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Once you have applied some Hatch to your drawing, you may wonder how difficult it is to make changes to it. Well since AutoCAD views Hatch as a single dynamic object it's very easy to modify both in appearance and shape. On my screen, I have created a simple square and I have also applied some Hatch. First of all, let's talk about how we can changes to our Hatch pattern. To modify my Hatch, I am going to click to select it. It springs up the Hatch Editor tab on the ribbon and this gives me access to all of the same Hatch settings that I had when I created this Hatch in the first place.
So it's kind of like I am creating this Hatch for the first time. I am going to select a new pattern, now I can do that by clicking the arrow keys to go up and down through the menu or I can click this fly-out to expand the menu so I can see more swatches at one time. I am going to select the Angle pattern and I am going to make a change to the Scale as well, I will click in the Scale field here and I will set this to 2 and then I will press Tab to accept the value and let's change the angle. I will click and hold on this slider and I will drag this over a little bit and then I will release.
At this point I could change any of the other settings. Just for a second, notice that this Hatch pattern is associative, that means that it's linked to this boundary. Now that I am finished making my changes I am going to click the x to close the Hatch Editor and accept my settings. So modifying the appearance of Hatch is as easy as selecting it and adjusting the settings. Now let's talk about how we would modify the shape of our Hatch. Remember that this Hatch is associative, so it's tied to this boundary. That means if I select the boundary and click this grip and move it over here the Hatch goes along for the ride.
Now let's do something catastrophic, since my boundary is still selected, I am going to come over and click the Erase button to erase it. If we look at the command line we can see that the hatch associativity has been removed. Obviously because the boundary is now gone. Watch this, if I select this Hatch, notice that AutoCAD remembers the original boundary. I can even edit this boundary. This means that if a Hatch pattern loses its associativity I don't have to erase it and start over I can simply match the Hatch fit my revised geometry.
To modify this Hatch boundary, I will use these grips. Let's talk about the corner grips first. If I hover over a corner grip, AutoCAD will bring up a menu of Options. If I select Stretch Vertex I can then move this vertex wherever I like all I have to do is click to put it down. Let's hover over the grip again. If I select Add Vertex, I can add a vertex to the boundary. Let's hover one more time I can also select Remove to remove a vertex.
Now let's talk about these edge grips. Edge grips are located at the midpoint of each segment. If I hover over an edge grip, once again I get a menu. Now if I select Stretch, actually I am moving this segment, I can click to place this wherever I like, I can select Add Vertex and I can pull this edge out into a new vertex and create two new edges. Let's move over here I will hover over this one, I will select Convert to Arc, using this option I can pull this straight edge out into an arc.
In case you are wondering if I hover over the edge of an arc, I can convert this back to a line. When I am finished making my changes I will hit Escape to deselect the entity. Now that we understand the concepts behind editing a Hatch, let's use these tools in a practical example. On my screen, I have a drawing of a mechanical part and I have drawn this part in Plane view and Section view. As you can see the section view geometry has been revised and the hatch no longer matches the line work.
Let's start by correcting the shape of this Hatch. I am going to zoom in a little bit. I will select the pattern, then I will hover over this grip and I will select Stretch and I would like to stretch this to the end point of this line. Let's do the same thing to the other side. Lets pan this over and we will zoom in a little more, it looks like an arc has been added, let's correct our Hatch to match this boundary, I will hover over this grip and I will stretch this to the end point here.
Then I will add a vertex, I will place it to the end point here. Finally, we will covert this straight edge to an arc and I will place the arc to the Midpoint right here. When I am finished I will hit Esc to deselect. Let me pan this up because I think we have to do the same thing to the other side. I will select my Hatch, I will stretch the vertex to this endpoint, we will add a vertex at this end point and finally, I will covert the straight edge to an arc and I will pull it out to the Midpoint right here.
Finally, I would like to modify the Hatch pattern itself. Typically the Hatch in a section view is an ANSI31 pattern. To change this pattern I will click to select it then I will open up my menu. Let's push this to the top and I will select ANSI31 that looks much better. I will click x to close the Editor. Now that I have one good hatch pattern, I can modify these remaining ones fairly quickly. All I have to do is select the hatch, I will come over and select Match Properties and then I will select a Hatch that represents what I want and AutoCAD will populate all of the settings for me.
When I am finished I will close the editor. Let's take care of this last one, I will select it, I will click Match Properties and I will select a Hatch. As you can see AutoCAD is very flexible when it comes to modifying Hatch. Whether we want to adjust its appearance or make it conform to a new shape, all of our changes are just a couple clicks away.
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