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Monday, July 31, 2017

AutoCAD, how to create a 3D image?

I used to make 3D objects quite frequently. I want to get ahead in my job and learn how to create drawings in 3D again.
What I’m drawing is simple, just duct work but I would like them to be in 3D at their proper elevations. Are there any tips or links that anyone could help me with.

Serious answers only.

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5 Responses to “AutoCAD, how to create a 3D image?”
  1. enterapersonalsnamehahah says:

    From my experience, vanilla box Autocad is not very efficient for drafting 3D. If you want to move forward in technology I would recommend taking a look at the REVIT family of products. I have not used REVIT yet, but it appears to be more 3D friendly than Autocad.

    I have not used 3D in Autocad a whole lot, but the key is manipulating the UCS and being fluent in coordinate system. You are introducing the third axis (x,y,z) which makes everything a little more complicated.

    I have always relied on George Omura’s books “Mastering Autocad” to freshen up on 3D when I have played with it.

    Oh, the other “tip” I would have is to start by making some faint boxes with size of one unit one each side. This would help you to visualize the environment and snap to corners etc.

    We could go on for days here on this topic…

  2. BMS says:

    if it is just simple diagrams…

    draw the line in plan view
    type “properties”
    elevation (this sets that line at the elevation)
    thickness (this gives the thickness from that base elevation, say 8 inches)

    this will set those lines

    type “ddvpoint”
    choose where you want to view this

    add lines by using 3d line command

    add faces by using 3d face…

    its crude, but it works

  3. Stephen C says:

    First, open the solids, solids editing, and 3d orbit toolbars in AutoCAD.
    Note, LT does not have 3d capability, so if you have LT you may be out of luck.
    The concept of drawing 3D in AutoCAD is to draw POLYLINE shapes in 2d, then extrude that shape by using the extrude function on the solids toolbar.
    To make more complicated shapes, make extensive use of the FaceUCS, which allows you to set the coordinates on the face of an object that you have already drawn.
    To make 2 extrusions into one part, use the Union command on the solids editing toolbar.
    To make a hole, extrude a part the size of the hole you want through the part that you want the hole in. Then use the Subtract command on the solids editing toolbar.
    That is the quick run of it really. After a few hours you will have it down.

    Check out this site run by Autodesk for more help.

  4. James R says:

    Use PLJOIN command on your lines. Then you can extrude them into 3D shapes.

  5. Surveyor says:

    You can start by drawing lines and polylines with widths and by using the “elev” command to give your lines and polylines a height. There are 3d objects you can draw using simple commands: cone, cylinder, torus, sphere. In HVAC, you may want to use some enhancement software. By itself, AutoCAD may be a little difficult for doing duct work. If you email me at, I’ll send you a couple of simple 3d files that I have created on my own. You can actually see them in 3d if you cross your eyes and look at the paper space viewports.

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