Welcome to the next stop on our BricsCAD journey. Today we explore Section Plane tools. Section planes allow you to visually cut into your model without actually slicing it. They can help you see inside your model for design purposes and even produce 2D sections for documentation.
You can access Section Plane tools from the Quad or the Model menu, among other places.
Create Section Planes
The Section Plane tool (SECTIONPLANE command) offers multiple methods for you to create a section plane. The default method is to simply select two points to define the plane.
The Draw option is similar except it allows you to pick more than two points. This enables you create a jogged section plane.
You can use the Orthographic option to create section planes that align, orthographically, with the current user coordinate system.
The Face option enables you to create a section plane along a selected face.
You can combine any of these methods to create multiple section planes for the same model.
Regardless of how you create a section plane, you can use grips and the manipulator tool to modify its location and orientation or flip its direction.
Section Plane Properties
In addition to directly manipulating section planes, you can modify their properties. For example, you can change the transparency and color of selected planes. And you can individually control the display of each section plane. The model in the following image has two section planes. However, Clip display for the magenta plane is set to No and for the grey plane it’s set to Yes.
Section Plane to Block
Section plane clipping is only for display purposes. It doesn’t actually cut your model. However, there are occasions where you may wish to generate a copy of the clipped model. You can do that using the Section Plane to Block tool. Specify whether you want to create a 2D or 3D block and then choose the section plane from which you want to generate it. Your original model is left intact while you insert and, potentially edit, the block.
Section Plane Settings
BricsCAD offers many settings to control the appearance and behavior of section planes as well as the blocks you generate from them. Access all the Section Plane Settings in the Section Planes panels in Drawing Explorer.
If you want to generate 2D drawings from your 3D models in BricsCAD Pro, Section Planes offer a lot of flexibility. You can explode the generated blocks and edit them just as you would if you drew the original geometry. And, even if you don’t generate 2D or 3D blocks from your model, section planes are invaluable for visualizing and designing inside your model. In the next post we’ll explore another method for producing 2D geometry from your 3D models, Drawing Views.
If you missed the previous tours on our BricsCAD Journey, it’s never too late to catch up! First, learn about functionality in the BricsCAD Classic Edition. Then, continue to the Pro Edition. Everything you learn about Classic also applies to Pro!