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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.
In this lesson, we're going to learn how to draft a little bit faster. We're going to take a look at AutoCAD's Rectangle command. Rectangle allows us to create rectangular shapes in just a couple of steps. Now, the Rectangle Tool is in the Draw panel of our Ribbon. I'm going to move up and click the icon to launch the command. Now, what does AutoCAD need to create a rectangle? Well, it needs the location of the opposite corners. Watch this. I'll click a point on screen to start my rectangle and then I'm going to move to the upper-right and click again to finish it. Now that my rectangle is finished, I'm going to click to select it and notice that AutoCAD views this geometry as a single entity.
In fact, if you want to be good technical, this entity is considered a poly line, meaning, it's a multi-segmented line. Now, this rectangle's nice, but it doesn't have any geometric value. Let's create another rectangle, and this time we'll be entering real dimensions. I'm going to hit my Escape key to deselect this rectangle and let me mention that this drawing is an architectural example. We can see that by opening up the Application menu. I'll come down to Drawing Utilities and I'll select Units. We can see Architectural right here. Since this drawing is set to Architectural, I'll need to enter the apostrophe and quotes in my distances to identify feet and inches.
I'm going to click OK to close this. Then I'll move up and relaunch the Rectangle command and let's see if we can use the tool to replicate the rectangular shape of this Ping-Pong table. I'm going to start my rectangle by clicking right here and now, take a look at the command line. Notice there's a sub- option here called Dimensions. I'm going to right-click to access the sub-options, I'll select Dimensions and now all I have to do is answer AutoCAD's questions. First of all, AutoCAD wants the length of my rectangle. The length is the East-West direction or the direction along the X-axis.
In this case, I'm going to type 5 feet, Enter. Now, what's the width for my rectangle? That's going to be the North-South distance or the distance along the Y-axis. I'll type 9 feet, Enter, and notice I'm still on the command. That's because AutoCAD still needs to know where the opposite corner is. Based on the dimensions I gave from my starting corner, the opposite corner could be over here to the upper-left, could be over here to the upper-right, lower-right or lower-left. So, I'm going to place my cursor in this area and click to finish the rectangle.
Knowing what we know now, let's pan the drawing over and we'll try and use this tool in a practical example. This geometry we see over here to the right represents a couch. Let's see if we can create a similar couch positioned on the other side of the ping-pong table. First of all, I can see this couch measures 3 feet from the middle of the table. So, I'm going to launch the Rectangle command and let's find that location using temporary tracking. I'm going to type TK, Enter. Now, my first tracking point is going to be the Shift+Right-click, I'll select Intersection from the Object Snap menu, I'll click the Intersection right here, and then I'll pull to the left and I'll type a distance of 3 feet, Enter.
Now that I'm at my desired location, I'll hit Enter to start my rectangle. I'm going to draw this lower seat cushion first. So, let's right-click, select Dimensions from the menu and this seat cushion has a length of 1 foot, 11 inches, Enter and it has a width of 2 feet, 6 inches, Enter. Finally, I'll move my cursor down here so my rectangle is in the right location, and I'll click to accept it. Let's create another rectangle. I'm going to press the Spacebar to relaunch the command. I'll start the next rectangle from this endpoint.
I'll right-click and select Dimensions, and notice that AutoCAD is remembering my previous measurements, which is perfect, because the next rectangle is the same size as the last one. So, I'm going to hit Enter to accept the length and the width, and then I'll click on screen to finish the shape. Now, let's draw this rectangle that represents the lower backrest. I'm going to relaunch the command by pressing the Spacebar, I'll start my rectangle at this endpoint, right- click and select Dimensions, this rectangle has a length of 7 inches, Enter, and it has a width of 2 feet, 6 inches, I'm going to hit Enter to accept the default, and then I'll click on screen to finish the shape.
Let's go right back into the command, I'll start my rectangle from right here and in this case, I don't have to enter dimensions. I want my rectangle to go to this endpoint. Remember that AutoCAD is really only interested in the location of the opposite corners, and in this case, I had an object snap at both places. I'm going to relaunch the Rectangle command, I'd like to start my next rectangle from this corner, I'll right-click, select Dimensions and this armrest has a length of 1 foot, 11 inches, Enter and it has a width of 7 inches, Enter. I will then move my cursor up to make sure that my rectangles are on the appropriate side and I'll click to finish.
Let's do one more, I'll hit the Spacebar to go back into the command, I'll start with the rectangle from this endpoint, I'll access my Dimensions sub-option and then I'll hit Enter to accept the last couple dimensions. Finally, I'll move outside and click to finish the rectangle. Rectangular shapes are a huge part of two-dimensional drafting and I'm sure you'll agree that the Rectangle command allows us to draw these shapes four times faster than the Line command.
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