Extrude and Presspull Commands: Eight tips for efficient use

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Extrude and Presspull Commands are probably the most used AutoCAD 3D tools and also the most common one. In this article, I will show you eight tips for making efficient use of these tools. Let’s start with the extrude command.

Changing 3D mode:

There are two modes available with extrude command, these are solid and surface. You can convert any closed geometry into a solid or a surface by selecting the respective mode from the command line as shown in the image below.

If you apply extrude command on an open 2D geometry a surface will always be created irrespective of the mode selected. Extrude command can be used on region geometries too, and you will be able to select Solid or surface mode for regions also.


Extrude along direction:

By default, extrusion will go perpendicular to profile but by using direction option from command line we can manipulate the direction of extrusion to an angle other than 90 degrees.

For changing direction you can select a line or use two points, make sure that the reference line for direction is not on same or parallel plane of the profile which you are extruding. Take reference of the image below for more.


Extruding along path:

By using this option you can create extruded geometry along a path as well. The path can be created using an arc, line, polyline or spline and can even be made away from the geometry. In this case, also the path should not be on the same or parallel plane of the geometry with which extrusion in being made, take reference of the image below.


Extruding using taper angle:

You can give taper angle with respect to the normal plane of selected object, positive value makes taper inside from profile & negative make outside and all faces are tapered equally with respect to the vertical axis.

Specifying large angle may cause faces or loop of the object to meet at a point before reaching extrude height so try to add appropriate value to the taper angle of extrusion. In the image below the taper angle of 10 degrees is applied to the pentagon shape.


Extruding using expression (Formulas):

You can even use expressions for the height of extrusion. To use it start Extrude command, select geometry and select Expression option from the command line. Enter an expression like this one  Pi*25^2 or 2(25+5) or log10 and press enter. AutoCAD will calculate the final output and apply the height accordingly to the extrusion.

Extrude Text:

There is no direct method to extrude text in AutoCAD. In order to extrude text, we need to first convert it into drawing objects by exploding it using TXTEXP command which is also known as Text Explode command.

Once the text is exploded, clean the geometry using OVERKILL command and join it wherever required then apply extrude command on it. The Image shown below shows text extruded after making changes as mentioned above.


The Presspull command:

Presspull can be used to apply height to any face of existing geometry or an island in 2D geometry. This tool can also be used to subtract part of a geometry. You can start presspull by PRES command or by using CTRL+Shift+E key from your keyboard.

Start the command and select the island from the geometry which you want to extrude, you can also click on object boundary to extrude the complete 2D geometry ignoring island. If you select an open profile for presspull then a surface will be created along the boundary similar to the extrude command.

You can click on the planar face or closed areas of existing 3D solids to create holes or pockets and 3D solid extrusions.

Making Presspull along direction:

If you use presspull on an existing face then a simple extrusion will be created but if you press and hold CTRL key and then use presspull on the surface then the extrusion will follow the geometry along the profile of 3D solid as shown in the image below.


Do you have questions related to these tips? Let me know in comments below.

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