Basic solid forms are fairly easy to create. The refinement of those forms requires some special tools. In this section, you’ll learn how to use some familiar 2D editing tools to edit a solid as well as some new tools. You’ll also be introduced to the Slice tool that lets you cut a solid into two pieces.
Splitting a Solid into Two Pieces
Perhaps one of the more common solid editing tools you’ll use is the Slice tool. As you might guess from its name, Slice allows you to cut a solid into two pieces. The following exercise demonstrate’s how it works.
- Zoom to the previous view and return to the World Coordinate System.
- Click the Slice tool on the Solids toolbar, or type Slice..
- At the Select object: prompt, click the part you’ve been working on and press button.
- At the prompt
Specify first point on slicing plane by [Object/
type XY This lets you indicate a slice plane parallel to the x-y plane.
- At the Point on XY plane <0,0,0>: prompt, type 0,0,5,1. This places the slice plane at the z-coordinate of .5 units. You can use the Midpoint Osnap and pick any vertical edge of the rectangular solid .
- At the Specify a point on desired side of the plane or [keep Both sides] : prompt, type B button to keep both sides of the solid. AutoCAD will divide the solid horizontally, one-half inch above the base of the part. as shown in Figure 18.25.
The Slice Options
There were several options in step 4 of the previous exercise that are worth discussing here. Here are descriptions of those. options:
Object Lets you select an object to define the slice plane.
Zaxis Lets you select two points defining the z-axis of the slice plane. The two points you pick will be perpendicular to the slice plane.
View Generates a slice plane that is perpendicular to your current view. You are prompted for the coordinate through which the slice plane must pass-usually a point on the object.
3point Is the default, and lets you select three points defining the slice plane. Normally, you would pick points on the solid .
XY/YZ/ZX Pick one of these to determine the slice plane based on the x-, y-, or z-axis, You are prompted to pick a point through which the slice plane must pass .
Rounding Corners with the Fillet Tool
Your bracket has a few sharp comers that you may want to round in order to give the bracket a more realistic appearance. You can use the Construct menu’s Fillet and Chamfer commands to add these rounded comers to your solid model.
- Adjust your view of the model so it looks similar to the top image of Figure 18.26.
- Click the Fillet tool on the Modify toolbar.
- At the Select first object or [Polyline/Radius/Trim]: prompt, pick the edge indicated in the top image of Figure 18.26.
- At the Enter fillet radius: prompt, type 2 button.
- At the Select an edge or [Chain/Radius]: prompt, type C for the Chain option. Chain lets you select a series of solid edges to be filleted.
- Select one of the other three edges at the base of the tapered form, and press button when you are done.
- Choose Hide on the Render toolbar, or type Hide.J, to get a better look at your model, as shown in the bottom image of Figure 18.26.
As you saw in step 5, Fillet acts a bit differently when you use it on solids. The Chain option lets you select a set of edges, instead of just two adjoining objects.
Chamfering Corners with the Chamfer Tool
Now let’s try chamfering a comer. To practice using Chamfer, you’ll add a countersink to the cylindrical hole you created in the first solid.
- Type Regen to return to a Wireframe view of your model.
- Click the Chamfer tool on the Modify toolbar, or type Cha.
- At this prompt
Select first line or [Polyline/Distance/Angle/Trim/Method]:
pick the edge of the hole, as shown in Figure 18.27. Notice that the top surface of the solid is highlighted, and the prompt changes to Enter surface selection opt ion [Next/OK (current)] <OK>: The highlighting indicates the base surface, which will be used as a reference in step 5. (You could also type N to choose the other adjoining surface, the inside of the hole, as the base surface.)
- Press button to accept the current highlighted face.
- At the Specify base surface chamfer distance <0.5000>: prompt, type 125. This indicates that you want the chamfer to have a width of .125 across the highlighted surface.
- At the Specify other surface chamfer distance <0.5000): prompt, type .2.
- At the Select an edge or [Loop]: prompt, click the edges of both holes and then press button. When it is done, your drawing will look like Figure 18.28.
- After reviewing the work you’ve done here, save the Bracket. awg file.
Using the Solid Editing Tools
You’ve added some refinements to the Bracket model by using some standard AutoCAD editing tools. There is a set of tools that is specifically geared toward editing solids. You already used the Union and Subtract tools found on the Solids Editing toolbar. In this section, you’ll explore some of the other tools available on that toolbar.
To help keep the exercises simple and easy to understand, you’ll be using an existing 3D model called Solidedit.dwg. This file will help to demonstrate the Solids Editing tools.