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AutoCAD 3-D Basics

John Andrew, P.E.

Course Outline

Three dimensional solid model drawings help engineers, designers, fabricators, and construction crews to understand two dimensional drawings. Typically 2D drawings are fully dimensioned and 3D models are inserted to assist visualization of the part, assembly, or exploded view.

This 8 PDH course summarizes the AutoCAD tools, commands, and methods for making three dimensional solid models of: Parts, Assemblies, and Exploded Assemblies. The techniques described here include all versions of AutoCAD released during the past several years, including releases 14 to 2007. Please note that all versions of AutoCAD LT (Light) enable the creation of 2 dimensional drawings and not 3 dimensional models.

The course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course the student will:

1. have seen examples of typical 3-dimensional AutoCAD solid models.
2. have an engineering drawing check list.
3. be able to create 3-dimensional drawings.

know how to:
4. draw horizontal and vertical lines.
5. draw lines at any angle.
6. draw lines of predetermined length.
7. create circles of known diameter.
8. add dimensions to a drawing.
9. open and dock the: Draw, Modify, Dimension, and Solids Tool Bars.
10. use the Draw tool bar tools: Line, Polyline, and Circle.
11. use the Modify tool bar tools: Erase, Copy, Mirror, Array, Move, Rotate, Scale, Stretch, Chamfer, and Fillet.
12. use the Solids tool bar tools: Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Cone, Wedge, Taurus, and Extrude.
13. use the Solids Editing tool bar tools: Union, Subtract, and Extrude Face.

14. use the Dimension tool bar tools: Linear, Aligned, Ordinate, Diameter, and Angle.
15. be able to work with the: "Dimension Style Manager", dialog box, Text and Fit dialogs.

Know how to operate the following commands by typing on the command line
16. Line Type Scale.
17. Line.
18. Dimension.
19. Object Snap.
20. Snap to Grid Points.
21. Rotate.
22. Copy.
23. Move.
24. Mirror.
25. Fillet.
26. Chamfer.
27. Trim.
28. Array.
29. Scale.
30. Stretch.
31. Erase.
32. View Resolution
33. Tolerance
34. Text

35. Understand the use of the toggle function keys:
* f3 to turn Object Snap on and off.
* f7 to turn Grid on and off.
* f8 to turn Ortho on and off.
* f9 to turn Snap to Grid points on and off.

36. Have a list of 40 drawing commands.

Intended Audience

The information will be especially useful to: students, entrepreneurs, engineers, architects, and innovators who want to be able to make Computer Added Drawings (CAD).

Benefit to Attendees

Attendee of this course will know how to make scale dimensioned engineering and architectural drawings and diagrams with all releases of AutoCAD from 14 to 2007.

Course Introduction

The AutoCAD release 2007 manual has over 1000 pages. This lesson has only 99 pages but the most used drawing methods are described, enabling the reader to make all types of three dimensional engineering drawings.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (5 MB) AutoCAD 3-D Basics.

Please click on the above underlined hypertexts to view, download or print the documents for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Content Outline

AutoCAD 3-D is divided into 12 sections. Step-by-step illustrated examples show how to use tools to create all types of three dimensional engineering three dimensional solid models.

1. 3D Solid Model Examples
2. Menus, Toolbars, and Commands
3. Dimension Controls
4. User Coordinate System
5. Simple 3D Solid Models
6. Extrusions
7. Commonly Used Commands
8. Flat Plate With Five Holes
9. Generic Hub
10. Drawing Check List
11. 3-D Command List
12. Related Links

Course Summary

A brief and to the point automation summary is provided in these notes that will provide information that can be used to create AutoCAD 3D drawings.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:

The AutoCAD home page at:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Home Page at Provides links to information about all aspects pertaining to invention patents.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.