This section helps you learn to design 3D parts. It is strongly recommended to first review 2D Drawing and the Video guides.

Also see the Sample Shapes which illustrate important techniques. Designing parts made by bending sheet metal are covered in Bend Drawings.

Views

A View is a look at your custom part from one of six perspectives: Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front, and Back. For example, if you need to add a hole to the left side of your part you would select the Left view before drawing the hole.

 
To change the view:

  1. Choose View and select the desired view.
  2. You may see a projection of other views as lighter lines.

To view a part in 3D:

  1. Choose View | 3D.
  2. To zoom in or out drag the right scrollbar.
  3. To rotate the part left and right or up and down drag the mouse starting at the center of the window. To rotate the part clockwise or counter-clockwise start your drag near the edge of the window. You also can use scrollbars to rotate the part. To show these scrollbars click Show/hide rotation sliders.
  4. To select wireframe or filled view click the Toggle Filled / Wireframe modes button.
  5. To set the background color click the Set background color button and choose the desired color from the dialog.
  6. To rotate the part to the top view click Show part from top view.
  7. To display edges click the Toggle transparency button.

To see a 3D view while drawing:

  1. Choose View | 3D. The 3D window appears.
  2. Resize the 3D window to an appropriate (small) size.
  3. Place the 3D window in a corner.
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEvvA_IweqQ

Note: Any ambiguity between 2D views will be resolved on the side of least material. Any ambiguity between 2D and 3D views will be resolved in favor of the 2D view (which has more detail).

Z Axis

While the X and Y axis represent distances horizontally and vertically on your screen, the Z axis represents distances perpendicular to your screen (out from your drawing towards yourself). You can specify a Z value for each line in your drawing. Z values are set in the Z control of the numeric bar (located just below the main toolbar):

 

zaxis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHrRsh413Hc

 Explanation

 

To the right, the square is 3 x 3 inch. A Z value of 1 creates a block 3 x 3 x 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now let’s add a second positive Z value and two negative Z values. Notice that positive Z values create protrusions and negative Z values create recesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z values can also apply to more intricate 2D shapes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A simple 5-side box:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z values can apply to shapes drawn in side views also. Here we select menu View | Front, add two circles and apply Z values.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Air Inside

To cut fully thru, set the Z edit control to “Air Inside”. Setting Z to Air Inside in a side view creates more capability.

 Example Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add Material or Subtract?

You can design shapes by first drawing a block or cylinder that would encompass the full size of your part and using recesses (shapes with negative Z values) to remove material; or by starting with a base shape and adding protrusions (shapes with positive Z values).

If you are having difficulty creating a shape using the additive method try the subtractive method and conversely. You can also mix additive and subtractive methods in a design.

You can add or subtract material from multiple views. For example you might create a shape the Top view with positive Z and remove material in the Left view using a different shape with negative Z.

For shapes that can be formed by bending a sheet consider the Bend feature which is more economical.

Minimize Z:

When designing a part, try to use Z for the smaller dimensions. For example, a rectangular block 1 x 1 x 2″ could be drawn in the Top view with a 1 x 1 square having Z set to 2 or a 1 x 2 rectangle having Z set to 1. The second way is preferred and will often result in lower cost. In some cases it will be necessary to minimize Z to resolve errors. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ok0locgHGJE

Advanced tips

See also the Revolve feature of the Z control.

For drilled holes, the Z measurement is taken from the end of the cylindrical portion of the drill bit, not the tip of the conical portion.

For threading features, the Z measurement applies to the thread depth/length and must be positive both for protrusions and holes. Use the Maximal setting to get the maximum thread depth/length value permitted by standard tooling.

3D Machine Settings 

In designing 3D parts you need to select a line in your drawing and then choose menu Line | Machine to see the following dialog:

 

 

machine-dialog_1

Edges

A View is a look at your custom part from one of six perspectives: Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front, and Back. For example, if you need to add a hole to the left side of your part you would select the Left view before drawing the hole.

To set the shape of a near edge

  1. Choose a line in your drawing.
  2. Select Line | Machine.
  3. Choose Straight , Round or Chamfer per the desired shape of the edge and enter the relevant numeric value. Use Chamfer for countersinking holes. (Most inch flat head screws are 82 degrees.) Use Straight for counterboring holes. You may need to change to an opposing view first. For example, if you have a thru hole in the Top view and want to countersink the far edge, select View | Bottom and from the bottom view chamfer the near edge.

To set the shape of a far edge 

  1. Choose a line in your drawing.
  2. Select Line | Machine.
  3. Choose Drilled for a cone shaped bottom. Choose Straight for a flat bottom. Choose Round for a rounded bottom.

To shape one segment of a contour without shaping the full contour use comments to machinist.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9TsByVofKA

                       

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMDX-mOBPh4

    Revolve (Tapered Tube)

    The Revolve feature allows you to create a wide variety of symmetrically round shapes like those shown below simply by drawing a flat 2D shape. 

