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AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign

Contents
Keyconceptsin3DmodelingConcepttoCompletion
3DModelingWorkspace.......................................................................................................................7
SolidCylinder........................................................................................................................................9
ShiftKey/MouseWheelOrbit...............................................................................................................9
SolidCylinderGripEditing..................................................................................................................11
PropertiesPalette...............................................................................................................................11
QuickProperties..................................................................................................................................14
SphereSolid........................................................................................................................................15
ConeSoild...........................................................................................................................................17
PrimitiveBase.....................................................................................................................................18
UnionTool...........................................................................................................................................21
SubtractTool.......................................................................................................................................21
VisualStyles........................................................................................................................................22
CtrlKeySubobjectSelection...............................................................................................................23
GripsandPropertiesPaletteSubobjectEditing..................................................................................23
CtrlKeySubobjectSelection...............................................................................................................24
GripandOsnapSubobjectEditing......................................................................................................24
3DChamfer.........................................................................................................................................26
3DFillet...............................................................................................................................................27
3DChamferandFilletEditing.............................................................................................................28
3DShell...............................................................................................................................................30
XRayEffect.........................................................................................................................................32
MOVEwithPolarTracking..................................................................................................................33
3DSolidBoxCreation..........................................................................................................................34
3DSolidBoxProperties.......................................................................................................................36
3DSolidBoxGrips...............................................................................................................................36
InterferenceChecking.........................................................................................................................39
Array....................................................................................................................................................40
MeshModelingPrimitiveOptions......................................................................................................42
MeshBox.............................................................................................................................................43
IsolinesEdgeEffect.............................................................................................................................44
MeshSmoothness...............................................................................................................................46
MeshCrease........................................................................................................................................46
3DScaleGizmo....................................................................................................................................48
MeshRefine........................................................................................................................................49
SubobjectSelectionFilters..................................................................................................................50
ViewCube............................................................................................................................................52
SubobjectsDeselecting.......................................................................................................................52
3DMoveGizmo...................................................................................................................................53
MeshConversion................................................................................................................................54
3DPrinting..........................................................................................................................................57
Materials.............................................................................................................................................58
SectionPlanes.....................................................................................................................................60


AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign101
TheresnodenyingitItsa3Dworld!Everywherewelook,everythingwetouchWeresurroundedby
3Dobjects.Alloftheserealworld3Dobjects,evensomeyoumightneverconsider,require
conceptualization,design,andproductiontotakethemfromanideainsomeoneshead

toreality!

So,ifourworldis3dimensional,whydosomanyofusdesignin2dimensions?ItssimpleTradition!


Mostdesignerstakethe3Dconceptualdesignsfromtheirimaginationsandflattentheminto2DCAD
drawings.The2DCADdrawingsaretheninterpretedbybuildersormanufacturerstoproduce3D
objects.This3Dto2Dto3Ddesignprocesswasacceptedwithoutquestionbecause,originally,2DCAD
wassimplyareplacementfortraditional2Ddrafting.

Fortunately,advancesintechnologyhaveenabledAutoCADtoevolvefroma2Ddraftingtooltoa3D
conceptualdesigntool.Youcandesignthewayyouthinkinthreedimensions!Ifyouthink3Ddesignin
AutoCADisjusttoohard,itstimetogiveitanothertry.Joinmefortheupcomingseriesofblogpostsas
weexplorenewandenhancedAutoCADfunctionalitythatenablesyoutoapplyyourexisting2D
AutoCADexperiencetotheworldof3Dconceptualdesign.Itstimetobeginthetransitionfrom
traditiontoinnovation!

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign102
Togetstartedonyourjourneytoworldof3Dconceptualdesign,consideryourthoughtprocessasyou
createa2dimensionaldrawinginAutoCAD.Youprobablystartwithanideaanimageinyourhead.


Youthenflattentheimageinyourheadbypicturingitfromdifferentanglesandusingyourdrafting
knowledgetoidentifybasic2Dshapessuchaslines,arcs,andcircles.

Fromthere,youapplyyourAutoCADknowledgebyselectingappropriatedrawingtoolssuchasLINE,
PLINE,ARC,andCIRCLEaswellaseditingtoolssuchasOFFSETandTRIM.Asyoucreatethose2D
drawings,youcontinuallyreferbacktothe3dimensionalimageinyourhead.

Theprocessfordesigningin3Dissimilarbuteveneasierbecauseyoudonthavetoflattentheimage!
Instead,skipthatstepandjumprightintoidentifyingbasicshapes.Insteadofidentifying2Dshapes,
focuson3Dshapes.

Canyouidentifysomeofthebasicshapesintheairhockeypaddleandthehouse?Thinkaboutit.

Infutureposts,Illstepyouthroughtheprocessofcreatingthehockeypaddle.Ithasfourparts:Two
plasticpiecesthatfittogethertoformthemainpaddle,apieceoffeltonthebottom,andaremovable
rubberhandgriponthetop.

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign103
Wereyouabletoidentifysomeofthebasicshapesintheairhockeypaddleandhousefrommy
previouspost?Theairhockeypaddlehasseveralcylinders,anarrayofboxes,asphereatthetopand
evenaninvertedconeofremovedmaterial.Thehousehasmanyboxesandwedges,andacylinder.

InthenextpostIllsetupmydrawingenvironmenttobegindesigningtheairhockeypaddle.
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign104
BeforeIbegindesigningtheairhockeypaddle,Illsetmy3DModelingworkspaceactive.AutoCAD2010
includesthreedefaultworkspaces:2DDraftingandAnnotation,3DModeling,andAutoCADClassic.
Theyreaccessiblefromthestatusbar.

The3DModelingworkspaceprovideseasyaccessto3Dmodelingandvisualizationtoolsviathe
AutoCADribbon.ItalsodisplaysthetoolpalettesontherightsideoftheAutoCADwindow.

Fornow,Illclosethetoolpalettestomaximizemydrawingarea.

Keyconcept:

3DModelingWorkspace
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign105
NowImreadytostartdesigningtheairhockeypaddle.Illbeginbydrawingasolidcylinder.Thesolid
cylindertoolisavailableinthePrimitivespanelontheHometabofthe3DModelingworkspace.Youll
findaflyoutwithallthesolidprimitivetools.Theboxtoolisdisplayedbydefaultbuttheflyoutwill
updatetodisplaywhatevertoolyouusedlast.Ifyoureakeyboarder,youcanusethecommandalias
CYL(CYLINDERcommand).

Drawingacylinderfeelsverymuchlikedrawingacircle.Comparetheprompts.Youcancreateacircle
basedon3points,2points,or2tangentsandaradiusinadditiontothedefaultoptionwhichrequires
youtospecifythecenterandradius.

Youcancreateacylinderusingthesameoptions(3P,2P,Ttr).Inaddition,thecylindertoolincludesan
Ellipseoptionthatenablesyoutocreateanellipticalcylinder(similartodrawinganellipse).Fornow,Ill
usethesimpleandfamiliardefaultoptionbyspecifyingacenterandradiusforthecylinder.


Ifyouknowexactlywhereyouwhatyouwantthecylindertolooklike,youcanpickexactpointsor
enterspecificvaluesforthecenterandradius(justlikedrawingacircle).But,ifyoureintheconceptual
designphaseandstartingwithablankdrawing,thatmaybemoreinformationthanyouknow.
Fortunately,itseasytomodifythecylinderevenafteryoucreateit.Illquickly(andsloppily)picktwo
pointstospecifythecenterandradius.Itfeelsandlooksjustlikeacircledoesntit?Exceptnow,
becauseitsathreedimensionalcylinderinsteadofatwodimensionalcircle,itspromptingforheight.
Youcanpickapointorenteravalue.

Fromthetopview,theheightisntobvious.EvenafterIspecifyaheight,itjustlookslikeacircle.When
youworkin3D,youllwanttoviewyourmodelfromdifferentangles,notjustfromthetopaswere
usedtoin2Ddesign.3Dviewingandnavigationisanentiretopiconitsownbutyoudonthavetolearn
everythingthereistoknowaboutitinordertogetstartedwith3Dmodeling.Illpointoutkeytools
alongtheway.Forexample,oneofmyfavoriteviewingtoolsisOrbit.Youcanorbitthemodelby
pressingtheShiftkeyandmiddlemousebuttonandmovingthemouse.Theorbitsymbolappearsatthe
cursorandyoucaneasilyandintuitivelyadjustyourviewofthemodel.

