enter image description here Hi, I am trying to draw the figure shown here using inkscape. I can create a cubiod/slab but I am not getting this view. I don't know how to rotate it. I guess rotation is not possible as it is only a 2D graphic software. How to draw the glass slab shown as here in inkscape? Please help.

  • Welcome on GD.SE, Learner! Have you tried to use the 3D Boxes tool? There are also many related answers (like this) or tutorials (like this). Can you tell us something more about your efforts and eventually edit your question in order to be more specific? Mar 15, 2023 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


This isn't Inkscape specific, I'm not an Inkscape user. Inkscape may have tools for "3D" which may be useful.

However, in general ... if one doesn't view things as being "3D" and thinks in terms of 2D objects .... The slabs are merely 3 rectangles, that's all.

enter image description here

One doesn't really need any "3d tools" to create such a thing.

  • i dont get it why do all answer about the 3D construction when op is asking to turn a semi 3D wiew to flat side projection? Though since this seems like a drafting questionq maybe its just my reading.
    – joojaa
    Mar 15, 2023 at 21:28
  • @joojaa - How to draw the glass slab shown - Basically, that's what I answered. One doesn't need "3d tools" to create a simple rectangular pseudo projection.
    – Scott
    Mar 15, 2023 at 21:51
  • yeah but my reading is he doesnt want it slanted but just the front view without any top being visible. So a few rectangles with balls on top? See Front view means no other direction is visible.
    – joojaa
    Mar 15, 2023 at 22:09
  • Possibly... front view is just a straight, flat, rectangle.. there must be more to it than that.
    – Scott
    Mar 15, 2023 at 22:17
  • No, if user wants this manufactured then no. That would be what the manufacturers would need to see.
    – joojaa
    Mar 16, 2023 at 4:51

You can use the 3D boxes tool X for this in Inkscape. Note that this isn't a true 3D tool, it can only create a 2D representation of a 3D box. Inkscape is 2D only.

Anyway, here's an example and the settings I used for the tool.

enter image description here

Here's a little explanation

  1. set Angle X to 180, Angle Y to 270

  2. depress all three parallel vanishing point buttons "II"

  3. click and drag to draw a box

  4. adjust Angle Z to tilt the slab up or down

The whole object is live, and you can adjust it as you like

enter image description here

Once you have done this, you can select the various pieces by using the Select by Nodes tool to select them, and apply different fill colours if required.

You can also turn the box into normal paths by doing Path > Object to path - which will bake in the effect, turning everything into separate objects.


Some auxiliary information:

Drawing 3D-like illustrations of laboratory experiments - even this simple and with no exact scale - is a lot of work if you need many of them and you for some reason cannot draw them manually in the traditional way.

Here's what you get in few minutes if you use a 3D program:

enter image description here

The glass plates are extruded rectangles and the cylinder is an extruded couple of circles. The particles are splitted spheres. That all is very fast and straightforward. Selecting non-fighting well visible colors and the right amount of transparency needs some experimenting.

In 3D you can rotate the view with no effort.

To stay in truth

  • practicing and patient walking through some tutorials is a must. But it's the same if you are going to get something comparable drawn in Inkscape.
  • inserting texts and other annotations is not easier in 3D. If you prepare them only for one view the effort is the same as in Inkscape. You can even do it in Inkscape.
  • simple free 3D CAD programs cannot output the drawing as SVG or other vector image format except as a black&white wireframe. You'll get it easily in colors only as a bitmap. But that's a problem only if 100% vector drawing result is a must.
  • Often they can often do colors too. its just that is not what they are geared to do so its not self evident to users as it needs a bit of trickery. But atleast Creo, Solidworks and NX can technically do this but i doubt that even 2% of users know this (Because you can flatten the 3D views into 2D and 2D items in drawing mode can be filled. Havent tried this in fusion 360 but probably works there too). On the otherhand its not as nice as the shaded views and you might as well shade in inkscape or illustrator.
    – joojaa
    Mar 17, 2023 at 15:54

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