How to Start AutoCAD 3D Modeling? Beginner’s Guide

AutoCAD is widely used in drafting. As well as It can be used for 3D modeling purposes for small kinds of object modeling. This guide helps you to start 3D modeling from a newbie to an intermediate level.

How to Start AutoCAD 3D modeling? When you start AutoCAD 3D modeling you must know how to install software and interface introduction. After that, you should know the operations of the basic commands, and plotting of the software. More than that you should know how to extract detail from the drawing and using it. When you start 3D modeling with AutoCAD you should know these widely.

After you refer to this until the end you can install AutoCAD and start 3D modeling using AutoCAD. So let’s keep on reading and check the progress.

Related Topic


AutoCAD is not free software it is available for 185$/monthly subscription. Annually it is 1775$. Because of this, it is a tad bit expensive. But you have an option. Autodesk offers a free trial as well as a student version if you are a student. But my opinion is it is legal if you can buy this even for a short time period.

But there is no way to but you can use a crack version which is not ethical.

Free trial
The free trial will remain for 30 days.
You can access the below options with free trials.

  • Architecture toolset WIN
  • Electrical toolset WIN
  • Map 3D toolset WIN
  • Mechanical toolset WIN
  • MEP toolset WIN
  • Plant 3D toolset WIN
  • Raster Design toolset WIN
  • AutoCAD mobile app
  • AutoCAD web app

Student Version
If you are a student you can have the student version from the Autodesk Company. For this, You will need a qualified educational institution certified by the government. You can check it here.

System Requirements for AutoCAD 2020

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit only), 8.1 (64-bit only), or 7 SP1 (64-bit only)
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz (3+ GHz recommended)
  • Memory: 8 GB (16GB recommended)
  • Disk space: 6.0 GB
  • Display: 1920 x 1080 resolution with True Color

After you have the student version you need a Product key and activation key. Those are sent to the E-mail that you have given in the process. So After a few processes, you can have the software finally.

Recognize the Interface

After you have installed the AutoCAD successfully you can open it. There is an interface with many buttons and letters. So let’s see what you should know about this.

AutoCAD mainly uses for the drafting process. But For the beginners can start 3D modeling with this. The reason is all the basic commands can be learned well with real examples here. So let’s see what are includes in these interfaces.

01. Drafting and Annotation Interface


01 Application Button
All kind of file-related tasks is in the application button. As well as there is access to the printing and file exporting process settings are included in the application button.

02. Quick Access Toolbar
The quicksave, print, open redo and undo settings are in the quick access toolbar.

03. Ribbon Area
All kinds of tools are included in the ribbon area. If you are used the drafting interface you can see line drawings, modification, and editing settings are included in the ribbon area.

04. File Tabs
You can observe which file is open and which file is working on in this tab

05. UCS
The user Coordinate System is the most important thing in 3D modeling. There are two main coordinates in AutoCAD. UCS-user coordinate system and WCS- World coordinate system is both. Both can be changed according to our requirements and placing. With these, we can change the work plane and direction.

06. Layout Tabs
Model layout and Plotting layouts are the main used layouts in AutoCAD. You can quickly be switching printing layouts and working layouts using these tabs.

07. View Cube
All 3D views are included in the view cube. Front, back, top, left, right, and back is those views. just clicking one side you can see the relevant view side of the object. By clicking the edge you can see and view the model.

08. Navigation Bar
This includes all navigation path operations. You can see orbit, navigation wheel, zoom in and out and show motion in this panel.

09. Status Bar Toggles
All kinds of tracking (object tracking) workspace changing, and snap modes are handled here.

This is the most used drafting and annotation interface introduction in brief. When you are learning more and more you can catch more. Keep on reading!

02. 3D Modeling Interface

This is the interface that we need to more about 3D modeling. Here only change the ribbon and its options. you can see it below.


Ribbon Tab
The ribbon tab is the most used tab in 3D modeling in AutoCAD. All kinds of Solid and surface diting with using this. You can do modeling, mesh editing, solid editing, drawings, modifying, section editing and viewing, coordinates setting and layers managing are n in the ribbon area.

