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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.
In this lesson we're going to create the rear axle brace for our wagon. While working on this part, we're going to learn how we can project geometry onto a surface, and how we can use the projections as a way to trim a surface. On my screen I've got some polyline geometry. Let me orbit this a little bit, so you can see how it's oriented in 3D space. Generally speaking what I have is the cross-section for my brace and I have a path that I'd like to use to sweep this cross-section around. So I'm going to launch the Sweep command.
I will then select my cross-section and hit Enter, and then I'll select my sweep path, and if I orbit this, we can see that that one command was pretty much enough to create the general shape of my part. Let's zoom in a little bit, and I'm going to turn on a layer. So we'll go to the Layer Properties Manager, and I'm going to turn on the Surface_Hole layer. On this layer I have some circles. Eventually I'll be using these circles to drill some holes in this part. But before that I'd like to talk a little bit about this Project Geometry panel.
We can use the tools in this panel to project geometry onto the outside of our surface. Notice there is a big Auto Trim button that happens to be turned on. I'm going to click this to turn it off momentarily, and let's talk about these three icons on the right side. This controls how we project our geometry. I can project my geometry perpendicular to the current UCS. I can project my geometry perpendicular to my current view, or I can project my geometry based on two points that I click in my drawing. Let's project these two circles onto my surface in a direction perpendicular to the UCS.
I'll select the Surface Projection UCS icon. I will then make a window around each of these circles and hit Enter and then I'll select my surface. This tool also works with solids by the way. If I zoom in, we can see the circles have been projected down and I now have some entities on the outside of my surface. This command is different than Imprint. If I make a window selection here, you can see that AutoCAD has actually created new line work on the outside of the surface. I don't need these circles right now, so I'm going to hit the Delete key on my keyboard to erase them.
Let's adjust our view such that those circles appear right on the edge of the surface. Let's try another projection. Although this time I'm going to turn Auto Trim on. We can use the Project Geometry tools as a very powerful way to trim our models. This time I'm going to project the circles perpendicular from my current view. I'm going to select the Surface Projection View icon. I'll make a window selection around my circles and hit Enter, and then I'll select my surface again.
As you can see those circles were projected into the surface, and the surface was trimmed based on the projection. If I zoom in and make a window selection, you can see that in addition to the Trim we also have a copy of the projected geometry. Let's back up a little bit. This isn't the type of holes that I wanted to put in this part, so I'm going to undo this. I'm going to click the Undo flyout, and we'll undo all the way back to the point where we projected our geometry. Now let's use the tool to create the proper holes in the part. I'd like to project these circles perpendicular to the coordinate system and also trim my surface.
Once again, I'm going to select my Surface Projection UCS icon. I'll select my circles and hit Enter, and then I'll select my part. Let's go to a right side view. I happen to have a circle down here as well. This represents the hole that my axle is going to pass through. Let's trim this geometry out using a projection. This time I'm going to trim based on my current view. I'll select the circle and hit Enter, and then I'll select my surface.
As I orbit this around, I can see it was projected all the way through. Let's back up a little bit. We'll center this on screen. I'd like to do some layer maintenance. Let's go to the Layer Properties Manager, and I'm going to turn off some of these layers that have geometry that we don't need anymore. I'm going to turn off the Surface_ Hole layer and the Surface_Section layer. Let's turn on this layer called Solid_Extrude. This circle represents the geometry I'd like to use to create my axle.
I would like to create a solid extrusion of this circle, 18.5 units long. I'll start by launching the Extrude command. If we will right-click and select Mode to make sure I'm creating a solid extrusion. I will then select my circle and hit Enter and I'll pull this guy out, and I'll enter a distance of 18.5. Now that I'm finished, I'm going to go back to Layer Properties Manager. We'll turn off that Solid_Extrude layer and our part is essentially finished.
We can now save this such that it's ready for our final assembly. I'm going to go to the application menu and click Save As. We'll place this inside the Exercise Files folder, inside the Finished_Parts directory, and I'm going to call this rearAxle_finished, and I'll click Save. This completes the geometry for the rear axle brace. In this lesson, we learned how we can project line work onto a surface, and how we can use the Projection tool as a powerful means of trimming our surface models.
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