Keyconcepts:

SolidCylinder
ShiftKey/MouseWheelOrbit
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign106
AutoCADhashadtheabilitytocreatesolidprimitiveobjects,likecylinders,allthewaybacktoAutoCAD
Release12.However,untilAutoCAD2007,thoseobjectswerenoteasilyeditable.Youpracticallyhadto
knowexactlywhatyouwantedtodrawbeforeyoustarted.Thatmightworkforcreatingasbuiltmodels
butitmadeconceptualdesignchallengingandtimeconsuming.Fortunately,AutoCAD2007tookahuge
leaptowardstrueconceptualdesign.YoucaneasilyeditprimitiveobjectsusinggripsortheProperties
window.Forexample,asIcreatethedesignformyairhockeypaddle,Icanexperimentwiththesizeand
shapeoftheexistingcylinder.Selectingacylinderdisplaysgripsamovegrip(square)atthecenterofits
base.Pickingthatgripmakesiteasyformetomovethecylindertoanotherlocation(justasyouwould
expectfromyour2Dexperience).

Selectingoneofthefourquadrantgripsenablesyoutoedittheradiusofthecylinder(again,justlike
youexpectwheneditinga2Dcircle).

Selectingstretchgripatthecenterofthebaseenablesyoutochangetheheightand,atthesametime,
changethelocationofthebase.

Selectingthegripattheotherendofthecylinderenablesyoutoedittheheightofthecylinderwithout
changingitsbase.


DidyounoticethatIdescribedthatgripasbeingattheotherendratherthanbeingatthetop?
Thatsbecausethebasecouldjustaseasilybeontop(oronthesideoranywhereelse).Icould,for
example,gripeditthetopofthiscylinder,anddragitbelowthebasenowitsthebottom.

Theimportanceofdistinguishingbetweenthebaseofasolidprimitiveobjectandtheotherendwill
becomemoreapparentinfutureposts.

Keyconcept:

SolidCylinderGripEditing

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign107
Gripeditingisonewaytochangetheshapeofasolidprimitiveobject.Anotherwayistoenterspecific
valuesforkeyproperties.Thepropertiesvarydependingonthetypeofsolidprimitive.Forexample,a
solidboxhaspropertiesforlength,width,andheight;whereasacylinderhaspropertiesforradiusand
height.YoucanviewandmodifythesepropertiesintheGeometrypanelofthePropertieswindow.As
youchangethevalues,thegeometryinthedrawingeditorupdates.

Keyconcept:

PropertiesPalette

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign108
Inmypreviouspost,IdescribedhowyoucaneditsolidprimitivepropertiesusingthePropertiespalette.
Inthispost,Illdescribethesameconceptusingtherelativelynew(introducedinAutoCAD2009)Quick
Properties.IfyouhaveAutoCAD2009or2010anddontknowwhatQuickPropertiesis,youreprobably
oneofthemanyAutoCADusersthatquicklyturnedoffnewfunctionality,withoutunderstandingits
purpose,anddidnthavetimetogoback.Nowsyourchancetogiveitanothertry!Ihavetoadmit,I
dontkeepQuickPropertiesonallthetime.But,itseasytoturnonfromthestatusbarandIdependon
itforcertainobjects,includingsolidprimitives.

ThepurposeofQuickPropertiesisthesameasProperties(toviewandeditobjectproperties)butQuick
Propertiesiscustomizablesothatcandisplayonlytheusefulpropertiesratherthanalonglistofevery
property.YoucanalsocontrolwheretheQuickPropertiespaletteisdisplayed.Bydefaultitsnearthe
cursorgivingyouquickandeasyaccesstokeypropertiesrightwhenyouselectanobject.Forsolid
primitiveobjects,onlytheColorandLayerpropertiesaredisplayedbydefault.However,youcanadd
geometryvalues,suchradiusandheightforacylinder,totheQuickPropertieslist.Sincetheseare
propertiesthatyoullwanttoeditoften,itsworthtakingafewminutestomakethemeasilyaccessible.

ThequickestwaytoaddpropertiesforaspecifictypeofobjectistoselectthatobjectwithQPturned
on(typeQPorusethetoggleonthestatusbar).IntheQuickPropertiespalette,selecttheCustomize
button.

TheCustomizeUserInterface(CUI)dialogboxisdisplayedandtheselectobject,acylinderinmycase,is
automaticallyaddedtotheQuickPropertiesobjecttypelist(ifitwasntalreadythere).Nowyoucan
simplyturnonthepropertiesyouwantQPtodisplayforthatparticulartypeofobject.

TheQuickPropertiespaletteonlydisplaysthreerowsbydefault.Whenyoupassthecursoroverit,the
QPwindowsextendsasnecessarytodisplaytheremainingquickproperties.Ifyoudlike,youcan
modifytheQPsettingstodisplaymoreproperties.

Youcanspecifythenumberofrowstodisplayoryoucandisplayallofthequickpropertiesbydisabling
theoptiontoCollapsepaletteautomatically.


Now,whenIselectacylinder,IcaneasilymodifytheradiusandheightintheQuickPropertieswindowright
nearmycursor!Illchangetheradiusandheightofthecylinderformyairhockeypaddleto30and14.

Keyconcept:

QuickProperties

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign109
Movingalongthedesignprocessfortheairhockeypaddle,Illcreateasecondcylinderwithinthe
originalcylinderthatIcreatedinmypreviouspost.SinceIwantthetwocylinderstobeconcentric,Ill
usethecenterobjectsnap.Asyoumightimagine,acylinderhastwocenterobjectsnappointsoneat
thebaseandoneatthetop.

ItdoesntmatterwhichoneIchoosebecauseitseasyenoughtochangelaterasmydesignevolves.For
now,Illgoaheadandpickthecenterosnapatthebottomoftheexistingcylinder.Illalsopickrough
pointstodefinetheradiusandheightforthenewcylinder.I,ofcourse,couldenterexactvaluesaswell.

Illcontinuecreatingtheairhockeypaddlebydrawingasphereatthetopofthecylinder.TheSphere
tool(SPHEREcommand)isavailableinthesolidprimitivesflyoutoftheModelingpanel(withthe3D
Modelingworkspacecurrent).

Drawingasphereismuchlikedrawingacircle.Youcanusethedefaultcenter/radiusoptionorchoose
from3Point,2Point,andTanTanRadius.

Illusethedefaultcenter/radiusoptionandplaceitatthecenterofthetopofthecylinderthenusethe
quadrantosnaptospecifythesameradiusasthecylinder.

Evenifyourecompletelynewto3DdesigninAutoCAD,thesetoolsshouldfeelfamiliarbasedonyour
2Dexperience.

Keyconcept:

SphereSolid

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign110
Inpreviousposts,Icreatedtwocylindersandaspherefortheairhockeypaddle.NowIllcreateasolid
cone,whichIllusetoremovematerialfromthelargecylinder.Icouldcreatetheconewiththecorrect
valuesrightfromthestart.But,sinceImstillintheconceptualdesignphase,Imgoingtodrawacone
bysnappingtotheexistingcylinderandthenIllmodifymydesign.

TheConetool(CONEcommand)isavailableinthesolidprimitivesflyoutoftheModelingpanel(withthe
3DModelingworkspacecurrent).

Theoptionsforcreatingaconearesimilartocreatingacylinder(andacircle).First,youspecifythe
locationandsizeofthebaseofthecone.Youcanusethedefaultcenter/radiusoptionorchoosefrom
3Point,2Point,TanTanRadius,andElliptical.Justlikewithdrawingacirclein2D,theoptionyouchoose
dependsonwhatyouretryingtocreate,whatexistingobjectsyoucansnapto,andwhatyouknow.

IllusethedefaultCenter/Radiusoptionandsnaptothecenterandquadrantatthetopoforiginal
cylinder.Afterspecifyingthebaseofthecone,thedefaultoptionistoenteravalueorpickapointto
specifytheheight.However,thereareadditionaloptionsaswell.Arightclickmenu(andtheCommand
line)enableyoutopick2pointstodeterminetheheight,pickapointtospecifytheheightandchange
theorientationatthesametime,orenteravalueforthetopradius.

Ifyoudontenteravalueforthetopradius,itassumesavalueofzeroandcreatestheconewithasharp
point.Also,keepinmindthat,likeacylinder,thebaseandtopofaconedontnecessarilymeanthatthe
basehastobeonthebottomandthetophastobeonthetop.Fornow,Illcreatetheconeusinga
defaulttopradiusofzeroandIllsnaptothecenteratthebottomofthecylindertospecifytheheight.

Keyconcept:

ConeSoild

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign111
InmypreviouspostIcreatedaconethathasthesamebaseradiusasthecylinderandatopradiusof
zero.Sincethepurposeofthisconeistosubtractmaterialfromthelargecylinder,Ineedtomodifythe
baseradiussotherewillbearimaroundthetopofthecylinderaftertheconeissubtracted.Modifying
asolidconeisjustaseasyasmodifyingasolidcylinder.Idlikethatrimtobeabout4unitssoIllusethe
conesquadrantgripstoreducetheradiusby4.


Next,Illwidenthetopradiusfromzero(asharppoint)toavalueof20.

NoticethetopoftheconeisbelowthebasebecauseofthewayIoriginallycreatedit.AutoCADdoesnt
carewherethetopisinrelationtothebase.IfyoulookatthepropertiesfortheconeyoullseeaBase
Radius,aTopRadius,andaHeight.