This is a brief explanation of the interface. Now let’s see how to create a simple 3D object.

Basic Essential Step for 3D Modeling in AutoCAD

Step 01. Set Units
This is the first step you should put. Because you must know what is your units that you are going to working on. There are standard units with millimeters, centimeters, meters, kilometers such as. So you had better select which units you are working on. Then everything is adjusted according to that.

Set Units in AutoCAD

Step 02. Analyze the Drawing or Model

Before you create a 3D model you must analyze the given drawing, reference image, or model and have an idea bout the full object. When you analyze it you can observe same parts are used several times and how should be the fish of the object what is the front view as well as back, sides, top, and bottom, etc.

How should be the front and how it can see to the sides. So you must know about the basic things of the drawings. First angle and 3 rd angle observations. If you are experienced in these you can catch them in a minute.

Step 03. Ideation

In this part, you should think how would be the final object. To achieve that object which path you should select. The path should be with the least steps and finally, the object should be 100% accurate and quick. When you analysis you can see similar parts, mirrored parts holes, tapering, bends, connections, etc. According to the complexity, these types can be changed.

Sometimes you can observe separate modeling and connect together is better than modeling the whole object. So in the analysis part, you can extract these kinds of data into your mind.

Everything should start with drawing so follow it for a better approach.

Step 04. Modeling

According to the drawing that you have provided draw the drawing first and using 3D commands you can make it and finalize the object.

Saving and keeping copy are the most important thing in 3D modeling

Step 05. Connecting Parts

In this step, your separated modeled object connects together and create one object. You can have snap tracking in this step for a better tracking process.

Step 06. Finalizing

After you finish the modeling part you can make a “UNION” object which connects all connections and objects together. If the parts are in separate files take them into one before finalize it.

If you need AutoCAD rendering you can have a good rendering option in the AutoCAD. Which is suitable for object modeling.

Step 07. Plotting

After you finish all processes you need to plot we call it is printing. There are many ways to print in AutoCAD. The best way is below. You can check it and have a better output.

The Easiest and Fastest way for Plotting in AutoCAD
01. Go to the “Visualize” tab
02. Go to “Model Viewports” then “Name
03. In the viewport setting create a new view name and then “OK
04. Then “Right-click” “+” mark on layout switching panel
05. Then load “New” or “Template” layout as you need
06. Go to the loaded layout
07. In loaded layout go to the “Layout” panel
08. Then go to layout viewports and “Named
09. Click and load the name you saved
10. By drawing on the layout you can display any view.

Beginner’s Guide

After referring to all the above details let’s start with two exercises. Below is the attachment for the object modeling. Try to draw this object using AutoCAD.


Step 01. Set up the units – Here Units are not given therefore it is better to use centimeters.

Step 02. Analysis – There are 02 main parts bottom and top. The bottom part and top part are with holes. Considering the top part; it is also created with two parts. cylinder and another tapering part.

Step 03. Ideation – After creating the bottom part and then create the top part after creating both connect together. The top part should be created as two parts as we analyzed above

Step 04. Modeling – Draw each part separately and then use the “Presspull” command in AutoCAD

Image 01

Image 01. According to the analysis section separate objects into simple objects and draw necessary drawings
Image 02. Using AutoCAD commands convert each part into 3D
Image 03 and 04. Combine each part and make the model

Step 05. Finalizing/Plotting

After creating the whole object then use the “union” command in Boolean. If you need to render you can use Autocad renderings as well as another rendering application for better output.

Try this for Intermediate Guide


3D modeling using AutoCAD should be practiced very well. When you are practicing it more and more you can touch shortcuts and new paths. When you are well practicise you can model an object within few steps. So this guide is only for the starting. So you can start 3D modeling using AutoCAD with this guide and finalize and plot.

Ricky Louis

Hey.. I am Ricky Louis, A professional graphic designer with years of experience in 3D modeling. I would like to share my knowledge with you.

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