The phantom of the solids

Say I wish to show an item in 3D but with some of the solids hidden and others shown as wireframe in phantom lines.
I know you can make a copy of the 3D objects in question, explode them down
to lines and put them on a layer with phantom linetype, but is there a simpler way to do this? For instance, setting a given solid to show as wireframe?
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Although the interface is utterly arcane, the solview & soldraw commands can help you achieve this. Basically you end up with a 2d representation of your 3d model in which hidden lines are automatically placed on a separate layer.
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