Complete AutoCAD 3D tutorials for free

Lesson 1 – Getting Started In 3D

You are normally not concerned with the Z axis and Z ordinates are usually zero when you use AutoCAD for 2D drafting & design but you can specify Z ordinates other than zero (when AutoCAD prompts for points) to create objects in 3 dimensions. Right Hand Rule And The UCS You can define your own customized axes for X,Y & Z at any orientation using a variety of different tools and you can use familiar 2D commands in 3D if you Read More...

Lesson 2 – Types Of 3D Models

You can model real world objects in AutoCAD using a variety of different object types. 3D models can include surface models, solid models or custom objects from other applications. your task is to choose a model type that best meets your needs and you might even use all types of models in the same project. Surface Models In AutoCAD Some industries are well suited to basic surfaces that can be created entirely inside AutoCAD (without additional application software). for example, 2D Read More...

Lesson 3 – 3D Operations

3D Operations You can manipulate 3D objects using the same familiar commands that you already use in 2D drawings such as Move, Copy, Array, Rotate & Mirror but Array, Rotate & Mirror are relative to the XY plane of the current UCS (which is not always practical in 3D modeling) and Array only creates a 2 dimensional array. You can use 3D commands to free yourself from the XY plane of the current UCS and to create 3D arrays instead. these Read More...

Lesson 4 – Enhancing 3D Model Displays

Your mind may have problems visualizing 3D models properly when you view them using the (default) wireframe mode. this is even more of a problem for complex 3D models. Hide is a quick way to improve 3D visualization because it temporarily suppresses lines & edges behind 3D surfaces. You cannot use realtime options for Zoom or Pan while the display still shows hidden lines removed after using Hide but if you use the Regen command you will regenerate the display back Read More...

Lesson 5 – Standard Viewing Directions

Orthographic Views Most drafters are familiar with the concept of a “glass box” to help generate 2D orthographic views of 3D objects. imagine your object inside a rectangular glass box and the 2D views used for drafting are projected to the faces of this box. then imagine unfolding these faces onto a flat plane (the sheet of drafting paper) to generate a 2D drawing. 2D drawings normally include only two or three views but there are a total of 6 orthographic Read More...

Lesson 6 – Introduction To 3DORBIT

You have seen that you can use the View command to quickly change viewing directions for standard views. the 3dorbit command lets you dynamically view your 3D models from any direction. you will probably use 3dorbit often if you regularly work in 3D. The 3dorbit command is readily accessible from the usual menus (pulldown and standard toolbar) but 3dorbit can also be invoked from a right-click shortcut when you are using Zoom or Pan in the realtime mode. many of Read More...

Lesson 7 – Viewports For 3D Models

It is practical to view 3D models from more than one viewpoint It is practical to view 3D models from more than one viewpoint you can use the Vports command to create and manage multiple viewports and there are standard viewports available for 3D. It is easy to customize an arrangement of viewports to use different standard viewing directions. click in the desired viewport pane in the preview area then select the desired view for that viewport in the drop-down Read More...

Lesson 8 – Drawing Planes & UCS Icons

Cartesian Coordinates For 3D You are normally not concerned with the Z axis and Z ordinates are usually zero when you use AutoCAD for 2D drafting & design but you can specify Z ordinates other than zero (when AutoCAD prompts for points) to create objects in 3 dimensions. by default, the X axis points to the right, the Y axis points up and the Z axis points at you when you face your monitor. You can view these axes from a Read More...

Lesson 9 – Orthographic UCSs

Each orthographic UCS corresponds to the standard orthographic view of the same name. you may recall the “glass box” analogy used to visualize the relative orientation of orthographic views in 2D drawings. The 6 orthographic views of this “glass box” are shown completely unfolded below with each corresponding orthographic UCS. One way to select an orthographic UCS for the current viewport is to use the Ucs command. you can right-click in the drawing area at the first prompt to invoke a Read More...

