AutoCAD 2011 includes a new 3D Basics workspace that you can access from the Quick Access Toolbar.
The 3D Basics workspace provides a simple workspace with the most essential tools for creating and visualizing 3D solid models. It includes five ribbon tabs: Home, Render, Insert, Manage, and Output. It also includes the Express Tools tab, as do all of the workspaces, if the Express Tools were installed with AutoCAD 2011. In this post, I’ll focus on the Home tab.
The home tab provides access to most of the tools you’ll need for creating and editing a 3D model. It has seven panels: Create, Edit, Draw, Modify, Selection, Coordinates, and Layers & View. Most of these panels expand to display additional tools.
The Create panel has tools to create 3D objects including solids, surfaces, and meshes.
The Draw panel has tools for drawing 2D geometry which you can then use as paths and profiles for creating 3D objects. For example, the Draw panel includes the familiar Line, Arc, Circle, and Polyline tools (some are in flyouts). It also includes a few tools that you may be less familiar with if you’re new to 3D modeling. The 3D Polyline and Spline tools, for example, can be used (if you’re careful not to pick points in 3D space) to create 2D objects but are especially useful for 3D modeling.
The Modify panel has common 2D editing tools, such as Move, Offset, and Copy. It also includes some tools that are specifically for manipulating objects in 3D space, such as 3D Mirror, 3D Align, and 3D Array.
The Selection panel has tools for setting the 3D Gizmo and sub-object selection filters.
And, finally, the Layers and View panel includes tools for controling layers, visual styles, and views.