveup.Usingcoordinate25,43,16asthebasepointand
25,43,56asthesecondpointwouldhaveresultedinexactlythesamemove.Tomovedownyou
justneedtospecifyanegativeZcoordinate.Forexampletomovethecircledownby40unitsthe
secondpointcoordinatewouldbe0,0,40.

The3DFaceCommand
Toolbar
Pulldown

Draw

Surfaces

Keyboard

3DFACE

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3DFace

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The3DFacecommandisusedtodraw3Dsurfaceswith3
or4edges.

CommandSequence
Command:3DFACE
FirstPoint:(pickpoint)
SecondPoint:(pickpoint)
ThirdPoint:(pickpoint)
FourthPoint:(pickpointor

foronly3edges)

ThirdPoint:(startanother3DFaceor

toend)

WhydoIneeda3DFace?
Thereasonisthatwhenyougiveanentitylikearectangleathicknessitisgivensolidsidesinthe
directionoftheextrusionbutitisleftopenendedlikeatube.Toaddatopandabottomtoabox
youmustuse3DFaces.Intheillustrationontheright,twoboxeshavebeenshadedusingthe
Shadecommand,SHADEfromthekeyboard,View

Shade

Optionsfromthepulldownor

fromtheRendertoolbar.SeeSHADEforadescriptionoftheShadecommandoptions.Theboxon
therightisarectanglewhichhasbeengivenathickness.Asyoucansee,itdoesnothaveatop.A
3DFacehasbeenaddedtothetopoftheboxontheleftwhichgivestheeffectofasolidsurface
whenshaded.
WhenyouusetheShadecommand,don'tforgettousetheRegencommandtogetbacktothe
wirelinedrawing.AutoCADdoesnotallowyoutopickpointsonashadeddrawing.
Forcomplicatedshapesyoumayneedtouseanumberof3DFacestofillasurface.Fortunately,
extrudedcirclesareautomaticallygivenasolidtopandbottomsoyoudon'tneedany3DFaces.If
youdoneedtouseacomplexoffacestofillasurfacethereisawaytohidethejoinlinesbetween
faces.Ifyoutype"I"and

beforethefirstpickpointofanyedge,thatedgewillbemadeinvisible.

Ifyouarecarefulyoucaneasilyfillacomplicatedsurfacewithmany3DFaceswhichwillsimply
appearasasinglecontinuoussurface.Ifyouneedtocreateaverycomplexsurfaceitmaybebetter
tousetheEXTRUDEcommandwhichcreatessolidextrusionsi.e.theyalreadyhavetopand
bottomsurfaces.

AnExercise
Theexercisebelowisdesignedsothatyoucanpracticeallofthenewcommandsandtechniques
outlinedabove.Itisasimpletablewhichiscomposedof9mainelements,4legs,4rails,andatop.
TheseelementsareallconstructedusingtheRectanglecommand,RECTANGfromthekeyboardor
Draw

Rectanglefromthepulldownmenu.Remember,thereisnothingspecialaboutrectangles,

theyarejust4sidedclosedpolylines,soifyoupreferusingthePLINEcommand,thenfeelfree.
TheserectangleswillbegivenathicknessusingthePropertiescommandandanelevationusing
theMOVEcommand.Some3DFacesareusedforthefinishingtouchesusingthe3DFACE
command.

DrawingtheTable
Step1
Firstofalldrawthetableplanusingthedimensionsontheillustrationandinsetdetailbelow.All
dimensionsareinmillimetres.Theplaniscomposedofninerectangles.Youmayneedtouseother
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commandslikeLine

andOffset

toconstructtherectangles.Alternativelyyoucanworkout

therectanglecoordinatesandconstructthemmanually.RemembertousetheCopy
Mirror

and/or

commandstoduplicateidenticalobjects.Forexample,it'sreallyonlynecessarytodraw

onelegsincetheyareallthesame.

Step2
Next,usingtheProperties

command,selectthefourtablelegsandgivethemathicknessof

700.UsingthePropertiescommandasecondtime,selectthefourtablerailsandgivethema
thicknessof100.Movetherailsverticallythrough600withtheMOVE

commandusingaco

ordinatevalueof0,0,0forthebasepointand0,0,600forthesecondpoint.Finallyusethe
Propertiescommandathirdtimetogivethetabletopathicknessof40anduseMOVEagainto
givethetopanelevationof700.NowlookatwhatyouhavecreatedusingtheDDVPOINT
command,View
theSHADE

3DViewpoint

SelectfromthepulldownorDDVPOINTatthekeyboard.Use

commandtoseethesolideffect,View

Shade

Optionsfromthepulldownor

SHADEatthekeyboard.

