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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 Array command can also be used to create copies that are arranged into columns and rows. In this lesson we are going to learn how to create a rectangular array. On my screen I have got some chairs. This chair on the left represents what I am starting with and these chairs on the right represent the array that I'd like to create. To copy my chair into rows and columns I am going to use the Array command. Array is located in the Modify panel of the Ribbon. I will click to launch the command and then I will make sure that my Array type is set to Rectangular.
I will come down here and click Select Objects and then I will select the object I'd like to copy and right-click. Let me move this over a little bit, and how many rows do we want? The rows go left to right. In this case, I want 4 rows. So I am going to accept the default value. It looks like I need 3 columns. So I am going to change this to 3 and I will press Tab to accept this value. Notice as I make my changes we can see the preview update over here.
Now, how far apart are the rows and columns? I can see my Row offset is 42 inches. That is a center to center distance, not necessarily the walking space in between these chairs. So I will change my Row offset to 42 inches. Could I also enter 3 foot 6 inches? Yes, I could. That will also work. In fact, when I click in the Column offset you will see AutoCAD will make that change for me. My column offset is going to be 36 inches or 3 feet.
I will press Tab to accept that value and at this point I will move down and click Preview to take a look at my array. Now, if I like this, I can right-click to accept it. If not, I can press the Escape key to adjust my settings. Since I have built this array from dimensions, I know this is perfect. So I am going to right-click to accept it. Now that we understand the workflow behind the rectangular array, let's try and use the tool in a practical example. On my screen I have a design for a bookshelf and I would like the shelves in this bookshelf to be adjustable.
To accomplish this I am going to drill some holes in the inside of these faces. I will then be placing 3/8 inch dowels into these holes to hold up the shelves and I'd like to create a pattern of holes such that I can adjust the shelves in 3 inch increments. Now, I have got a finished example of what I am looking for right here. Let's see if we can replicate this rectangular array on this unfinished board. The first thing I am going to do is place the hole in the lower left corner. To do that, I will use my Offset command.
My Offset distance is going to be 3 inches and I will offset this edge to the inside and I will press Escape. Now, I am going to offset this lower edge up, 12 inches. So I will press the Spacebar to go back into the Offset command. I will type 12 inches and I will offset this line up and then I will hit Escape. Now, I will launch the Circle command and I will place the circle to the intersection right here and this circle has a diameter of 3/8th of an inch.
So I am going to right-click and select Diameter from the menu. I will type 3/8 inch and I will hit Enter. Now this hole is quite small. To make this a little easier to see I am going to eliminate my sketch geometry. I will do that by launching the eRase command, I will select both of these lines and I will hit Enter. Alright, let's complete the rest of the copies using a rectangular array. I will launch the Array command. This is going to be a rectangular array. I will click Select Objects and I will select my circle and right-click.
Let's move this over a little bit. Now how many rows do I want? There are 13 sets of holes. So I am going to have 13 rows, I have 2 columns. Let's take a look at Row offset, how far are the rows apart? We can see that right here, 3 inches. I will enter my row offsets. Finally, how far are my columns apart? We can see that value right here. I will set my Column offset to 10 inches.
Now that I am finished, I will click Preview. That looks perfect. If I like this I can right-click to accept it or I could always press my Escape key if I wanted to explore other options. What if I wanted my shelves to be adjustable at every 2 inch increments? Let's click Preview. We can see the difference. I am going to put things back the way they were. I will press Escape and I will change this back to 3 and I will click OK to accept it. As you can see a rectangular array is yet another way to create copies of your entities.
It's the perfect tool to use when your copies are arranged in columns and rows.
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