Getting Started

LoftyCAD builds up complex shapes out of simple volumes using CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry). Simple volumes are made by:

-          Drawing faces in the facing plane (the default view is from the top, so the XY plane)

-          The face can be a standard shape, such as a rectangle, hexagon or circle, or an arbitrary shape

-          Extruding the face upwards to form a volume

Navigating in LoftyCAD

Drag to orbit view, or move object.

Click on object to select it.

Roller zoom in and out.

Drag to Pan view.

Click on object to invoke the context menu.


Editing shapes

The basic building block is the volume. Volumes are most commonly made by extrusion (prismatic, such as rect prisms and cylinders). They can also be made by extrusion of curved faces to make shells, by revolution of a cross section (axially symmetric), or by lofting (combining cross sections). Volumes retain their identity and can be moved or changed at any time, as can their components. Objects may be grouped, copied and pasted, and volumes or their groups may be transformed by rotation or scaling.

Volumes may also be negative (holes). The final shape is the union of the inner parts of all the volumes intersected with the outer parts of all the holes, expressed as a triangle mesh. Other CSG operations like intersection and subtraction may also be performed.

Mouse and Keyboard

In general, mouse positions are snapped to a grid when creating shapes. The angles may also be snapped. When appropriate, the Shift key constrains angles to 0/45/90, and the Ctrl key turns off snapping to allow fine positioning. The arrow keys may be used to move the selection, and the Ctrl key works here to turn off snapping too.

More Info

Moving objects

Selecting objects


Drawing Faces

Drawing Edges

Drawing Text





Locking and Grouping

CSG Operations

Import and Export

Bodies of Revolution

Lofting and Tubing