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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 3D Modeling: Primitive 3D Solids, Part 1

August 14, 2003

3D solids are the most sophisticated and easy-to-create type of 3D models. One of the approaches for building such models is to draw some primitive objects such as cones, boxes, spheres, etc. and then combine them with Boolean operations to create a more complex model. The current tutorial shows you how to create the following primitives:

  • Sphere
  • Box
  • Cylinder

You may use the first three buttons on Solids toolbar to invoke the commands associated to these primitives [Figure 1].

Figure 1


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

1. Download r16_primitives.dwg.

Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002 or an earlier release download r15_primitives.dwg.

2. Open the drawing in AutoCAD.

3. Invoke BOX (Draw menu > Solids > Box).

4. Draw a 4󫢪 box [Figure 2]:

Command: box8
Specify corner of box or [CEnter] <0,0,0>:
Specify corner or [Cube/Length]:
Specify length:
Specify width:
Specify height:

Figure 2

5. Draw a sphere (Draw menu > Solids > Sphere):

Command: sphere8
Current wire frame density: ISOLINES=4
Specify center of sphere <0,0,0>:
Specify radius of sphere or [Diameter]:

Figure 3

6. As you see the sphere does not look like a real sphere. To make the shape appearance more realistic, alter the ISOLINES system variable to 16:

Command: isolines8
Enter new value for ISOLINES <4>:

7. Invoke REGEN to regenerate the drawing. The sphere is more realistic now [Figure 4].

Figure 4

8. Draw a cylinder (Draw menu > Solids > Cylinder):

Command: cylinder8
Current wire frame density: ISOLINES=16
Specify center point for base of cylinder or [Elliptical] <0,0,0>:
Specify radius for base of cylinder or [Diameter]:
Specify height of cylinder or [Center of other end]:

9. Alter the shade mode to Gouraud shaded [Figure 5].

Figure 5
- Click on image to enlarge

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 100 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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