EventhoughAutoCADdoesntcareiftheTopRadiusisreallyontop,thereisadifference.Ifyouchange
theheightofthecone,thebasemaintainsitspositionwhilethelocationofthetopadjusts
accordingly.Forexample,IwanttoensurethatIhave4unitsofmaterialleftatthebottomofthe
cylinderafterIsubtractthecone.So,Imgoingtochangetheheightofthecylinderfrom14to10units.

Keyconcept:

PrimitiveBase
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign112
Afteralongbreakthissummer,ImexcitedtocontinuemyAutoCAD3DConceptualDesignseries.I
hopeyouvehadthechancetofollowalong.Keepinmindthatthesepostingsarentsomuchabout
creatinganairhockeypaddleastheyareaboutlearningthevarietyoftoolsandtechniquesthatenable
youtotakeyourideasfromconcepttocompletionallwithinthefamiliarAutoCADdesignenvironment.
Youcanapplytheideasyoulearnfromthesepostingstoany3Dconceptualdesignsinanyindustry.

Torefreshyourmemory(andmine)aboutwhatIalreadycovered,herearelinkstotheprevious
postings:

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign101 AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign107
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign102 AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign108
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign103 AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign109
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign104 AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign110
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign105 AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign111
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign106
Inthepreviouspostings,Icreatedallofthebasicprimitiveobjectstocreatetheairhockeypaddle.Mostofthe
primitiveobjects,suchasthesphereandcylinders,representmaterial(mass)thatIwanttoaddtothepaddle.
Theconeprimitive,however,representsmaterialthatIwanttoremovefromthepaddle.

Toaddandremovesolidobjects,IcanuseBooleantools.YoullfindthesetoolsontheHometaboftheribbon
whenthe3DModelingworkspaceisactive.

TheUniontooljoinstheselectedsolidobjectsintoasinglecompositesolidobject.TheSubtracttoolremoves
selectedobjectsfromotherselectedobjects;alsoformingacompositesolid.Theorderinwhichyouperforma
combinationofUnionandSubtractoperationscancreatedifferentresults.Forexample,ifIunionthecylinders
andspherefortheairhockeypaddleandthensubtractthecone,Igetabiggapbetweentheupperpartofthe
model(thehandle)andthelowerpartofthemodel(thestriker).Thisisstillasinglecompositesolidbutitlooks
liketwoseparateobjects,whichisnttheresultImlookingfor.


Thesolutioniseasy.ItsjustamatterofchangingtheorderofmyBooleanoperationsandtheobjectsthatI
select.IcanuseUNDO(justasyouwouldexpect)toreturntoapreviousstatewhereeachoftheprimitivesare
separateobjects.

WhenusingtheSubtracttool,itsimportanttoreadthecommandpromptstoensureyouareselectingobjects
intheappropriateorder.Youmustfirstselecttheobjectsyouwanttosubtractfromandthenselecttheobjects
youwanttosubtractfromthem.Forexample,ifIwanttosubtractoneofthesecylindersfromtheother,the
resultsvarydependingifIfirstpickthecylinderontheleftorthecylinderonright.

InthisexampleIonlyselectedonobjecttosubtractfromandoneobjecttosubtractfromit.Youcan,however,
selectmorethanoneobjecttosubtractfromortosubtractfromthem.Forexample,Icouldselectboxandthe
cylinder(below)astheobjectstosubtractfromthenselectthesphereandtheconeastheobjectstosubtract
fromthem.Theresultisshown.


Sinceyoucanselectmultipleobjects,youmustremembertopressentertofinishtheselectfromoption
beforeyouselecttheobject(s)youwanttosubtractfromthem.Thismayseemobviousbut,speakingfrom
experience,itseasytomakeamistakewiththeselectionsifyourenewtotheSubtracttoolorifyouhavent
useditforawhilebecausethisisoneofthefewAutoCADcommandsthatpromptsfortwoselectionsets.

Okay,backtotheairhockeypaddleIllusetheSubtracttooltofirstsubtracttheconefromthelowercylinder
andthenIllunionthenewlycreatedcompositesolidwiththeremainingcylinderandsphere.ThisistheresultI
waslookingfor!

Keyconcepts:

UnionTool
SubtractTool

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign113
Asyoucreate3DmodelsinAutoCAD,youlldiscoverthatitcanbedifficulttovisualizethegeometryusingthe
defaultwireframevisualstyle.VisualStyleswereintroducedinAutoCAD2007andareapowerfulreplacement
fortheoldshademodes.AutoCADincludesfivevisualstyles:2DWireframe,3DHidden,3DWireframe,
Conceptual,andRealistic.YoucanaccessVisualStylesintheViewpaneloftheHometabwhenthe3Dmodeling
workspaceisactive.

Iwontgointodetailaboutvisualstylesduringthisseriesbecauseyoucanaccomplishmostmodelingtasks
usingthedefaultvisualstyles.IllthrowinafewquicktipsalongthewayastheyapplytowhatImdoingbutI
definitelyencourageyoutolearnmoreaboutvisualstyles.TheAutoCADHelpsystemisagreatresource.Here
aresomebriefdescriptionsofthefivepredefinedvisualstyles(directlyfromHelpsystem):

2DWireframe.Displaystheobjectsusinglinesandcurvestorepresenttheboundaries.RasterandOLE
objects,linetypes,andlineweightsarevisible.
3DWireframe(upperleftintheillustration).Displaystheobjectsusinglinesandcurvestorepresentthe
boundaries.
3DHidden(upperright).Displaystheobjectsusing3Dwireframerepresentationandhideslines
representingbackfaces.
Realistic(lowerleft).Shadestheobjectsandsmoothstheedgesbetweenpolygonfaces.Materialsthat
youhaveattachedtotheobjectsaredisplayed.
Conceptual(lowerright).Shadestheobjectsandsmoothstheedgesbetweenpolygonfaces.Shading
usestheGoochfacestyle,atransitionbetweencoolandwarmcolorsratherthandarktolight.The
effectislessrealistic,butitcanmakethedetailsofthemodeleasiertosee.

Ioftenswitchbetweenthe2DWireframevisualstyleandtheConceptualvisualstyleasImcreatingmymodel.
Viewingthemodelasawireframecanbehelpfulifyouwanttoseegeometrythatwouldotherwisebeobscured
byshadedfaces.Viewingthemodelwithshading,likewiththeConceptualvisualstyle,canhelpyoubetter
understandthemodel.Forexample,ifyouviewtheairhockeypaddleinwireframemode,youcanttellifthe
coneisanextraobjectthatoverlapsthecylindersorifithasbeenremovedfromthecylinder.Changingtothe
Conceptualvisualstyle,itbecomesclearthattheconehasbeensubtracted.

Keyconcept:

VisualStyles

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign114
InapreviouspostIusedtheUnionandSubtracttoolstocreateacompositesolidfromprimitiveobjects.Even
thoughthisprocessproducedasingleobject,Icanstilledittheprimitivesubobjectswithinthecompositesolid.
ThekeyiscontrolorIshouldsayCTRListhekey!IfyouholddowntheCTRLkeyasyoupassthecursorover
thecompositesolid,AutoCADhighlightseachsubobject.

Youcanthenclicktoselectthehighlightedsubobject.Onceitsselected,youcanusegripsortheProperties
palettetoedittheprimitivepropertiesinthesameyouthatyoucouldbeforeperformingtheUnionorSubtract
operation.Forexample,ifyouwanttoshortenthehandleontheairhockeypaddle,youmightselectthestretch
gripandmoveitdown15units.Noticetheeditonlyaffectsthecylinder.InAutoCADtherearenoconstraints
between3Dshapes(unlikeparametric3DdesignapplicationssuchasInventorandRevit).

AsImentioned,youcanalsoeditsubobjectsusingthePropertiespalette.Noticethateventhoughthecylinder
isasubobjectinthecompositesolid,allthetypicalcylinderpropertiesareavailableforediting.Illchangethe
radiusofthecylinderto13andtheheightto34.

InthenextpostIlltakecareofthesphere.

KeyConcepts:

CtrlKeySubobjectSelection
GripsandPropertiesPaletteSubobjectEditing

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign115
Illcontinueeditingthecompositesolidbymovingandresizingthesphere.PressingtheCTRLkey,Illselectthe
sphere.Ared,green,andbluegizmodisplaysatthecenterofthesphere.Illtalkmoreaboutthegizmoinfuture
postsbutfornowIllignorethegizmoandselectthespherescentergrip.


Evenifthegizmofunctionalityisturnedoff,thespherescentergripdisplaysandbehavesasyouexpectfrom
your2Dexperiencewithgrips.SelectingthegripmakesithotandautomaticallyenablesMoveeditingmode.
YoucanthenselectanOSNAPpointonanexistingobject;suchastheCenterofthetopofthecylinder.

