In this chapter, you learn to create all types of surfaces, also called meshes. Specifically, they are polygonal 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 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 3D solids, which are covered in the next chapter.
This chapter assumes that you are using the 3D Modeling Workspace.
This entire chapter applies to AutoCAD only. For information on surfaces that AutoCAD LT can create, see Chapter 21.
The left side of Figure 23.1 shows a lamp drawn with surfaces. The back edges are hidden, so the lamp looks somewhat realistic. 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. The right side of Figure 23.1 shows a ...