Give the Dynamic User Coordinate System tool a try to add shapes to the surfaces of solids
Creating components such as the smaller box and cylinder on the larger box shown below used to be quite a tedious process. Using a Dynamic User Coordinate System can speed up and simplify the process. This tool has been around for some time but I often run into people in my training classes who are coming from 2D AutoCAD to AutoCAD MEP 2010 that are very happy to learn of this great tool.
- Toggle on the DUCS button or the icon button displaying a lightning bolt on the left-hand side of the Application Status bar at the bottom of your screen. By default, either button will display an Allow/Disallow Dynamic UCS tooltip.
- Create a 3D Solid such as the larger box shown in the image below (See the link below for Part 1 of this series to locate the solids creation and editing commands in AutoCAD MEP 2010).
- To add shapes such as a small cylinder and box to the side of a larger shape, select a solid tool such as Cylinder and move your cursor over the surface you would like to use as the base for the new shape until it highlights as shown on the left in the image below. The software is dynamically identifying a surface to use as a temporary UCS (User Coordinate System).
- Once the solid’s surface highlights follow the prompts on the command line to complete the creation of your new solid shape on the selected surface.
Once you have completed creating a component using the dynamic UCS it is automatically discarded and you are free to start the creation of another shape on another surface of the same or another solid object. Not having to define multiple UCS’s as a separate step prior to creating solid shapes on surfaces makes the process of creating complex parts faster and simpler.
Links to Part 1 and 2 of the Series, Simple Setup Tips for Creating AutoCAD MEP 2010 Content:
- Link to Part 1 of the Series: Who Knew? Where to find the AutoCAD Solids Creation and Editing Commands in AutoCAD MEP 2010 http://tinyurl.com/ybhbla2
- Link to Part 2 of the Series: Who Knew? Multiple Model Space Viewports Make Viewing Easy when Creating AutoCAD MEP 2010 Content: http://tinyurl.com/yzp4bs2