Convert a 3D Solid to a 3-View 2D Drawing in Model Space
May 16, 2006
You may want to draw in 3D, but if you need to deliver
drawings in 2D, in several views, how do you convert them? In
other tips, "Converting 3D
Drawings into 2D Drawings,"
and "Convert a 3D
Solid to a 2D Drawing With a Hidden View,"
I've discussed some methods, but this excellent method uses the
new (in 2007) FLATSHOT command.
The FLATSHOT command offers you much more flexibility if you want
to create the drawing in model space with several views. In this
tutorial, we'll convert this solid to a 3-view drawing.
- Make a copy of your drawing because at the end of the
process you'll delete the 3D objects.
- Create a layer for each of the views. As you create each
view, you'll need to turn off the layers for the previous views.
In this example, I made 3 layers for the 3 views--Top, Front,
Parallel Projection in the 3D Navigate control panel of the
Dashboard; FLATSHOT works best with parallel projections.
- Change the value of UCSORTHO to 0. You'll be switching to
orthographic views, but you don't want to change the UCS each
time you switch to an orthographic view.
- Make the layer of your first view current, in this case, the
Display the Dashboard (the DASHBOARD command) and choose the
corresponding viewpoint (Top in this example) from the drop-down
list in the 3D Navigate control panel of the Dashboard.
Flatshot in the 3D Make control panel of the Dashboard. The
Flatshot dialog box opens. In this situation, in the Destination
section, choose Insert as New Block, as you see here.
- At the bottom of the dialog box, you choose options for
foreground and obscured lines. These options determine how the
2D profile will look. You can choose the colors for the profile
and for obscured lines. To create a hidden view, uncheck the
Show check box.
- Click Create. The dialog box closes and you're back in your
- Follow the usual prompts to insert the block. The exact
location at this point is not important; you can move the blocks
later. For some reason, the insertion point is somewhere off the
block, so you may need to zoom out to see where to place the
block. Don't worry if one or more of the views looks wrong.
Because FLATSHOT is laying the profiles on the XY plane, from
another viewpoint the profiles can look wrong, like you see
- Turn off the layer for the previous view. (Click OK when the
dialog box tells you you're turning off the current layer.) You
need to do this because FLATSHOT works on all layers that are on
or thawed. So you turn off the previous layer so that the next
FLATSHOT operation doesn't make a block of your previous 2D
blocks! In our example, we turned off the Top layer.
- Repeat steps 5-10 for each of your views.
- Turn on all of your layers. Switch back to Top (plan) view. Your 2D
blocks should look right now.
- Delete your original 3D object and move your 2D blocks to the
desired location. Here's the result, with top and front views and a
hidden auxiliary view.
About the Author
More AutoCAD Step by Step Articles by Ellen Finkelstein