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Flatshot Command (Convert 3D to 2D)
Tip# 3184 By Ian Whistler On 19-Apr-2009
Rated By 1 users
Categories : Sections
Software type : AutoCAD
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Ian Whistler sent us a method for creating 2D views of 3D objects.

"I have a very useful AutoCAD tip myself that does not seem to be that commonly used but saves me hours of work. When drawing a 3D model the command FLATSHOT can be used to easily and quickly generate an accurate flat view of the model. By viewing the model from different sides (VIEW) then using FLATSHOT you can easily generate all the required views for an orthographic drawing. (Some rotation of the flat image is usually required to get all flat views on the same plane).

"The flat view is inserted as a block, so it is a good idea to open the block in the Block Editor (BE) and use the command OVERKILL to reduce and join the number of overlapping lines. (This makes object snap much easier as it does not snap on to all the odds and ends you do not want).

"If you need to insert an isometric view into a drawing, the generated view looks great until you copy and paste it into another drawing. This has the effect of distorting the Isometric view. This can be overcome by opening the block in Block Editor, copying the required parts to the clipboard, then pasting them into the drawing as a block. Not sure why this distortion happens (UCS mismatch?), but copying and pasting seems to fix it a treat.

"I have discussed this tip with quite a few people who have been unaware of it. I have also discussed it with the company that provides us with AutoCAD support and they have not heard of it either. There may be other ways of achieving the same end result that I am not aware of, but this method is quick and accurate."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: FLATSHOT is a great command to use to quickly generate 2D drawings from 3D objects. If you update the model, you can quickly replace the view, again, with FLATSHOT. Create your 3D model. Change the 3D view to see what you need in your 2D view. On the command line, type in FLATSHOT. You have three choices; insert a new block, replace Existing Block, or save as an external file. Depending on your needs, pick the appropriate method to creating your view. The external file option is great for sending views to clients. There are also options to display (or not to display) hidden lines. And you can change linetypes.


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User comments
Comment by Mongar,Ken
Posted on 2009-04-20 17:29:44
In my job I sometimes have a need to remove 3D coordinates from client drawings. I use the command "flatten" to set all Z coordinates to 0.
Comment by Peterson,Rob
Posted on 2009-04-21 05:20:35
If you always set the UCS to the same plane before running the FLATSHOT command, there is no need to rotate the images to get them on the same plane. FLATSHOT will place the new block on whatever plane is currently set.
Comment by Anonymous
Posted on 2009-12-08 12:23:35
I tried this but realized that this only works if it is a 3D object not just a 3D model from Mass Elements, etc. Is there an easy way such as the flatshot for all other 3D items? Thanks.