Thesphereautomaticallymovestothatlocation.Selectingoneofthespheresquadrantgripsenablesyouto
modifythespheresradius.YoucansnaptothequadrantOSNAPofthecylindertoautomaticallymatchthe
cylindersradius.Justlikeeditingacirclein2Dright?

Toverifythatyousnappedtotherightpoint,thuscreatingaspherewiththecorrectradius,youcanviewthe
spherepropertiesinthePropertiespalette.Theradiusshouldequal13justlikethecylinderradiusweeditedin
thepreviouspost.

KeyConcepts:

CtrlKeySubobjectSelection
GripandOsnapSubobjectEditing
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign116
Alltheobjectsweveusedtocreateourairhockeypaddlearebasicprimitiveshapes;cylinders,sphere,and
cone.Itconveysthegeneralshapethatwewant,buttheedgesarehard.Wellsoftenthebottomedgeby
addingachamfer.YoucanusethesameChamfercommandthatyouveprobablybeenusingforusingfor2D
design.Whenthe3Dmodelingworkspaceisactive,youllfindtheChamfertoolintheModifypaneloftheHome
tab.ItsinthesamebuttonflyoutastheFillettool.Whicheveroneyouuselastwillbedisplayedontop.

WhenyoulaunchtheChamfercommand,selecttheedgeyouwanttochamfer.AutoCADwillhighlightoneof
thesurfacesadjacenttotheselectededge.Ifithashighlightedtheedgeyouwanttouseasthebasesurface,
youcanselectOK.Ifyouwanttouseadifferentsurfaceasthebase,youcanchooseNext.AutoCADwillcycle
throughtheadjacentsurfaces,highlightingeachone,untilyouchoose.Forexample,whenIselectthebottom
edgeoftheairhockeypaddle,AutoCADhighlightsthecircularface.

IfIchooseNext,AutoCADhighlightsthecylindricalface.Choosingnextagaincyclesbacktothecircularface.

InthisparticularcaseitdoesntmatterwhichoneIchooseasthebasesurfaceaslongasIentertheappropriate
valuesforthefollowingprompts.Illgoaheadandacceptthebottomcircularfaceasthebasesurface.AutoCAD
willthenpromptforthebasesurfacechamferdistance(i.e.thedistancethatwillbetrimmedofftheedgeof
circularface).Illenteravalueof2.Itthenasksfortheothersurfacechamferdistance(i.e.thedistancethatwill
betrimmedofftheedgeofthecylindricalface).EventhoughIselectedmychamferedgeatthebeginningofthe
chamferoperation,AutoCADpromptsmetoselectitagainattheend.Itseemsalittlestrangebutatthispoint
youalsohavetheopportunitytochoosetheLoopoption,whichselectsalltheedgesonthebasesurface.Since
bybasesurfaceisacircularshape,thereisonlyoneedge.Belowisasideviewoftheresultingchamfer.

IfIhadenteredthevaluesinadifferentorder(1forthebasedistanceand2fortheotherdistance)orifIhad
specifiedthecylindricalfaceasthebasesurface,thechamferwouldhavebeen1unitalongthebottomand2
unitsalongtheside.

KeyConcept:

3DChamfer

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign117
InmylastpostIdescribedhowyoucanusetheChamfercommand(thesameoneyouusein2D)tocreate
chamferededgeson3Dmodels.Butwhatifyouwanttocreateroundededgesonyour3Dmodel?UsetheFillet
toolthesameoneyouusefor2Ddesign!Dontyoujustlovewhenthingsmakesense?Youcanaccessthe
FillettoolfromtheModifypaneloftheHometab.ItsinthesamebuttonflyoutattheChamfertoolsoifyou
usedtheChamfertoollast,youllhavetoopentheflyouttoaccesstheFillettool.

AfterlaunchingtheFillettool,youselectthe3Dobjectyouwanttofillet.Itdoesntmatterwhereyouselectthe
objectbecauseyoullbepromptedtoselecttheedgesyouwanttofilletlater.First,however,itpromptsfora
filletradius.Ienteredavalueof1tocreatefilletsontheairhockeypaddleandIselectedthetwoedges
highlightedinthefollowingimage.


Ifyouwanttocreateadditionalfilletsatadifferentradius,youllneedtorepeattheFilletcommand(justasyou
doin2Ddesign).Fortheairhockeypaddle,IllrepeattheFilletcommandusingaradiusvalueof3andselecting
theedgeasshownintheimagebelow.

Theresultingmodelhassmoothedges.Thefilletsandchamfer(frommypreviouspost)areembeddedinthe
compositesolid.Fortunately,theyarestilleditable.Thatseditablenotedible(althoughIguessyoucould
arguethatsomefilletsareedible).InmynextpostIllshowyouhowtoeditfilletsandchamfers.Anyguesses?

KeyConcept:

3DFillet

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign118
Whenyouaddchamfersandfilletstoacompositesolid,thechamfersandfilletsbecomesubobjectsforthat
compositesolid.AsImentionedinapreviouspost,youcanselectsubobjectsusingtheCTRLkey.Asyoupass
thecursoroveracompositesolid,thechamfersandfilletshighlight.Youcanthenclicktoselectthemjustasyou
canwithsolidprimitivesubobjects.Unlikesolidprimitivesubobjects,chamfersandfilletsdonthaveobject
grips.However,theydohaveobjectproperties.Forexample,ifIpresstheCTRLkeyandselectthelargefilleton
theairhockeypaddle,theRadiuspropertyisdisplayedinthePropertiespalette.WhenIenteradifferentvalue,
themodeldynamicallyupdatestoreflectthechange.Afterexperimentingwithdifferentsizes,Illsettheradius
backto3.

If,whenyouusedtheFillettool,youselectedmultipleedgestofillet,allofthefilletscreatedbythatsingle
operationaretreatedasoneobject.Forexample,Iappliedthe1unitfillettotwoedgesatthesametime.When
Ipassthecursorovereitherfillet(withtheCTRLkeypressed),botharehighlighted.IfIchangetheRadiusvalue
inthePropertieswindow,bothfilletsareupdated.

Youcanedit3Dchamfersinasimilarway.WhenyouCTRLselectachamfer,thePropertiespalettedisplaysthe
FirstDistanceandSecondDistance.

Icould,forexample,changethesecondchamferdistancesintheairhockeypaddleto6makingalargercutinto
thebottomface.

Inadditiontochangingthefilletandchamfervaluesyoucanalsoremovefilletsandchamfers.Forexample,I
decidedIdontwantachamferonthebottomoftheairhockeypaddle.IcanuseCTRLselecttoselectthe
chamferandthenusetheErasetooltoremoveit.

KeyConcept:

3DChamferandFilletEditing
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign119
AllthetoolsweveusedtodesigntheairhockeypaddlesofarhaveenabledAutoCADtomaintaintheintegrity
ofthesubobjects.Evenafterwecombinedthecylinders,sphere,andconeintoacompositesolidusingBoolean
operations(unionandsubtract)wecouldstillaccessandedittheprimitivepropertiesbypressingtheCTRLkey.
Wecouldcontinuetomodifythoseproperties(inadditiontothechamferandfilletproperties)evenafterwe
addedchamfersandfilletstothemodel.Therearesometools,however,thatcausethemodeltolosethat
editingcapability.Youcansavealotofeditingtimeifyouavoidthosetoolsuntillaterinthedesignprocess.For
example,IultimatelywanttheairhockeypaddletobeathinshellratherthanasolidmassandAutoCADhasa
Shelltoolthatisperfectforthistypeofoperation.

Unfortunately,theShelltoolstripstheindividualcomponents(cylinder,sphere,cone,fillet,etc)oftheir
intelligence.Forexample,whenIpresstheCTRLkeyandclickonthetallcylinderinamodelbeforeusingthe
Shelltool,AutoCADknowsitsacylinderanddisplaystheappropriategrips.WhenIclickonthesameobject
afterusingtheShelltool,AutoCADtreatsitasafacewithlimitededitingcapability.

Itsnotabigdealifthosesubobjectsalreadyhavetheperfectvalues.But,inconceptualdesign,thatsrarelythe
case.Youwanttheabilitytoeditthosevaluesforaslongaspossible.Nevertheless,theShelltoolishandyfor
creatingthinwalledobjectssuchastheairhockeypaddle.So,beingsatisfiedwiththedesignthusfar,Ill
performtheshelloperation.

TheShelltoolisavailableontheSolidEditingpaneloftheHometab.Youllprobablyhavetoopentheflyout
toolbartofindit.TheShelltoolsisactuallyanoptionwithintheSOLIDEDITcommandbutitskindofburied
(youllfirstneedtochoosetheBodyoption).Ifyouliketousethekeyboardyoumightbetemptedtotype
SHELL.Thatsnotwhatyouwant.TheSHELLcommand(unliketheShelloptionoftheSOLIDEDITcommand)has
beeninAutoCADforaslongasIcanrememberanditlaunchesanOSwindow.Imakethatmistakesometimes
(toooften)butthebriefflashbacktoDOSalwaysmakesmelaugh.


