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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 3D Modeling: Edge Surfaces

August 7, 2003

One of the most powerful mesh creators is EDGESURF. The command constructs a polygon mesh on four adjoining curves. The curves can be lines, arcs, splines, 2D polylines or 3D polylines. They also must touch at their endpoints to form a closed path. Here you will build the tent shown in figure 1 with the help of EDGSURF.  


  • This tutorial is designed for AutoCAD 2004 though might be applicable for other releases.
  • In this tutorial user entries are in boldface.
  • The  8  symbol represents pressing Enter.

Figure 1

1. Download r16_edge_surf.dwg

Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002 or an earlier release download r15_edge_surf.dwg

2. Open the drawing in AutoCAD. The drawing consists of the Wireframe model of a tent. The numbers beside lines and arcs are used to help you click on the proper elements [Figure 2].

Figure 2

3. Make Surf01 the current layer.

4. Explode the base rectangle 1-5-7-6.

5. Assign proper values to SURFTAB1 and SURFTAB2:

Command: surftab1 8

Enter new value for SURFTAB1 <6>: 24 8

Command: surftab2 8

Enter new value for SURFTAB2 <6>: 24 8

6. Invoke EDGESURF (Draw > Surfaces > Edge Surface).

7. Click the curves 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. A 3D mesh appears in drawing area [Figure 3].

Figure 3

8. Switch to Surf02 layer and freeze Surf01.

9. Invoke EDGESURF and construct a surface on curves 7, 8, 3, and 9 [Figure 4].

Figure 4

10. Switch to Surf03 layer and freeze Surf02.

11. Use a similar method to cover the base with a surface (curves 1, 5, 7, and 6) [Figure 5].

Figure 5

12. Make Surf04 the current layer and then freeze Surf03.

13. Split the line 5 into two lines. Use Break at Point method.

14. Invoke EDGESURF. Click curves 2, 8, and the two portions of 5 [Figure 6].

Figure 6

15. Make Surf05 the current layer and then freeze Surf04.

16. Split the line 6 at the point of intersection with arc 11.

17. Invoke EDGESURF. Select curves 4, 10, 11, and the small portion of the line 6 [Figure 7]. You may need to zoom into the drawing.

Figure 7

18. Move the UCS origin to the front top point of the tent. Then rotate it 90 degrees about Z and X axes respectively [Figure 8].

Figure 8

19. Use the MIRROR command to create a mirrored copy of the last surface with respect to the Y axis [Figure 9]:

Command: mi 8


Select objects: 1 found

Select objects: 8

Specify first point of mirror line: 0,0 8

Specify second point of mirror line: 0,1 8

Delete source objects? [Yes/No] <N>:  8

Figure 9

20. Thaw all layers. Enable Gouraud shaded. Switch to WCS [Figure 10].

Figure 10

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 alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com

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