Why Does Learning 3D Seem Impossible?

Here’s how to make it easier and save you some time.

By Mike Arroyo, CAD Guru and Happiness Advocate
Even when you have years of CAD experience drawing in 2D, why does learning 3D seem so impossible? Being bright, motivated and able to understand complex software is an advantage, but never the sole reason why someone masters the 3D design world. It has everything to do with the right training methodology and materials.

Learning 3D with Axiom’s LearningBay courses will have you up and productive in no time. If you’re already familiar with 3D, the searchable courses provide an excellent reference tool.

Years ago, I attended an expensive 3D training event, ready to jump into 3D design. After two long days of disjointed training, discussing how tools work but never when to use them or why, the class spent the last remaining day modeling a sheet metal screw. I still recall the student next to me wondering how he was going to model refinery equipment, thinking that he had to build every nut and bolt.
So, how concepts are presented and what materials are being used does make a difference. The next natural question to ask is “What does good 3D training look like?” While it’s true that people learn in different ways, I’ve found that when a course includes these key items, people are able to use the information and can now start building 3D designs:

  • Modular training materials — Lessons must be organized, easy to follow, gradually building concepts while introducing related tools and functions, at the right time. Exposing students to unrelated commands will create confusion and makes 3D modeling more difficult to learn.
  • Real-world examples — Every learning module must include real-world examples that illustrate the concepts being discussed. The training should explore what makes these examples great and the materials in the examples should be included with the training.
  • Self-paced exercises — There is nothing like a solid, self-paced exercise. Good step-by-step labs explain necessary procedures, while providing all of the related details necessary to build the 3D models or generate 2D designs from 3D models.

The traffic light shown at the beginning of this article is just one of dozens of examples and step-by-step labs waiting for you to master. Learning 3D design doesn’t have to hard, the materials just have to be easy!

LearningBay, Axiom’s training division, set out to create the best possible 3D training, delivered right to your desk with something as simple as a web browser. They successfully built small, modular 3D courses, complete with sample DGNs and step-by-step labs. Today, Axiom has the most extensive 3D browser-based learning for MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 3 available, with over 40 courses.
What makes Axiom’s LearningBay 3D training so good? Schedule a demonstration and you will see within the first minute.

Call now!
For more information on MicroStation training, contact an Axiom MicroStation Consultant today! Call 727-442-7774 extension 3568, e-mail WebRequest@AxiomInt.com or visit Axiom on the Web at www.AxiomInt.com now!

MicroStation Tips & Tricks: Plotting a 3D Reference as a 3D PDF

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services


Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

If you want to impress your co-workers and superiors, then provide them with a 3D PDF that really shows your handiwork. (As a note, you will need a PDF viewer that can handle 3D PDFs such as Adobe PDF Viewer or BlueBeam’s Revu.) Here’s how:

  1. Start by opening your sheet model and ensure you have your 3D reference attached.
  2. microstation-today-3d-pdf-1

    Figure 1. It’s easy to create 3D PDFs from 3D references. This figure shows two 3D reference models that were attached before plotting.

  3. Go to File | References to load your “References” dialog box.
  4. Highlight the reference that you want plotted in 3D.
  5. microstation-today-3d-pdf-2

    Figure 2. Use the “References” dialog box to select the 3D reference or references you want to plot in your 3D PDF file.

  6. Click the little “Plot as 3D (PDF)” icon that sits at the bottom, middle of the “References” dialog box.
  7. Now go to File | Print…
  8. From the “Print” dialog box click on the “Printer” icon.
  9. You’ll be prompted to name and save your PDF. Name it what you’d like, set the location you want it saved and then press the {Save} button to begin creation of your PDF.
  10. Next, go to the location where the file was saved and double-click to open it.
  11. microstation-today-3d-pdf-3

    Figure 3. Hovering your mouse over the image of the reference that was plotted activates a toolbar with icons that have functions that allow you to navigate your 3D file.

  12. Use the items on the toolbar to navigate around your 3D file.

Want More MicroStation Know-how? Call Now!
For more information on cool tips and tricks, check out our LearningBay courses by visiting www.AxiomInt.com. You can also schedule a free demonstration about training solutions or talk with one of our MicroStation Consultants by calling 727-442-7774 extension 3530.

