When your first starting out learning 123D, it may seem a bit difficult to navigate around objects and space. If your using a trackpad, it may be a bit of a hassle to manually switch between the orbit and pan tools. With a three button mouse or tablet, you can easily switch between the two using right-click and a middle button. You can however, avoid panning all together by simply scrolling to zoom in and out of areas to ‘pan’ across space. Selecting an object and hitting the “F” key will reposition your perspective to the center of the select object(s), this is very handy when you want to quickly change your views orientation.
Using shortcut keys are a great way to quickly run functions and commands, saving you time! With Autodesk’s latest 1.4 update, they added some new shortcut keys and a lovely hotkey legend. My favorite is “F! It’s probably my most used shortcut key.
You have the option to view your work in either Perspective or Orthographic. I tend to keep my view set to Orthographic since it gives you a better representation of symmetrical geometry. By default your view may be set to Perspective. You can change this by clicking on the eject arrow icon thats on the top right, just below the navigation cube. You can reset your view to ‘home’ by clicking on the house looking icon.
The navigation cube can be used to orbit around your workspace. Click+hold and move your mouse to pivot your view. This navigation cube also serves as reference guide, letting you know what ‘side’ you are currently looking at. If you click on a surface, your view will automatically be repositioned to that corresponding side. When you hover over the navigation cube, you get four triangle icons and two arrow icons. Clicking on these will change your view to the adjacent side, this is great for getting an absolute flat view of your workspace. The two arrow icons will rotate your view in 90 degree increments. Clicking on the edges and corners of the cube will also reposition your view, relative to the navigation cube.
If you’re looking for more information, support, tutorials or even looking to share feedback (Autodesk is listening!) hover over that question mark icon in the top right of the app window to get a list of everything you need.
I hope these simple tips help you on your 123D Design projects. Sometimes it’s the simple things that makes using software easy. If there’s a feature you’d like us to talk about, let us know in the comments below! Thanks for reading, and until next time – learn, make, share, repeat.
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Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Fore more tutorials on Autodesk 123D Design, check out our 123DTut tag for all of our posts! Have something you like us to talk about? Let us know in the comments below!
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