Step3
Asyouwillhavenoticed,yourtabledoesnotyethaveasolidtop.Youcanachievethisusing3D
Face.Youcanstartthe3DFacecommandfromthepulldown,Draw
fromtheRendertoolbar,

3DSurfaces

3DFace,

orfromthekeyboard,3DFACE.3DFacesaredefinedbypickingthe

fourpointsofarectangleineitheraclockwiseoranticlockwisedirection.Startthe3DFace
commandandusingtheendpointOsnap,selectthefouruppercornersofthetabletop.Usethe
Shadecommandagaintoseetheeffect.Youcanusemore3DFacestocompletethemodel.By
lookingatthetablefromvariousanglesyouwillnoticethattheundersideoftherails,theunderside
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ofthelegsandtheundersideofthetabletopallneed3DFacesinordertocreateacompletelysolid
model.
Nowthatyouhavecompletedyourmodel,experimentwiththeShadecommandandthevarious
shadeedgesettings(see"TipsandTricks"below).

Step4
Tofinishyourdrawing,settilemodeto0,createanA3drawingsheetandinsertsometiled
viewports,seethePaperSpaceexercisefordetails.Yourdrawingshouldenduplookingsomething
liketheonebelow.ThevasewascreatedusingtheREVSURFcommand,seeREVSURFfor
details.

3DObjects
Inadditiontothesimple3Dobjectsyoucancreatebygivingobjectsthicknessandadding3D
Faces,AutoCADprovidesanumberofreadymade3Dobjects.Theseobjectscanbechosenfrom
the3DObjectsdialoguebox.Asyoucanseefromtheillustrationofthedialogueboxbelow,youcan
createverysimpleobjectslikeaboxandcomplexoneslikethetorus.

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Youmustinvokethe3Dobjectsdialogueboxfromthepulldownmenu,Draw

3DSurfaces

3D

Objectsasthereisnokeyboardequivalent.Alternativelyyoucanselectindividual3DObject
commandsfromtheSurfacestoolbar.Each3DObjectrequiresdifferentinputfromtheuserbutthe
commandlineisquiteexplicitsoyoushouldn'thaveanyproblems.
OneofthemostusefulobjectsistheSphere.Intheillustrationonthe
righta3Dtreehasbeencreatedusingacirclewiththicknessasthe
trunkandasphereasthecanopy.Onethingtobearinmindwhen
creatingspheresisthatthecentreofthespherewillbeontheground
plane.Therefore,halfofthesphereisbelowgroundlevelandhalf
above.Ifyouwantthespheretositonthegroundplane,allyouhave
todoismoveitupthroughadistancewhichisthesameasit's
radius.
Anotherconsiderationwhencreatingspheresandsomeoftheother
shapesisthenumberofsegmentstouse.Itisverytemptingtouse
alotandcreateasmoothshapebutthisdoestakelotsofdrawing
memorysogocarefully.Thedefaultvalue(16)isusuallyadequate
formostpurposes.

CommandSequence
Invokethedialogueboxfromthepulldown(Draw
iconandthenthe"OK"buttonorpick

3DSurfaces

3DObjects),pickthesphere

fromtheSurfacestoolbar.

Centerofsphere:(pickpoint)
Diameter/<radius>:(pickpointorentervalue)
Numberoflongitudinalsegments<16>:(enternumberor
Numberoflatitudinalsegments<16>:(enternumberor

)
)

YourSphereisdrawn.

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Tips&Tricks
Ifyouwouldliketotrycreatingthevaseasshowninthetabledrawing.Youwillneedtoknow
alittlebitaboutUCS,UserCoordinateSystems(seeUCS)andhowtheRevolvedSurface
commandworks(seethe3DTreeexercisefordetails).
YoucanchangetheshadedeffectthattheShadecommandgivestoyourdrawingusingthe
SHADEDGEvariable.TochangetheshadeedgevariablejustenterSHADEDGEatthe
keyboardandenteravaluebetween0and3.
SHADEDGE=0givesashadedcoloursurfacewithnolines.
SHADEDGE=1givesashadedcoloursurfacewithlines.Thistendstogivethebestoverall
results.
SHADEDGE=2givesabackgroundcoloursurfacewhichgivesasimilareffecttotheHide
command.
SHADEDGE=3givesablockcoloursurface,thisistheAutoCADdefault.SeeSHADEfora
fullerdescriptionoftheSHADEDGEvariable.
AlwaysuseOsnapswhenpickingin3D.
UsetheShadecommandregularlytokeeptrackofyourdrawing.Inwirelineit'simpossibleto
tellifasurfacehasa3DFaceornot,soyou'llneedtouseShadetocheck.
Youcanforceinvisible3DFaceedgestodisplayinwirelineusingtheSPLFRAMEvariable.If
SPLFRAME=0allinvisibleedgesremainhidden.Ifitissetto1invisibleedgeswillbe
displayed.Thiscanbeextremelyusefulbecauseitisimpossibletoselecta3DFacewhich
hasnovisibleedges.Theonlywaytoselectsucha3DFaceistosetSPLFRAMEto1first.

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