Autocad Tutorial 9: 3d Rotate Tool

A beginner’s guide on the 3D rotate tool in AutoCAD 2007.

In this tutorial, I will be explaining one of the most useful tools in AutoCAD, the 3D rotate tool.

Sure, you know about the 3D box, wedge and even the cylinder tools in the 3D modelling panel. You’ve got a wide range of pre-made shapes ready to use. But what if you wanted to make something else… like a hexagon with a hole through it? There you would use the 2D tools and create one from scratch and extrude it. But there still remains one vital issue, it’s still lying down! Well this is a job for the 3D rotate tool.

In this example I have… well nothing at the moment. First off I’m going to use the polygon tool OR type _polygon in the command window:

Next, I input the number 6 for the amount of sides (since a hexagon has 6 sides) and I press ENTER:

I would then click again and select “inscribed in circle”:

Now I draw a hexagon, doesn’t matter about size since this is only a demonstration. Next I draw a 2D circle in the middle of the hexagon; again size doesn’t matter too much but make it smaller than the hexagon itself. Be sure to use two 2D lines to mark out the centre of the hexagon to create an intersection for the circle to snap at:

Delete the 2 lines because we no longer need them, then I’m going to use the press pull tool

Great, we have a nut that is lying down. We want it standing up, how do we do that? Well we select the 3D rotate tool from here OR type in _3drotate in the command window:

Once the tool in activated, I would click on the object(s) I want to rotate and then press ENTER:

Now a sphere with coloured lines should appear, place the sphere over this corner and click (remember, the snap should automatically help you):

Now I would place my mouse corner over a certain rotation axis and it should turn yellow. Select the vertical one as shown and click:

Now I specify the angle starting point, in this case I would just click at the same spot as the sphere, doesn’t matter too much:

Now you can rotate the object freely on your selected axis:

Here’s a tip, hold shift to snap it at 90 degree intervals. Once you are done, click again to confirm the spot:

Now we have an object that has been rotated!

NOTE: You may need to rotate more than once to achieve the wanted rotation.

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