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Moving 3D Objects
Tip# 3056 By Phil Tingley On 14-Dec-2008
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Rated By 1 users
Categories : 3D Interface
Software type : AutoCAD
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Here is a method to move objects when working in three dimensions.

Phil Tingley is using AutoCAD 2006 and needed a method to move objects when working in three dimensions.  He uses this trick when working with 3D solids and needs to move one or more objects in a single direction so that one face butts up to another existing solid.


Often there aren't edges or osnap points that will define the required move, so the objects end up way off in space far from where they are wanted.  It is especially difficult to do this when looking down the edge of a solid.  It is difficult to tell where AutoCAD is trying to osnap or there might be several similar snaps along that edge. Measuring the distance doesn't guarantee that the faces will be exactly together because of round off error.
First, arrange the UCS so that the XY plane is oriented exactly with the necessary move. Next, quickly throw in a linear dimension that represents the distance of the move. Since a dimension entity always lies in the current XY plane, you can use the dimension extension line endpoints to define the move via osnap and know that the objects will only move within the XY plane. Delete the dimension and you’re done. (You can also use a regular 2D polyline instead of a dimension since it ignores Z-coordinates after the first point.)
Phil currently uses this method in AutoCAD 2006.


Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol:  Moving objects in a 3-Dimensional environment is a very tricky task.  Working with 3D objects in AutoCAD was improved in AutoCAD 2007.  This release introduced to us DYNAMIC UCS.  When using this feature, it will dynamically (and temporarily) change the active UCS to match the plane of the face of an object.  When it is on, start a 3D command.  Move the cursor over the face of an object that is in the proper plane and that plane will become highlighted.  Starting the command will start the action in that same plane. This will make sure the object that is being created is in the same plane as the selected object.  If AutoCAD 2007 (or higher) is not available, then using Phil’s tip will help out.
 

 

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User comments
Comment by Thomson,Hugh
Posted on 2008-12-17 07:06:43
Why not just use the XYZ filters? Move or copy in 3d space using individual parameters for XYZ by answering the prompts with .X,.Y or .Z - note the point in front of the axis designator. To retain the existing value for any of the axis parameters just enter zero (used to be the @ symbol but something changed after version 2002).


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