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AutoCAD Essentials is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. In this installment, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the particulars of creating basic geometry in AutoCAD, including assigning imperial or metric units of measurement, using object snaps to control accuracy, and drawing and transforming basic lines and shapes. The last chapter in the course tests your newfound skills in a short project.
Before I start drawing this part, let me emphasize that there is no right or wrong way to construct this drawing. The most important thing is that we accurately reproduce the geometry. That being said, this is how I would approach the creation of this part. I'm going to start by panning the drawing over and give myself a little bit of room on the left side. I will start the drawing by recreating the center line. To do that, I'll launch the Line command. I'll pick a point onscreen and then I'm going to lock my ortho. And I'll pull to the left.
Distance really isn't that important right now. I'll click to finish my line and then I'll press Escape. I will then launch the Line command again. I'll click above the first line and pull straight down. I'll click and then I'll press Escape when I'm finished. I have just created an object snap that I'm going to use to start building this part from. This intersection represents the center of this circle. And, like any good set of plans, this drawing is missing a dimension. That's all right. Based on what we know now, I could select this circle and come over to the Properties palette and I can see that it has a radius of 1.15.
I'm going to press Escape to deselect the object. I will then launch the Circle command. I'll create my circle from the--Shift+Right-Click-- intersection of these two lines, and I'll give it a radius of 1.15. I will then launch the Trim command, I'll use this vertical line as my cutting object, then I'll press Enter. And I'll trim off the left side of the circle. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Next, I'm going to find the centers of these circles. I'll do that using the Offset command.
I'll launch offset. And my first distance is going to be 3.25. I will offset this front edge to the back. I'll launch the Offset command again. We'll go a distance of 1.5, and I'll offset this line one more time. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. These intersections represent the centers of these circles. Let's go back to the Circle command. I'll create a circle at the intersection of these lines. And these circles must have a diameter of 1 because the width of the slot measures one. So, I'll access the Diameter suboption.
I'll type 1 and press Enter. Now, I could create another circle at this intersection. I could also create that circle using the Copy command. I'll launch Copy, I'll select my last circle, and press Enter. I'd like to copy it from the center of the object. And my ortho is locked. I'll pull to the right and enter a distance of 1.5. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Next, I'd like to finish the slot geometry. I'm going to do that using the Offset command. It looks like if I offset the center line up and down a distance of 0.5, I can create the top and bottom edge of the slot. So, I'll launch the Offset command, I'll use the distance of 0.5, and I'll offset my center line up and down, and I'll press Escape when I'm finished. Now it's time to go back to the Trim command and clean up my geometry.
I'll select both of these vertical lines as my cutting objects and I'll press Enter. Then I'll trim off this piece in this one, this piece in this one, and then I'll trim off the insides of the circles. When I'm finished I'll press Escape. Next, I'm going to create this circle at the end of the part. It looks like it has a radius of 1. We'll go back into the Circle command. I'll create a circle at the center of this one. I'll give it a radius of 1 and I'll press Enter. Next, I'm going to use the same offset trick to create this top edge and bottom edge of the part. I'll launch the Offset command, and my offset distance must be 1 since the radius of the circle is 1. I'll offset the center line down and up, and I'll press Escape when I'm finished. Let's trim up a little bit more geometry. I'll launch the Trim command. We'll grab this vertical line as the cutting object and I'll press Enter.
And I'll trim off this piece and this piece and the left side of this circle. Next, I'm going to focus on the very top and very bottom edge of the part. Once again, another job for offset. It looks like two units is going to work. I'll launch the Offset command, 2 units. I'll offset the center line up and down. I'd like to find this corner next. I am going to use offset again. We'll off set this front edge back 1.5 to find this intersection.
So, I'll launch this Offset command. I'll use a distance of 1.5, and I'll press Escape when I'm finished. To create this angular line, I'm going to use Polar Tracking. I'll come down and right-click on the icon, and I'm going to choose the 30-degree increment option. I will then click the icon to toggle that feature on. I'll launch the Line command and I'll create a line from the intersection of these two lines. I'll snap to the 60-degree angle, and I'll click and draw my line a little bit longer than what I need. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. I will then press the spacebar to go right back into the Line command.
I'll create another line from the intersection down below, and I'll draw this at a 60-degree angle coming up, and I'll click Escape when I'm finished. Let's trim up some more geometry. I'm going to use these two objects and these two objects as cutting edges and I'll press Enter. I'll trim off these two ends and these two ends. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Finally, I'm going to take care of these chamfers. Looks like they're the same measurement, 0.5 in either direction from the corner. To create this geometry, I'm going to use a circle. I'll draw my circle at the intersection at the front corner and I'll give this a radius of 0.5. I'll create one more at the top-left corner of the part. Then I'll press Enter to accept the default radius. Finally, I'll draw a line from the intersection of the circle in the front edge to the intersection of the circle in the top edge, and I'll do the same thing down below. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Now, I'm going to eliminate much of the geometry that I don't need. I'll grab both of these circles, I'll grab these vertical lines and my center line, and I'll press Delete.
Finally, I can use the Trim command to clean up the rest. I'll select all this geometry in the front as cutting objects, and I'll press Enter. And I'll trim off this piece and this one, this piece and this one, this piece and this one, and I'll grab this last piece inside the arc. Notice I do have two additional pieces I have to erase. Fortunately, there is an Erase suboption inside the Trim command. I'll select that and I'll grab these last two entities and I'll press Enter when I'm finished. Finally, I'll press Escape to exit the command. And my part is now complete. If you got the part finished, congratulations! You're doing very well. If you struggled, try drawing the part again using the techniques I used in this lesson. The more practice you get, the easier the job becomes.
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