Helpful Settings for Plotting 3D Solids in AutoCAD

This post isn’t a fix-all solution but it has helped printing/plotting issues that I’ve recently encountered. There are some helpful AutoCAD variables and an adjustment to your preferred “Visual style(s)” that can help make printing 3D solids look correct in your print.

First – The issue that we encountered was that intersecting solids didn’t have a clear intersection in the print and curved 3D objects were displaying lines where a “tessellation” of the curves would be.

print Settings for Solids 1a

The settings of the visual styles for a viewport can be confusing. Note that there is a difference of a “Visual Style” and “Shade Plot” setting. This trips me up a lot and I confuse them for each other…

For the purposes of this blog post, I will keep it simple and keep the visual style of the Viewport set to “2D Wireframe” (shown below)

Print Settings for solids 2 1a

  • Then change the “Shade Plot” setting of the viewport by selecting the edge of the viewport from paper space and opening the “Properties” palette. (right-click > Properties)
  • Change “Shade Plot” from “As Displayed” to “Hidden”

Print Settings for Solids 2 a

Change the Visual Style to not display the “Isolines”
Use the command VISUALSTYLES in the command line to open the Visual Styles palette.

  1. Select the Visual Style that you wish to change in the upper section of the palette. In this example, I changed the “Hidden” Visual Style.
  2. Scroll down in the palette to the “Edge Settings” section, Change the property called “Show” from “Facet Edges” to “Isolines
  3. Change the “Number of Lines” setting from “20” to “0” (zero).

Print Settings for Solids 2 b

 

In addition to making this change to the Vistual Style, changing the following AutoCAD variables helps the plot to display correctly.

Print Settings for Solids 3

 

The result is shown below. Hopefully you find this useful.

Print Settings for Solids 4

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About AutoCAD Tips

As weird as it sounds, AutoCAD is a hobby for me. But I am fortunate enough to have a career doing my hobby. I work for a large engineering firm supporting CAD users in various disciplines. My dream job would be to work for a company like Autodesk or Disney's Imagineering where inspiring others and using innovative approaches and software are adding value to projects and bringing design in all areas up to a new level. This blog serves as a repository or knowledge base for myself so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting experience better.
This entry was posted in Layout, Paper Space, PDF, Printing - Plotting, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

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