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Properly managing a drawing is essential to being productive in AutoCAD. In this course, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the Autodesk AutoCAD tools and features dedicated to organizing and editing geometry. The course covers making selections, creating and adjusting layers, identifying objects with hatch patterns, and scaling, exploding, and joining elements. It also includes lessons on creating fillets and chamfers, copying existing objects into rectangular or circular patterns, and accessing specialized tools that make measurements and calculations a lot easier.
In this lesson, we're going to look at a command that sounds more dangerous than it really is. The command I'm talking about is called Explode. Explode will convert a group of associated objects back into their individual components. On my screen, I have several objects. This entity on the left is a Polyline. This was created using the Rectangle command. If I select this, you can see AutoCAD views it as a single object. I'll press Escape to deselect. Let's explode this Polyline. The Explode command can be found in the Modify panel of the Ribbon.
After launching the command, I'll select my Polyline and press Enter and nothing spectacular happens on screen. If however I attempt to select this again, you can see that AutoCAD has converted this Polyline back into individual line segments. Take a look at this hatch. If I select this, AutoCAD views this as a single object. I'm going to move up and launch Explode. I'll select the hatch and press Enter and we can see that each of these lines has become an individual segment.
This is something that you probably don't want to do very often. I'm going to move over and select one of these objects on the right and we can see that this geometry was created as a Rectangular Array. I'll press Escape. I'll launch Explode and I'll select one of these objects and press Enter. We can see that AutoCAD has converted the array back into its individual components. At this point, you may be wondering when would be a good time to explode objects? Well let's pan the drawing up and we'll use Explode in a practical example.
On my screen, I have some geometry that represents a typical outlet cover plate. I would like to reproduce this drawing. I'll start by launching the Rectangle command and I'll pick a point towards the bottom of the screen, I will then select the Dimensions sub-option. My rectangle has a length of 2.75 and a width of 4.5. I will then click on screen to finish the entity. Now I'd like to offset this top edge down to create these additional edges.
Unfortunately, that's not going to be possible. If I select this object, you can see AutoCAD views it as a single entity. To make things easier, I'm going to launch the Explode command. I will then select the Polyline and press Enter. Now I can offset any of these edges individually. I'll launch the Offset command. My first distance will be 1 and I'll press Enter. I'll offset the top edge down and the bottom edge up. I will then relaunch the Offset command.
My next distance will be 1.05, Enter. I'll offset my first offset down and my second offset up. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Next, I'd like to offset this left edge through the middle of the part. I'm going to launch the Offset command. Rather than entering a distance, I'm going to come down and select the Through option. I will then select the edge and offset it through the midpoint of the top. When I am finished, I'll press Escape.
I'm going to create this circle next. We can see it has a Radius of .675. The center of this circle is located between these two intersections. Now I don't have a running Object Snap set for intersection, but if I select these lines, you can see the midpoint of the lines fall at the same location. So I'm going to launch the Circle command and for the center point I'm going to Shift+Right-Click and I'll choose Mid Between 2 Points. I will then select the midpoint of this upper line and the midpoint of the lower line.
I'll give this circle a radius of .675. Rather than drawing another circle using the same Object Snaps, why don't we mirror this one? I'll launch the Mirror command, Select objects, I'll type l for last, that's the last object I drew. I'll press Enter. And the first point on my mirror line will be the middle of the right side. The second point on the mirror line will be the middle of the left side. I will then press Enter to finish the command. Now I can trim up the geometry I don't need.
I'll launch the Trim command and I'll use a crossing selection to get this geometry on the right side. I'll press Enter when I'm finished and then I'll trim off my horizontals on the right, my horizontals on the left, and then I'll trim off the tops and bottoms of these circles. When I'm finished, I'll press Escape. Finally, I'll create this circle that represents the hole. We'll launch the Circle command. I'll create the circle from the midpoint of this line. I'll select Diameter and I'll type .25 and I'll press Enter.
Now that I am finished, I no longer need the centerline, so I'll select it and press Delete to remove it from the drawing. When it comes to the Explode command, it might not be as spectacular to use as the name would imply, it is however the perfect choice when you need to convert a collection of objects back into their individual components.
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