Exercise 118

Beginning AutoCAD

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Today we will begin our brief introduction to AutoCAD. AutoCAD is a complex program that requires time to learn and use efficiently. We have decided, however, to give you an introduction in Archi 135 in preparation to Archi 121 and the need to laser cut files. We will cover basic techniques only, for further education, consider taking one of the AutoCAD courses offered within our department.

Part 1: Working with the coordinate system (AutoCAD 9.1 [coordinate systems])

  • Begin with a new drawing in AutoCAD. Type units and then select “Architectural” in the Length box under Type. Select Ok when done. Please also turn off the “DYN” (Dynamic Input) button at the bottom of the AutoCAD workspace.ACAD-DynamicInput1
  • Select the polyline tool and type 0,0 as the starting point of your line.
  • Next, type 0,24’ to create a line 24’ long along the Y-axis. The coordinate you used is an absolute coordinate and references distances from the origin (0,0). The first number in the coordinate is the x-value and the second number is the y-value so 0,24’ would be 0 along the x-axis and 24’ along the y-axis.
  • Now type 12’,24’. You will notice a new line 12’ in the x-direction and even with the previous y-position.
  • For the next coordinate, we are going to use relative coordinates. Type @0,-6’. You will create a new line -6’ long in the y direction from the previous point. Now type @12’,0. Then @0,-12’ and then @-12’,0 followed by 12’,0 and 0,0Note: The last two coordinates are absolute coordinates to illustrate the difference.

Part 2: The offset command

  • Next type offset or select Curve>Offset Curve from the menu. Select the curve you just drew by clicking on it. Now type D for Distance and type 6” then click on the side of the curve you want to create an offset line. You will create a line inside of the existing line. These two lines represent the walls of a building.

Part 3: Trim

  • You now need to add doors and windows to your building. Refer to the drawing on the back of this sheet for guidance.
  • Begin by turning on the “Snap to Midpoint” object snap. (Right-Click on the object snap button and click on “Midpoint”). Now click on the polyline tool or type Polyline and draw a line at the midpoint of the uppermost wall that connects the inner and outer walls. Press enter (return) when done. Use the offset command (see above) to create two lines each 18” from the line you just drew.
  • Now erase the first line (in the middle of the window). Type trim or select Modify>Trim (Modify Ribbon). Choose the cutting objects (in this case you can pick the two lines you just created using the offset command above, or you can also type all to select all lines and hit enter (return)). Next, select the objects to trim. In this case, it will be the interior and exterior walls. Hit escape when you are done. You will now have a nice hole in your wall.
  • Type join or select Modify>Join (Modify Ribbon). Select the interior and exterior walls as well as the offset lines created above and hit enter. Your lines will join together to create a closed object.

Part 4: Finish Drawing & Post

  • Please work for the remainder of the class period (following the drawing on the back of this page as a guide, but feel free to embellish/enhance where you wish). You may wish to explore the following commands: Extend, Fillet, Chamfer, Mirror[/cfont, [cfont]Rotate.
  • Consider applying line weights to lines using the line weight drop down menu in the properties section of the tool ribbon. At the end of class, use Plot (Publish to Web .jpg) to create an image file of your drawing (this should be a .jpg or .png file) and post the image to the course website.


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