Autocad 2d vs 3d

by Design Workshop Sydney

Since its creation in 1982 Autocad has evolved from a simple 2d DOS-based application to a fully versatile 3d modeling program. In this blog post we discuss Autocad 2d vs 3d, and in our Autocad courses we explore both aspects of this world-leader in design software.  autocad-2d-vs-3d
The main features of Autocad 2d are its ability to draw and modify geometry accurately, together with the adding of precise dimensions and text. We can then view the geometry at different scales and organize the drawing using layers, line types and colours. The user can also set up a variety of layout sheets for printing, as well as create and import blocks for repeatable objects. Other drawings can be referenced and there is easy collaboration with other Autocad users via the integrated, cloud-based AutoDesk 360.
The last few releases of Autocad have allowed the user to create objects in 3d space. To keep up with the increasing complexity of the design and drafting processes, Autocad has grown more complex over its 30 years, but the basic principles remain simple and logical. Introduced in 1993 Autocad LT (or Lite) is a cut-down, cheaper version of the full program which does not include 3d and some other advanced features; Autocad LT is nevertheless a very powerful program.
In a nutshell there are three main steps in creating a 2d drawing in Autocad: drawing the geometry, adding text and dimensions, and printing (also known as “plotting” in Autocad terminology). Autocad is a procedural program, that is, commands must be entered in a logical, step-by-step sequence by following the prompts in the Command line. This ensures both its precision and accuracy.
Working in 3d is slightly different – first of all, the user would switch workspaces via the workspace shifter on the bottom right of the Status bar. Having done so, the user notices a set of 3d modeling and modifying tools on the top Ribbon. There are two main methods of working in 3d. You can either start with an existing 2d drawing, and extrude and rotate the various profiles. Or you can start from scratch, either first drawing the profiles using the standard 2d tools, or via the Primitive Solid tools (like Box, Wedge, Sphere, etc) & editing tools (like the Boolean operations Union, Subtract, Intersect).
Once the modeling is complete, the user then adds materials and lighting. And can either output as still images (Jpegs or Tiffs), or add Cameras and export as animations (MOV or Quick Time files). At this stage only cameras may be animated. In future releases we may see the introduction of object animation for moving parts as in other 3d modeling programs like 3dsMax and Maya.
More information on all features of Autocad can be found at the AutoDesk website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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