TABSURF (Command)

Creates a mesh from a line or curve that is swept along a straight path.


Select a line, arc, circle, ellipse, or polyline to sweep in a straight path. Then select a line or polyline to determine the first and last points of a vector that indicates the direction and length of the polygon mesh.

The MESHTYPE system variable sets which type of mesh is created. Mesh objects are created by default. Set the variable to 0 to create legacy polyface or polygon mesh.

For polygon meshes, TABSURF constructs a 2 by n mesh, where n is determined by the SURFTAB1 system variable. The M direction of the mesh is always 2 and lies along the direction vector. The N direction lies along the path curve. If the path curve is a line, arc, circle, ellipse, or spline-fit polyline, tabulation lines are drawn that divide the path curve into intervals of equal size set by SURFTAB1. If the path curve is a polyline that has not been spline fit, tabulation lines are drawn at the ends of straight segments, and each arc segment is divided into intervals set by SURFTAB1.

The following prompts are displayed.

Object for path curve

Specifies which object is swept along the path.

The path curve defines the approximated surface of the polygon mesh. It can be a line, arc, circle, ellipse, or 2D or 3D polyline. The mesh is drawn starting at the point on the path curve closest to the selection point.

Object for direction vector.

Specifies a line or open polyline that defines the direction of the sweep.

Only the first and last points on a polyline are considered, and intermediate vertices are ignored. The direction vector indicates the direction and length of the shape to be extruded. The end selected on the polyline or line determines the direction of the extrusion. The original path curve is drawn with wide lines to help you visualize how the direction vector dictates the construction of a tabulated mesh.