AfteryousuccessfullylaunchtherightShelltool,yourepromptedtoselecta3Dsolidobjectandthenyoure
promptedtoremovefaces.Removefacesdoesntmeanitsgoingtoremovefacesfromtheobject.Itsgiving
theoptiontoexcludefacesfromtheshelloperation.Forexample,whenIperformedashellontheairhockey
paddle,Iselectedthecircularfaceatthebottomofthecylinderresultinginanopenbottom.

IfIhadremovedthecylindricalfaceinstead,itwouldlooklikethis:

IfIhadremovedthecircularandthecylindricalfaces,itwouldlooklikethis:

Ifyoudontselectanyfaces(justpressEntertoendtheselectionset),theoutsideofthemodelwontlookany
differentbutitwillbehollowedout.Afteryouspecifywhich,ifany,facestoremovefromtheshelloperation,
youmustentertheshelloffsetdistance.Ienteredadistanceof1.5fortheairhockeypaddle.

KeyConcept:

3DShell
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign120
Inapreviouspost,Iintroducedyoutotwopredefinedvisualstyles:2DWireframeandConceptual.Thesetwo
visualstylesmeetmostofmyneedsforvisualizingmymodelduringthedesignprocess.Thewireframestyle
enablesmetoseeallofthegeometrywithoutitbeingobscuredandtheconceptualvisualstyleenablesmeto
visualizemydesignwithoutbeingconfusedbyalltheedgesthatshouldnot,inreality,bevisiblefroma
particularviewpoint.Therearetimes,however,thatitcanbehelpfultoviewthemodelwiththeedges
somewhatobscured.ForthosetimesyoucanusetheconceptualvisualstylewithanXrayeffect.TheXray
effectisaccessibleintheVisualStylespaneloftheRendertab.

YoucantoggletheXRayeffectonoroffandyoucanusethesliderbartocontroltheopacityoftheXRayeffect.
Intheimagesbelow,youcanseethedifferencewiththeXRayeffectturnedoffandon(withopacityof60).

IveturnedtheXRaymodeonwhileIcreateathincylinderforthebottomoftheairhockeypaddle(usingthe
CylindertoolintheModelingpaneloftheHometab).Forthecenterpointofthebase,Illsnaptothecenterof
thebottomofthepaddle.ItdoesntmatterifIselecttheinnerorouterringbecausetheybothhavethesame
centerpoint.Forthebaseradius,IllusethequadrantosnapandensurethatIgetthequadrantoftheinnerring.
EvenifIselectedtheouterringbymistake,Ican(asyouknowfrompreviousposts)easilygripeditthenew
cylindertotheproperdimensions.


Tospecifytheheight,Illdragthecylinderupandenteravalueof1.5.SinceXRaymodeison,Icanseethetop
edgeofmynewcylinder;reassuringmethatIdrewitintherightdirectionandatanappropriatesize.

KeyConcept:

XRayEffect

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign121
Youcancreateandmodify3Dgeometryregardlessofwhichvisualstyleisactive.Visualstyleoptionssuchasthe
XRayeffectenableyoutoseethroughthemodelandyoucansnaptopointsoninside/obscuredobjects.For
example,ifIwanttocreateanarrayofboxshapedribsontheinsideoftheairhockeypaddle,Icandrawthem
directlyinthemodelviewingandsnappingtokeypoints.

JustbecauseI*can*doit,however,doesntmeanIwould.Itmightsaveafewstepsbydrawinggeometryon
theinsideofamodelbutthementalenergyitrequiresmaynotbeworthit.UnlessImperformingafewquick
picksandImveryconfidentaboutmyselection/pickpoints,IprefertomovegeometryoutwhereIcanvisualize
itmoreeasily.Forexample,Illmovethebottomplateoftheairhockeypaddleawayfromtherestofthemodel.
Icouldbesloppyandmoveitanywherein3Dspace,butinordertotakeadvantageofexistinggeometry,Illbe
amorecarefulabouthowImoveit.

First,IllturnofftheXRayeffectandorbitthemodelsothatImlookingatitfrombelow.Icouldselecttheplate
fromanupperviewpointwithastrategicwindowselectionbutthiswayrequireslessbrainpower.Icoulduse
severdifferenttoolsformovingtheplatebutIlljustusetheplainoldMOVEcommand.Illselectanywherein
space(beingcarefulnottosnaptoanyobjects)tospecifythebasepoint.ThenIlldragthecursoralongtheXor
Yaxis(withpolartrackingturnedon)andpicktospecifythesecondpoint(againbeingcarefulnottosnaptoany
objects).IsntthisexactlywhatyoudowiththeMOVEcommandin2Ddesign?Wejusthappentobelookingat
themodelfroma3Dviewpoint.

Aslongasyouwerecarefulnottosnaptoexistinggeometry,youcanbeassuredthatthecylinderhasnot
movedalongtheZaxis.Whyisthatimportant?BecausewereeventuallygoingtousetheZvaluesfrombothof
ourparts(theplateandthemainpartofthepaddle)whenwedrawtheboxribs.

KeyConcept:

MOVEwithPolarTracking

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign122
TheBOXcommandisoneofthemanyAutoCADtoolsthatenableyoutocreate3Dsolids.Youcanaccessthe
BoxtoolfromtheModelingpaneloftheHometab.Itwillprompt(bydefault)fortwocorners(justlikethe
RECTANGLEcommand)andaheight.

Youcouldsavesomeclicksifyoudrawtheboxexactlywhereyouwantittogobutmaybeyoudontknowthat
yetAfterall,thisisconceptualdesignandyoumaynotknowwhereyouregoinguntilyougetthere.Fornow,
Imjustgoingtodrawtheboxanywherein3Dspaceandthen,inmynextpost,IllselecttheBoxtoaccessits
grips.

Iwas*really*sloppy.IevendrewtheheightdowntheZaxissothebaseoftheboxisactuallyontop.Thankthe
AutoCADdevelopersforgrips!

KeyConcept:

3DSolidBoxCreation

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign123
AsIthinkaboutthedesign,IrealizeIwanttheboxribtobeflushwiththetopofthecylindricalplate.Illchange
myviewpointsothatImlookingattheplatefromaboveandthenIllselectthebasegrip(thesquaregripinthe
middle)andmovetheboxtothecenterofthetopofthecylinder(usingtheCENosnapofcourse).Sincethe
cylinderisthin,thetopandbottomcenterpointsareclosetogether.Youhavetobecarefultoselecttheright
one.Youcanapplythesametrickthatyouusein2D(andprobablytakeforgranted).

Forexample,ifyouhavea2Ddrawingwithtwocirclesthatareveryclosetoeachotherandyouwanttopick
thecenterofthecircleontheright,youwouldpositionyourcursortotherightratherthaninthetinygap
betweenthetwocircles.Thisensuresthatyougettherightcircle.Thesamelogicappliesin3D!


Nowthebaseoftheboxisintherightpositionbuttheheightisgoingthewrongdirection.

Iwantthetopoftheboxtobeflushwiththeinsideoftheairhockeypaddle.IfIknewthevalueforthatheight,I
couldenteritinthePropertiespalettebutitwouldstillbegoingthewrongdirection.Idfirsthavetogripedit
theheightsothatitsabovethebaseandthenentertheappropriateheightvalue.IdontknowthevalueandI
dontwanttothinkthathard.SinceIknowthetopoftheboxneedstobeflushwiththeinsideofthepaddle,Ill
gripedittheboxtomakethathappen.First,Illchangetheviewpointtolookatthemodelfrombelow.ThenIll
selectthebox,picktheheightgrip,andselectthebottominsideedgeontheairhockeypaddle.Sincetheheight
gripisconstrainedtomovinginonedirection(alongtheZaxisinthiscase),itdoesntmatterthatwere
snappingtoanobjectwithrandomXYvalues.

Viewingthemodelfromabove,youcanseethattheboxisnowprotrudingabovethecylindricalplateandyou
canrestassuredthatwhentheplateisinsertedinthepaddle,thetopoftheribwillbeflushwithlowerinside
faceofthepaddle.


Next,weneedtomodifythewidthandlengthofthebox.IllusethePropertiespalettetosetthewidthto2
units.

Iwantthelengthtobeequaltothediameterofthecylinder.IcouldenterthatvalueinthePropertiespalette,if
Iknewit.But,IdontknowitandIdontwanttothinkthathard.Instead,Illselecteachofthelengthgripsand
thensnaptotheappropriatequadrantonthecylinder.Thelengthgripisautomaticallyconstrainedtomove
alongthelengthaxissoitdoesntmatterifIpicktheupperorlowerquadrantgrip.

