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Create 3D Solids

May 20, 2011

Creates 3D solids in drawings. A solid object represents the entire volume of an object. Complex solid shapes are also easier to construct and edit than wireframes and meshes.

You can use the following methods to create solids:

•      Combines one of the basic solid shapes such as box, cone, cylinder, sphere, torus, and wedge or by extruding a 2D object along a path or revolving a 2D object about an axis.

•      Once you have created a solid in this manner, you can create more complex shapes by combining solids. You can join solids, subtract solids from each other, or find the common volume (overlapping portion) of solids. Solids can be further modified by filleting, chamfering, or changing the color of their edges.

•      Solids are displayed as wireframes until you hide, shade, or render them. Additionally, you can analyze solids for their mass properties (volume, moments of inertia, center of gravity, and so on). You can break a solid into mesh and wireframe objects using explode command.

The ISOLINES system variable controls the number of tessellation lines used to visualize curved portions of the wireframe. The FACETRES system variable adjusts the smoothness of shaded and hidden-line objects.

Create a Solid Box

You can create rectangular boxes, or cubes. A box consists of six rectangular surface planes. The base of the box is always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS.You position the box by specifying either a corner or the center of the box. You determine the size of the box by either specifying a second corner and the height; defining the box to be a cube and then providing its length; or specifying the length, width, and height.

The length of the box is mapping to X axis of current UCS, and its width maps to Y axis, and height maps to Z axis.

RECTANG or PLINE command creates a rectangle or closed polyline from which you can create a box using EXTRUDE. The 3D command creates a box shape defined by surfaces only.

To create a box

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Box.

2. Specify the first corner of the base.

3. Specify the opposite corner of the base.

4. Specify the height.

Solids toolbar

Command line BOX

 First corner of the base (A), the opposite corner of the base (B), and the height (C)

To create a box as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type box.

3. Specify the first corner of the base.

4. Specify the opposite corner of the base.

5. Specify the height.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line ai_box

Create a Solid Cone

Draws a solid cone in current drawing using CONE command,By default, the cone's bottom lies on the XY plane of the current UCS. With its height parallel to the Z axis. The apex determines the height and orientation of the cone.

You can draw a 2D circle and then use EXTRUDE to taper the circle at an angle along the Z axis to create a solid cone.

To complete the truncation, you can subtract a box from the tip of the cone with the SUBTRACT command. The 3D command creates a conical shape defined by surfaces only.

To create a cone

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Cone.

2. Specify the center of the base of the cone.

3. Specify the radius or diameter.

4. Specify the height.

Solids toolbar

Command line CONE

 Center of the base (A), the radius of the base (B), and the height (C)

To create a cone as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type cone.

3. Specify the center of the base of the cone.

4. Specify the radius or diameter.

5. Specify the height.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_CONE

Create a Solid Cylinder

You can create cylinders defined by a circular base. The base of a cylinder is always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS; the height of a cylinder is always parallel with the z axis.You position a cylinder by specifying the center of the base. You determine the size of a cylinder by specifying either the radius or diameter of the base and the height.

You can draw a circle and then use EXTRUDE to create a solid cylinder.To construct a cylinder with special detail, such as grooves along its sides, you can create a 2D profile of its base with a closed PLINE and then use EXTRUDE to define its height along the Z axis.

To create a cylinder

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Cone.

2. Specify the center of the base of the cylinder.

3. Specify the radius or diameter.

4. Specify the height.

Solids toolbar

Command line CYLINDER

 Center of the base (A), radius of the base (B), and the height (C)

To create a cylinder as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type cylinder.

3. Specify the center, radius, and height as described previously.

Command line ai_cylinder

Spheres

You can create spheres. The latitude lines of a sphere are always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS; the central axis is always parallel with the z axis. You position a sphere by specifying its center point. You determine the size of a sphere by specifying either its radius or its diameter.

