The main benefit of creating 3-D models is the ability to see a structure as though it physically existed.
AutoCAD is a computer design program that architects and engineers use to create graphics for manufacturing teams. The program’s users typically create 2-D orthographic views that define a structure from a specific viewpoint, such as directly atop, to the right of, or to the front of an object. Builders and product makers require such views, but they also need others that display all three dimensions of a proposed structure. AutoCAD’s 3-D modeling tools let users create such views. The main benefit of creating 3-D models is the ability to see a structure as though it physically existed.
Create a 3-D Object with Extrusion
1. Open AutoCAD and enter the top viewport by typing “-view top.”
2. Type “pline” to enter the mode for drawing polylines, which are closed chains of edges. Example of polylines include rectangles and triangles.
3. Click anywhere in the viewport, then drag and click again to define the first edge of the polyline.
4. Drag and click several more times in the same direction (i.e. clockwise or counter-clockwise) you made the first edge along, to create several more edges.
5. Right-click the mouse, then select “close” to instruct AutoCAD to connect the last segment of the polyline with the first. This will create a closed, 2-D shape.
6. Type “orbit” to enter the 3-D navigation mode, which lets you use the mouse to view objects from different viewpoints.
7. Drag the mouse slightly left and downward, then right-click and select “exit” to end orbit mode.
8. Click the polyline shape to select it, then type “extrude.” AutoCAD will expand (i.e. “extrude”) the shape into three dimensions. Click the mouse to complete the extrusion.
Create 3-D Model by Sweeping
9. Type “-view top” to navigate to the “top” viewport, then type “rectangle” to enter rectangle-drawing mode.
10. Click anywhere in the viewport and drag to define a rectangle. Click again to complete the rectangle. This shape will serve as the “sweep” path, which is the path that AutoCAD will push another 2-D shape along to create a 3-D surface.
11. Type “-view right” to enter the “right” viewport, then type “rectangle” to re-enter the rectangle-drawing mode.
12. Click directly above the first rectangle (which appears as a line), then drag down and right until the new rectangle’s bottom right corner is below and to the right of the first rectangle’s right edge. Click the mouse to complete the second rectangle. This step places the second rectangle close to the first, which the sweep operation needs to work correctly.
13. Type “-view top” to re-display the “top” viewport, then click the second rectangle to select it. Type “move” to enter “move” mode.
14. Click anywhere on the viewport, then drag until the second rectangle (which appears as a line) intersects one of the horizontal edges of the first rectangle. This step completes the positioning the sweep operation needs.
15. Click the second rectangle to select it, then type “sweep.” Click the first rectangle, then press “Enter” to perform the sweep. AutoCAD will display a box in place of the original rectangle. The box represents the volume created by moving the second rectangle along the path defined by the first rectangle.