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AutoCAD® 2012 FOR DUMMIES® by David Byrnes

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Adding the Third Dimension to 2D Objects

AutoCAD's 2D roots run deep. Drafting continues to be the primary focus of the program, but recent AutoCAD releases have shifted focus, and the program has become more and more adept at 3D modeling. This section invites you to take what you probably have an abundance of right now (2D objects) and create new 3D objects from them.

Creating 3D objects from 2D drawings

You can create 3D objects from 2D objects by using a number of different techniques. You can add thickness or extrude an open 2D object to create a surface, or take multiple 2D cross sections and create a lofted object that adapts to the shape and size of each cross section selected. Everything mentioned here applies to AutoCAD only (not AutoCAD LT), with the exception of the thickness property.

Add thickness to a 2D object

Most 2D objects, such as lines and circles, have a thickness property. Changing a 2D object's thickness property does not create a true 3D object, but it does create a pseudo-surface that looks like a 3D surface. These pseudo-surfaces can hide objects beyond them, but they do have limitations. If you add thickness to a circle, an open cylinder is created without caps on the top and bottom. You can also change the thickness of a polyline to create an open box that has no top or bottom.

Extrude open and closed objects

image Thickness is one way of adding height to an ...

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