KeyConcepts:

3DSolidBoxProperties
3DSolidBoxGrips
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign124
Inmypreviouspost,Icreatedasolidboxthatalignedwithopposingquadrantsofasolidcylinder.Aclose(very
close)lookattheendsoftheboxshowsthecornersoftheboxhangingovertheedgeofthecylinder.Thatmay
causeproductionproblems(oops!)whenwetrytoinsertthebottomplateintotheairhockeypaddle.Plus,it
givesmetheperfectopportunitytoshowyoutheInterferetool.

Firstwellmovethecylinderandboxobjectsintopositionwithintheairhockeypaddle.Viewingthemodelfrom
below,IllusetheMOVEcommand.Illselectthecenterofthebottomofthecylinderasthebasepointandthe
centerofthebottomrimoftheairhockeypaddleasthesecondpoint(theinnerandouteredgesoftherimare
concentricsoitdoesntmatterwhichoneIpick).

If,whenspecifyingthebasepoint,Ihadpickedthetopcenterofthecylinderinsteadofthebottom,thecylinder
wouldnotbeflushwiththebottomrimoftheairhockeypaddle.


Theinterferenceoftheboxwiththemainairhockeypaddleistoughtoseebecauseitssosmallevenifyou
viewitwithothervisualstyleoptions.Hopefully,yourexperienceandintuitiontellyoutheresinterference.Or,
justtrustme.

Toproveit,wellusetheInterferetool,whichislocatedintheSolidEditingPaneloftheHometab.

TheInterferetoolisoneoftherareAutoCADcommands(likeSubtract)thatrequiretwoselectionsets.Asfaras
Iknow,theorderoftheselectionsetsdoesntmatter.

Tocheckforinterferencesbetweentheairhockeypaddleandthecylinderandboxobjects,Illselecttheair
hockeypaddleasthefirstselectionset(pressingentertoendtheselectionset).ThenIllselecttheboxand
cylinderasthesecondselectionset.Imconfidentthatthecylinderdoesntinterferewiththepaddlebutit
doesnthurttocheckanyway.Aftercompletingthesecondselectionset,AutoCADdisplaystheInterference
Checkingdialogboxandcreatestemporarysolidobjects(inred)whereanyinterferencesoccur.Thedialogbox
offersvarioustoolsthatenableyoutoexaminetheinterferenceswhiletheyretemporarilydisplayed.


Whenyouclosethedialogbox,theredinterferenceobjectsareautomaticallyremoved.Iusuallypreferto
maintainthoseobjectsinthedrawingbecauseIcanthenusethemtoremovetheexcess(interfering)material
frommymodel.Todothis,youwanttoturnofftheoptioninthedialogboxtoDeleteinterferenceobjects
createdonClose.Afterclosingthedialogbox,anewsolidisincludedinthemodelEventhoughtheseparticular
interferencesareatoppositeendsofthebox,theyrecreatedasonesolid(nottwo).Theinterferencesarejust
sliversinthiscasebut,nonetheless,Iwanttoremovethatextramaterialfromthebox.WhattoolshouldIuse?

TheSubtracttoolofcourse!Usingthesubtracttool,Illfirstselecttheboxandthen(afterendingthatselection
set),Illselecttheinterferencesolid.ThechangeisbarelynoticeablebutImsurehappywetookcareofitduring
thedesignphaseandnotafterwebeganproduction!

KeyConcepts:

InterferenceChecking

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign125
Werealmostfinishedcreatingtheplasticpartsfortheairhockeypaddletwentyfivepostingslater!Ourfinal
task,beforemovingtotherubbergrip,istoarraytheboxshapedribandthenuniontheribsandthebottom
cylinder.

FirstchangetotheConceptualvisualstyleandorbitsothatImviewingthemodelfromabove.


Next,IllusetheMovecommandtomovethepaddlestraightuptheZaxis.Withpolartrackingturnedon,you
canmoveobjectsalongtheZaxisinexactlythesamewayyoumovethemalongtheXandYaxisfor2Ddesign.
Forexample,Illpickabasepointsomewhereinspaceanddragstraightuptopickthesecondpoint.

Nowwerereadytoarraytherib.AutoCADhasa3Darraytool(ontheModifypaneloftheHometab),which
youcanusetoarrayanobjectinthreedimensions.Ivefound,however,thattheplainold2Darrayissufficient
formostofmy3Dmodelingneeds.Theribfortheairhockeypaddle,forexample,isontheXYplaneandwillbe
arrayedaroundaZaxis(justlikein2D).IntheArraydialogbox,IchosethePolaroption,selectedtheribasthe
objecttobearrayed,andspecifiedthecenterofthecylindertobethecenterpointforarray.Ichosetoenter
thenumberofitems(4)andtheanglebetweentheitems(45).

Finally,IllusetheUniontooltouniontheribstothecylinder.

KeyConcept:

Array
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign126
InthisseriesofAutoCADpostsIveledyoufromtheconceptofadesignforaplasticairhockeypaddlethough
itscreationusingAutoCAD3Dsolids.MostofthemodelingtoolsandtricksthatIvecoveredsofarhavebeen
availablesinceAutoCAD2007.

Nowwerereadyforthenewstuff!Usingthenewmeshmodelingtools,introducedinAutoCAD2010,Illstep
youthroughaprocessformodelingafreeformshapefortherubbergrip.

Keepinmindthisisntreallyaboutdesigninganairhockeypaddleorarubbergrip.Itsaboutfamiliarizing
yourselfwithAutoCADsmany3Dconceptualdesigntoolssothatyoucanapplythemtoyourowndesigntasks.

The3DModelingworkspaceinAutoCAD2010includesanewMeshModelingribbontab.TheMeshModeling
tabhassixpanelsincludingthePrimitivespanel.Noticethesmallarrowiconinthelowerrightcornerofthe
Primitivespanel.YoullseethesameiconinmanyotherpanelsthroughouttheAutoCADribbon.Theseicons
launchrelevantdialogboxesforeachspecificpanel.ClickingtheiconinthePrimitivespanelopenstheMesh
PrimitiveOptionsdialogbox.

TheMeshPrimitiveOptionsdialogboxenablesyoutospecifythenumberoftessellationdivisionsforthemesh
primitives(box,cone,etc)youcreate.Thetessellationoptionsvaryforthedifferenttypesofprimitives.For
example,thetessellationdivisionsforaboxarelength,width,andheightwhereasthedivisionsforacylinder
areaxis,height,andbase.Thenumberoftessellationdivisionsdefinestheeditablefacesoneachsurface.A
cylinderwith8axis,2height,and3basetessellationdivisions,forexample,has24facesoneachofthetopand
bottomsurfacesand16facesaroundtheside.

Youcanpreviewtheprimitiveshapesbasedonthetessellationdivisionsthatyouassign.IfAutoupdateis
enabled,thepreviewimageautomaticallyupdates.Ifitsnotenabled,youcanchoosetheUpdateoptiontoview
theresults.Inadditiontothetessellationdivisions,youcanassignadefaultsmoothnesslevelbetween0and4.
Alevelof0createsthebasicprimitiveshapewithonly1facetperface.Asyouincreasethesmoothnesslevel,
thenumberoffacetsincreasescreatingasmoother,moreroundedshape.Youcanchangethesmoothnesslevel
evenafteryouvecreatedameshprimitiveobject.

Tocreatetherubbergripfortheairhockeypaddle,Imgoingtostartwithameshboxwithrelativelyfew
tessellationdivisions.Illsetthelengthandwidthto1andtheheightto3.Fornow,Illleavethesmoothnessat
0.

AtthisIveonlyspecifiedtheboxmeshprimitiveoptions.Ihaventactuallycreatedthebox.Welldothatinthe
nextpost!

KeyConcept:

MeshModelingPrimitiveOptions
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign127
Inmylastpost,Ispecifiedthetessellationdivisionsforameshprimitivebox.NowImreadytocreatethemesh
boxthatwilleventuallybecomearubbergripforanairhockeypaddle.Icouldcreatethemeshboxbyspecifying
thetwocornersofthebase,similartocreatingarectangle.But,sinceIalreadyhavethemainpaddlemodeland
IknowIwantthegriptobecenteredonthismodel,IllusetheCenteroptionforcreatingtheboxandselectthe
centerosnaponthesphere.

Next,Icanpickthecornerofthebase,entervaluesforthelengthofeachside,orselecttheCubeoption.The
Cubeoptionishandyinthiscasebecauseitenablesyoutoquicklycreatetheboxbyspecifyingonlyonevalue
forlength,width,andheight.Youcanpickapointortypeavalue,justasyoureusedtowithotherAutoCAD
drawingtools.Evenifyoutypeavalue,thedirectioninwhichyoudragthecursoraffectshowthecubeis
positioned.Forexampleifyoudraginarandomdirection,thefacesoftheboxarenotparallelwiththe
coordinatesystem.Ifyoudragalongapolaraxiswhenyouenterthevalue,theplanesofthecubeareparallel
withthecoordinatesystem.

Tocreatethisrubbergrip,Idraggedthecursoralongapolaraxis(sinceitsacube,itdoesntmatterwhichaxis)
andenteredalengthof30,whichisslightlylargerthanthediameteroftheexistingplastichandle.

