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It's important to remember that the drawings we create in AutoCAD are construction drawings. This means that someone somewhere will be referring to our drawing to construct our design. Knowing this we need to be certain that our design is well-dimensioned. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to add dimensions to a drawing. On my screen I have a mechanical example, and before I create my first dimension take a look at the Layer control. Notice I am practice in good form. I have created a layer for dimensions and I have set that layer current. In fact, I'm going to open up the layer control and let's take a look at the layers in this drawing.
I have my default layer 0, I have a layer for my center lines, one for the dimensions, and one for the part. Now the dimensioning tools are located in the Annotation panel. The flyout is right here. I'm going to start off by creating a Linear dimension. Let's say I would like to create a dimension from the end point here to the end point here. I will then pull this up and click to place my dimension. Be sure to use object snaps whenever you are creating dimensions. It's the only way to ensure the dimensions are accurate. Let's create another Linear dimension.
Since Linear was the last choice, I can relaunch the command by clicking this icon. It will then create a dimension from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. A Linear dimension will give us the Horizontal or Vertical distance between the points we select. It just depends on which way you pull your cursor. I'd like a Horizontal distance. So I will pull this up and place it to the endpoint of this arrowhead. Let's create one more. I'm going to create a vertical measurement this time. I'm going to press the Spacebar to relaunch the command and I'll create a dimension from the endpoint to the center of this arc.
Now that I've created some dimensions, let's take another look at the layer control. Notice there is a new layer here called Defpoints. AutoCAD created this layer as soon as I placed my first dimension. If I zoom in on a dimension, notice there is a small pixel right here that identifies the point that's being dimensioned. This is called a Definition Point and AutoCAD uses this to maintain the accuracy and location of our dimensions. Now these pixels won't plot. They are on layer Defpoints and Defpoints is a non-plottable layer. The only reason I mention this is in the event you open up your layer control and wonder where this Defpoints layer came from.
I'm going to zoom out and let's create another dimension. I'll open up the flyout and this time I'll select Aligned. Aligned gives us the true distance between two points. I'll select the endpoint here and the endpoint here and I'll pull this out. I'll then press the Spacebar to relaunch the command and I'll dimension from the endpoint here to the endpoint here and I'll pull this out to the endpoint of this arrowhead. Unless you require a horizontal or vertical measurement, the Aligned dimension is the one that you will probably use most often.
Alright, let's create an angular dimension. I'm going to reopen the menu and I'll select Angular. To create an Angular dimension, all I've to do is select two lines. I'll select this one and this one and I'll pull my dimension out to here. I'm going to do one more. I'll relaunch the command and I'll select this line and this one, and let me zoom in a little bit. Before I place this, notice if I pull to the outside, I can dimension the opposite angle or if I pull to the left or right, I can dimension the supplementary angles.
Let's create a radial dimension. I'll go back to the menu and select Radius. Now I can select the arc or circle I'd like to dimension. I'll select this one and I'll pull my dimension out to here. Let's do one more. I'll relaunch the command and I'll dimension this small fillet right down here. We can also dimension the diameter of an arc or a circle. I'll select diameter from the menu and let's dimension this large circle.
I'll pull this down and place my dimension here. Notice that AutoCAD's adds the Diameter symbols for me automatically. Using AutoCAD's dimensioning tools along with our object snaps, we can quickly and easily document our drawing and allow a contractor to accurately reproduce our design.
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