Autocad 3d polar array

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Array tools are well-known in Autocad’s 2d interface, but the same tools are available in the 3d workspace. Polar Array is one of the many 3d operations we look at in our Autocad 3d training courses.autocad-3d-polar-array
An example of 3d polar array would be in the creation of a flange in mechanical engineering, as shown here.
First of all, create a new document using a Metric template. Next create cylinder of radius 20mm and a height of 60mm – this will represent the drilled holes of the flange. Create another cylinder, this time with a radius of 300mm and a height of 40mm – this will represent the plate.
Now move to the top view and the visual style of Wireframe. With Ortho on draw a line 240mm from the centre of the plate and move the centre of the first cylinder to this point. Next tilt your view and change the visual style to Realistic. To use the 3d Array function type 3A into the Command line, then select the object to be arrayed (that is, the small cylinder) and hit Enter. Then type P for Polar, and the number of copies, in this case 12 with a 360º angle of rotation.
Next we specify the centre of the array, that is the centre of the plate, and specify the second point of the Axis of Rotation. This can be a bit tricky – hold your cursor over the plate until the centre of the bottom surface highlights, then click on it. The 12 small cylinders should be arrayed with their tops sticking up for easier subtraction. Use the Boolean operation of Subtract to cut out the holes, as follows: select the object (the plate), hit Enter. Then select the 12 cutting objects and hit Enter again. Lastly you could chamfer the edges of the holes by 2mm using the Chamfer function. Note that you can select all the hole edges together. Lastly, create another cylinder with a radius of 190mm and a height of 60mm. Use this to cut out the central hole of the flange. Other cylinders could be created for the collar shapes; alternatively you could use the Revolve function on a stepped profile.
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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