Chapter 23. Creating 3D Surfaces

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Converting objects to surfaces

  • Drawing surfaces with 3DFACE and PFACE

  • Creating 3D polygon meshes

  • Creating plane surfaces

  • Drawing standard 3D shapes

  • Drawing a revolved surface

  • Creating extruded, ruled, lofted, and edge surfaces

  • Working with surfaces, solids, and wireframes together

In this chapter, you learn to create all types of surfaces, also called meshes. Surfaces have a great advantage over 3D wireframe models because you can hide back surfaces and create shaded images for easier visualization of your models. Surfaces also enable you to create unusual shapes, such as for topological maps or free-form objects.

Note

This entire chapter applies to AutoCAD only. For information on surfaces that AutoCAD LT can create, see Chapter 21.

Figure 23.1 shows a lamp drawn with surfaces.

You cannot obtain information about physical properties — such as mass, center of gravity, and so on — from surfaces. Such information can be obtained only from 3D solids, which are covered in the next chapter.

AutoCAD approximates curved surfaces by creating a mesh of planes at varying angles. You see the planes because AutoCAD displays them using a web of intersecting lines. AutoCAD defines the mesh by its vertices — where the lines intersect. Figure 23.2 shows a mesh with its vertices.

A lamp drawn with surfaces.

Figure 23.1. A lamp drawn with surfaces.

Figure 23.2. A surface mesh.

Converting Objects ...

Get AutoCAD® 2008 and AutoCAD LT® 2008 Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.