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Basic Solid Modeling Techniques

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For those new to 3D modeling, Tinkercad is a great software tool to use to begin exploring 3D design, but it lacks a number of functions found in other solid-modeling applications. With Tinkercad, complex shapes can be made possible by grouping geometric primitives together (along with using Hole objects for Boolean operations), but eventually the need will arise to make intricate objects quickly and with precision. To make the 3D design of elaborate and highly complex geometries more efficient, there are a number of modeling methods (which are unfortunately not found in Tinkercad) that can used to pull and extend geometry in a variety of ways. These methods include using a 2D drawing (or profile curve) as the basis for a 3D design. With a base curve profile, a design can be drawn precisely in 2D and then transformed into the 3D part using techniques such as extruding, lofting, and revolving. Many of these functions can be found in Autodesk’s 123D Design, another free software tool in the Autodesk 123D family. Chapter 7 will therefore focus on the wider range of possibilities offered by solid modeling by giving a breakdown of the various solid modeling functions found in 123D Design. This chapter will discuss the benefits of solid modeling used in 123D Design such as drawing curve profiles in order to create more sophisticated parts. Also featured will be a number of techniques such as pattern alignments and more Boolean intersections.


  • Solid Modeling
  • Profile Curve
  • Picture Frame
  • 123D Design
  • Closed Shape

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4842-0946-2_7
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© 2015 Joe Micallef

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Micallef, J. (2015). Basic Solid Modeling Techniques. In: Beginning Design for 3D Printing. Apress, Berkeley, CA.

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