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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.
The first thing people notice when they start using Object Snaps is that it's a little tedious to have to Shift+right-click for each one. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to automate some of our object snaps. On my screen, I have some abstract shapes. Just for a minute, let's assume I wanted to finish these shapes to create some squares. Well, to do that I'll launch the Line command and I'd like to start my line from the Shift+right-click, Endpoint of this segment and I'd like to draw my line to the Endpoint of this segment and then I'll hit Escape when I'm finished.
As you can see, to finish the rest of these squares, I'm going to have to bring up the Object Snap menu six more times and if I also wanted to draw a line segment that connected the centers of all of these circles, I'm going to have to bring that menu up another eight times. Let's look at how we can automate our object snaps. We'll do that by adjusting a mode setting. I'm going to come down to the Status Bar and I'll click this toggle, the sixth one from the left side. This guy represents our running Object Snaps.
Now that I've turned this on, I'm going to right-click on the icon. this brings up my Running Object Snap menu. If I have a running Object Snaps, it means that AutoCAD will automatically look for this snap anytime it needs a coordinate. Now, I'd like to change these settings. So, I'm going to come down and select Settings and then I will place a check next to any of the object snaps I'd like to set as running object snaps. I'm going to remove the check from Extension and Intersection and I'm going to leave Endpoint and Center turned on and I'll click OK.
Now that I've adjusted my settings and my running Object Snaps are turned on, let's see if we can finish these shapes. Once again, I'll launch the Line command and then I'll move and I'll start my line from the Endpoint of this segment. Notice, I was able to grab that Object Snap without the menu because AutoCAD's automatically looking for Endpoints. In fact, if I hover over these circles, you can see AutoCAD is automatically looking for center points as well. I'm going to finish my line clicking this endpoint and then I'll hit Escape, I'll press my Spacebar to go back into the Line command and I'll draw my line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here and I'll hit Escape, I'll reenter the Line command and I'll draw a line from the endpoint here to the endpoint here.
Now, let's see if we can create a line segment that connects the centers of all of these circles. Once again, I'll relaunch the Line command and I'll draw my line from the center of this circle to this one, I'll select this circle and this one, this one and this one, I can work my way right down the line and very easily grab the centers of all of those circles. As you can see, if we're using running object snaps, we can quickly select coordinates without always having to bring up the menu. Now, I must admit, it's very tempting to do this.
You might want to come down and right- click on this toggle, select Settings and it's very tempting to come over and click Select All and set all of these as running Object Snaps. Unfortunately, as your drawings become more complicated, if you have too many running object snaps, you run the risk of accidentally selecting an incorrect coordinate. My advice is to pick your favorite two running object snaps and select the rest of them from the Standard Object Snap menu. I'm going to click Clear All to clear these and then I'm going to turn on Center and Endpoint as my running object snaps.
Those are the ones that I use most often and I'll come down and click OK. Now that we have an understanding of how running object snaps work, let's pan the drawing over and we'll see if we can use the tool to help us recreate this geometry. I'm going to start by launching the Line command and I'll pick my start point right down here. Then I'm going to lock my Ortho, I'll do that by pressing the F8 key. I'll pull my line to the left a distance of 5 units and I'll hit Enter, I'll pull up 5 units, I'll pull to the right 5 units and then I'll right-click and select Close to close the geometry.
Now, let's see if we can place these circles. Based on the dimensions, I can see the center of this circle is 1 unit over and 1 unit down from this upper-left corner. One thing I don't know, I don't know the radius of these circles. That's okay, we can figure that out. I'll do that by selecting the circle and I'll come over to my property changer. Now, my property changer happens to be anchored to the interface, if yours is not, you can press Ctrl+1 to bring your property changer up on screen, and if I look right down here beneath the Geometry heading, I can see the Radius of the circle is 0.5.
I'm going to move outside the palette and let it collapse and then I'll hit Escape to deselect the circle. To place my first circle in my drawing, I'd like to create an object snap that represents the circle's center point. To do that, I'm going to create some sketch geometry. I'll start by launching the Circle command, I'm going to create a circle from the endpoint of this line and I'd like my circle to have a radius of 1 and I'll hit Enter. The radius of this circle allows me to find the point one unit over from this corner.
Now, I'll launch my Line command and I'd like to create my line from the intersection. Now, I don't have a running object snap set for intersection. So, I'm going to Shift+right-click to bring up the menu, I'll select Intersection and I'll click right here, I'll pull my line down a distance of one and then I'll hit Escape. This endpoint represents the center of my circle. I'm going to launch the Circle command, I'll create my circle from the endpoint of that line and my circle has a radius of 0.5.
I'm going to use the same sketch geometry to find the circle in the lower-right corner. I'll start by hitting my Spacebar to go back into the Circle command. I'll create a circle from this endpoint with a radius of 1, I will then launch my Line command, I'll draw my line from the Shift+right-click Intersection right here, I'll pull this up a distance 1 unit and I'll hit Enter. Finally, I'll launch the circle command, I'll create my circle from the endpoint of this line and my circle has a radius of 0.5.
Alright, we've got one more circle left and there are no dimensions on this circle, but it is centrally located inside the shape. What if I did this? I'm going to launch the Line command and I'll create a line from this endpoint to the endpoint up here. Now, notice as I pull up, I'm not getting the standard rubber band look that we usually get. Don't forget my Ortho is turned on. I'm going to press F8 to turn that off and now this makes a little bit more sense on screen. It would have still worked the other way but this way it looks a little bit nicer.
I'm going to draw my line to this endpoint and I'll hit Escape. Then I'll launch the Circle command and I'll create my circle from the Shift+right-click midpoint of this line and I'm going to hit Enter to accept my previous radius of 0.5. Finally, I can get rid of this sketch geometry. To do that, I'll click to select each of these entities and then I'll press the Delete key to erase them. Taking the object snaps that you use most often and setting them as running object snaps can save you a lot of time when drafting.
Personally, I like to use Endpoint and Center as my running object snaps and for the remainder of this title, unless I specify otherwise, this is how my running object snaps will be set.
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