To create a dome or dish, combine a sphere with a box and use SUBTRACT. If you want to create a spherical object with additional details, create a 2D profile and use REVOLVE to define a rotation angle about the Z axis. 3D command creates a spherical shape defined by surfaces only.

To create a sphere

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Sphere.

2. Specify the center of the sphere.

3. Specify the radius or diameter.

Solids toolbar

Command line SPHERE

 Center (A) and radius (B) of the sphere The resulting sphere

To create a sphere as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type sphere.

3. Specify the center of the sphere.

4. Specify the radius or diameter.

5. Specify the number of longitudinal sections that are perpendicular to the xy plane.

6. Specify the number of latitudinal sections that are parallel to the xy plane.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_SPHERE

Dishes

You can create a three dimensional dish. The latitude lines of a dish are always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS; the central axis is always parallel with the z axis. You position a dish by specifying its center point. You determine the size of a dish by specifying either its radius or its diameter.

To create a dish as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type dish.

3. Specify the center and radius or diameter as described previously.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_DISH

Domes

You can create a three dimensional dome. The latitude lines of a dome are always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS; the central axis is always parallel with the z axis. You position a dome by specifying its center point. You determine the size of a dome by specifying either its radius or its diameter.

To create a dome as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type dome.

3. Specify the center and radius or diameter as described previously.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_DOME

Torus

You can create a three dimensional donut or ring shaped object known as a torus. The diameter of a ring is always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS. A torus is constructed by revolving a circle about a line drawn in the plane of the circle and parallel with the z axis of the current UCS. You position a torus by specifying its center point. You determine the size of a torus by specifying its overall diameter or radius and the diameter or radius of the tube (the circle being revolved).

You can draw a torus with no center hole called self-intersecting torus because the radius of the tube is greater than the radius of the torus. To create a bipolar-depression solid, specify a positive tube radius greater than the radius of torus. 3D command creates a toroidal shape defined by surfaces only.

To create a torus

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Torus.

2. Specify the center of the whole torus.

3. Specify the radius or diameter of the whole torus.

4. Specify the radius or diameter of the body of the torus.

Solids toolbar

Command line TORUS

 Center (A) and radius of the whole torus (B), and the radius of the body (C)

To create a torus as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type torus.

3. Specify the center of the whole torus.

4. Specify the radius or diameter of the whole torus.

5. Specify the radius or diameter of the body of the torus.

6. Specify the number of longitudinal sections that are perpendicular to the xy plane.

7. Specify the number of latitudinal sections that are parallel to the xy plane.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_TORUS

Wedges

You can create three dimensional wedges consisting of five surface planes. The base of the wedge is always parallel with the xy plane of the current UCS with the sloped face opposite the first corner. The height is always parallel with the z axis. You position the wedge by specifying either a corner or the center of the wedge. You determine the size of the wedge by either specifying a second corner and the height; defining the wedge based on a cube having a given length; or specifying the length, width, and height.

To create a wedge

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Wedge.

2. Specify the first corner of the base.

3. Specify the opposite corner of the base.

4. Specify the height.

Solids toolbar

Command line WEDGE

 First corner of the base (A), the opposite corner of the base (B), and the height (C)

To create a wedge as a three dimensional surface

1. Choose Draw > Surfaces > 3D Surface.

2. On the command line, type wedge.

3. Specify the first corner of the base.

4. Specify the opposite corner of the base.

5. Specify the height.

Surfaces toolbar

Command line AI_WEDGE

Solids Extrude

EXTRUDE extrudes the profiles of the selected object along the chosen path to create solids.

The entities you can extrude are planar 3D faces, closed polylines, polygons, circles, ellipses, closed splines, donuts, and regions. You cannot extrude objects contained within a block or polylines that have crossing or self-intersecting segments.

To extrude the objects that are lines or arcs intersect with polylines, you can use Join option of PEDIT command to convert them into multiple single polyline objects or convert them into regions before using PEDIT command.

