The most comprehensive AutoCAD book around!

## Change the color of almost any AutoCAD screen feature

A reader told me he was having problems with his 3DCLIP command after upgrading to AutoCAD 2013. He wrote:

“I create 3 or 4 different 3d models that I then xref them together into an arrangement drawing. I then create my viewports for the different views I will need. In the past, I […]

## Create a custom UCS (User Coordinate System) in AutoCAD

An excellent (and old) feature of AutoCAD is that you can define your own coordinate system:

The location of 0,0 The direction of the X axis The direction of the Y axis

A custom UCS is a common aid for 3D drawing. For example, if you’re drawing a peaked roof of a house, it’s much […]

## Use spherical coordinates in 3D AutoCAD drawings

Spherical coordinates are a way of specifying coordinates in 3D. Mostly, you use them with the LINE command. They’re good for finding a coordinate that you might use in a solid or surface. (I cover cylindrical coordinates, which are similar, here.)

Spherical coordinates have the format distance<angle<angle. An example would be 6<40<20. The 3 parts […]

## Use cylindrical coordinates in 3D AutoCAD drawings

Cylindrical coordinates are a way of specifying coordinates in 3D. Mostly, you use them with the LINE command. They’re good for finding a coordinate that you might use in a solid or surface.

Cylindrical coordinates have the format distance<angle,distance. An example would be 6<40,4. The 3 parts of the coordinate are as follows:

First distance: […]

## Use AutoCAD’s VIEWBASE command to create 2D views of your 3D model

Starting with AutoCAD 2012, you can use the VIEWBASE command to quickly create 2D views of your 3D model. These views are called view objects. The command prompts you to create views based on the default 3D views, such as Top, Front, SE Isometric, etc. You can choose a shading style, as well. It’s quick […]

## Tutorial: Create cool curves with splines in AutoCAD

Splines are mathematically-defined curves. They are an important basis for 3D modeling, but they are useful in 2D as well.

Note: Splines were significantly updated in AutoCAD 2011.

There are 2 methods for creating splines:

Fit Points: You specify fit points, which are on the spline (by default). Control Points: You specify the control points, […]

## How to cut out a groove to fit a tongue in a 3D model with the INTERFERE command

Bill Walker sent me the following tip.

Sometimes you need to cut out part of one 3D object to fit another object. For example, in tongue & grove construction, you need to cut out the groove to fit the tongue. You can make this process easy with an option of the INTERFERE command.

## 3D viewing tips for AutoCAD

When you work in 3D, you need ways to view your drawing quickly and effectively. Here are my best tips. What are yours? (Leave a comment!)

Transparent 3D Orbit: Shift + Mouse wheel. This is my all-time favorite 3D viewing tip. If you aren’t using this, you’re wasting time. It lets you easily drag the […]

## Switch to plan view when you change the UCS

When you create a new User Coordinate System (UCS) in AutoCAD, by default, your viewpoint doesn’t change. Here I used the 3 point option of the UCS command to create a new UCS.

Create a new UCS with the 3 point option

Sometimes, you may want to return to plan view in that new […]

## Create 3D shapes with the 3D command

AutoCAD’s surfaces have evolved over the years. First, you could add thickness to 2D objects. I’m not sure when that happened (let me know if you do), but it was in the mid-1980s, perhaps around Release 2.6. This is still the only type of 3D objects that AutoCAD LT can create.

Later (again, I’m not […]