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Back in the paper and pencil days, creating an Ellipse required the use of a plastic template. Today using AutoCAD's Ellipse command, we can create any size ellipse we like, and it's as easy as creating a circle. On my screen I have a diagram of an ellipse and generally speaking an ellipse is nothing more than a circle with two diameters. There is a horizontal diameter. This is called the Major Axis and there's a vertical diameter called the Minor Axis. Note that if we are looking at these distances as measured from the center point, they are called the major and minor radius.
Creating an ellipse is very similar to creating a circle. Let's try it out. I am going to pan the drawing over and I will push this up a little bit, and we will try and recreate each of these shapes using AutoCAD's Ellipse tool. We will start with this one on the left. Now the Ellipse tool is located in the Draw panel of our Ribbon. The icon is right here, I am going to hover over this for just a second, because I want to show you that the Default method of creating an ellipse is the Center Method. Let's launch the command and then I will click to specify the center location of my ellipse and then I am going to lock my Ortho, I will do that by clicking the toggle down here in the Status Bar.
Then I will pull to the right and I am going to enter the Major Radius Distance. If we look at the example above, we can see the Major Axis is 24 Inches, so the radius is half of that, it must be 12. I will type 12 Inches, Enter. Don't forget to use the quote symbol, this is an architectural example. Now I will pull up or down and I will enter the Minor Radius. We can see that the Minor Axis is 14, so the Minor Radius must be 7 Inches, Enter. Alright, let's recreate this Ellipse now, except this time we will use a different Ellipse method.
I am going to move back to the icon and I am going to click this Fly-out right next to it and you can see in the Menu that there are a couple of ways to create an ellipse. This time you will look at the Axis End method. With Axis End, we will define the Major Axis and then the Minor Radius. I will click to launch the tool and then I will pick a point on screen to define the first point of my Major Axis, I am going to pull to the right and in the example above, the Major Axis is 15 Inches, so I will type 15 Inches, Enter. Finally notice where I am pulling from.
I am pulling from the center, so I am going to have to enter a radius. I can see the Minor Axis is 8 Inches, so the Minor Radius must be 4 Inches. Enter. Now that we understand how to use the Ellipse tool, let's apply it to a practical example. I am going to zoom out, and I will pan my drawing over. On my screen, I have an architectural example. This is a floor plan for a single family hall. Let's start out by zooming in on the Master Bath area and I would like to focus our attention on this counter top. So I am going to zoom in a little bit further.
I will center this on screen. I would like this counter top to have two basins. I have already created one of them and let's see if we can use the Ellipse command to create the other. First of all, I would like the basin to be centrally located within this area. To do that I am going to create some sketch geometry. I will move up and launch the Line command and I am going to create a line form the end point here to the end point down here, and then I will hit Esc. Now I would like to draw this large Ellipse first. I am going to create using the Center method and I am going to place the center at the midpoint of this line.
So let's move up the Ellipse Tool, I will click the Fly-out and I will select the Center method and I don't have a running object snap set for midpoint, so I am going to Shift + right click. I will select midpoint from the menu and then I will click this line. Now I am going to pull to the right and I am going to enter my Major Radius. In this case, that will be 10 Inches. Enter, then I will pull up, and then I will enter the Minor Radius, since the Minor Axis is 16, the Minor Radius must be 8 Inches. Enter. At this point, I don't need my sketch geometry anymore, so I will click to select it and then I will press my Delete key to erase.
Let's create the next ellipse. I will move back up and launch the command. Now I have a Running Object Snap of Center. Watch this, if I place my cursor on top of this ellipse, AutoCAD will find the center of an ellipse, just like it will find the center of a circle. So I am going to click to accept this point. I will pull to the right and I will enter my Major Radius which is 8 Inches, Enter. Then I will pull up, I will enter my Minor Radius which in this case is 6 Inches. Enter. Alright the last thing we have to draw is this drain.
This is this circle, it has a radius of 1 inch and it's center point is placed 4 Inches from the center of the basin. I am going to move up and launch my Circle command and I will place this center of the circle using Temporary Tracking. I will type TK, Enter, my first tracking point will be the center of this ellipse, and will then pull down, notice it didn't want to pull down right away. If that's the case, move your cursor closer to your Object Snap and then pull down, and it will work fine. I am going to pull this down 4 Inches, Enter, now that I am where I want to be, I will hit Enter to accept this location.
I will type a Radius of 1 Inch, and press Enter. As you can see creating an ellipse is very easy. Once you understand the concept of the Major and Minor Axis, drawing an ellipse is as simple as drawing a circle.
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