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AutoCAD 2011 New Features
Illustration by Richard Downs

Exploring the updated 3D working environment


From:

AutoCAD 2011 New Features

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Exploring the updated 3D working environment

In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the improvements that have been made to the 3D working environment and tools. These changes not only help the experienced designer, they also make it easier for beginners to start using AutoCAD to create 3D models. I've already got a drawing open on my screen. We're going to look at this drawing in just a little bit. I'd like to start out by creating a new drawing. So, I'm going to move up to the Quick Access toolbar. I'll launch the New command. I'd like to start using the acad3D template. When I click Open, try and remember what the 3D template used to look like.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome
      1m 28s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 14m 2s
    1. Adapting to the updated Drawing window
      4m 4s
    2. Introducing the Navigation bar
      5m 28s
    3. Accessing the web-based help system
      4m 30s
  3. 27m 36s
    1. Understanding the new visibility controls
      3m 5s
    2. Selecting objects that have similar properties
      3m 24s
    3. Creating new geometry based on existing objects
      2m 20s
    4. Making selections when entities overlap
      4m 11s
    5. Applying transparency to objects
      5m 44s
    6. Controlling text alignment within linetypes
      8m 52s
  4. 16m 38s
    1. Automating the creation of geometric constraints
      5m 35s
    2. Applying constraints to text rotation
      3m 8s
    3. Using the updated Parameters Manager
      7m 55s
  5. 38m 40s
    1. Streamlining hatch creation
      5m 56s
    2. Editing hatch objects dynamically
      4m 36s
    3. Editing polylines using multifunctional grips
      6m 14s
    4. Creating splines using fit points or control vertices
      10m 30s
    5. Editing splines using intuitive grip menus
      8m 17s
    6. Using the JOIN command to connect contiguous geometry
      3m 7s
  6. 18m 56s
    1. Exploring the updated 3D working environment
      6m 50s
    2. Simplifying the creation and editing of solid models
      5m 59s
    3. Introducing new tools to edit mesh models
      6m 7s
  7. 1h 25m
    1. Introducing surfaces
      2m 50s
    2. Understanding associative surfaces
      7m 9s
    3. Creating composite models using surfaces and solids
      9m 3s
    4. Producing a smooth blend between surfaces
      7m 20s
    5. Trimming and extending surfaces
      10m 55s
    6. Projecting geometry onto a surface
      5m 29s
    7. Filleting the edge between two surfaces
      6m 37s
    8. Creating offset and network surfaces
      8m 45s
    9. Pushing and pulling surfaces into freeform shapes
      10m 52s
    10. Analyzing surface continuity
      6m 15s
    11. Assembling the composite model
      10m 40s
  8. 22m 2s
    1. Introducing the new Materials Browser
      6m 10s
    2. Applying materials to an assembly
      6m 2s
    3. Customizing render materials
      5m 17s
    4. Creating a high-resolution image
      4m 33s
  9. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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AutoCAD 2011 New Features
3h 46m Intermediate Apr 21, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Applying transparency
  • Maintaining text readability within linetypes
  • Automating geometric constraints
  • Streamlining hatch creation
  • Using control vertices to create splines
  • Exploring the updated 3D workspace
  • Creating surfaces using the Blend, Patch, or Network tools
  • Trimming and extending surfaces
  • Working with the new Materials Browser
  • Customizing render materials
Subjects:
CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Exploring the updated 3D working environment

In this lesson, we're going to take a look at the improvements that have been made to the 3D working environment and tools. These changes not only help the experienced designer, they also make it easier for beginners to start using AutoCAD to create 3D models. I've already got a drawing open on my screen. We're going to look at this drawing in just a little bit. I'd like to start out by creating a new drawing. So, I'm going to move up to the Quick Access toolbar. I'll launch the New command. I'd like to start using the acad3D template. When I click Open, try and remember what the 3D template used to look like.

Notice it's now using the same color scheme as the 2D template. This is by design and it's to help ease the transition between 2D and 3D drafting. I'm going to orbit my view. To do that, I'll hold down my Shift key and the scroll wheel on my mouse. As I move my mouse forward, we can tip the drawing down and notice the horizon. This is a visual cube to let us know that we're working in a 3D perspective view. If I right-click on my ViewCube and set this to Parallel, the horizon goes away, and now I can tell very easily that I'm working in a parallel view.

