See how to separate 2D and 3D layers using a new layers standard and alphabetization. Discover how to create two property filters that separate 2D and 3D layers and position the layer properties manager along the left edge of the user interface.
- We need some way to differentiate the 3D model that we're going to build from all this 2D information that we see currently on the screen. And the best way to do that is to use layers. So, let's open up the layer properties manager by clicking this button on the ribbon, and you'll see that this drawing already has numerous layers, and they're adhering to a layering standard, and the layering standard has an identifier as a single letter. This is the discipline, this is architectural. The file also has layers from other disciplines including civil and interiors and so on.
And what I'd like to propose is a new element for this layer standard to represent 3D layers. I'd like to just omit the discipline identifier for 3D layers. So, for example, if I want to create a wall layer that contains 3D objects, I'll create a new layer and call it dash wall. That will mean that it's a 3D layer. And we can actually separate this from the 2D layers simply by alphabetizing.
We can close the layer properties and come back, or just click on this header up here to sort the list in reverse alphabetical, and then click on it again to sort it in forward alphabetical, and you'll see that there's kind of a particularity here with AutoCAD sorting, and that any layers that start with a dash get alphabetized above layer zero. So this is a nice way that we can separate our 3D layers from our 2D layers, just in alphabetical order. Another method that I like to use is a layer property filter, and you can expand this here to see the layer filter tree, and currently we just have this default all-used layers filter, which shows us the same information that we see now.
And so I'd like to create a new filter, and you do that right up here. You can make two different kinds of filters, you can make group filters and property filters. Group filters are just filters that you manually add layers to, and property filters allow you to filter by different criteria. I'm going to use a property filter, and it takes a name, so I'm going to call it 3D layers. And then you have the opportunity to create that filter using any one of the properties that you see here. So, I'm going to use it by name, so I'll click on the name field, and that automatically puts in an asterisks, which is the wild card character which represents all layers.
So I'm going to proceed the asterisks with a dash. That means filter the list and show me only the layers that begin with a dash. And you can see down below the filtered preview shows the layers and the list that conform to that filter, and it's just the 3D layer, it's exactly what we need. So I'll click okay to create that filter. So now I can see just the 3D layers. It would also be helpful to create a 2D layers filter. So I'll go up to all-used layers and create a new property filter and call it 2D layers, and then I'll click in the name field and I'll type dash, and again we see the 3D layer down below.
I'm going to move the cursor to the left by pressing the left arrow so that it's before the dash and then I'll type the tilde symbol. The tilde symbol is the not-operator. It means to reverse what we have following it. So we're going to reverse the filter that shows us the 3D layer, and that's going to show us just the 2D layers. I'll click okay. So now we see just the 2D layers or just 3D layers. This is just a really convenient way that we can sort that list of layers, and show us that layers that we're interested in.
So I'll go to the 3D layer filter and double click right here to set this layer current, and then I'll resize this dialogue box. I don't really care about the line type or the line weight or any of that other information. I like to just see the layer states here as well as the color. And then I'm going to drag this entire window over here, and as I do that there will come a point where it will seem to want to dock over here. I don't want it to dock, if it did dock it would like that, and it would take up screen real estate permanently.
I don't like that behavior, I'm going to drag this out from its title bar up there, and instead what I want to do is hold down the control key, and then when I drag this over I'm overriding the default docking behavior, and that allows me to place it right along the left edge of the interface. I'll also click right here to auto-hide that, so that it disappears, and then when I just put the cursor over the title bar it shows me the interface. So I find that this is the most convenient way of getting to layers and AutoCAD, just to position it as you see here.
- Arranging elevations and sections around a plan
- Rotating objects in 3D
- Extruding walls, interior partitions, and headers
- Building slabs
- Modeling doors, windows, and stairs
- Sculpting terrain
- Creating a second floor
- Building roof surfaces
- Sculpting solids from regions and surfaces
- Modeling a tower