Beforemovingon,IguessIshoulddoalittlelayermanagement.IllcreatetwonewlayersnamedPlasticand
Rubberwithdifferentlayercolors.Illputthenewmeshboxontherubberlayerandthesolidobjectsonthe
plasticlayer.

KeyConcept:
MeshBox
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign128
Ifyouvebeenfollowingmethroughtheconceptualdesignoftheairhockeypaddle,youmighthavenoticed
thatthemeshboxwecreatedinthelastpostingdidntdisplayallthetessellationdivisionswedefined
previously(Length=1,Width=1,Height=3).Atfirstglance,themeshboxappearstohaveonlyasingle
tessellationdivisionforheightaswellasthelengthandwidth.Inreality,theheightdoeshave3tessellation
divisions.YoujustcantseethemwiththecurrentConceptualvisualstyle.Ifyouselectthemeshbox,youllsee
thetessellationdivisions.

Bydefault,theConceptualvisualstyledoesntdisplaythetessellationdivisions.The3Dwireframevisualstyle
does,butitstoughtoalwaysworkinawireframestyle.Togetthebestofbothstyleswhenworkingwithmesh
objects,youcanusetheConceptualvisualstylewithisolinesturnedon.IftheConceptualvisualstyleisnot
alreadyset,youcanselectitfromtheViewpaneloftheHometab.

Then,ontheRendertab,selectIsolinesfromtheEdgeEffectssettingspanel.

Nowyoucanseethetessellationdivisionsinthelength,width,andheight!

KeyConcept:
IsolinesEdgeEffect.
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign129
Whenyoucreateameshprimitivewithasmoothnesslevelof0,eachface(thesurfacebetweentessellation
lines)isrepresentedbyasingleflatfacet.Youcanincreasethesmoothnessleveltocreatemeshobjectsthatare
morerounded.Thereareseveralwaystomodifyameshssmoothnesslevel.Ifyouselectthemeshobject,you
canmodifythesmoothnesslevelusingthePropertiespaletteorwithQuickProperties.Bytheway,ifyourenot
familiarwithQuickProperties,itsatogglethatyoucanturnonorofffromthestatusbar.IfQuickPropertiesis
turnedon,itautomaticallydisplayskeypropertieswhenyouselectanobject.Smoothnessisoneofthekey
propertiesformeshobjects.

Youcanchoosefrom4levelsofsmoothnessinadditiontozerosmoothness(None).Asyouincreasethe
smoothnesslevel,thenumberoffacetsperfacealsoincreases.


InadditiontousingthePropertiesandQuickPropertiespalettestochangethesmoothnesslevel,youcan
increaseordecreasethesmoothnessonelevelatatimewiththeSmoothMoreandSmoothLesstoolsonthe
MeshModelingribbontab.

Fortheairhockeypaddle,IllsetthesmoothnessatLevel3

KeyConcept:
MeshSmoothness

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign130
Sometimesyoumaywantsmoothnessononeareaofameshobjectbutnotonanother.Forexample,onthe
rubbergripwewantthetoptoberoundedandsmooth.Butonthebottom,whereitfitsovertheplasticair
hockeypaddle,wewantasharpedge.

Youcanproducethiseffectbyaddingcreasestoselectedsubobjectswithinthemesh.Subobjectscanbefaces,
edges,orvertices.Tomakeiteasiertoviewthebottomoftherubbergrip,Iturnedoffthelayerwiththepaddle
geometry.Viewingtherubbergripfrombelow,youcanthenholddowntheCTRLkeyandclickonthebottom
facetoselectit.

Thedefaultoption,Always,meansthatitwillbecreasedatalllevelsofsmoothnessevenifyouincreasethe
smoothnessafterapplyingthecrease.IusedthedefaultAlwaysoptionfortherubbergrip.

KeyConcept:
MeshCrease


AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign131
ThetopoftherubbergripisniceandroundedbutIdliketomakeitalittlelargertofitbetterwithanadult
hand.Toscalethetopoftherubbergrip,Illusethe3Dgizmo.Thegizmoisahandy3Deditingtoolthatwas
firstintroducedinAutoCAD2007andwasdramaticallyenhancedinAutoCAD2010.Ifyouremodelingin3D
(sinceAutoCAD2007)buthaventyettriedthisgizmo,takeafewminutestocheckitout.Youllwonderhow
youlivedwithoutit.

Beforeeditingtherubbergrip,IllturnonthePlasticlayerbecauseIwanttousetheCenterobjectsnapofthe
sphereasmybasepointforscalingthegrip.

Whenyouselect3Dobjectsandsubobjects,AutoCADautomaticallydisplaysa3Dgizmo.Therearethree
differentgizmos:Move,Rotate,andScale(ScaleisnewinAutoCAD2010).Youcanswitchbetweenthesethree
gizmosusingtheGizmolistinthesubobjectselectionpaneloftheribbonorbyrightclickingonthegizmoicon.
Thegizmoyousetremainspersistentuntilyouchangeit.

Tomodifytherubbergrip,IusedtheCTRLkeytoselecttheupperpartofthemeshandthentheScalegizmo.
Thegizmolocationchanges,jumpingfromgriptogrip,asyoumovethecursorovertheselectedobjects.To
movethegizmo,toaspecificlocationyoucanchoosetheRelocateGizmooptionfromtherightclickmenuand
thensnaptothelocation.Forexample,Iwantthetopoftherubbergriptoscalefromthecenteroftheplastic
spheresoIrelocatedthegizmobyselectingthecenterobjectsnapofthesphere.


Oneoftheprimarybenefitsofthe3Dgizmoistheabilitytoconstraintheeditingbehaviortoaspecifiedaxisor
plane.Youcanspecifytheaxisorplanebyclickingonthegizmowhentheproperaxis/planeishighlightedoryou
canchooseitfromtheSetConstraintoptionintherightclickmenu.

Thefollowingimageillustratesthedifferenceswhenconstrainingthescaleoperationfortherubbergrip.

Ichoosetoscaletherubbergripinalldirections(XYZ)byafactorof1.3.

KeyConcept:
3DScaleGizmo


AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign132
Thenextstepindesigningtherubbergripfortheairhockeypaddleistomakethefingerimpressions.Youcan
pushandpullsubobjectsofamesh(faces,edges,andvertices)tocreatethattypeofergonomic/organicshape.
However,theamountofdetailthatyoucancreateislimitedbythenumberofeditablesubobjects.Currently,
thetopoftherubbergripdoesn'thaveenougheditablesubobjectstoenablethedetailrequiredforthe
individualfingerimpressions.

Thekeyforaddingdetailtoameshittohavemoreeditablesubobjectsintheareathatneedsdetail.Todothis,
youcanusetheRefinetool.Whenyourefineamesh,AutoCADconvertsthefacetsontheselectedfacesinto
editablefaceswithcorrespondingeditableedgesandvertices.Iselectedthesubobjectsatthetopoftherubber
grip,whichincludedfivefaces,andthenchoosetheRefinetool.

KeyConcept:
MeshRefine

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign133
Therubbergripfortheairhockeypaddleistakingshape.Withtheadditionalfacescreatedbyrefiningthetop
partofthemesh,werereadytomakethefingerimpressions.Thisisacreativeprocesswhereyoucan
experimentbyselectingdifferentsubobjects(faces,edges,andvertices)andusingdifferentgizmos(move,
rotate,scale)toformthefingerimpressions.Asyouselectsubobjectsonthemesh,youcanfilteronwhichtype
ofsubobjecttoselect.

Ifyouleavethesubobjectselectionfilterasthedefault,NoFilter,yourselectionislesspredictable.Forexample,
ifyoupickonthecornerofaface,AutoCADcouldpotentiallyselecttheface,edge,orvertex.Whenyouusea
windowselection,itselectsallthesubobjectsthatfallwithinthewindow,whichmayormaynotbewhatyou
intended.

IsetthesubobjectselectiontoFacetoselectthefacesformakingthenarrowfingerimpressions.

KeyConcept:
SubobjectSelectionFilters

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign134
Themeshobjectfortheairhockeypaddlehasmanysmallfaces.Evenwithsubobjectselectionset,itcanbe
tedioustoselecteachfaceindividually.Fortunatelyyoucanuseimpliedwindowingjustasyouprobablydofor
2Ddesign.Sincethisisa3Dmodel,however,youmightfindithelpfultoviewthemodelfromdifferentanglesas
youselectthesubobjects.YoucanusetheViewCubetoeasilychangetoastandardviewpoint.Asyoupassthe
cursoroverdifferentareasoftheViewCube,theyhighlightindicatingwhichviewpointwillbeapplied.


IselectedToptoviewtheairhockeypaddlefromatopview.Then,usingimpliedwindowing(lefttoright),I
selectedthefacesIwanttoedit.

