AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 BibleAutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

Use cylindrical coordinates in 3D AutoCAD drawings

Cylindrical coordinates are a way of specifying coordinates in 3D. Mostly, you use them with the LINE command. They’re good for finding a coordinate that you might use in a solid or surface.

Cylindrical coordinates have the format distance<angle,distance. An example would be 6<40,4. The 3 parts of the coordinate are as follows:

First distance: […]

Automate the creation of details and sections on a layout

The VIEWBASE command, new for AutoCAD 2012, automates the process of creating 2D views of 3D models. This command creates 2D view objects, which are a little like viewports, but actually a completely separate type of object. In fact, when you display a layout, the first thing you do is delete the default viewport and […]

Use AutoCAD’s VIEWBASE command to create 2D views of your 3D model

Starting with AutoCAD 2012, you can use the VIEWBASE command to quickly create 2D views of your 3D model. These views are called view objects. The command prompts you to create views based on the default 3D views, such as Top, Front, SE Isometric, etc. You can choose a shading style, as well. It’s quick […]

Tutorial: Create cool curves with splines in AutoCAD

Splines are mathematically-defined curves. They are an important basis for 3D modeling, but they are useful in 2D as well.

Note: Splines were significantly updated in AutoCAD 2011.

There are 2 methods for creating splines:

Fit Points: You specify fit points, which are on the spline (by default). Control Points: You specify the control points, […]

How to cut out a groove to fit a tongue in a 3D model with the INTERFERE command

Bill Walker sent me the following tip.

Sometimes you need to cut out part of one 3D object to fit another object. For example, in tongue & grove construction, you need to cut out the groove to fit the tongue. You can make this process easy with an option of the INTERFERE command.

Follow these […]

3D viewing tips for AutoCAD

When you work in 3D, you need ways to view your drawing quickly and effectively. Here are my best tips. What are yours? (Leave a comment!)

Transparent 3D Orbit: Shift + Mouse wheel. This is my all-time favorite 3D viewing tip. If you aren’t using this, you’re wasting time. It lets you easily drag the […]

Switch to plan view when you change the UCS

When you create a new User Coordinate System (UCS) in AutoCAD, by default, your viewpoint doesn’t change. Here I used the 3 point option of the UCS command to create a new UCS.

Create a new UCS with the 3 point option

Sometimes, you may want to return to plan view in that new […]

Create 3D shapes with the 3D command

AutoCAD’s surfaces have evolved over the years. First, you could add thickness to 2D objects. I’m not sure when that happened (let me know if you do), but it was in the mid-1980s, perhaps around Release 2.6. This is still the only type of 3D objects that AutoCAD LT can create.

Later (again, I’m not […]

Tips on viewing your drawing

The faster you can display the section of your drawing where you need to work, the faster you can get started drawing and editing. With that in mind, here are some tips for viewing your drawing:

Use the mouse wheel

The mouse wheel is the key to fast view changes:

You can zoom in and […]

AutoCAD Tutorial: Create regions for mix-it-up, 2D/3D flexibility

A region is an interesting type of AutoCAD object. You can think of it as a 2D surface. Regions are always closed and they look like polylines, but AutoCAD can do some interesting things with regions, such as:

Calculate centroid, moments of inertia, and products of inertia Extrude them to create 3D solids Combine (UNION […]