Isometric drawings are 3D representations of models in 2D space. These drawings are very useful in the engineering and architectural industries as they are ideal for visualizing machine parts, products, and infrastructure. AutoCAD is popularly used as a 2D drafting tool and it is common to think that the software lacks in the area of creating isometric drawings. Because of this notion, not many AutoCAD users are aware of the Isometric Drafting tool and the other isometric aids that are provided in AutoCAD 2D. In this blog post, I will give you an overview of how to create isometric drawings in AutoCAD 2D.
Isometric Drawing Environment
To successfully draw an isometric model, we first need to set up the drawing environment. The drawing environment sets the drawing cursor to an isometric axis with the X and Y axis aligned at a 30-degree angle. The isometric drawing environment can be set in the Drafting Settings dialog box. In the Snap and Grid tab of the dialog box, in the Snap type area, click Isometric snap.
This automatically changes the orientation of the cursor and the grid to an isometric alignment.
To easily identify the alignment plane of the cursor and the grid, use the Isometric Drafting tool in the Status Bar.
Expand (Isometric Drafting) and click on one of the following options to set the required isometric drawing environment:
The cursor crosshairs and the grid display are oriented to align with the selected option.
Drawing an Isometric Model
To draw an isometric model of a mechanical plate, let us draw the right side of a plate. Set the drawing environment to (isoplane Right). This changes the cursor and the grid orientation to 30 degrees on the right side. Use the Line or Pline command and draw the right side of the cube with the required dimensions.
To draw the left portion of the plate, set the drawing environment to (isoplane Left). This changes the cursor and the grid orientation to 30 degrees on the left side. Use the Line or Pline command and draw the left side of the plate with the required dimensions.
To represent holes in 2D, we draw circles, but circles appear as ellipses in isometric drawings. AutoCAD provides the Isocircle option in the Ellipse command to show holes in isometric drawing in 2D. In the Home tab>Draw panel, expand the Ellipse flyout and select (Axis,End). At the Specify axis endpoint of ellipse prompt, click the drop-down arrow and select Isocircle.
To draw the hole at the top, set the drawing environment to (isoplane Top) and draw the isocircle.