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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 are going to learn how to explode our geometry. Now the word explode sounds a little more exciting than what we will actually be doing. You see the explode command is used to convert compound objects back into their individual components. Let's take a look. On my screen I have some simple shapes. I created this geometry using the rectangular command. I created this hexagon using the polygon command, and I have also created a circle with some hatch. If I select this geometry, notice that AutoCAD treats this as a single object.
If I open up the property changer we can see the AutoCAD views this object as a ployline or a multisegmented line. The same is true for this hexagon. If I select this we can see that AutoCAD views this as a polyline. Finally, let's take a look at the hatch pattern. Even though it looks like we have a lot of line work here, if I select this, we can see that AutoCAD views this hatch as a single object. I am going to deselect this and let's start by exploding this geometry.
To do that, I will use the explode command, explode is located in the Modify panel of the Ribbon. After I launch the command I'll select the objects I would like to explode and then I'll right-click. And when I do, notice that these and these have been converted back into their individual components. These and these are now simple line segments. Let's deselect these and we'll explode this hatch. Once again I will launch the explode command, I'll select my hatch and I'll right-click.
Let me mention that you never want to explode your hatch. Because if you do, it reverts to individual segments and you will always have more control over your hatch if it is still considered a hatch or an object. Now you may be wondering when you'd ever want to explode your geometry. Well, let's take a look at a practical example. I am going to pan the drawing over. On my screen I have a drawing of a standard receptacle cover. Let's see if we can reproduce this geometry. I am going to start by launching the rectangle command and I will click right here and then I will right-click and select dimensions, and the rectangle I am creating has a length of 2.7 and a width of 4.5.
Finally, I will click on screen to finish the rectangle. Next, I would like to create the center line. To do that I will launch the line command, and I will create my line from the mid point of this top edge and I will draw to the mid point of the bottom edge and I will hit Esc. Next, I would locate the center of this circle. To do that I will offset the top edge down, 2.25. Now here's my problem. I can't offset this edge down, because AutoCAD is viewing this as a single polyline.
So I am going to deselect my3:01, I'll launch the explode command, I will select the polyline and right-click. Now I can launch the offset command, we'll give this a distance of 2.25 and I can easily offset this single edge down. When I am finished, I will press my Esc key. Let's launch the circle command and I will create a circle at the intersection of these two lines and the circle has a radius of .13. Next, I like to find the center of these shapes.
To do that I'll offset my line up and down, a distance of .73. So let's re-launch the offset command. I'll enter my distance and I'll offset this line up and down, and I'll hit Esc. Then I will launch the circle command and I'll create a circle at the intersection right here. The circle has a radius of .68. I'll press my spacebar to go back into the circle command. I'll create a circle at the intersection right here and then I will hit Enter to accept the previous radius.
Now, at this point my drawing is getting a little bit cluttered with sketch geometry, so I am going to launch the Erase command. I will only erase my center line and I will erase these horizontal lines. Finally, I would like to create these straight edges. Once again I will use the offset command. I will use a distance of 1 and since I exploded this rectangle, it's very easy to offset this top edge down and this bottom edge up. I will hit Esc and then the spacebar to go back into offset and my next distance is going to be 1.05, I'll offset this edge up and this one down and I will press Esc.
Finally, we can clean this drawing up using the Trim command. I'll launch trim and then I will select all of these annuities as cutting objects and I'll right-click and I like to trim this top edge and this bottom one. I would like to trim all of these edges and all of these. Let's zoom in a little bit, I would like to trim this arc and this one, this one and this one, and it looks like I have a couple extra objects I need to get rid of.
No matter if I right-click, notice that the trim command also contains an erase sub-option. If I select this, I can select the annuities I would like to erase and right-click. When I am finished, I will hit Esc. If the time comes when you would like to convert an object back into its individual parts, use the Explode command. Even though the command itself sounds destructive, it's one of the fastest ways to build geometry from your existing line-work.
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