AutoCAD 3D Modeling: Tabulated and Ruled Surfaces
August 5, 2003
TABSURF and RULESURF are two of those commands that create 3D
Meshes. The first command builds a surface with the help of a
path curve and a vector. The second one connects to curves with
a 3D mesh. Both commands are affected by the value of SURFTAB1
system variable. Let's build some surfaces with the help of
- This tutorial is designed for AutoCAD 2004 though might be
applicable for other releases.
- In this tutorial user entries are in boldface.
symbol represents pressing Enter.
Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002 or an earlier
2. Open the drawing in AutoCAD. The drawing consists
of a spline, a line, and two ellipses [Figure 1].
3. Switch the shade mode to Gouraud Shaded, Edges On.
4. Alter the value of SURFTAB1 system variable to 8.
Enter new value for SURFTAB1 <6>: 8
5. Invoke TABSURF (Draw > Surfaces > Tabulated
6. Select the spline as the path curve and the
vertical line as the vector. Click on the lower portion of the
line. A surface appears [Figure 2].
7. The quality of the surface is not acceptable.
Therefore erase it.
8. Assign 36 to SURFTAB1.
9. Create the surface again. The quality is acceptable
now [Figure 3].
10. Invoke RULESURF (Draw > Surfaces > Ruled Surface).
11. Click the ellipses as the defining curves. A
surface appears between the ellipses [Figure 4].
About the Author
Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a
mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with
AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD
consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor
for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor
for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk
University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in
English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and
newsletters. You can reach him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website