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AutoCAD Essentials is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. In this installment, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the particulars of creating basic geometry in AutoCAD, including assigning imperial or metric units of measurement, using object snaps to control accuracy, and drawing and transforming basic lines and shapes. The last chapter in the course tests your newfound skills in a short project.
As the amount of geometry in a drawing increases, it becomes difficult to tell the objects apart. One great way to visually organize a drawing is through the use of Hatch. When used properly, Hatch can simplify the appearance of a drawing, help identify objects, or create visual interest. In this lesson, we'll look at how to apply hatch patterns to a drawing. On my screen, I have some abstract geometry. We'll use this line work to explore the options of the Hatch command. Let me also mention that this drawing represents an architectural example. I'd like to start by applying some hatch to this square. The Hatch command can be found in the Draw panel. When I click the icon, watch the Ribbon.
Notice that all of the Hatch settings can be found in this context-sensitive Ribbon tab. At this point, if you place the cursor inside a closed shape, you'll see a preview of the current settings. To change the hatch pattern, click to open the Hatch panel and you can select from any of the several patterns that are installed with AutoCAD. In fact as I drag this down, notice that AutoCAD is also capable of creating gradient-fill hatch. I'm going to drag this back up and I'll select ANSI35 for my pattern. I will then hover inside the square and see if it makes a difference. In this case it does not. This is obviously a scale issue. The pattern is too small to see onscreen. To change the scale, I'll come up to the Scale box, I'll click the value, and I'll change this to 30. The higher the number the larger our hatch will appear on screen. I will then press Tab to accept the value, and I'll try and hover inside the square again. This looks much better. Notice that in addition to adjusting the scale, we can also change the hatch pattern's angle, its transparency, its color. We can even apply a background color if we wish. I'm going to open the menu again. I'll set this back the way this was. When I'm finished with my settings, I'll click inside the square to choose the hatch area, and then I'll press Enter to accept the hatch.
By default, the hatch you create is associative to the geometry. So, if I click this Poly line and then click to select one of these grips and then click again to move it over here, you can see the hatch goes along for the ride. I'll press Escape to deselect this. Likewise, by default, hatch is created using the pick point method. For instance, if I launch the Hatch command again and attempt to hatch this square, you can see these diagonal lines are getting in the way. This is because AutoCAD's looking for an internal point. Instead, I'm going to come up to the Boundaries panel and I'll choose Select Boundary Objects. Now, I'll select the object I'd like to hatch and AutoCAD hatches that object only. When I'm finished, I'll press Enter. Let's look at one more thing, hatch origin. Maybe I'd like to hatch this square such that it looks like a brick wall. To do that, I'll launch the Hatch command. I'll open the Hatch Pattern panel and I'll drag this down. Notice that some of the hatch patterns have an AR prefix.
AR means that this pattern is prescaled for architectural use. I'm going to choose AR Brick Standard for the pattern. And since this pattern is already pre-scaled, I'm going to change the Scale setting from 30--note that it's remembering the previous value--I'll knock this down to 1, I'll press Tab to accept the value, and then I will hover inside this shape. This looks pretty good. I'm going to click once to accept the hatch area, but I'm not going to hit Enter to finish the hatch just yet. Instead, I'm going to zoom in on the lower-left corner. Notice that the bottom course of bricks doesn't look correct. This is because all hatch patterns are applied using the 0, 0 coordinate as the origin. I'm going to back up and we'll center this geometry onscreen.
Rather than having the hatch tied to 0,0, I'd rather come up and click Set Origin and then assign the lower-left corner of the square as the origin of this pattern. When I'm finished, I'll press Enter to accept the hatch. And you can see this brick pattern looks more like you would expect real bricks to look. Now that we have an understanding of how the Hatch command works, let's try and use it in a practical example. I'm going to zoom out and I'll pan the drawing up. On my screen, I've drawn a small floor plan, and I would like to apply some hatch to the interior of these walls to help them carry a little more weight in the drawing. To do that, I'll launch the Hatch command. I will select a pattern. I'm going to drag up and choose ANSI31 this time. I'll hover and take a look. This pattern is a little small so I'll come up and change my Scale setting to, we'll try 30. I'll press Tab and then I'll hover again. Maybe we'll go a little bit smaller. I'll click the Scale value again and I'll change it to fifteen.
I'll press Tab. This looks much better. I'll click to select the area and then I'll press Enter to create the hatch. So, in the event that you'd like to add some visual interest to a drawing, try incorporating some hatch patterns. With all of the settings available, you're only limited by your creativity.
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