Learn how to change workspaces and configure them to save changes, and extrude both a solid and surfaces from rectangles.
- By default AutoCAD is set up for drafting and we don't have any three-dimensional tools available on the ribbon. To change this we need to change the workspace. On the status bar, click on the Customization button in the lower right-hand corner. And make sure that Workspace Switching is enabled. It turns on this gear icon here. Open that up and choose 3D Basics. So this workspace has different tools on the ribbon.
We have a number of 3D modeling tools on the create panel. I'd like to begin by drawing a rectangle on the ground just as a demonstration. It doesn't matter how big that is. I'll extrude that, select it, and when I select it, you'll notice here on the command line history that it's going to be a solid by default. This has a mode feature which allows you to select whether you're going to create a solid or surface.
So, I'm creating a solid I'll press enter, move the cursor up and then click. So right now it looks like a wireframe representation and that's because we're using the 2D Wireframe style. I'll change that to Shaded. Then you can see that it has surface qualities to it. I tend to prefer to use Shadedwith with edges typically, because it's a hybrid mode that shows the wireframe superimposed on top of the Shaded view, so it's really the best of both worlds.
Now, if I draw another rectangle over here and extrude that, this time I'll select it, use the mode tool or mode option and select surface. And then I pull that up. It has a different appearance, the surfaces tend to have a grid on them and furthermore, if you orbit, you'll see that the surface is hollow. It's just literally the four edges that have been extruded upward.
So, that's the difference in the appearance between solid and surface models. Now, if you come over here to Workspaces and change to 3D Modeling, which is really the preferred workspace, it has additional tools. The Home tab has tools that aren't immediately evident. It requires a bit of study to figure out what all these tools mean, but we have different tabs for Solid and Surface model types. So, I have an extrude tool here on surface and it has a separate extrude tool here on the Solid tab.
And simply what these do is they, if I click Extrude over here it automatically switches into Surface mode. It's the same command, but it's just choosing that option for me. So I find that this full 3D modeling workspace is the preferred workspace because it gives you access to all of the entire tool set on the different tabs here.
So in this project, we're going to be making Solid and Surface models and we can mix and match these tools throughout the project. And it's possible to convert from one to the other. We can create a Surface model and long as it's watertight, we can convert it into a solid model. So the surfaces are only defined along the surfaces and the solid also encloses a volume so we can use Boolean tools such as Union, Subtract and Intersect on Solid models and that's not possible with Surfaces.
With surfaces we do things like, trim them and blend them, things like that. Now, I've shown you how to switch to different workspaces, but I also should point out that any changes you make to the interface won't be saved by default. For example, if I pull out this command line and make it dock like that, it takes a bit of real estate. But, if I switch to Drafting and Annotation, the command line goes back to the wat it was before and if I go back to 3D Modeling, that change that I made was not saved, so this might be a little frustrating until you learn this next piece of information.
Which is hat you can go into Workspace settings and then choose to automatically save workspace changes. So, if you want to make any changes to your workspace, like I showed, like I'm going to drag this out and dock it there, now that's going to be remembered. I also don't want to see a navigation toolbar here. We'll just toggle that off, of course you can get that back up here if you want, but I'm going to toggle that off and now if I go back to some other workspace it has different settings that are retained for that workspace and if I go back to 3D Modeling, I would expect not to see the navigation bar and to have the command line the way that I like it.
So, this is a matter of personal preference, but I think it's important that you understand how to save those changes if you want to alter your user interface in any way.
- Establishing a layer convention and property filters
- Extracting isolines
- Trimming and extruding surfaces
- Lofting cross sections
- Sculpting watertight surfaces into solids
- Sweeping and sculpting
- Revolving boundaries to create surfaces
- Welding objects together with Fillet Edge
- Rebuilding NURBS surfaces
- Offsetting a surface