Lesson10 – UCSs In Other Orientations

Many 3D models can be created using only orthographic UCSs but there will be times when UCSs in other orientations are required. you have already learned how to use the Move, orthoGraphic & World options of the Ucs command in the previous sections. in this section you will learn how to use 9 sub-options under New in the Ucs command to create & use UCSs in any orientation. These Ucs sub-options (under New) can also be invoked directly from the Read More...

Lesson11 – Saving & Restoring UCSs

It is easy to make new UCSs with the New sub-options of Ucs. however, if you must use several different UCSs it can be time consuming to always define these new UCSs from scratch. you will save time and effort if you learn how to save and restore the main UCSs in your models. The current UCS is unnamed after you use one of the New options (e.g. 3point) of the Ucs command to define a new UCS but you Read More...

Lesson12 – UCSs In Multiple Viewports

Before all viewports always used the current UCS. now each viewport can be associated with a unique UCS if you choose to Save UCS with viewport (default in AutoCAD 2000). you automatically use the UCS saved with a viewport when you make that viewport the current viewport. For example, this new feature makes it easier to dimension 2D drawings that have been projected from a 3D SOLID. This technique for automatically creating 2D drawings from 3D SOLIDs is beyond the scope of Read More...

Lesson13 – EXTRUDE, REVOLVE & Boolean Operations

In this section you will learn how to start many 3D modeling projects using 2D geometry and 5 key commands. you will learn how to Extrude & Revolve 2D geometry to create complex SOLID objects and you will learn how to use Subtract, Union & Intersect to combine SOLIDs in boolean operations. You can use Extrude to convert closed LWPOLYLINES, REGIONS, CIRCLES, ELLIPSEs and closed SPLINEs into SOLID objects. you are prompted to select (2D) objects and each selected object Read More...

Lesson14 – Standard SOLID Primitives

You can generate all six SOLID shapes illustrated on this page by creating appropriate 2D geometry & then using Extrude or Revolve. but you can also create these SOLID primitives using an AutoCAD command of the same name as the desired primitive. this approach lets you create simple SOLIDs directly without having to sketch 2D profiles that must be extruded or revolved. for example, you can use Cylinder to create a SOLID that will be Subtracted from other SOLIDs Read More...

Lesson15 – FILLET, CHAMFER & SLICE

AutoCAD offers different options when you use Fillet on SOLIDs compared to when you use Fillet on 2D objects. if you select a SOLID at the first prompt AutoCAD highlights the selected edge and lets you specify a new radius. you can press <enter> to terminate the Fillet command if you want to fillet only the one selected edge. You can continue to select more edges and you can change the radius for these other edges in the same Fillet Read More...

Lesson16 – Introduction To SOLIDEDIT

This section introduces the 15 options of the Solidedit command. you can invoke the desired option directly from the Modify + Solids Editing pulldown menu or the Solids Editing toolbar. Overview Three main option categories of Solidedit are Face, Edge & Body. Command: SOLIDEDIT↵ Solids editing automatic checking: SOLIDCHECK=1 Enter a solids editing option [Face/Edge/Body/Undo/eXit] <eXit>: (invoke an option) Most Face options let you change the shape of SOLIDs using the Extrude, Move, Offset, Delete, Rotate & Taper sub-options you can also copy faces & Read More...

Lesson17 – Tools To Analyze SOLIDs

The Massprop command is a quick way to compute basic mass properties of selected SOLIDs relative to the current UCS. two common properties are volume (which is equal to the mass                                                   because AutoCAD assumes density is 1) & the centroid point. you can also compute moments of inertia, products of inertiaand radii of gyration. Read More...

Lesson18 – Generating 2D Drawings From SOLIDs – Process Overview

Once you have created a SOLID model in AutoCAD 2000 you can use tools to generate 2D drawings (i.e. a Layout ready to Plot). these tools demand more effort than the relatively automatic process used in Mechanical Desktop and these layouts are NOT automatically linked to the SOLID model (i.e. models & drawings are not associative). however, you can use these tools on SOLIDs to generate traditional 2D drawings that satisfy specific drafting standards. First Create The SOLID Model You must Read More...

Lesson19 – Setting Up Viewports With SOLVIEW.

