Autodesk Max is a complicated but complete 3D drawing program used by professional architects and designers, among others. Creating a laser beam with Autodesk Max takes advantage of its 3D capabilities to create the “look” of the laser's coherent beam of light, which is man-made and not found in nature. Learning Autodesk Max requires many hours in order to understand the command structure, but the results will be well worth it to those looking to create 3D imaging.

 Things You'll Need

 Windows-based computer



Run Autodesk Max. Right-click the “Front” viewport to make it current. Select “Viewport Background” from the “Views” menu.

Click on the “Files” button in the “Viewport Background” dialog box that has appeared on the screen. Navigate to the “images” folder inside of “sceneassets” and double-click on “ref-chess.jpg” to return to the “Viewport Background” dialog box.

Choose “Match Bitmap” from the “Aspect Ratio” group selection. Turn on the “Lock Zoom/Pan” button. Click on “OK” to exit the dialog.

Press the “G” key to disable the grid on the picture that has now appeared on the screen.

Click the “Shape” button on the “Create” panel. Click the “Line” button. Set both “Initial Type” and “Drag Type” on the “Creation Method” dialog box to “Corner.”

Click a point near the top center of the Pawn chess piece in the “Front” viewport. Press the “Shift” key” and hold it down while drawing a second point at the base of the Pawn.

Continue holding down the “Shift” key while clicking a point in the bottom-right edge of the base. Click a few points on the right contour of the image to create a rough profile going up the side of the image in the shape of a tube. Click on the first point again. Click the “Yes” dialog box to close the spline you have just made.

Choose the “Selection” rollout from the “Modify” panel. Click the “Vertex” button.

Use the “Select and Move” tool to adjust the vertices of the bottom part of the profile you have just made in a straight up and down manner by going to the “Modify” panel, selecting the “Geometry” rollout and clicking the “Fillet” button. Place the cursor on one of the selected vertices and click and drag to straighten out the corners into a straight line.

Right-click in the Viewport and select “Smooth” from the pop-up menu.

Select “Refine” from the “Geometry” rollout on the “Modify” panel .

Select “Bezier Corner” from the “quad” menu. Use “Select and Move” to adjust the positions of the vertices at the base and top of the rod to form circular curvatures. Select the vertex made at the top of the rod and convert it to a Bezier Corner using the “quad” menu. Repeat this process with the vertex at the bottom of the rod.

Click the “vertex” button in the “Selection” rollout of the “Modify” panel to exit the tool.

Click on the Pawn. Click on the “Modifier List” located about the “Modifier Stack Display.” Choose “Lathe” from the drop-down menu. The rod has now become a 3D object that is similar in shape to the coherent beam of light that a laser projects.


Tips & Warnings

1.Save your work frequently so that you don't have to start from scratch if you make a mistake.

2.Autodesk Max has a steep learning curve and is not designed to be used by novices or those looking to create 3D images quickly.