Saturday, February 21, 2009

Using AutoCAD to Draw with Speed and Precision



In this tutorial you master the skills required to draw objects with precision and speed. These skills are critical for those who want to be able to create and edit drawings quickly.

Topics covered in this tutorial include:

  • Using Grid and Snap to make placing points easy
  • Selecting points using direct distance entry
  • Selecting points using polar snap
  • Typing coordinates to place points
  • Undoing selected points.
By the time you complete this series of lessons you should feel comfortable drawing most objects in AutoCAD.
©1997-2005 OpenCAD International, Inc.

Snap, Grid & the Heads Up Display

In AutoCAD, you can create a GRID of dots on your screen. These dots make it easy to judge distances by eye rather than by measurement. For example, you could create a grid which placed dots every 20' which would make creating column grids easier.
    TIP: Always remember that coordinates are identified by X,Y,Z values. Sometimes the Z value is left off because Z is so frequently 0.

You can also define SNAP values that control the movement of your cursor. This is handy for making sure that geometry in your drawing is precisely spaced. For example, without the snap, you might click on a point like 3.2014,2.0394. With snap enabled, its easy to select 3.2,2.0.

In this quick lesson, you configure SNAP and GRID and use it to draw an object.

  1. Prior to proceeding with this lesson, open the drawing file 7002a.dwg. The easiest way to do this is to right-click on the link to the drawing, then choose Save Link Target or Save Target as, then select a folder on your hard disk and choose Save. In AutoCAD, from the File menu, choose Open and select the file to open it.
  2. Right-click Snap on the Status bar, then choose Settings.

  3. Select the Snap On and Grid on check boxes to turn both SNAP and GRID on.
  4. Type .25 in the Snap X Spacing check box.
  5. Type .5 in the Grid X spacing.

  6. Note that the grid appears in the lower left corner of the screen in the area defined by the drawing limits (set using the LIMITS command).

  7. From the View menu, choose Zoom All.
  8. From the Draw toolbar, choose Rectangle.

  9. Select the point 1.0000,1.0000. Note that the coordinates appear near the cursor, and that they change as you move your mouse.

  10. Move your cursor to make your rectangle 4 units by 7 units as shown in the image.

  11. From the Draw menu, click Circle, then Center,Radius.
  12. Click at 2,2.

  13. Type .5 to specify the radius of the circle.

  14. Use the techniques just demonstrated to create more circles as shown.

Now that you've used grid and snap to make drawing objects easy, you are ready to more on to more advanced tools.
©1997-2005 OpenCAD International, Inc.

Typing Coordinates & Direct Distance Entry

In this lesson you learn how to draw objects by typing coordinates, and using Direct Distance Entry (DDE).
  1. From the Draw menu, choose Line.
  2. Type 2,3 to specify the start point of the line.

  3. Move your mouse to the right and type 1.

  4. Move your mouse up and type 1.

  5. Move your mouse to the right and type 1.
  6. Move your mouse up and type 1.
  7. Move your mouse to the left and type 1.
  8. Move your mouse up and type 1.
  9. Move your mouse to the left and type 1.
  10. Move your mouse down and type 3.

Note that you can turn SNAP and GRID off at any time by selecting SNAP and GRID on the status bar located at the bottom of the screen.
©1997-2005 OpenCAD International, Inc.
For exclusive use of Registered User

Polar Snaps

In this lesson you learn how to draw lines at any angle easily.
  1. Select SNAP at the bottom of the screen to turn SNAP off.
  2. Select GRID at the bottom of the screen to turn GRID off.
  3. Right-click on POLAR on the status bar, then choose Settings.

  4. From the Increment Angle list, choose 15. You are telling AutoCAD to make it easy for your cursor to move in 15 degree angular increments.

  5. Choose OK to exit this window.
  6. On the Draw toolbar, choose Line.
  7. Type 6.5,4.5. Note that the values you type automatically go in the boxes, and that the comma switches you from the first box to the second.

  8. Move your mouse down and to the right at an angle of 45 degrees.
  9. Type 4 to specify the length of this line.

  10. Move your mouse up and type 4.
  11. Move your mouse down and to the left to click on the end of the line. Because OSNAP is enabled, AutoCAD will immediately find the ENDpoint for you and make it easy to click on.

  12. Use the techniques just demonstrated to make the objects symmetrical.

Now that you've explored several ways to enter points in this tutorial, take time to practice drawing objects and selecting points with precision.
©1997-2005 OpenCAD International, Inc.