Learn how the 3D gizmos can help you create and edit paths and profiles for 3D models. In this video, I describe how to use the 3D Move, Rotate and Scale gizmos to constrain editing operations to a specified axis or plane.
Learn how Object Isolation tools in AutoCAD 2011 let you control object visibility independent of layers. In this video, I demonstrate how to isolate selected objects so that all other objects are hidden. I also show you how to hide selected objects and how to end the object isolation so that all hidden objects are, once again, visible.
Learn how to save time when selecting objects. In this video, I describe two powerful tools to help you select the right objects with minimal effort. Idemonstrate selection cycling to easily choose from overlapping objects and the select similar tool to select multiple objects with similar properties.
Learn about the tools on the Navigation bar that help you navigate around and through your models. In this video, I describe how to display the Navigation bar and I introduce you to many of the navigation tools including the SteeringWheels and 3D Connexion support.
Learn how to navigate around your 3D model with the ViewCube. In this video, I describe how to control the display of the ViewCube including the location and opacity. I demonstrate the ability to choose standard viewpoints, freely orbit the model, and set a home view.
In this series of videos, I’ll introduce you to many of the powerful 3D conceptual design tools in AutoCAD 2011. I’ll cover 3D workspaces, visual styles, the ViewCube and the Navigation bar. I’ll show you how you can increase productivity with object selection and object isolation tools. Then, I’ll cover the 3D gizmos, which are key to editing objects in 3D space. From there I’ll focus on the powerful surface modeling functionality that enables you to create 3D surfaces, which are associated with their defining geometry. I’ll describe extruded, lofted, swept, and patch surfaces and then I’ll show you how you can offset, blend and fillet those surfaces. Finally, we’ll take a quick look at planar surfaces before wrapping up with surface trimming.
In my last post, I described the ALIGN command and how you can use it to move and rotate objects in 3D space. In this post I’ll compare it with the 3DALIGN command (3AL command alias). The purpose of ALIGN and 3DALIGN is the same but the procedure differs. When you use the ALIGN command, you pick 3 sets of 2 points (source 1, destination 1; source 2, destination 2; source 3, destination 3). When you use the 3DALIGN command, you pick all the source points first and then pick the destination points. The following image illustrates the difference in pick points resulting in the same transformation.
The 3DALIGN command provides the added benefit of enabling you to copy the objects as you align them. Simply choose the Copy option before picking the source points. The selected object remains in its original location while a copy is automatically aligned according to your pick points.
If you work in 3D or if you don’t work in 3D but are thinking about it, you’ll definitely want to learn about the AutoCAD 3D “Gizmos”. The gizmos, also known as grip tools, were introduced in AutoCAD 2007 and provide an efficient and intuitive way for you to edit objects in 3D space. The Move gizmo enables you to restrict the movement of selected objects or sub-objects to a specified axis or plane. You can activate the Move gizmo using any of the following methods:
Enter the 3DMOVE command at the Command Line and then select the object(s) or sub-object(s) you want to move.
Set the 3D Modeling workspace and choose the 3D Move button from the Modify panel of the Home ribbon tab and then select the object(s) or sub-object(s) you want to move.
Set the current visual style to any 3D visual style and then select an object or sub-object.
When the Move gizmo is activated, it displays the X,Y, and Z axes as thick red, green, and blue vectors. Between each set of axes, is a square representing the plane defined by those axes.
If you pass the cursor over one of the vectors, the vector turns yellow and a continuous line is displayed in the original color indicating the axis of constraint. To constrain movement along the axis, click on the yellow vector.
With the selected object(s) constrained to an axis, you can drag the cursor and enter a displacement value or snap to key points on existing objects.
Only the coordinate value (X, Y, or Z) corresponding to the constrained axis will change.