Autocad 3d helix

by Design Workshop Sydney

First introduced in AutoCAD 2007 the Helix tool is a useful way of creating 3d springs, coils or threads of bolt or screw fasteners, or as a path when sweeping or lofting a profile, for example in a spiral staircase. We show you how in our Autocad 3d courses.autocad-3d-helix
First choose the Helix tool, or go to Draw > Helix, or type helix into the Command line. Then follow the prompts: select a Centre-point and a Base Radius, for example 50 > Enter. Then a Top Radius, again 50 > Enter. Note: this can be different from the base radius if you wish it to taper.
Next you specify a Height, eg. 150 > Enter. Alternatively, you can choose H for Turn Height (distance between turns), eg. 2 > Enter. Or press T for Turns (number of turns), or W for Twist (either clockwise or counter-clockwise), and finally the Height (overall): 100 > Enter.
Orbit around the shape to inspect its properties. Select the Helix again and note the 4 grips by which you can adjust the overall radius, the top radius, the height and depth. If you right-click now and select Properties you may adjust these numerically. Note under Twist you can specify whether it turns Clockwise or Counter-Clockwise. You could change the Height to 300 > Enter. Close Properties and press Esc to deselect the helix.
To convert the helix into a spring or threads on a screw, you could give it a Lineweight of, for example, 1mm and click the LWT button on the Status bar, but it’s not a true solid, only a thick line.
To give it true thickness we would use the Sweep function. First create a profile for the thickness – this could be a circle (above left) or a square (above right). The helix is your path. Select the Sweep tool, then select the profile (Object to Sweep) > Enter. Then the path > Enter.
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: Support options and user forums are also available from the home page.
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