How Do I Flatten a 3D AutoCAD?

HTML Tutorial: How to Flatten a 3D AutoCAD Design

In this tutorial, we will learn how to flatten a 3D AutoCAD design. Flattening a 3D design is useful when you want to convert it into a 2D representation for printing or documentation purposes. Let’s explore the steps involved in this process.

Step 1: Accessing the Flatten Command

To begin, open your AutoCAD software and open the drawing that contains the 3D design you want to flatten. Once your drawing is open, follow these steps:

Method 1:

  • Click on the “View” tab in the top menu.
  • Locate the “3D Views” panel.
  • Click on the “Flatten” button.

Method 2:

  • Type “FLATTEN” into the command line.
  • Press Enter to execute the command.

Step 2: Selecting Objects

After executing the Flatten command, you will be prompted to select objects within your drawing that you want to flatten. The selected objects will be converted from their current position in 3D space to a flattened position on the current viewing plane.

To select objects for flattening, follow these steps:

  • Click and drag your cursor over the desired objects.
  • Press Enter once you have made your selection.

Step 3: Choosing an Alignment Option

After selecting objects, you will be prompted to choose an alignment option for flattening. AutoCAD offers two alignment options:

  • Pick points:
    Select two points that define the alignment direction of the objects.
  • Specify angle:
    Enter a specific angle to define the alignment direction.

Choose the alignment option that best suits your needs and follow the prompts.

Step 4: Defining a Base Point

Next, you will be prompted to define a base point for flattening. The base point is a reference point that remains fixed in space while other selected objects are flattened around it.

To define a base point, follow these steps:

  • Pick a point within your drawing as the base point.
  • Press Enter once you have selected the base point.

Step 5: Completing the Flattening Process

After defining the base point, AutoCAD will execute the flatten command and convert your selected objects into a 2D representation on the current viewing plane.

Congratulations! You have successfully flattened a 3D AutoCAD design. You can now proceed to work with or print this flattened representation as needed.

Tips for Flattening 3D Designs:

Flattening complex 3D designs may require additional considerations. Here are some tips to help you achieve optimal results:

  • Selecting Objects:
    Use selection filters or object isolation techniques to ensure you only select the desired objects for flattening.
  • Alignment Options:
    Experiment with different alignment options to find the one that produces the desired results for your design.
  • Base Point Selection:
    Selecting an appropriate base point is crucial for maintaining accurate proportions during flattening. Choose a prominent feature or reference point within your design as your base point.
  • Undo Command:
    If you are unsatisfied with the results of the flatten command, you can use the “Undo” command (Ctrl+Z) to revert back to the previous state before executing the flatten command.


Flattening a 3D AutoCAD design is a simple yet powerful process that allows you to convert a 3D representation into a 2D format. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily flatten your designs for printing, documentation, or further editing purposes.

Remember to experiment with different options and practice on various designs to become proficient in flattening complex 3D objects.