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: Units in the XY plane from the last point
- Angle: Degrees from the X axis in the XY plane
- Second distance: Units along the Z axis
Here you see a red line drawn from 0,0 to 6<40,4.
Note that the line you draw using cylindrical coordinates is not either length that you specify in the coordinate. Instead, you’re defining the lengths of two sides of a triangle to draw the hypotenuse.
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In my experience, cylindrical coordinates do not work very well with Dynamic Input turned on. In that case, click the Dynamic Input button on the status bar to turn off Dynamic Input.
Do you use cylindrical units? When do you find them useful?