Autodesk Manufacturing Tech Day – Surface Modeling in AutoCAD

Guillermo Melantoni, the man entrusted with the job of getting more 3D features into AutoCAD, gave a presentation on the new surfacing capabilities of AutoCAD 2011. The presentation included a demo which involved importing an Inventor model of an electric shaver in AutoCAD and modeling the product packaging for it using surface modeling. The Inventor part came in as a solid. Guide curves were extracted from which surfaces were lofted. The continuity between adjacent surfaces were appropriately set. He also used the surface trim and patch commands to trim portions of the surfaces and later fill them to suit the intended design. Finally a zebra analysis was carried out which pointed out undesirable continuities which were later adjusted to get the final surface model. The model was then sent back to Inventor where ribs were added as necessary to complete the model.

Here are a few pictures of the work flow. Click the images for larger views.

Extracting guide curves

Lofting surfaces

Trimming surfaces

Zebra analysis showing undesirable surface continuity

Zebra analisys after setting the desired continuity yielding smooth and sexy surfaces

Packaging modeled in AutoCAD imported into Inventor

Ribs added in Inventor

Shaver with the packaging

After seeing this, it is hard to think of AutoCAD as a 2D CAD system alone. Needless to say, Autodesk intends to add more 3D features into AutoCAD as time progresses. Love it.