AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 3D Modeling: 3D Views

July 22, 2003

This tutorial is a quick review of different methods for viewing 3D models.

Note: The tutorial is designed for AutoCAD 2004 though might be applicable for other releases.

1. Download r16_3d_bed.dwg.

Note: If you are using AutoCAD 2002 or an earlier version, download r15_3d_bed.dwg.

2. Open the file in AutoCAD. The top view of a 3D bed appears [Figure 1].

Figure 1

3. In command line type VPOINT and then press Enter. Type -1,-1,1 as the coordinates of the new view point and then press Enter [Figure 2].

Figure 2

4. In command line type VP and then press Enter. The Viewpoint Presets dialog box appears [Figure 3].

Figure 3

5. Click Set to Plan View.

6. Click OK. The top view of the bed is shown [Figure 1].

7. From View menu select Toolbars.

8. In Toolbars tab select View [Figure 4].

Figure 4

9. Close the dialog box. The View toolbar is now visible [Figure 5].

Figure 5

10. Click the 3rd button to the left. The bottom view of the model is shown.

11. Click Isometric buttons (2nd to 5th buttons to the right) and view the model from different Isometric views. Figure 6 shows the North East Isometric view [Figure 6].

Figure 6

12. On View menu click 3D Orbit. The 3D Orbit green arcball appears on screen [Figure 7].

Figure 7

13. Drag the mouse inside the arcball to rotate the model in 3D space. If you drag the mouse outside the arcball the model will rotate about an axis that is perpendicular to the monitor. Initiating the dragging from lower and/or upper small circles will rotate the model about the horizontal axis. Finally if you initiate dragging from circles to the sides of the arcball the model will rotate about vertical axis.

14. Create a view similar to Figure 8.

Figure 8

15. Press Esc to exit the command.

16. Click the first button to the left of the View toolbar. The View dialog box appears [Figure 9].

Figure 9

17. Click New. The New View dialog box appears [Figure 10].

Figure 10

18. In View Name box type, Sample View.

19. On both dialog boxes click OK.

20. In command line type, PLAN.

21. Press Enter twice. The plan view of the model is shown.

22. Click the first button to the left of the View toolbar.

23. On the list of Named Views select, Sample View [Figure 11].

Figure 11

24. Click Set Current.

25. Close the dialog box. The view of figure 8 is shown.

26. Type PLAN and then press Enter twice.

27. In command line type DV and then press Enter.

28. Select all objects and then press Enter.

29. Type TW and press Enter to select the Twist option.

30. Enter 45 as the twist angle.

31. Press Enter to end the command. The view is set as shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of 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 or visit his website

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