Send Us Your MicroStation Tips!
Send your favorite MicroStation tip or trick to WebRequest@AxiomInt.com. We will give you full credit for the tip and your peers will look at you with reverence.

Top 10 Forgotten MicroStation Commands

Which ones do you know?

MicroStation has what, a gazillion commands? I’d place bets that no one actually knows all of them. I’d also place bets that no one really needs to know them either. (Might make for a good reality TV show of engineers, if the rest of the population were smart enough to understand the humor.) So there’s a lot of commands and you don’t need to know them all. But are there some that you were never told about (or have forgotten over the years) that would come in really handy on the project you’re working on now?

Mike Arroyo MicroStation Today

Mike Arroyo, Axiom’s Vice President of Learning and MicroStation Evangelist, has been helping CAD users for over 20 years.

Come and Get ‘Em!
Axiom’s MicroStation gurus were tasked with putting together the top ten forgotten (or never taught) commands that users should know and use but typically don’t. Whether you’ve forgotten about these tips, were never taught them in a classroom (Remember those?) or the local CAD manager (or Joe in the cubicle next to yours) never went over them, they’re available now — for free.

The commands are covered in a series of ten short, two-minute videos, one per video. Just go to Tips.AxiomInt.com and see how many you’re using (or missing).

Axiom Releases MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 3 Update Essentials Video-based Courses

CLEARWATER, FLORIDA, USA — Axiom, one of the world’s most experienced developers of time-saving CAD software products and the developer of LearningBay training, announces the release of video-based, searchable courses for MicroStation V8i SELECTseries 3 (SS3).

Courses in the MicroStation V8i SS3 Update Essentials Library focus on the changes, capabilities and tool enhancements that have been introduced in MicroStation V8i SS3. Topics include such things as how to:

  • Combine your favorite dialog boxes into groups that you can dock or undock as a single interface item.
  • Control the content that gets included in a 3D PDF file.
  • Easily add a link to a MicroStation element.
  • Activate a nested reference file so that you can edit the file in place.
  • Control how the data in the Element Information settings box is presented.
  • Open locations in Google maps if you have geographic coordinates established within your design file.
  • Randomly or specifically populate your 3D environment with 3D cells.
  • Find the Intellitrim tool (which was moved) and use its functions.
  • Use a new tool that lets you change the case of your simple or complex text.

As with other courses from Axiom, all the courses in the Update Essentials Library include a built-in “Google-like” search engine that allows users to quickly locate precise videos and lesson pages just by using key words or phrases. Additionally, courses are in a Professional Development Hours format, also known as Continuing Education Units, which enables users to count study time toward their professional license renewal (in states where permitted).

Many companies expect users to do more with fewer resources and are taking on projects that require MicroStation SS3. This is resulting in an increasing demand for solutions such as Axiom’s MicroStation V8i SS3 Update Essentials Library which can quickly bring users up-to-speed on the new features, functions and tools found in MicroStation V8i SS3.

“Most of the companies and firms that we talk with need ways to rapidly learn or improve existing skills,” says Mike Arroyo, Axiom’s world-renowned MicroStation Evangelist. “Axiom’s LearningBay focuses on making users billable faster on CAD software at a reduced cost. Now, any company can infuse their staff with V8i SS3 skills for existing and new projects.”

How to Contact Axiom
For more information on LearningBay courses or to see a free, online demonstration, call Axiom at 727-442-7774 extension 3232 or e-mail 3232@AxiomInt.com or visit Axiom on the Web at http://LearningBay.com/microstation to find out more about LearningBay’s MicroStation SS3 update training courses.

About Axiom
Axiom is one of the world’s most experienced developers of time-saving CAD software solutions and the largest third-party provider of general-purpose add-ons for MicroStation. Axiom focuses on making CAD work easier by creating time-saving and productivity-boosting tools based on real-world problems CAD users encounter. Based in Clearwater, Florida, Axiom has been developing software for over 25 years.

MicroStation is a trademark of Bentley Systems, Incorporated. LearningBay, and Axiom are trademarks of Axiom.


For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Kris Nickerson

1805 Drew Street
Clearwater, Florida 33765