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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
Another helpful tool that AutoCAD gives us is the Quick Calculator. What makes the Quick Calculator nice is that it can be used in the middle of an active command. Let me show you what I mean. On my screen, I have some sketched geometry. Let's say, I'd like to draw a circle whose Radius is .75 units smaller than this existing one. To do that, I'll launch the Circle command, and I'd like to start my circle at the center of this one. Now what's my radius going to be? Typically, this is where we reach for the Handheld Calculator.
Fortunately, I don't have to do that. I'm going to press Ctrl+8 to bring up AutoCAD's built-in Quick Calculator. Now my calculator popped up in the expanded state, yours may not have. If that's the case, you can click this more or less button to expand the calculator. First of all, notice it says Active command CIRCLE. That means whatever value I come up with, it's going to be applied to the Circle command. I'm going to punch out 2.691-.75=.
There's my value right there. I'm going to come down and click Apply. Notice AutoCAD dumps that value to the command Line. From here, I can press Enter to accept the value and finish the circle. Now let's turn it up a notch. Maybe I'd like to create a new circle that is half the size of this last one. I'll press the Spacebar to relaunch the Circle command. I'll start my circle from the center of this one. Now what's the radius? I'm not sure. I'm going to press Ctrl+8. We'll let the computer figure it out.
Take a look at this area at the top of the Palette. This is where AutoCAD maintains a running history of all of my computations. The best part about this history is that we can steal from it. Here's my solution from last time. I'm going to double-click on it to move it down into the expression area. Then I'll press divided by two. Now you don't always have to use this keypad. You can also use the numeric keys on your keyboard. I'll click equals. There's my value, I'll click Apply, and then I'll press Enter.
Now I'd like to create one more circle. Let's create one that is twice the size as this circle that we started with. Once again, I'll relaunch the Circle command. I'll start my circle from the center of this one. What's my radius? I'll press Ctrl+8. I'm doing this because I want to show you that you can steal from both sides of the history. You can steel the answers or you can steal the equations. I'm going to double- click on this first equation. Then I'll click, hold and drag across this text. I'll change this to multiplied by two.
Notice, I'm using the Asterisk symbol. Asterisk represents multiplication. Here is another shortcut. We don't have to push the equals button. If you want, you can simply come down and click Apply. Then I'll press Enter to finish. Let's try something else. Over here to the right, I have a simple rectangular shape. This rectangle is made up of individual line segments. Let's say, I'd like to offset this left edge over such that I divide this into five equal shapes. Now first of all, I don't even know how long this line is.
You know what, I don't have to know. I can let the computer figure out the math for me. I'll move up and launch the Offset command. Now what's my offset distance? I'm going to press Ctrl+8 to bring up the Calculator. Then I'll move up to the top of the Palette, and I'll click this button Distance Between Two Points. I'll select this endpoint and this one and AutoCAD moves that distance in the Expression box. I will then type divided by five. Let me mention that we have only scratched the surface as far as what this Calculator can do.
If you'd like to explore the Quick Calculator further, you can click this Help icon and AutoCAD will give you more information. I'm going to click Apply. That moves the value to the command Line. I'll press Enter to accept it and then I'll offset this line over, and then I'll offset this line and this one and this one. While the Quick Calculator may not completely replace the Handheld Calculator that we keep at our desk, it certainly makes computations within AutoCAD much easier.
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