What is view cube?
Imagine a case, you are creating 3D model of a building in AutoCAD and to rotate the model or see the projection views, you have to click the mouse three to four times, your life will be horrible no doubt, because every now and then you will be required these commands. View cube in new AutoCAD 2009 really helps here, because views can be navigated by single click using view cube in 3D modeling workspace.
How to get view cube in your workspace?
Set your work spaces as 3D modeling. Go to home tab of ribbon and go to the view panel and click on the view cube display button. This is toggle button to on/off the view cube display. Once the view cube is on your screen, you can play with its setting. Right click on the view cube and click on view cube settings, view cube settings window will open. From this window, you can change the size and location of view cube, you can change the opacity and you can even on/off the UCS menu. Few more options like compass position, clicking preference etc. are also available with view cube settings.
How to use view cube?
As you might have already noticed that the view cube is having different faces named as front, top etc. If you wish to see the front view then simply click on the side named front and so on.
Apart from that, if you run your cursor over the view cube you will see the corners also get highlighted, you can click there and that particular corner will come exactly in front of you and the model will rotate accordingly. You can even click on the view cube hold it and rotate the model as you wish.
Different surrounding tools
While you put on the view cube, you will see three more tools appears on your screen in vicinity of that, those are:
Compass: Just below the view cube it appears looks similar to a compass wheel with north, south, east and west demarcations. If you click on say north you will get the view from north and so on. The same thing could be done using view cube as well.
UCS menu: You will see the UCS menu just below the view cube. Initially you will see it is showing WCS. This tool is useful for creation and management of co-ordinate systems. By default it will be set at WCS, however if you wish, can create new UCS and for that you need to click on the small downward triangle just beside it. Select new UCS pick the location, specify point on x co-ordinate and specify point on XY plane, your new unnamed co-ordinate system is ready. For renaming it type ucsman in command line, UCS window will open, there; by right clicking you can give name to the unnamed UCS. Say, you have renamed it to 123. Now click on the small triangle again and select 123 as the new UCS.
Home: This icon is to set and access default view easily. For setting default view create the view by means of rotate, pan, zoom. Now right click on the view cube and select set current view as home. Once you have done this, you can access the home view any time by clicking on the home icon.
View cube helps controlling navigation of different views of a 3D model easily. Managing of UCS is possible using the icon just below view cube. Home icon is used for accessing default view at any point of time. Compass is used to see views from different sides.