Youcancontinuechangingyourviewpointasnecessarytoviewandselectsubobjects.TheViewCubeincludes
hotspotsattheverycornersofthecubetodisplayisometricviewpoints.

Ifyouaccidentallyselectunwantedsubobjects,youcanpresstheShiftkeyandclickontheredgripofthe
unwantedsubobject.Thegripturnsblueindicatingthatitscoldandwontbeusedintheeditingoperation.If
yourwindowselectionmissedsomesubobjects,youcanpresstheCTRLkeytocontinueaddingsubobjectsto
theselectionset.


Tocreatethefingerimpressions,IexperimentedwithMoveandScaleoperations,relocatingthegizmoto
variouslocations.Ultimately,Idecidedtoscaletheselectedfacestowardsthelowerbackoftherubbergrip,
makingthemmorepronouncedattheupperfront.IalsodecidedtoconstrainthescaleoperationtotheYZaxis.

Usingasimilarprocess,Icreatedtheremainingfingerimpressions.

KeyConcepts:
ViewCube
SubobjectsDeselecting

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign135
Werealmostfinishedcreatingthefreeformshapefortherubbergripofourairhockeypaddle.Asafinalstep
inthemesheditingprocess,wellusetheMovegizmotostretchonesideoftherubbergripwherethethumb
wrapsunderneathit.AsIdescribedinapreviouspost,youcanusetheViewCubetosetaviewpointthatmakes
selectingtheappropriatefaceseasy.

Ensurethe3DMovegizmoisactiveandthenselecttheappropriateaxis(inthiscase,theXaxis)toconstrain
movement.

KeyConcepts:
3DMoveGizmo

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign136
Thepreviouspostsinthe3DConceptualDesignseriessteppedyouthroughamodelingprocesswhereyouused
solidmodelingtoolstocreatepreciseprimitivebasedobjectsandmeshmodelingtoolstocreatefreeform
shapes.Atsomepointyoumaywanttointegratefreeformmeshshapeswiththeprecisionsolidshapes.For
example,whilewewanttherubbergriptofittheshapeofahand,itmustalsofitsnugglyovertheplasticair
hockeypaddle.


ConversiontoolsontheMeshModelingtabenableyoutoconvertmeshobjectstosolidobjects.Youcanselect
fromdifferentcombinationsofsmoothorfaceted;optimizedornotoptimized.Firstwelllookatsmoothversus
faceted.NoticethesmoothnessoftheoriginalmeshobjectismaintainedwhenyouchooseoneoftheSmooth
conversionoptions.Ifyouchooseoneofthefacetedoptions,theoriginalsmoothmeshfacesareconvertedto
flatfaces,whichcancausethemodeltobecomeangular.

Nextwelllookatoptimizedversusnotoptimized.Whenyouchoosetheoptimizedoption,coplanarfacesare
mergedtogether.Ifyouchoosenotoptimized,eachfaceintheoriginalmeshobjectisretainedintheconverted
solid.

Afterchoosingtheconversionoption,youcanselecttheConverttoSolidtool.TheresalsoaConverttoSurface
tool.

Iconvertedtherubbergripmeshtoasolidusingthesmoothoptimizedoption.

Afteryouconvertameshtoasolid,youcanusesolideditingtoolstocombinethefreefromshapewiththe
precisionofsolids.

KeyConcept:
MeshConversion
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign137
Wevereachedthefinalstepindesigningtherubbergripforanairhockeypaddle.Therubbergripiscurrentlya
solidmassthatpassesrightthroughthehandleoftheairhockeypaddle,whichyoucanseeifyouviewthe
paddlefrombelow.Weneedtoremovetheexcessmaterialfromtherubbergripsothatitcanslideoverthe
plasticpaddle.

Ifwesubtractthepaddlegeometryasitstandsnow,itwillonlyremoveathinshellfromtherubbergrip
becausethepaddleishollowontheinside(fromtheshelloperationweperformedpreviously).

Sincewewanttomovetheinnermaterialaswell,weneedtocreatetemporarysolidsforthesubtraction
operation.Tomakeitaseasyaspossible,Isetthe0layercurrentandturnedofftheRubberlayer.ThenIdrewa
solidcylinderandsphere(modelingpaneloftheHometab)bysnappingtothecenterandquadrantsofthe
existinggeometry.

TurningontheRubberlayerandturningoffthePlasticlayer,werereadytosubtract!Ifyouviewthemodel
fromanisometricviewpointyoucaneasilyselecttheappropriategeometry.SelecttheSubtracttoolfromthe
SolidEditingpaneloftheHometabandthenselecttherubbergripastheobjectyouwanttosubtractfrom.
Dontforgettopressentertoendthefirstselectionset(theobjectsyouwanttosubtractfrom).Thenuse
impliedwindowing(lefttoright)toselectthecylinderandspherethatyouwanttosubtractfromtherubber
grip.

TadahAcompositeshapewithbothstyleandprecision!

Tobettervisualizehowtherubbergripandplasticairhockeypaddleworktogether,turnonthePlasticlayerand
movethepaddledowntheZaxis.

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign138
OneofthegreatestbenefitsofusingAutoCADforyour3Dconceptualdesignsistheabilitytoreusethedrawing
formanydifferentpurposes.Forexample,youcancreatea3Dprototypeusing3DPrintingfunctionalitywhichis
integratedintoAutoCAD2010.Itprovidesimprovedoutputofstereolithography(STL)filesandeasyaccessto
3Dprintingservices.YoucanproduceSTLfilesusingthetraditionalSTLOUTorEXPORTcommandsaswellasthe
new3DPRINTcommand.AllofthesemethodsforproducingSTLfilesenableyoutoselectmorethanonesolid
andthemodelisnolongerrequiredtolieinthepositiveXYZoctantoftheworldcoordinatesystem.
Youcanaccessthenew3DPRINTcommandfromtheoutputtabofthe3DModelingworkspace.

The3DPrinttooldisplaystwooptions.Ifyouselecttheoptiontolearnmoreaboutpreparinga3Dmodelfor
printing,aHelpwindowdisplaysvaluableguidelinestohelpyouavoidprintingerrorsorbrokenpartswhen
sendingyourmodeltoa3Dprintingservice.

Whenyourereadytosendthe3Dmodeltoaprintingservice,choosetheContinueoptionandselectthe
objects(solidsorwatertightmeshes)youwanttoprint.TheSendto3DPrintServicedialogboxisdisplayedwith
apreviewimageandoutputdimensions,whichyoucanmodify.SelectOKtospecifyanameandlocationforthe
STLfile.

AftercreatingtheSTLfile,AutoCADautomaticallylaunchesabrowserwindowwhereyoucanrequestaquote
fromoneofthefeatured3DPrintingServiceProviders.

Theresultisa3DprototypeofyourAutoCADmodel.

KeyConcept:
3DPrinting
AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign139
Toconveyyourdesignintentandhelpothersvisualizeyourideas,youcanapplymaterialstoyourconceptual
designsinAutoCAD.TheAutoCADmaterialslibraryiseasilyaccessiblefromthetoolpaletteanditincludesmore
than300materialsthatyoucansimplydraganddropontoyourmodel.Ifyoudontfindexactlythematerial
yourelookingforinthematerialslibrary,youcancreateyourownusingtheMaterialseditor.Accessthe
MaterialseditorfromthedialogboxlauncherinthelowerrightcorneroftheMaterialspanelontheRendertab.

Toviewmaterialsonyourmodel,youllneedtosettheRealisticvisualstyle(availablefromtheupperleftcorner
oftheRenderribbontab).TheRealisticvisualstyledisplaysthemodelwithIsolinesturnedon.Ifyoudliketo
viewitwithoutIsolines,youcanselectNoEdgesintheEdgeEffectspaneloftheRendertab.

KeyConcept:
Materials

AutoCAD3DConceptualDesign140
Whenyourereadytodocumentyourdesign,youcantakeadvantageofyourexistingdatabycreating2D
sectionsfromthe3Dmodel.ItseasytodousingtheSectionPlanetool,whichisavailableontheHomeTab,in
theSectionpanel.


Youcandefineasectionplaneusingvariousmethods.Youmightwanttopickpointsorselectfromstandard
orthographicoptions.

IfyouchoosetheOrthographicoption,youcanthenspecifyfront,back,top,bottomleftorright.AutoCAD
automaticallycreatesasectionplanealignedwiththatview.Youcanthenselectthesectionplaneandusegrips
toflipitsdirection,orchangeitslocation.

Arightclickmenuoffersadditionaloptionsincludingtheabilitytogenerate2Dor3Dsectionsfromthemodel.


YoucancontrolhowsectionsaredisplayedusingtheSectionSettingsdialogbox,whichisaccessiblefromthe
rightclickmenu.

Onceyouvecreatedthe2Dsections,youcanuseyourfamiliar2Ddrawingeditingtoolstoadddimensionsand
createthenecessary2Ddocumentation.

KeyConcept:
SectionPlanes