When an arc is part of a tapered extrusion, you need to set a small value to the angle of the arc, because larger angle may cause the outline to become a point before it attaches to the specified height.

To create an extruded solid

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Extrude.

2. Select the object to extrude.

3. Select the extrusion path, or specify the height.

Solids toolbar

Command line EXTRUDE

 Select the object to extrude (A) and the extrusion Path (B) The resulting extruded surface mesh

Solids Revolve

REVOLVE command revolves a 2D object to the specified certain angle to form solids. The revolving axis can be X, Y axis of current UCS as well as lines, polylines.

Similar to EXTRUDE, REVOLVE command easily help drawing the details of a drawing that is hard to implement by common outline.

To revolve the objects that are lines or arcs intersect with polylines, you can use Join option of PEDIT command to convert them into multiple single polyline objects, and then perform REVOLVE command.

Objects can be revolved are closed polylines, polygons, rectangles, circles, ellipses, regions and so on. On contrary,the objects can't be revolved are 3D objects, objects that are included in a block, polylines with intersections and transections or unclosed polylines.

To create a revolved solid

1. Choose Draw > Solids > Revolve.

2. Select the object to revolve.

3. Do one of the following to define the axis of revolution:

• Specify a start point and an end point.

• Type o and press Enter to select an object that determines the axis.

• Type x and press Enter to select the x axis.

• Type y and press Enter to select the y axis.

1. Specify the angle of revolution.

Solids toolbar

Command line REVOLVE

 Select the object to revolve (A) and the axis (B) about which to revolve it, followed by the angle of revolution The resulting revolved solid

Creating composite solids

You can create composite three-dimensional solids by combining, subtracting, and finding the intersection of two or more solids.

With UNION command, you can combine the total volume of two or more solids or two or more regions into a composite object.

To combine solids

1. Choose Modify > Solids Editing > Union.

2. Select the objects to combine.

Solids Editing toolbar

Command line UNION

 Select the objects to combine (A and B) The resulting combined solid

Use SUBTRACT to remove the common area of one set of solids from another.

To subtract solids

1. Choose Modify > Solids Editing > Subtract.

2. Select the objects to subtract from one another.

Solids Editing toolbar

Command line SUBTRACT

 Select the objects to subtract (A and B) The resulting solid

INTERSECT command creates a composite solid from the common volume of two or more overlapping solids. The common volumn is used to create composite solid and the nonoverlapping portions will be removed.

Unlike INTERSECT command, INTERFERE compares the objects among two selected sets and creates composite entity with common volumn of two or more solids without removing the original objects.

To intersect solids

1. Choose Modify > Solids Editing > Intersect.

2. Select the objects to intersect.

Solids Editing toolbar

Command line INTERSECT

 Select the objects to combine (A and B) The resulting combined solid

Commands Reference

3D: Creates three-dimensional polygon mesh objects

BOX: Creates a three-dimensional solid box

CIRCLE: Creates a circle

CONE: Creates a three-dimensional solid cone

CYLINDER: Creates a three-dimensional solid cylinder

EXTRUDE: Creates unique solid primitives by extruding existing two-dimensional objects

INTERFERE: Creates a composite 3D solid from the common volume of two or more solids

INTERSECT: Creates composite solids or regions from the intersection of two or more solids or regions and removes the areas outside of the intersection

PEDIT: Edits polylines and three-dimensional polygon meshes

PLINE: Creates two-dimensional polylines

RECTANG: Draws a rectangular polyline

REVOLVE: Creates solids by revolving two-dimensional objects about an axis

SPHERE: Creates a three-dimensional solid sphere

SUBTRACT: Combines selected regions or solids by subtraction

TORUS: Creates a donut-shaped solid

UNION: Combines selected regions or solids by addition

WEDGE: Creates a 3D solid with a sloped face tapering along the X axis

System Variables Reference

FACETRES: Adjusts the smoothness of shaded and rendered objects and objects with hidden lines removed

ISOLINES: Specifies the number of isolines per surface on objects

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