Learn AutoCAD 3D Commands Needed for Creating 3D Architectural Models



Disclaimer

As always for your convenience, it is good to note before we start that my tutorial is perfectly compatible with the ©AutoCAD 2013 version and above. Therefore, and as a result,  your UI —User Interface— might look slightly different from mine in some screenshots.

The Most popular AutoCAD 3D Commands for Creating Architectural Models

As mentioned in a previous post concerning this AutoCAD© Learning Courses, I will be publishing an article about the most used autocad 3d commands. This tutorial is divided into four parts, just to make it more assimilable by everyone in need of it.

However, the Rendering section will be treated independently in the next posts. Anyway, you will learn in this chapter how to create and manipulate 3d architectural models.

 
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The CAD software became an indispensable tool for achieving complicated architectural 3d modeling

It is worth mentioning that my training e-course is well supported with illustrations to help a good understanding of the topic discussed. Go to the link provided to start learning or visit my home page to read more about it and to place an order; The main purpose of my course as is already noted is to understand and deal with just the essential basics of manipulating tools. Every architect needs to learn just what he needs without getting into unnecessary learning topics.

Want to learn more about autocad 3d commands in less time? Then try My Big e-Book of Practicing AutoCAD. Check my landing page to make the purchase and you won't regret it. Likely, you can subscribe anytime to my online course on Udemy

Sometimes, reading about topics you will never use in your professional life is a real time-wasting. Giving you unnecessary info, and something wrong will make you feel like last in the middle of the tutorial with nothing to gain.

As an experienced architect for years so far using the CAD programs —especially AutoCAD— I surely understand what is critical when I want to submit my project to a client. In means of proper tools to use to produce the right presentation, and of course, to save time and money with many profits to gain from.

The ideal tutorials that fulfill my requests aren’t for sure, those settled by IT developers or else similar, who pretend to have the complete tutorial of the software. But with all my respect they are only good to fill pages of blogs with content or online videos. Where the majority is a time-wasting and even money-saver; They will never get you close to the target, due to their lack of knowledge of the career and its priorities.

Anyway, at the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

- Converting 2D walls drawings into a 3D solid model
- Working with different Visual Styles
- Changing the UCS orientation and origin according to the working plane that you need to perform the various commands
- Creating openings for the windows and doors inside the walls
- Creating blocks for windows and doors (details included such as wood frame, glass, etc…)
- How to create the ceiling slab and the tiling roof
- Creating an indoor two floors staircase (with details such as balustrade and skirting)
- Likely, you will be able to create and manipulate different types of 3d solids, faces, and meshes, most of which are essential to producing your architectural models of houses and residential projects or else.

So, to get started with exploring the tools discussed in this chapter, you should download a prepared ACAD drawing .dwg file named 2D-Drawing_Tutorial.dwg: you will be directed to a shared link from my Dropbox drive and prompted to save it onto your device.

The file is 100% free of charge, virus-free, and will not harm your pc; It is only about 600 KB in size and compatible with the ©AutoCAD 2013 version and later, as noted before.

3d autocad modeling
Fig.1- The given modeling file to use in this tutorial is downloadable for free.

Importing the 2D Drawing File | The Insert Command

After downloading the file mentioned above, which is free of charge, virus-free, and provided from my dropbox shared files, you will have to insert it into a new AutoCAD file; press CTRL+N to create a new drawing from the AutoCAD Application menu at the upper left corner of your screen: New > drawing.

  • Select the "acadiso.dwt" file as a template for your new project and save it under the name: my_first_model.dwg
  • Insert the downloaded file into your newly created drawing by typing I for the Insert tool, or by selecting the Home tab on the ribbon > Block panel > Insert. While on the Insert dialog, click the Browse button. Go to the location of the downloaded 2D-Drawing_Tutorial.dwg, select it, and then click on Open. Returning to the Insert dialog, uncheck the Specify On-screen option under the Insertion point section and then click OK. Don’t forget to tick the Explode option found in the same dialog, in the lower-left corner.
  • You are now ready to start transforming an initial 2D drawing of a small house into a 3d  model, using some fundamental AutoCAD 3D Commands.

For your ease, and in case they were already active, you will need to turn off the following layers:

- A-DIMENSION
- A-HATCH
- A-FURNITURE
- A-FIXTURES
- A-ANNOBJ
- A-DOORS

Doing so, will clear your perception and will free your drawing from adding further and unnecessary objects to the 3D modeling process already overwhelmed.

Creating 3D Architectural Models with the right 3D Modeling Commands and Tools

First, create a new Layer with the name "3D-WALLS" and set the color to #6 (magenta) for better sight, then switch it to current. While setting the object snap to Endpoint, start the Polyline  (PL) command and draw as directed in fig.2 below.
               
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Fig.2- The polyline construction, shown in magenta color along with the rectangles’ corners shown in yellow.

Next, launch the "Rectangle" command or type (REC) and start by specifying its corners as indicated in Fig.2 above, and also by drawing the remaining polylines shown in Fig.3 as well.

Note that the external or the outside walls are 300 mm thick, while the indoors are 100.

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Fig.3- The 4 remaining polylines to complete the exercise are as shown and directed here.

Now switch the current Workspace to "3D Modeling" by using the Workspace drop-down menu on the Quick Access Toolbar or the Workspace Switching menu on the lower status bar for easy access to the commonly used 3D tools and commands. (Fig.4)

3d autocad modeling
Fig.4- Switching to the 3D Modeling workspace

Click on (F3) to activate the Object snap mode and check the Endpoint snap.

Besides, from the Home tab, launch the Group command from the Groups panel. At the Select objects or [Name/Description]: prompt, select the entities of each elevation separately and create the related groups respectively. We have now created four groups that allow us to easily select and manipulate each elevation independently, as we will see in the next steps.

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You will need now to change the view of your model for better visualization of the various elements now present in our scene. To do so we will simply use the "ViewCube" quick tool for setting the requested view. Choose the lower right corner and your screen should show the same view as Fig.5 below:

Isometric Views in AutoCAD, SE Isometric view
Fig.5- The view switched to SE-Isometric

Alternatively, you can change the view by using the View panel in the Home tab and choosing the SE Isometric from the drop-down menu. (see fig.6)

View Manager menu_list, SE Ismetric View
Fig.6- Alternative method to set the isometric views

Next in this series, learn how to project the elevations for creating your project model and other related exclusive tools to use in the 3D process. Stay tuned!

References in this article:

- AutoCAD 2002 Complete - Sybex Edition
- AutoCAD 2018, For Architectural Design - Tutorial Books Edition
- Photos Exclusively for the AutoCAD Tutorial Course – Author: Nadim Maani, Architects © 

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Nadim Maani

Blogging about Architecture and Designs AutoCAD, Photoshop, 3DS Max, and other software Tips and Tutorials, Lebanese Traditional Style, Real Estate, Home Improvement, Travel, and Places to Visit.

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