Illustrator technical drawing part 2

by Design Workshop Sydney

In the last Illustrator blog post we looked at how to create technical drawings in Adobe Illustrator. We continue this theme by exploring how to make the drawn objects three-dimensional. We show you the whole process in our Adobe Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-technical-drawing-02
To create the hexagonal nut we first need to measure the gap between the top and the bottom sections of the objects previously drawn. To do this go to the Edit menu and choose Preferences, Units, General and Points. Then select the Measure tool to measure the gap. It’s best to hold down the Shift key to constrain the ruler. The distance could measure 30 points, for example. Next select the Polygon tool and change the radius to 36 points, with number of sides 6. Then go to the Effect menu and select Stylize and Rounded Corners. Change the value to 2 pixels. Then go to Object and Expand.
On drawn shape which represents the body of the spark-plug body go to the Effect menu, and select 3D and Revolve. On the bottom left of the dialog box tick Preview. Then use the Tab key to go through the following fields: -30 > -14 > +19 > 0 > 360 > 0. Note the different effects depending on whether you revolve from the right- or left-hand edge. In this case we want the left edge. If you are happy with the result hit OK. Note to alter any of the values at this point, you must first go to the Appearance panel and double-click on the effect to reopen the dialog box.
Now we return to the hexagon shape and apply the 3d Extrude & Bevel effect as before. We enter the same values as above with a depth of 30 points. This has been taken from our measurement above. Note that the shape is tipped 90° on its side, therefore add 90 to the Red Axis, resulting in 60 degrees.
For the ground electrode select the bottom L-shape piece and use the 3D Extrude & Bevel effect. Enter same values as above except for an Extrude value of 72. You could scale the hexagon up if necessary (for example, 150%). Move pieces into position using the keyboard arrow keys. And right-click on the object to choose Arrange and Send to Back or Front as necessary. Lastly we select all and right-click to choose Group.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes