Book Image

Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design

Book Image

Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design


Overview of this book

AutoCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting software application. AutoCAD supports both 2D and 3D formats. AutoCAD is used in a range of industries and is utilized by architects, project managers, and engineers, among others."Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design" will take you beyond the 2D frontier and help you create accurate 3D models that simulate reality. This book is crammed full of creative and practical tutorials which will help you master the third dimension. From exercises on coordinate systems to creating solids and surfaces from 2D, you will wonder how you ever designed without this resource by your side."Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design" is full of hands-on studies and projects that will help develop your 3D skills. Starting from the assumption of only a very basic knowledge of AutoCAD, this book will help you master 3D visualization and coordinate systems, create 3D models from 2D drawings, and from basic shapes, measure volumes, and other information, obtain 2D construction drawings from 3D models as well as how to apply lights and materials to get photorealistic images.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Autodesk AutoCAD 2013 Practical 3D Drafting and Design
About the Author
About the Reviewers


AutoCAD comes with several workspaces. It's up to each of us to choose a workspace based on a classic environment or the ribbon. To change workspaces, we can pick the workspace switching button on the status bar:

There are other processes for acceding this command such as the workspaces list on the Quick Access Toolbar (title bar), the Workspaces toolbar, or by digitizing WSCURRENT, but the access shown is consistent among all versions and always available.

Classic environment

The classic environment is based on the toolbars and the menu bar and doesn't use the ribbon. AutoCAD comes with AutoCAD Classic workspace, but it's very simple to adapt and view the suitable toolbars for 3D.

The advantages of using this environment are speed and consistency. To show another toolbar, we right-click over any toolbar and choose it. Typically, we want to have the following toolbars visible besides Standard and Layers: Layers II, Modeling, Solid Editing, and Render:

Ribbon environment

Since the 2009 version, AutoCAD also allows for a ribbon-based environment. Normally, this environment uses neither toolbars nor the menu bar. AutoCAD comes with two ribbon workspaces, namely, 3D Basics and 3D Modeling; the first being less useful than the second.

The advantages are that we have consistency with other software, commands are divided into panels and tabs, the ribbon can be collapsed to a single line, and it includes some commands not available on the toolbars. The disadvantage is that as it's a dynamic environment, we frequently have to activate other panels to access commands and some important commands and functions are not always visible:


When modeling in 3D, the layers list visibility is almost mandatory. We may add this list to the Quick Access Toolbar by applying the CUI command or by right-clicking above the command icon we want to add. Another way is to pull the Layers panel to the drawing area, thus making it permanently visible.