How to Create a Step Pyramid in AutoCAD
AutoCAD is a versatile online design and drafting software that can be used to create three dimensional models for industrial, architectural, and engineering purposes. Used in a vast range of technical professions and compatible with both PC and Mac devices, AutoCAD is a powerful tool that forges together science and creativity. This article provides instructions on how to build a step pyramid using basic geometric design features in the program. Readers can apply these skills to more complex drafting projects.
Launching the Program
Open the AutoCAD program by clicking on the application icon.
Launch a New Project.Click on the “New” tab in the left panel, select a desired template, and click “Open.” A new drafting space will appear.
Select a visual style.Visual styles control the display of edges, lighting, and shading. Select the default “2D Wireframe” setting on the top left of the drafting space to prompt the drop-down menu. These visual styles can be explored and adjusted throughout the drafting process as desired.
- Conceptual is used in this example.
Choose desired units of measurement.Type the word “units” anywhere on the screen (no text box or search bar) and select the units icon that appears as depicted. Adjust the units of measurement and set additional parameters if needed.
- Inches are used in this example.
Designing the Step Pyramid
Select the rectangle icon in the left panel of the drawing space.
- An alternative option to prompt this command is to type the keyboard shortcut command “rec” anywhere on the screen (no text box or search bar) and select the rectangle icon that appears in the pop-up menu.
Draw a rectangle.Click in the drawing space to specify the location of the first corner. Move the cursor to create a rectangle and click again to specify the opposite corner.
- To draw a rectangle with specific dimensions, click to specify the location of the first corner, type “d,” and press the “enter” key. Type a numerical value for the X-direction and press the “enter” key. Type a numerical value for the Y-value and press the “enter” key. Position the shape and click to finalize the rectangle.
Draw subsequent rectangles.Repeat the last two steps to draw the remaining rectangles. Specify the corners of the new rectangles such that they are oriented in space as shown. Each rectangle should have a different perimeter and enclose a different size area. The number of rectangles drawn correlates with the number of steps/levels the final pyramid will have.
- An alternative option is to use the “offset” function in AutoCAD to create a new rectangle. Type “offset” anywhere on the screen (no text box or search bar) and select the “offset” icon that appears. Follow the prompts that appear; specify a distance to offset the new rectangle from the previous one by typing a numerical value and clicking the “enter” key or selecting a point in space to offset to. Select the rectangle to offset and click in the drafting space to finish. A new rectangle should appear.
View the shape in three dimensions.Hold down the mouse on the cube which is located in the top right corner of the sketch space. Rotate the cube to adjust the vantage point. Changing the angle will make it easier to view the object in three dimensions in the following steps.
Extrude each rectangle to different a height.Type the keyboard shortcut “ext” anywhere on the screen (no text box or search bar). Select “EXT (EXTRUDE)” from the drop-down menu.
Click on the border of the innermost 2-dimensional rectangle.Press the “enter” key.
- Note: The height of the first innermost rectangle will dictate the height of the pyramid.
Specify rectangle height.Either move the cursor to a desired height and click the mouse or type an exact numerical value and press the “enter” key.
Repeat the last three steps to extrude the remaining rectangles.Specify a lower height for each rectangle.
Task complete.The final product is a three dimensional step pyramid.
- Relevant Keyboard Command Shortcuts: REC---> Rectangle EXT---> Extrude UN---> Units O---> Offset
- Use the key to exit an active command.
- Shapes can be deleted via the ERASE or DELETE command.
- Command prompts and shortcuts are consistent among different versions of AutoCAD. AutoCAD 2015 was used in this demonstration.
Video: How to build a Pyramid School Project
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