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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
If you can define the boundary of your geometry, you're one step closer to calculating its area, applying a hatch pattern, or generating a 3D model. Now boundaries are easy to create if you're working with simple geometry. Sometimes though, you may need to generate a boundary from a complicated selection set. In this lesson I'm going to show you a quick way to create a boundary around almost any geometry. On my screen I have an abstract example. We're going to use this linework to take a look at the Boundary command. Boundary allows us to create a closed Polyline by clicking inside a Shape.
For instance, if I was interested in this area defined by the intersection of these circles, I could open the Draw panel and launch the Boundary command, I'll click OK, and then I will click inside the shapes and I'll press Enter. As you can see, using boundary I created a closed Polyline representing this area. I'm going to hit Escape. Knowing this, let's pan the drawing over. On my screen I have geometry that represents some large machinery. Let's say that I need to calculate the square footage of his geometry to help determine where it will fit inside my floor plan.
Well, if I had a Polyline that represented the outer edge of this lifework, it would be easy because I could simply select the Polyline and find the total area. I can create this Polyline using the Boundary command. Now normally when we use the Boundary command, we think about clicking on the inside of an object. In this case, that isn't an option because I get to the things that are in my way. However, if I create a rectangle that surrounds the object, I could then launch my Boundary command and click on the outside and I'll press Enter.
Now AutoCAD is giving me a few extra shapes, but if I select this one on the outer edge, you can see that AutoCAD gave me a perfect representation of the footprint of this machinery, and now that I've selected this, I'm go over to my property changer and I can see that this machinery has an area of a little more than 33 square feet. Typically, when we think of the Boundary command, we think of a tool that works from the inside out. However, if we think outside the box we can use Boundary to trace nearly any geometry in our drawing.
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