Skill Builder: Basic 3D Modeling in VectorWorks

This skill builder will demonstrate how to make simple 3D models that are ideal for the 4 axis mill

You will need Vectorworks and a thumb drive.


 Start with simple shapes

Start with circles, select the largest and Extrude it (Model/Extrude) to a length in the Z direction.

Do this two more times and position them on top of each other.

You now have three separate cylinders stacked.  Click on OpenGL to render the objects in solid color.


Add and Subtract Solids

Now we need to combine all of the solids.  Select all three cylinders and Add Solids (Model/Add Solids).

This will make one solid.

Extrude the two other circles to at least as long as the solid object is.

Position the one cylinder in the center of the first solid object, select both solids, and subtract the solids (Model/Subtract Solids).

Copy two the remaining cylinder two more times.  And rotate them in 3D (Modify/Rotate/Rotate 3D).

Move the rotated cylinder into position and subtract solids (Model/Subtract Solids).

Do this two more times with the other two cylinders.


Export File

You will need a .stl or .igs file for the 4 axis mill.  I recommend exporting as an .stl.

Note: Export quality will effect the length of job time and the surface of your part.

Save to a thumb drive and you’re ready for the 4 Axis mill.