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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the past, editing polylines has always been painful. It involved a lot of menus, the commands weren't user-friendly, and the only geometry you can add to a polylines were straight segments. Well, in AutoCAD 2011 it's now easier than ever to make changes to your polylines. In this lesson we are going to learn how to revise our polyline geometry using the new multifunctional grips. I'd like to start out by drawing a polyline. So let's come up to the Draw panel. We'll launch the Polyline command. Then I'll pick some points on screen, and you know what, I can see that my object tracking is turned on.
Let's come down and click the toggle to turn that off, just so we don't have the additional line work popping up on screen. I'll pick a few more points. When I'm finished, I'll hit my Escape key. To edit this polyline I'll click to select it. And notice that in addition to the primary grips that we're used to seeing at the endpoints and the corners, we now have secondary grips at the midpoint of each segment. All of these grips are called multifunctional grips and we'll use these to edit the geometry of this polyline.
Let's take a look at the primary grips first. If I hover over a primary grip, AutoCAD brings up a menu with some options. If I select Stretch a Vertex, I can use this to move the vertex to a new location. I'm going to click right here to place the vertex. I'll hover again. This time I'd like to add a vertex. Now if you add a vertex to a polyline, the vertex will be added after the current location. Since this polyline was drawn left to right, if I select Add Vertex, notice the vertex is being added after the current location.
Once again, I'll click to place this guy on screen. Finally, I'll hover over the grip again, and this time I'll select to Remove Vertex to remove that guy for my polyline. Now the same three functions that we just saw can also be accessed by using the Ctrl key on your keyboard. For instance, if I place my cursor over this grip and click to select, AutoCAD defaults to Stretch mode. If I tap my Ctrl key, it switches to Add mode. If I tap my Ctrl key again, it switches to Remove mode.
I'm going to remove this vertex, so I will click on screen to accept the new geometry. Now let's take a look at the secondary grip. If I hover over this grip I get another menu. I can use to Stretch option to move this segment. Let's hit Escape. If I hover, I can use Add Vertex to pull this out and create a new vertex, and two new segments. Let's hover again. This time I'll select Convert to Arc. I can use this option to pull this segment into an arc.
Finally, we can add arcs when editing our polylines. The same Ctrl key functionality we saw earlier with primary grips also works with secondary grips. Let's look at one more thing. If you have an arc and you hover over the secondary grip, we can use this option to remove the arc, we can add a vertex, or we can convert this arc into a straight line. When I am finished editing my geometry I'll hit my Escape key. Now that we understand how these multifunctional grips work, let's try and use them in a practical example. I am going to pan my drawing over.
On my screen I have got a civil engineering drawing. This is a site plan for a proposed restaurant and parking lot. Let's zoom in a little bit. If I hover over my parking lot, I can see this geometry is a closed polyline. In fact, this text right here is called a field and the square footage that we see is tied to this polyline. If I select list and grab this grip and pull it out may be to here, as soon as I Regen, and I can do that by typing re and hit Enter, keep an eye on this number.
Notice the area changes. So this value is tied to this geometry. Let's click Undo a couple times to put that back. I'm going to back up a little bit, because we need to edit this parking lot. The main problem we have is we've got a lot of parking stalls and only one access. I would like to be able to access this parking lot from Woodlawn Avenue. I'm going to open my layer control, and let's turn on this layer called Revised. If I zoom in, we can see the geometry that represents what I'd like my parking lot to do.
Now instead of that exploding this geometry and joining everything here together, let's see if we can edit our polyline to match this line work. To do that I'll select the geometry. Let's zoom in a little bit more. I'll hover over the secondary grip, and let's convert it into a straight segment. I'll then select this endpoint. I will then hover over the grip and select Stretch. I'll place it to the intersection here. I'll hover over the grip and select Stretch. Place it to the endpoint here.
I'll hover over the secondary grip. I'll select Add Vertex. I'll place one to the endpoint here. I'll do the same thing, and place it to the endpoint here. Generally speaking, I am tracing all of my straight segments first. Let's add another vertex right here. I'll add another vertex right there. Now all I have to do is hover and select Convert to Arc. And I'll place this arc to the, Shift+right-click, midpoint here.
We'll hover over this one and select Convert to Arc and I'll place it to the midpoint here. And then I'll select this one and you know what, oops! I accidentally clicked that. Don't worry. We can always use the Ctrl key. Let me click Ctrl, I'll click Ctrl again, there we go. Now I am pulling out an arc. I'll place his to the, Shift+right-click, midpoint here. When I am finished I'll hit Escape. And we can turn off the Revise layer. Now we are finished, I'll type re to Regen the drawing, and our area updates automatically.
Just think, never again do we have to swift through cryptic menus to make changes to our polylines. In AutoCAD 2011, we can use multifunctional grips to make powerful and effortless changes to our geometry.
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