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Properly managing a drawing is essential to being productive in AutoCAD. In this course, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the Autodesk AutoCAD tools and features dedicated to organizing and editing geometry. The course covers making selections, creating and adjusting layers, identifying objects with hatch patterns, and scaling, exploding, and joining elements. It also includes lessons on creating fillets and chamfers, copying existing objects into rectangular or circular patterns, and accessing specialized tools that make measurements and calculations a lot easier.
In the lesson, we are going to learn how to cut our work into half, or double our productivity; however you want to look at it. Specifically we'll be talking about the Mirror command. Mirror is another tool that allows us to copy geometry. These copies are special though, in that they are a reflection of the original. On my screen I've drawn one half of a car, this car is symmetrical. I've also drawn the centerline or my line of symmetry. Mirror is a great tool to use anytime you have symmetrical geometry, because you only have to draw one side, mirror will produce the other side for you.
To finish my car, I going to come up to the Modify panel and launch the Mirror command. I will then select the geometry I'd like to copy, or mirror. I will press Enter when I'm finished. Now I need to identify two points on my line of symmetry or my mirror line. I'll grab the endpoint on the right side of my line, and then I'll come over and grab the endpoint on the left. Finally, do you want to delete the source objects? You don't have to keep them. I am going to press Enter to accept the default, because I like to keep my original geometry, and you can see my car is finished.
As you can see the whole trick to using the Mirror command is identifying two points on that line of symmetry. Now that we understand how mirror works, let's try and use it in a practical example. I am going to zoom out and I'll pan the drawing up. On my screen I have a drawing of a small hotel room. I am going to zoom in on the bedroom area first. Over here on the left side of the bed I've drawn a nightstand and a lamp. I'd like to create a copy of this geometry on the right side of the bed. This is a perfect opportunity to use Mirror.
I'll come up and launch the Mirror command, and I'll use a Window selection to select my geometry. I'll press Enter when I am finished. I don't have a physical line that represents my mirror line. I actually don't need one I can grab the Object Snaps. My mirror line can be identified by grabbing the midpoint at the foot of the bed, and the midpoint at the top of the bed. I'll press Enter when I'm finished, and you can see I've created a perfect reflected copy. Let's take the concept even further.
I am going to Zoom out, since this geometry is part of a hotel floor plan, chances are the room to the south of this one is a mirrored copy of the original room. Let's use the Mirror command to create the adjoining room. First thing I'm going to do is create my mirror line or my line of symmetry. That line will run right down the middle of the south wall. To make this visual, I'm going to draw that line. I'll do that by launching the Line command, and I'm going to create my line from the middle of this wall, I will then lock my Ortho, and I'll pull the line out the east side of the room.
When I am finished I will press Escape. Now I would like this line to run all the way through the floor plan. So I'm going to select the line I just drew, I will then hover over this grip on the left side and I'll choose Lengthen. And I will drag this line out to the west side of the room. When I am finished, I'll press Escape. Let's do one more thing, when I mirror this geometry, I don't need any of this geometry to the south of my mirror line. So we'll trim it off. To do that I'll launch the Trim command, I'll select my mirror line as my cutting object and press Enter, and I'd like to trim this line work, and this line work.
When I am finished I'll press Escape. Now let's zoom out, and we'll create the room next door. I'll launch the Mirror command, and I'll select the floor plan, I'll press Enter when I am finished, I would then select the endpoint on the right side of my mirror line, and I'll come over and select the endpoint on the left side. And I'll press Enter to keep the original objects. Finally, I don't need this centerline anymore, so I'll select this and press Delete to remove it from the drawing.
Anytime you are working with symmetrical geometry, consider using the Mirror command. When used properly, it can quite literally cut your work in half.
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