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AutoCAD® 2012 & AutoCAD LT® 2012 Bible by Ellen Finkelstein

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Chapter 23: Creating 3D Surfaces

In This Chapter

Creating surfaces with 3DFACE and PFACE Creating 3D polygon meshes Creating procedural surfaces Drawing plane surfaces Creating extruded, ruled, lofted, and edge surfaces Creating surfaces between objects Editing, converting, and analyzing procedural and NURBS surfaces

In this chapter, you learn to create all types of surfaces. In AutoCAD, you can draw four types of surfaces:

Polygonal meshes. These surfaces use triangles and other polygons to define the surface and have been available for a long time. They are not the same as the newer mesh objects (smooth surfaces).

Smooth mesh surfaces. These are also polygonal meshes, but the polygons are smaller, making the surface smoother and more flexible.

Procedural surfaces. Procedural surfaces maintain properties based on how you created them. For example, if you use a spline as the basis for a surface, then editing the spline edits the surface accordingly.

NURBS (non-uniform ration b-spline) surfaces. You can edit NURBS surfaces by moving and stretching their vertices.

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 topological maps or free-form objects. 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 ...

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