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Create Wireframe Models

A wireframe model is an edge or skeletal

representation of a real-world 3D object
using lines and curves.
You can specify a wireframe visual style to
help you see the overall structure of 3D
objects such as solids, surfaces, and
meshes. In older drawings, you might also
encounter wireframe models that were
created using legacy models.

Wireframe models consist only of

points, lines, and curves that
describe the edges of the object.
Because each object that makes
up a wireframe model must be
independently drawn and
positioned, this type of modeling
can be the most timeconsuming..

You can use a wireframe

View the model
any vantage
Generate standard orthographic and
auxiliary views automatically
Generate exploded and perspective
views easily
Analyze spatial relationships,
including the shortest distance between
corners and edges, and checking for
Reduce the number of prototypes

The ISOLINES system

variable controls the number
of tessellation lines used to
visualize curved portions of
the wireframe. The FACETRES
system variable adjusts the
smoothness of shaded and
hidden-line objects.

Methods for Creating

Wireframe Models
You can create wireframe models by
positioning any 2D planar object anywhere
in 3D space, using the following methods:
Use the XEDGES command to create
wireframe geometry from regions, 3D
solids, surfaces, and meshes. XEDGES
extracts all the edges on the selected
objects or sub objects. The extracted
edges form a duplicate wireframe
composed of 2D objects such as lines,
circles, and 3D polylines.

Enter 3D coordinates that define the X,

Y, and Z location of the object.

Set the default work plane (the XY
plane of the UCS) on which to draw the
Move or copy the object to its proper
3D location after you create it.

Wireframe modeling is a skill that

requires practice and experience. The
best way to learn how to create
wireframe models is to begin with
simple models before attempting
models that are more complex.

Tips for Working with

Creating 3D
wireframe modelsModels
can be more difficult
and time-consuming than creating their 2D views.
Here are some tips that will help you work more
Plan and organize your model so that you can
turn off layers to reduce the visual complexity of
the model. Color can help you differentiate
between objects in various views.
Create construction geometry to define the basic
envelope of the model.
Use multiple views, especially isometric views, to
make visualizing the model and selecting objects

Become adept at manipulating the UCS in

3D. The XY plane of the current UCS
operates as a work plane to orient planar
objects such as circles and arcs. The UCS
also determines the plane of operation for
trimming and extending, offsetting, and
rotating objects.
Use object snaps and grid snap carefully
to ensure the precision of your model.
Use coordinate filters to drop
perpendiculars and easily locate points in 3D
based on the location of points on other

Add 3D
to Objects

Use the thickness property to give objects a

3D appearance.
The 3D thickness of an object is the
distance that object is extended, or
thickened, above or below its location in
space. Positive thickness extrudes upward in
the positive Z direction; negative thickness
extrudes downward (negative Z). Zero (0)
thickness means that there is no 3D
thickening of the object.

The orientation of the UCS when

the object was created
determines the Z direction.
Objects with a non-zero
thickness can be shaded and can
hide other objects behind them.

The thickness property changes the

appearance of the following types of
2D solids
Polylines (including spline-fit
polylines, rectangles, polygons,
boundaries, and donuts)
Text (only if created as a single-line
text object using an SHX font)

Modifying the thickness property of

other types of objects does not affect
their appearance.
You can set the default thickness
property for new objects you create by
setting the THICKNESS system
variable. For existing objects, change
the thickness property on the
Properties Inspector palette. The 3D
thickness is applied uniformly to an
object; a single object cannot have
different thicknesses. You might need
to change the 3D viewpoint to see the
effect of thickness on an object.