AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

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Convert a 3D solid to a 2D drawing with a hidden view

Koyilada Venkata Rao sent in this tip for converting a 3D solid to a 2D drawing. His tip explains how to create a hidden view, but you can create a wireframe as well. It uses the SOLPROF command to create a profile. By transferring the results to another file, you get a solely 2D drawing.

Here are the steps:

  1. Create the 3D model. I worked with one object, but you can work with more than one.
  2. Set up the view that you want.
  3. Start the UCS command and use the New>View option to set the XY plane parallel to the view.
  4. Choose a layout tab. By default, a viewport is created automatically. Otherwise, choose View>Viewports>New View (MVIEW command) and create a viewport.
  5. Double-click inside the viewport to switch to model space.
  6. Type solprof on the command line. At the prompt, select the 3D model and accept the defaults (Y each time) for all three prompts. You should now see a wireframe profile. (The profile is one object.)
  7. You’ll now see two new layers in the Layer Control drop-down list. One starts with PV- and could be PV-ad, PV-125, or any suffix. The other starts with PH- and has the same suffix. The PV layer contains the front parts of the profile (V stands for visible). The PH layer contains the hidden parts (H stands for hidden). Make the PV- layer the current layer.
  8. Freeze all other layers. Now you see the hidden view. If you want a wireframe, don’t freeze the PH- layer.
  9. Press Ctrl+C and select all objects (which won’t include the frozen layers) to copy the profile to the Windows Clipboard.
  10. Start a new drawing.
  11. Press Ctrl+V to paste in the profile and specify any point to place it. You should see the profile looking exactly the same as before. (If the angle looks wrong, reproduce the viewpoint you had in the previous drawing and set the UCS to View again.)
  12. Start the EXPLODE command (because the profile comes in as a block) and select all objects. (Skip this step if you want to leave it as one object.)
  13. The new profile may not be the same scale as the original. If not, measure any length in the original drawing.
  14. Use the SCALE command and select all the objects. Then use the Reference option. At the prompt to specify the reference length, specify the beginning and end of the length you measured, that is, the same object in the new drawing.
  15. At the prompt to specify the new length, enter the length that you measured to scale the model to that new length.

Here is the model in the new drawing. Each line (and spline) is a separate object.

For another way to convert 3D drawings to 2D drawings, see Convert a 3D drawing to a 3-view 2D drawing in model space

Ellen Finkelstein

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