Document 3D AutoCAD Models with Smart, Connected 2D Views

22 Jun, 2014

Did you know that you can create intelligent 2D drawing views in AutoCAD that automatically update when you change your 3D model? What about automated 2D drawing views that maintain their alignment along with their relationship to the 3D model? In this video tip from Cadalyst and Autodesk evangelist Lynn Allen, you’ll see how easy it is to create 2D documentation from your 3D models.

Video Transcript

Hello, welcome to another AutoCAD tip courtesy of Cadalyst magazine. Today I'm going to talk a little bit more about 3D; I'm going to talk about how to take your 3D model and turn it into those 2D drawing views, because let's face it, that's what we have to ultimately turn in, right? We're not to the point where we can just turn in a 3D model quite yet.

So in front of me, I happen to have a 3D model of a dental chair; hopefully you guys recognize that, right? That would be good. Very simple, very easy. And now I need to create 2D views out of it, so I can get it built. All right.

So, I'm going to come over to my Layout tab and I'm going to make sure that I'm in the 3D modeling workspace — you can see that right down here — and I'm going to go to the Layout tab on my 3D modeling workspace.

So, this is called model documentation. I just think it is such a great tool, and I find that hardly anybody knows about it — just you and me now are going to know about it.

So I'm going to come up here and I'm going to select Base, from Model Space — you can see I can also grab it from Inventor. From Model Space I'm going to go ahead and just drop that base view into place. All right, and hit Enter.

And now I can put my other views in. I'll put one there, there's a top view, isometric view, and a side view. Look how easy that is! Easy, easy. When I'm finished, I hit Enter. All right! So, that looks great.

So let me take a look at this: If I click on this base view, and I click on the arrow, you see that I can easily change the scale factor. It's a little big; let's make 'em a little bit smaller, let's change that to 1:10.

Now, one of the things I love about these model documentation views is that they're smart. And as I go to move that base view around, everybody stays all nice and lined up. So much better than just regular standard viewports, because you always end up having to realign to keep them lined up. So much easier!

So, this is the parent view and these are the child views. So basically, you can see that anything I did right there to the parent view affected the child views. Kind of like in real life. So if you mess up the parent, usually the children get messed up too. But that's a whole different story, right?

I want you to know that you can actually change the child views independent of the parent. Let me show you how to do that.

I'm going to come up here to this isometric view, and you'll see that the tab automatically changed and there's an option called Edit View.

All right, let's take a look at that. Well let's say maybe I want this view to be a little bit bigger than the other views. If you take a look at this scale factor, can you see that it says 1:10 from parent? We're going to break that and we're going to make it bigger; let's change it back to 1:8.

You can also control the display, the way it looks. Right now it's at hidden lines. Maybe I want shaded with visible lines. You can have this any way that you want, but just know that the view that I selected looks different, different scale factor, looks completely different from the other views. So you can break that parent--child relationship if you need to.

One other thing that I want to make sure that we do — I don't want to make this tip really, really long, but let's do a dimension, and then find out what happens if we change the model.

So I'm going to add one really quick dimension on here, make it easy. Let's go to Annotate, let's go to Dimension. I'm lazy, so I'm going to hit an Enter and I'm just going to grab this line right here and pull it down. There's my one dimension.

Now, back over to the model and I'm going to make a really big change on the base. You'll notice that I dimension the base, I'm going to make a big change on the base, let's zoom around over here — zoom up and get a good shot here.

I'm going to use my Shift key to just grab that one side and I'm going to pull the base out, make it much, much longer than it was before. That dental chair will definitely not fall over, will it! It's very sturdy now.

Back over to our Layout tab, let's see what happened. I want you to see that all the views were automatically updated and the dimension was updated too. Think of how much time that will save you! Change it once, change it everywhere. I love that.

If you are a 3D user, you've got to try the model documentation. And if you aren't a 3D user, look at this! You need to start using 3D because it's so easy to create those smart 2D drawing views from the 3D model.

All right, give it a try. And I am going to see you back here in a couple of weeks. Thank you for joining me.

Add comment


Re: Document 3D AutoCAD Models with Smart, Connected 2...
by: ryanthegirl
September 3, 2019 - 10:32am
Is there a way to separate the views onto different layout tabs once they are created? For example, I have a staircase I have drawn in 3D, and it looks alright when I do the base model command but it would look better and you'd be able to see more details of it if each view was on a separate layout, so iso view, plan view page, side and front elevation page. Is there a way to do this still using the viewbase from model command? I tried copying the views it created but it will not let me select them once I enter the copy command. Thank you for your videos! look forward to hearing if this is possible!

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