The AutoCAD 3D Interface Explained

AutoCAD software has been around for over a decade, and each year it is improved upon to bring in new functions to make the life of engineers, architects and designers much easier. In the early days CAD software consisted of wireframe drawings in 2D. This was basically the 2D drawings being put into computers. Once computer speeds increased, software became able to handle more complex graphics and so these wireframe objects were able to be displayed in 3D. Even though they were still made from wireframes, it was a big step forward.

These days computers are very powerful, and even the cheapest laptop that is available can handle complex 3D drawings with textures and lighting. This has made AutoCAD available to a lot of business, and it is the most popular CAD software in existence. Although the full version allows a lot of complex drawing and editing, those that purchase the AutoCAD LT can only view the files developed on the main software. The LT version is a stripped down version which is cheaper, and is really only to be used as a viewer.

When developing a 3D object, it is the same process whatever it is. You first need to create all of the objects geometry, then add the various materials to it, add the lighting, and then finish with the camera angles. Once all of that is done, the object can be animated and the recording placed in either an AVI file, or a similar format. Navigate to our site and browse AutoCAD 3D Courses learn the program in 1 or 2 days!

A Closer Look At The 3D Workspace

When AutoCAD was first released, and for many years after, the interface placed a lot of options around the edge of the screen. Although they could be edited, they did make the software look more complex than it was, and also took up a lot of space. In 2009 this interface was updated to the Tab and Ribbon design, first released in Microsoft’s Office. Not everyone was happy about this at the time, but the changes were a positive thing. For those who still prefer the old interface style, it is still available in the Mac version of the software.

The software defaults to the 2D settings when it is first installed, so if you are looking for the 3D interface then the settings need to be changed. This is simple enough to do and all of the options in the software, tabs and ribbons are available from the Workspace Shifter located on the status bar, bottom right. Once this is done the 2D and 3D options will be available. For those who are looking for the tool palettes, they are available on the right-hand side.

For people who used the old interface, then the Lights, Materials, Visual Style, 3D Navigate, 3D Make, and Render are all now prominent on the Tabs and Ribbons. To change the workspace to a 3D environment, it is necessary to close the current work window (click x), and then load up New > Drawing > acadiso3D.dwt. This then gives you the basic workspace interface to work with to match the 3D options available.