Working with AEC Objects in 3ds Max - Part 1 - AEC Tools

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  • Design Visualization
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Building Levels
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  • 3ds Max
Skill Level
  • Beginner
7 min

Working with AEC Objects in 3ds Max - Part 1 - AEC Tools

In this introductory tutorial, learn how to build architectural components for your model. You will experiment by building walls, doors, windows and staircases for your model. These objects are parametric in 3ds Max, which gives them an advantage over imported geometry from CAD programs.

  • Recorded in: 3ds Max 2010
  • This tutorial is intended for use with 3ds Max version 2010 or higher.
You use AEC tools to create objects such as walls, doors, windows, 
and stairs, among others.

AEC tools are mostly useful in 3ds Max Design but they can
also be used in 3ds Max.

When working with AEC tools, it is best to set 3ds Max
to work "By Layer".

This is the default in 3ds Max Design but has to be set manually
in 3ds Max.

This can be done in the Preferences dialog, or by choosing a "Design"
settings in the Custom UI & Defaults switcher.

To start, you usually work from a reference such as a blueprint
or a 2D CAD drawing.

It helps if the reference is simplified. In the case of a 2D CAD drawing,
turn off the layers not required to build 3D models.

To work with a degree of precision, enable snap mode and set it to Vertex.

To create 3D Walls, first make sure the Walls layer is current.

You can then use the Wall tool and set its width to 1 foot and height
to 10 feet,

which are the specifications of the outer walls.

You also need to set the wall justification. If you set it to Left,
the cursor will be at the left of the wall as you draw it.

Going from one point to the next, you can now easily build the outer wall.

After you close the loop, you can right-click to exit.

To create another wall, click the Wall button again; otherwise,
any changes to the parameters will affect the already created wall.

The interior walls are 5 inches wide and 9 feet high.

You can create them with a left justification, as you did earlier
with the outer walls.

One advantage to using wall objects is that a gap is automatically
created as you add doors and windows.

Set the Wall layer's properties to See Through mode.

This will make it easier to place the doors & windows.

On the Doors & Windows layer, add a sliding door to the kitchen outer wall.

Doors and windows are created with a click-and-drag by specifying
the width first, depth second, and height third.

In this case, width and depth are specified with the help of snap tools
but the height needs to be set to 7 feet.

Notice the automatic creation of the gap. This can be better seen
by opening the patio door.

Add a Pivot door to the bathroom.

Once the pivot door is created, you can flip the hinge,
reverse its swing direction, or make it a double-door.

In some cases, the creation of the gap is not always successful.

If this happens, delete the door and try again. Sometimes,
reversing the creation process (Left/Right) can solve the problem.

Windows are created much the same way, although they typically start
higher up from the floor.

After you create a window that's lying on the ground, you can change
its parameters normally.

Once this is done, you can use the Move tool to translate the window
on its Z-axis.

The next AEC tool you'll take a look at is the Stairs tool.

Posted By
  • 3ds Max
  • Modeling
  • 2011
  • Basics
  • Building Levels
  • Deploying and Building
  • Environment
  • Workflow
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