TurboCAD is a computer-aided design (CAD) program that allows architects and other users to create graphical specifications for buildings and other structures. Learning TurboCAD quickly involves building skills in just the essential commands for creating, editing and displaying 2-D shapes and 3-D objects. It also involves learning tools that can perform the functions of many other tools, such as the polyline shape. Learning CAD quickly allows you to begin producing graphics that manufacturing crews can work from.
- Skill level:
Things you need
Open TurboCAD and press "Control-N" to open the "New Project" dialogue box. Click that box's "Create from Scratch" icon to create a new document to draw in.
Click the "Insert" menu's "Line" submenu, followed by the "Polyline" command. Learning the polyline tool lets you make any arbitrary polygon, including squares, rectangles and customised shapes containing both curves and straight segments.
Click on any part of the drawing window to place the polyline's first point and then drag to grow its first segment. Click to complete the segment, which will be straight.
Drag a short distance, then right-click and choose "Arc" to specify a curved segment. Right-click to complete the second segment, then right-click and choose "Close" to complete the polyline's shape.
Press and hold the middle mouse button, then drag on the drawing area to orbit around the shape. Orbiting is one of the three navigational tools you'll use in every TurboCAD drawing. Learning early to navigate 3-D space greatly speeds your work flow.
Hold down the middle mouse button and drag while pressing the "Control" and "Alt" keys simultaneously. This displays the effect of the second navigation tool: zooming. Repeat this step's first sentence, but with "Control" and "Shift" held down to perform the third and final navigation command: panning (which moves the viewpoint left and right).
Click the shape, then right-click it and select "Edit" to enter the mode for reshaping the shape. Shaping is another operation you'll perform on every TurboCAD drawing.
Drag on any of the square or circular nodes that appear on the shape to experiment with changing the shape in different ways. Read more about the essential "Edit" tool in the help file (accessed by pressing "F1"), under the heading "Editing and Modifying objects." Press "Escape" to return to the default selection mode.
Right-click the shape and select "Properties," then click the "3-D" tab. Type in any number in the "Thickness" text box, then click "OK" to close the dialogue box. TurboCAD will expand (i.e. extrude) your 2-D shape into a 3-D object. Extrusion is a common way to turn shapes into 3-D objects. Read these topics to learn other essential methods for creating 3-D objects: "Box," "Sphere," "Cone" and "Cylinder," under the help file's "Standard 3-D objects" heading.
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