Let's take a look at our 3D workspaces. I'm going to open up the Workspace menu, and in AutoCAD 2011, we now have two choices, 3D Basics and 3D Modeling. Let's look at 3D Basics first. If you are just getting into 3D, this is probably the perfect workspace for you. This includes a limited set of tools, probably the ones you would use most often in 3D, and quite frankly, this workspace can be a little less intimidating than the full 3D workspace.

Let's open the Workspace menu again. This time I'll select 3D Modeling. This workspace gives us access to all of the 3D and rendering tools. In fact, my Materials Browser is also turned on. Now, we don't need this guy right now. I'm going to click the X to close it. We'll talk more about the Materials Browser in a future lesson. Now that we're familiar with the workspaces and the appearance of the 3D template, let's click Close and return to the original drawing. This drawing contains several 3D objects.

As I hover over this block, we can see this is a 3D solid. if I hover over the wall, this is a surface. and if I hover over the floor, this is a region. Notice that when I hover over an object, it highlights on screen. Sometimes, these lines can get in the way. It can actually be confusing having lines on top of lines. There is a new setting in AutoCAD 2011 called Culling, and we can find that in the Subobject panel. The toggle is right here. If I click this and turn Culling on, notice the difference.

With Culling turned on, AutoCAD only highlights the portion of the entity that we can see. Now the Culling setting is very easy to find. It's actually on several of the tabs. If I go to the Solid tab, it's right here, if I open up the Mesh tab, there is another one right here. So it's very easy to find, very easy to change. Now, one thing to remember about Culling. Not only does it control what you see, it also controls what AutoCAD sees. So if you're experiencing problems editing your models or making your selections, try turning Culling off.

It just might help. I'm going to Shift+Right-Click to bring up my Object Snap menu, and in AutoCAD 2011, we have a new set of 3D object snaps. As I hover over each of these, take a look at the lower left corner of the interface. Notice AutoCAD will give you more information about each snap. Generally speaking, Vertex is very similar to Endpoint. This snap will also grab the controlled vertex of a spline or a NURBS surface, which is based on a spline. I can also select the midpoint on an edge. Center of a face. I can select a knot.

The knot is the fit point on your splines. I can find a point perpendicular to a face, so long as that face is planer or flat and I can snap to a point nearest to a face. I'm going to hit my Escape key couple times to close these menus, and let's try some of these new object snaps. For instance, maybe I'd like to create a circle on the right side of this green block. Now if you look at my status bar, you can see that my dynamic UCS is turned on. That will make this much easier. I'm going to launch the Circle command.

I will then Shift+Right-Click. We'll go to the 3D Object Snaps. I'll select Center of face. I will hover over this face, which automatically orients my UCS. I'll click to accept the center and I'm going to use a radius of 0.5. To create a circle on top of the block, I'll hit my Spacebar. To go back into the Circle command, I will Shift+Right-Click. We will select Center of face again. I'll hover over the top and click and once again, I'll use 0.5.

Let's orbit the drawing a little bit. At this time, let's find the distance between this red block and this back wall. Unfortunately, the Distance command isn't available in my current workspace. So, to launch this command, I'm going to type DI and hit Enter. I would like to find the distance from Shift+Right-Click > Midpoint on edge. I'll select this edge and I'd like to find the point to, Shift+Right-Click, Perpendicular, and notice AutoCAD snaps right to this face.

Now, these new object snaps can also be set as running object snaps. If you take a look at the status bar, we can see there is a new toggle right down here, the 3D Object Snap toggle. I can click this to turn it on; click it again to turn it off. We can also turn it on and off by clicking the F4 key on our keyboard. When we're working in 3D in AutoCAD 2011, we also have more control over how our objects look on screen. I'm going to move up to the View panel. Let's open up the Visual Styles menu. There are five new visual styles in AutoCAD 2011.

We now have shaded, which shades our geometry. We have shaded with highlighted edges. If you like working in monochrome, you can select shades of gray. There is Sketchy. This allows you to work in a loose pencil-sketch view. Finally, my personal favorite X-Ray. this gives us a shaded view, yet we can still see through our geometry to all the back faces.

In fact, now that we have the X-Ray Visual Style, I seldom use any other style. With the improvements made to AutoCAD's 3D working environment and tools, it's never been easier to work in three- dimensional space or to begin using 3D to visualize your designs.

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