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May 1, 2014 AT 11:00 am

123D Design Tutorial – Navigating, Shortcut keys and Views #3DPrinting #3DThursday

123D Design - Navigation Tools

Navigating

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.

123D Design shortcut hotkeys

Shortcut Keys

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.

123D Design - Views

Views

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.

123D Design - Navigation Cube

Navigation Cube

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.

123D Design - More Info

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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3 Comments

  1. Do they still lack any actual co-ordinate system? Last time I played with it, it was shockingly hard (nigh impossible) to create a 4x4x1″ open bottomed box with a centered 2.8″ hole on the top face with any degree of accuracy at all.

    At least if they let me click on a point and specify a relative delta to move the cursor with the keyboard…. That ability was missing, I assume it still is?

  2. I forgot to mention, 123d’s shortcomings not withstanding, this does a great job of covering some of the basic navigation features. Print worthy even.

  3. Hi C,
    You don’t need a coordinate system for such an operation. At least for your particular issue. Check the image on this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/mzthu3doa6beqf0/box%20with%20hole.jpg
    I just dropped a 2.8″ circle on top of the box’s face, and it works perfectly well, since we track center of face.
    I agree that for some more complex operations you can benefit from a coordinate system, although the traditional way to expose it in CAD tools may not be a good fit for our audience. You’ll see something done about it quite soon.

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