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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 3D Modeling: Boolean Operations

August 19, 2003

You can use the Boolean operations to create complex solid models out of primitives. The following tutorial shows you how to use Intersect, Subtract, and Union operations.

Intersect: Defines a new solid object based on the common volume between selected solids.

Union: Defines a new solid that consists of common and uncommon volume between selected solids.

Subtract: Select two set of solids. A single solid based on the removal of the second set from the first one will be created.

All the above operations will eliminate the original solids.


1. Download r16_boolean.dwg.

Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002 or an earlier release download r15_boolean.dwg.

2. Open the drawing in AutoCAD.

3. Invoke INTERSECT (Modify > Solids Editing > Intersect).

4. Select the cylinders to create a new solid based on their intersection [Figure 1].

Figure 1

5. Create a polar array of the new solid based on the settings shown in figure 2.

Figure 2 - Click on image to enlarge

6. Invoke UNION (Modify > Solids Editing > Union). Select all the solids to create the flower-shaped solid [Figure 3].

Figure 3

7. Switch on the Cylinder layer. A yellow cylinder appears on screen [Figure 4].

Figure 4

8. Invoke SUBTRACT (Modify > Solids Editing > Subtract).

9. Select the flower as the first set of objects.

10. Press Enter.

11. Select the cylinder as the second set.

12. Press Enter to create the final solid [Figure 5].

Figure 5

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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