Chapter 4: Introduction into ACAD 3D

In this chapter, we will learn the basics of the 3D aspect of ACAD. To start, we'll only use three tools to create a very simple temple and of course everything that we have learned in the previous lessons. In order to set up ACAD for working in 3D, make sure that you have activated the 3D-Werkzeuge Tool in the register band on top of the screen. To activate it, right click somewhere in the empty space of the register band, click on Registerkarten anzeigen and then make sure 3D-Werkzeuge is activated. Also, we need to make sure, that we operate in 3D space. Initially, when you start a new drawing in ACAD, you only get the top view to work in 2D. This is the normal drawing mode, we used in previous chapters. To activate the 3D view, you have to take a look at the cube gizmo in the top right corner of the drawing space. You can see a compass-like circle, labelled N, O, S and W for the four cardinal points. Inside the circle you'll find the cube gizmo. It displays the view you are currently in, so when you are in a new drawing, it should display Oben to indicate, that you are in the top view in 2D space. By hovering over the gizmo, you can activate different sides of that cube. You can click on the edges and corners. If you click on the lower right corner for example, you'll get a 3D view from southeast looking into northwest.

The first tool we want to use, is to create some objects in our scene. For that, find the Quader/Cube tool in the 3D Werkzeuge tab. If you click the cube, you will simply create a cube by doing 3 clicks: 1. First corner of the base area, 2. Second corner of the base area and 3. Height. Try to play around with the object. By clicking and dragging the blue arrows on the cube, you can alter its dimensions and appearance.

If you want to create other objects, you can click the little arrow below the Quader/Cube tool to open a list of different objects. Try to create some other objects and find out which possibilities exist. The last object in the list Polykörper is probably too advanced for this chapter, but if you want, you can give it a try! One last thing: If you want to change the way your 3D obejcts are displayed in the drawing space, you can change that too. For this, find the little text in the top left corner of the drawing space. There it is indicated which view you have chosen and which display style is used. By clicking on the display style (in my case 2D-Drahtkörper, you open a list if different style. Try some out, I always prefer Konzeptuell.


Try to start a new scene or delete everything you have made. We now want to build a very simple temple. We start with the Crepidoma, the initial staircase where the columns rest on. For this exercise, don't worry so much about truthfulness or even correct dimensions. Try to do a form of 3D sketch. We start off with the first step, by creating a cube that is more or less flat, but has some rectangular dimensions, like in the screenshot on the side. If we now want to create another step, we want to make sure that it is of course a bit smaller, but is also resting on top of the first step. When you have your Quader/Cube tool selected and hover over the first step, you'll notice, that the upper face of the step turns blue sometimes. As soon as the face is blue and you create another cube, you can be sure, that this cube is positioned exactly above the first cube. Also make sure, that you do not have turned on Snapping as this might interfere with positioning the second cube closely to the corners of the first cube. Try to do three cubes this way, each getting smaller with every step. You can see the result on the next screenshot with the columns.

As a next step, we want to create some columns on top of our Crepidoma. For that, we will use the Cylinder tool, that you can find below the Cube tool you have used before. Try to create a column on top of the last step (upper face should turn blue) and give it a height, that matches your dimensions somehow. Of course, we do not want to have only one column, but many. Instead of creating each column individually, we will simply use the Kopieren/Copy command from previous lessons in 2D. For that, select your column, go into the Start tab in the top tool bar and select Kopieren/Copy. ACAD asks you for a base point, it makes sense now to turn on snapping in order to select the centre point of the lower end of the column, so basically the point sitting exactly on the Crepidoma and in the middle of the base of the column. You can now do some copies. Now it helps to activate Polarspur by hitting F10. This will help you to copy the columns in a straight line along the temple axis. When you are near the axis, a green line will appear and your copied column will snap to this line. This way, all the columns are aligned very straight. As a last step, copy the whole line of columns to the other side.

The only thing remaining for this exercise is the roof, which we will do very simply with two wedges. For this, create a Keil/Wedge and place it somewhere besides the temple. For now, it doesn't matter how it looks, we will adapt the shape later on. We will use the Bewegen/Move tool, the Drehen/Rotate tool and the little blue arrows besides the wedge to adapt its position and shape. Try to build a half roof, slightly overhanging the columns on one side. You can switch between the different views with the help of the cube gizmo in the top right corner. Position the roof in its appropriate position to make it look somewhat like in the screenshot.

When you are happy, do a copy of the finished half. Position and rotate that copy accordingly to complete the roof of the temple. Try to use the Snapping tool wisely, so that it helps you but does not disturb your work. When you are finished, the result should look something like the result at the bottom of this page. Try to build some other objects like a light tower, a stepped pyramid or anything you can think of in order to become familiar with the tools of this chapter!

This page was last edited on 2024-04-11 14:13

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This page was last edited on 2024-04-11 14:13

Sebastian Hageneuer
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