Design supervisor Joe Ryan shares with us his method for aligning 3D objects in AutoCAD. He uses the PressPull and Align commands when working on 3D piping files.
"Locate your elbows, let's say 48 inches apart. Use a circle to make the pipe diameter. Extrude the circle to only 12 inches or so in any plane. Use the Align command to place the pipe on one elbow. Use the PressPull command to complete the pipe length by clicking the closest face. Give the direction, then press Enter or right-click, and it will find the other face of the elbow."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: The Align command is a very powerful tool in AutoCAD. Based on the reference points you provide, it will move and rotate an object automatically to line it up properly. Start the Align command and select an object to move. Pick a reference point on that object, then pick the corresponding point where you want the object to be moved to. Do this again two more times, and the object will be moved. In the above example, you can draw your pipe anywhere, on any plane, in any rotation. Align will move your 3D object in line with your elbow, in this case. If you skip the third reference point, the Align command will give you the option of scaling your object as well as moving and rotating it.