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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
I must admit the Explode command isn't as exciting to you as it sounds. With a name like explode, you might expect to see something spectacular when you use it. I'm afraid this isn't the case. What the Explode command does is it converts our joint entities back into their individual components. Let's try using the Explode command. I'm going to come up and click my Open icon, and we have to look inside our Chapter 9 folder within the Exercise Files directory and I'm going to come down to drawing number 9, the Explode drawing. We'll click to highlight that drawing and then click Open.
Now, I have got some abstract geometry on my screen. We are going to use this to learn how the Explode command works. If we look at the left side, I can see a hexagon. I drew this hexagon using the Polygon command. And if I click the edge of the hexagon, I can see that AutoCAD is looking at this guy as one piece or one entity. Technically speaking, AutoCAD views this is as a poly line or a multi-segmented line. Let me hit my Escape key to clear the grips. Let's look at the geometry on the right. If I click on this rectangle, which was drawn using the Rectangle command, AutoCAD also views this line work as a single piece.
Likewise, if I click the hatch, AutoCAD is seeing that guy as a single object as well. Let me hit Escape to clear the grips. Let's use the Explode command to explode our hexagon. To use the Explode command, I'm going to move over to my Modify toolbar and I'm going to click on the Explode icon, probably the best looking icon we have on AutoCAD. I will click that to launch and then AutoCAD asks me select objects. I'm going to move my cursor up and click on my hexagon to highlight it and then I will right-click to finish the selection.
That hexagon has been exploded. When I try and click on these entities, I can see that each piece is now an individual line segment. Let me hit Escape to clear the grips. We are going to launch the Explode command one more time and we will explode this geometry on the right. Let me come over and click the Explode. AutoCAD is asking me to select objects. This time, I'm going to select the Hatch and I'm going to select the Rectangle. Now that I'm done with my selection, I will right-click so that AutoCAD knows I'm done and those guys have been exploded.
Each side of my rectangle is now an individual entity as well as my hatch. Be careful using the Explode command around your hatch. It's always better to have your hatch seen as an individual object than a bunch of disjointed entities. Let me hit Escape to clear the grips because you may be wondering why would we want to use the Explode command. Let's try and use the Explode command in a practical example. I'm going to back up. We will pan over. Let's say I'm designing a five-panel door. Now, I have created the outline of this door using the Rectangle command and if I click on this, I can see it's all trigged as one object.
Now, I would like to offset my line work to create my panels. Unfortunately, if I try and offset my vertical lines over, they are not going to offset correctly because AutoCAD is going to try and offset this entire rectangle. What I'm going to do is I'm going to explode the rectangle and that will allow me to offset my lines individually. Let me hit Escape to clear the grips. We will come down and we will click our Explode icon and then, we will select the rectangle. When I right-click to finish the selection, that rectangle has been exploded.
This guy is now individual pieces and it's very easy for me to offset. I'm going to hit Escape once again to clear the grips. We will pan over through the miracle of time lapse photography. You can see the first offsets that I have created. I have offset my vertical lines over. Then, I offset my horizontal lines up and down to define the shapes of my panels. And then lastly, I have cleaned up my geometry by using the Trim command. Exploding my original rectangle made it possible for me to create the offsets that define these panels.
If you need to convert an object back into individual parts, use the Explode command. Well, it may not be spectacular to watch, it does get the job done. Now that we have seen how to explode our entities into individual components, in the next session, we are going to learn how to join our entities back together using the P-edit Command.
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