CAD examples


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I've been working on getting started using AutoCAD, and I'm curious how detailed I need to get with things. I am curious now, is the theater usually drafted into a full 3D model or just into 2D views? I also would greatly appreciate if someone could give me some actual CAD files to look at and see. I really am struggling with the lack of drawings of the theatre to work from and the sheer weirdness of the space to begin with. So anyways I would really like to see some examples of set designs, particularly the DWG or DXF files, if possible.



For the most part I normally see a lot of 2D designs, and then a model is made for the 3D aspect. Usually you can get your point across with a 2D design and it's easier to do. Sometimes though if it's a difficult concept to understand you may want to make a 3D version so people understand what they're dealing with, but usually front elevation and top elevation (floor plan) of the object work.

Here's a link to someone who did a Vectorworks tutorial, it has some pictures of the different types of plans and how detailed they are.

Note* - They do show how the 3D modelling looks as well.

Also the theatre itself is usually just drawn in a ground plan view. And if a designer finds it neccessary they can usually use the measurements on the ground plan to make a 3D plan when they draft it themselves. But like I said, it's normally not neccessary, front elevation and a ground plan are much more important and useful.


Active Member

I can't provide any examples, and I hope that this isn't stating the obvious…

In my opinion, a CAD-generated drawing should have the same detail and care as a hand drafted drawing. Any line conventions (USITT) (such as line weights, dashing, etc), industry standards, company standards, and drafting standards should be used. (I don't see that there is a fundamental difference between a CAD drawing generated for use in engineering or architectural construction and a drawing generated for theatrical construction.)

Although I'm not a CAD operator, I do know there are general conventions for layers and formats and other file related issues. I believe that is where the power of CAD lies, not in the lines on the drawings. You may want to consider taking a CAD class or getting some instruction from a professional CAD operator.

(You could track these down on line:
United States Institute of Theatre Technology - Scenic Design and Technical Production Graphic Standard

Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology - Theatre Drafting and Information Exchange Standards for CAD)



i started with plain autocad about 5 years ago and fumbled around in the begining. i purchased a small tutorial booklet called 3D CADCEA (google it). it leads you through tje basics of layers, coordinate systems, solids/surfaces/linework. it was a great help. i have since moved through a few newer versions of autocad but i primarily use AutoCad Architecture. it has specific tools and libraries for building structural elements, walls, doors/windows even curtainwalls. the template drawings are pre-setup with the lineweights and colors assigned to the correct object so when u print them with the correct pen style (i use the preloaded AIA style) they look like professional architectural prints. it also draws everthing in 3D which helps in visualizing sets in the theater i work in. u can even create lights to preview how the lighting design will look on the set. check out autodesk's website. all the software liscences i currently use are free student versions from all u need is a valid college email to create an account and download full fledged versions of all the cad and annimation/visualization software your heart desires


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I starting designing a theatre (to code) as a spare-time project. 700 seats, 55000 square feet, etc., etc. If anyone has an interest in seeing it, PM me and I can send it along (~800k)

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