     BOR 2D BOR

     pawn_frontpawn_3d

    To add tapping or threading with a Revolved shape use Comments To Machinist as Line | Machine | Tap & Thread is not currently supported with the Revolve feature.

    You can add additional features to Revolved shapes. For example you might want to add flats, side holes or any other non-revolved shape.

     

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ow7WpelwSU

    To create a Revolve Shape

    1. Choose File | New. 
    2. Choose View | Top.
    3. Draw a circle and set the diameter to the largest diameter of the shape.
    4. On the numeric bar set Z to the overall length of the shape.
    5. Choose View | Front.
    6. In the right side of the dotted axis line draw a 2D closed shape that touches 3 sides of the rectangle (see above). Keep the shape away from the center axis if you want a center hole. There must be no overlapping lines or open lines.
    7. Select all the lines and click the Group button.
    8. On the numeric bar set Z to Revolve.
    9. Choose View | 3D.

    To add additional features to a Revolved Shape:

    1. Select the appropriate view from the View menu, other than the view containing the Revolve line.
    2. Draw the desired additional feature.
    3. Set the Z value.
    4. Choose View | 3D to check the result.

    To shape one segment of a contour without shaping the full contour use comments to machinist.

      Grooves

      Grooves are recesses cut into an inside or outside wall.

      To specify a groove on a wall

      1. Select a line in the design.
      2. Choose Line | Machine.
      3. Check Grooves.
      4. Click the Parameters button. 
      5. Specify the desired dimensions and click Add for each needed groove. You can edit existing grooves by clicking the Replace button. You can remove a groove by selecting it in the list and clicking Remove. You can remove all grooves by unchecking Grooves in the main dialog.

      For non-rectangular grooves use Comments To Machinist or, for turned parts use the Revolve feature.

      To make a groove on a flat surface 

      1. Draw the outer line. 
      2. Set Z to negative the depth of the groove.
      3. Draw the inner line.
      4. Set Z to positive the depth of the groove.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhcyJp6ShMc

      Intersections

      The eMachineShop CAD requires all lines to be closed shapes and non-intersecting (not overlapping), otherwise you will receive an error. To resolve an intersection error there are two methods:

      To create a valid 2D shape

      1. While holding the Ctrl key (to multi-select) click on the intersecting lines. 
      2. On the toolbar click the Intersect button.
      3. Delete one or more line segments to create a single closed shape by clicking on the segment(s) and pressing the Delete button
      To create a valid 3D shape between two lines:
      1. On the numeric bar set the nudge value to 0.1″.
      2. Think of the two lines as line A and line B.
      3. While holding the Ctrl key (to multi-select) click on lines A and B. 
      4. Using the keyboard arrow keys nudge the lines to a blank area.
      5. Choose Line | Intersect.
      6. Click the mouse in a blank area.
      7. If any of the line segments cross over an area where you plan to have a hole or cutout going fully thru your part, delete only those lines. 
      8. Multi-select the nudged lines by dragging a selection rectangle around the lines.
      9. Choose Line | Repeat to create a copy.
      10. Nudge the copy away from the original and on the keyboard press the “=” key. 
      11. In the original version of the nudged lines: delete one or more line segments to leave a closed shape comprised of segments from A and B (for example you might delete all the interior lines leaving the outermost lines); group the lines of the resulting shape together by multi-selecting them and choosing Line | Group; nudge the shape back to its original position in the design; and set Z on the numeric bar (if you don’t know what value to use choose 0.1 for now).
      12. In the other nudged copy: delete some line segments to leave a different closed shape (this shape can be comprised of segments from just A, just B or both); group the lines of the resulting shape together by selecting them and choosing Line | Group; nudge the shape back to its original position in the design; and set Z (if you don’t know what value to use choose 0.1 for now).
      13. Choose View | 3D
      14. If the result is not as desired you probably did not set Z properly (you might need to change the value or change to a negative value or Air Inside); or you did not make the proper closed shapes. If so, undo the above changes and revise accordingly.

      Tutorial

      The tutorial video will show you how to create a 3D (three dimensional) part – a flywheel. 3D parts are made from blocks of material and can have recesses, rounded edges, slopes, etc.

      Video corrections: Instead of manually selecting a process like Mill or Laser, choose Auto which automatically selects the optimal process. And the rotation snap angle has been moved to the numeric bar.

       

       

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz8cvjeLaY4

      Sharp Inside Corners

      If you receive an error directing you to round a sharp inside corner, and only one Z value is involved you can simply use the corner rounding tool.

      If multiple Z values are involved:

      1. Edit | Select All
      2. Line | Intersect
      3. At sharp corners needing rounding apply Line | Corner | Round.
      4. Extend straights to fill any resulting gaps.
      5. Edit | Select All  Line | Intersect  Line | Repeat … Nudge to side.
      6. Group lines into closed contours as appropriate and nudge to side (take lines from the copy if needed). 
      7. Delete the copy and nudge the grouped lines back into position.
      8. Set Z values.
      9. View | 3D