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Chapter 23. Visualization > AutoCAD's 3D Capabilities

AutoCAD's 3D Capabilities

One of the many advantages of working with the Autodesk Architectural and Mechanical Desktop software products is the ability to work in two dimensions, yet generate a three-dimensional drawing. This is possible through unique features such as multi-view blocks and view-dependent display, both of which make it easier and reduce the learning curve required to work in base AutoCAD 3D, especially if you are accustomed to working in a 2D-only environments. Aside from this fact, you can also create three-dimensional models within AutoCAD 2000. Although you do not have the built-in 3D functionality of Architectural or Mechanical Desktop, once you start working and thinking in three-dimensions, you'll find it is an easy transition from the 2D world.

A good portion of this chapter is dedicated to walking you through the process of creating a three-dimensional model, describing the use of many 3D AutoCAD modeling commands. After the part is finished, you'll examine the 3D Orbit command and its options, which are designed specifically for viewing three-dimensional objects. Then, on to rendering and visualization, applying materials and lighting to the part to make it photo-realistic, or as if a photograph were taken of the finished part.


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