The Very Basics… (CX/SE)

If you’re new to 3D, and don’t have a clue how to begin working in a 3D environment, this is the place to start. This set of tutorials are simple, 5 minute long videos designed to help those brand new to 3D quickly learn to navigate and begin working in Design3D SE.

Lights Out


  1. shepherd

    So I have one question (bear w/me I’m a newbie) …now I’ve been reading up on Cartesian Coordinate Systems & spent alot of time today watching Calculus videos. To my best knowledge, it seems to me as if though, if I am looking at a flat wall & I slide my hand up and down on it flat, I’m moving on the Y axis & sliding my hand horizontally, I’m moving it on the X axis…now if i step back from the wall w/my hand still in that position, I’m now moving it in the Z axis or the 3D space.

    Now, with Strata, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it operates kind of opposite of that in where my “active grid” is actually the grid perpendicular to the one I want to move my object along? If I want to move my object side to side on the wall (as previously mentioned using my hand), I’d want to activate the “Y” grid? So in that sense does it work kind of opposite? Because in all the readings I’ve done today regarding the Coordinate System, it seems as if they all follow the same structure of X,Y,Z, where “Z” is actually what I’m seeing in Strata as being the “Y” coordinate on the Tridant. I’ve watched these beginner videos 3 times now & I’m still trying to grasp the space in accordance to the general information on the web regarding the Cartesian Coord System.

  2. Chris Tyler

    Right, the grid has the name of the axis it’s perpendicular to. It’s the perpendicular relationship that’s important here. This perpendicular relationship is something that emerges frequently in 3D. If you move the Z grid perpendicular to itself, it moves along the Z axis. This is why it’s called the Z grid.

    So when we say the Z grid, that means items are moved freeform (without any other constraints on) parallel to the grid, meaning left/right and up/down but not forward/backward (or off the grid in other words). If you have the Z grid active, press the Shift and Z keys together and you’ll see a guide appear. This is the Z guide which is perpendicular to the Z grid. When this is on, freeform movement happens along the Z axis.

    It actually makes sense when you sit down and just mess around with it.

    Some CAD applications swap the Z and Y axis. This is indeed confusing but most modern 3D applications use the same X, Y, Z axis system that Strata uses where Z is ‘forwards and backwards’ and Y is up/down.

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