Sometimes we wish to create a mesh object in Autocad’s 3D interface. This is quite different from creating straight-edged geometry, and we show you quick and easy methods of achieving more organic solids in our Autocad 3D training courses.
This method is especially useful in product design. To create a mesh object like the one pictured here we first enter the 3D modeling workspace. The first thing we notice is the addition of Solid, Surface and Mesh tools at the top left of the interface.
Next go to the top left Application menu (PC) and choose New, then the acadiso3D.dwt drawing template file. Then we right-click on the top left view-port label menu to select the SW isometric view. Note that we can also do this via the Views menu. Also choose 3D Wireframe from same location (or alternatively type VS into the bottom command line and select 3 for three views). This will show us all the edges of the object as we are creating it.
Next go to the Mesh Modeling panel to select the Mesh tab. Note the section marked Primitives and the small dialog box launch button (tiny arrow icon). In the Tessellations (that is, face) section type L3 > W3 > H3 > OK .This will results in us creating a box with 3 sections lengthwise, 3 sections in depth and 3 sections in height.
Next select the Mesh box tool. Make the zero (origin) point the first point of the box, then type 5000 and hit the top left Tab key on your keyboard to move into the depth field; type 3000 and hit the Enter key, followed by 2000 for the height. Next select the resultant box and right-click on it to choose Smooth More. You may increase the smoothness by hitting the Enter key twice. Smoothness will now be at Level 3; see the tool tip.
To reshape this object first hold down the Control key and select two faces of the object. Note that the Gizmo axes have highlighted in yellow. Move these two faces upward by 2000 mm, for example. Then right-click on the Gizmo again, and select Rotate. Type in a rotational value of 45º to add curvature to the shape. If we wish to remove the smoothness from selected faces (that is, any sharp edges) go to the Mesh tab and select the Add Crease tool. In the section marked Subobject choose No filter. Now we click on a face and change the crease value to 2 (for example) and hit the Enter key.
Next try the Extrude Face tool. We select a face and pull outwards to extrude it. Note the sharp edges. Alternatively, we can go to the Subobject section to select No Filter. Select those faces and change the Crease value.
To smooth the object more first select it and right-click on the object to choose Refine Mesh. This will increase the level of smoothness. We could also use the Smooth More tool. Note, however, that this will tend to slow down the screen refresh. It’s always a good idea to orbit around object as you create it, in order to notice better any extrusion or smoothing problems.
The 3d interface in Autocad is user-friendly and easy to learn, and we take time to teach a broad range of applications in our classes including modeling, materials, lighting and animation. See many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page. For more information there are lots of resources on the web, but try the Autodesk site to begin with: www.autodesk.com. Support options and user forums are also available from the home page.
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