Flatten 3D model to 2D

Aug 12, 2014


You want to create a flattened two-dimensional (2D) drawing of a three-dimensional (3D) model.


If you are using AutoCAD 2007 and higher, the FLATSHOT command is available to convert 3D solids to flattened 2D views (this command is not available in AutoCAD LT).

Another method to create a 2D drawing from a 3D model is to configure a DXB plotter using the Add-A-Plotter Wizard (earlier releases of the software used the DXBOUT command to export to the DXB file format however DXBOUT is a discontinued command, replaced by the DXB plotter configuration described below):

  1. At the command line, type PLOTTERMANAGER.
  2. Double-click the Add-a-Plotter Wizard shortcut icon.
  3. On the Begin page, select My Computer. Choose Next.
  4. On the Plotter Model page, under Manufacturers, select AutoCAD DXB File. Under Model, select DXB File. Choose Next.
  5. On the Import PCP or PC2 page, choose Import File and select a PCP or PC2 file to import (optional). Choose Import. Then choose Next.
  6. On the Ports page, select Plot to File. Choose Next.
  7. On the Plotter Name page, enter a name for the plotter configuration file. Choose Next.
  8. On the Finish page, choose Finish.
  9. A new plotter configuration file (PC3) is created.

Once you have created the DXB plotter configuration, continue with the following steps:

  1. Open the drawing you want to flatten.
  2. Set the viewpoint of the 3D model as you want it.
  3. Start the PLOT command.
  4. Select the DXB plotter from the list of available printers on the Plot Device tab of the Plotter Configuration Name dialog box.
  5. Click OK to create the DXB format plot file.
  6. Start a new drawing.
  7. Start the DXBIN command on the command line. (Again, this command is not available in AutoCAD LT 2009 and higher.)
  8. When prompted, browse to the file you just created, and then click OK.
  9. When the drawing is open, save the drawing as a DWG format file.

You now have a new 2D representation of the model from the original drawing. All Z coordinate information is removed in the new drawing.

Note: The DXB plotter configuration converts all color data to black and white, and places all drawing geometry on layer 0.