Your first task (before setting up viewports on a Layout) should be to set up the desired Layout for your 2D drawing using Pagesetup. you can refine the setup with Pagesetup later on but you should (at least) initially select the desired plot device & sheet size. If you have not already set up a layout you will invoke Pagesetup automatically by left-clicking on a layout tab you can also invoke Pagesetup in a shortcut by making a layout current, Read More...

Lesson20 – Generating 2D Views With SOLDRAW

Once viewports have been properly set up you can use Soldraw to automatically create the drawing views for each viewport. you are prompted to select viewports created by Solview. you are automatically switched to paper space when you invoke Solview (if PAPER is not already displayed in the status bar). AutoCAD generates 2D geometry for each viewport and places these new objects in the MODEL on appropriate layers. you can change the special layer colors & linetypes (e.g. use HIDDEN Read More...

Lesson21 – Dimensioning The Layout

Create dimensions in the Model (you will see MODEL in the status bar) from the Layout tab. the UCS saved with each viewport is normally parallel to the view when you create drawings using default settings. you would have to use the View option of Ucs if for some reason the current UCS in the current viewport is not parallel to the view. if there is not enough room for dimensions you can use grip editing techniques to change Read More...

Lesson22 – Generating Isometric Views

When you use SOLID models to generate 2D drawings you can easily add an isometric view with hidden lines removed. this will make it easier to visualize your parts compared to drawings that include only orthographic views. You can create a viewport that shows the SOLID from an isometric viewing direction (e.g. SE Isometric) then set up the viewport so that it will always Plot with hidden lines automatically removed. select the viewport with no command running and right-click in Read More...

Lesson23 – Updating Changes To SOLIDs

SOLIDs and their generated 2D drawings (made with Soldraw & Solprof) are not associative drawings will not match modified SOLIDs unless you use Soldraw or Solprof again to update the drawing. PRACTICE UPDATING CHANGES TO SOLIDs » 1 Open the T305_8.dwg file in your personal folder. » 2) Left-click on the Model tab to switch to the model. 3) Select Solid in the Layer drop-down list on the Object Properties toolbar to make it the current layer. 4) Pick Format + Layer. Read More...

Lesson24 – Rendering Overview

Why Render? Your ability to effectively communicate design concepts to others can be an important skill in any industry. traditional 2D drawings contain design details for construction but many people do not have the required skills, time or desire to understand the design information presented in drawing formats. Full or reduced scale models and working prototypes are not as demanding for an audience to understand but they are also expensive and time consuming to make which cannot be justified in many Read More...

Lesson25 – Saving Named Views To Render.

You can Render the current view but composing that view every time you want to create a rendering can be time consuming. you will probably want to use 3dorbit to compose & optimize a view for the active viewport. you may also want to change the projection to perspective for more realistic images. the right-click shortcut menu (when 3dorbit is running) is a convenient source of many tools to optimize your current view. When you are satisfied your view you Read More...

Lesson26 – Creating Lights & Defining Scenes

Use the Light command to create & edit the 4 light source types that include point, spot, distant & ambient lights. Light Blocks AutoCAD inserts a block at light locations to store lighting parameters as block attributes when you create new lights. the block is inserted on the current layer & attributes are on the ASHADE layer (which is automatically generated if required). there is no block required for ambient lighting as there is only one ambient light source. The ASHADE layer Read More...

Lesson27 – Assigning Materials In Models

Objects in the real world appear the way they do because of their surface material properties. you must understand how to work with materials to make your AutoCAD renderings appear more realistic and you must check Apply Materials when you Render to see the effects of materials assigned to surfaces in your model. Default Material Surfaces do not have material definitions assigned to them in new drawings created from scratch. surfaces are rendered using the default global material if there is Read More...

Lesson28 – Backgrounds & Landscapes

Use Background to set the background of your rendered image. you can use a Solid color or a Gradient of varying colors or use a bitmap Image file (e.g. cloud.tga) to make your renderings appear more realistic (e.g. the sky for a 3D house) or select Merge to use the current AutoCAD display as the background for the rendering. Fog lets you gradually mask objects that are further away & you can control where the fog begins and ends. you Read More...

 

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