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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.
Grips are probably the most versatile tool in AutoCAD. We can use them to make quick revisions to our geometry. In fact we can use Grips to accomplish just about every modification command that we have talked about so far. Let's take a look at how they work. Before I get started, notice that my Dynamic Input is turned ON. Dynamic Input gives us additional functionality with our grips, so if you are going to work along with me, and you want your screen to watch mine, make sure that your Dynamic Input Toggle is turned ON. On my screen I have some simple geometry.
I am going to start by selecting this line, and notice these little blue squares, these guys are called Grips and they act a lot like handles. Watch this, if I place my Cursor over this End Grip, I can use the grip to query my geometry. Notice I can see the length of the line as well as the angle at which the line was drawn. I am going to select this circle, and I will hover over this grip, this grip tells me the circle's radius. I'll click to select this arc, and I will hover over this grip.
This grip shows me the arc's radius as well as the arc's included angle. So we can use grips to get some geometric information about our line-work. To clear the grips, I am going to press my Escape key, this will also deselect the geometry, and let's look at how we can use grips to make some changes to our line-work. I am going to select this line and then I will click on this grip, this makes the grip hot and notice that I have some fields. Currently we can see two fields, there are actually four fields here.
To jump from one field to the other, I can use my Tab key. The field that's current right represents the amount I would like to change the length of this line. If I press Tab, this field represents the total length of the line. I will press Tab again. This field represents the total angle of the line, and if I press Tab, this last field represents the amount that I'd like to change the line's angle. Let's say I'd this line segment to be seven-and-a-half units long. To do that I will press my Tab key until I get to the overall length, I will type 7.5 and I will hit Enter.
And if I hover over this grip, we can see this line segment is now 7.5 units long. Let's say I would like to change the angle of this line. I'd like it to be 0 degrees, such that this line runs horizontal on my screen. To do that I'll click to select the grip, I'll hit Tab two times to get to the overall angle. I'll type 0 and I will hit Enter. I am going to click to select this circle and then I will click to select this grip. Notice I have two fields, one represents the radius of this circle and the other represents the amount I'd like to change the radius.
Just for a second, let's say the radius of this circle needs to be 4. I will enter a value of 4 and then I will press the Enter key. Now let's say I'd like the radius of this circle to be one unit less than its current radius. To do that I will click on the grip, I will Tab over to the amount I'd like to change field, I am going to pull inward and I will type a distance of one, and then I will hit Enter. If I hover over this grip, we can see the radius is now three. Finally I will click to select this arc, and if we'd like to make numeric changes to an arc, we need to use these triangular grips.
I am going to click to select this grip, this one gives me access to the arc's radius. Let's give this arc a radius of 5 units and I will hit Enter. I can also use these grips on the end to adjust the Start and End angle of the arc or I can free-pick a point on-screen to change the length of my arc. And in this case my arc length didn't change because my running object snap got in the way. Let me click that again. I'll pull this over and I'll stay far enough off the line.
When I am finished making my changes, I will press my Escape key to clear the grips. Now there are even more changes that we can make using grips, let's look at a couple of more examples. On my screen I have two circles and a line segment, let's say I'd like to create the shape of a Bar Bell. To do that I will click to select this line and then I will click to select this grip, and notice that my Cursor says, Specify Stretch Point. AutoCAD defaults to Stretch Mode when you select a grip. So I can stretch this grip to the center of this circle.
I will then select this grip and stretch it to the center of this circle. When I am finished I will hit Escape. Now remember that I said that AutoCAD defaults to Stretch, we can actually do quite a bit more. I am going to select the line again. I will click to select this grip and then I will right-click. Notice I can also Move, Rotate, Scale or Mirror this entity. If I select Move, I am now moving this geometry and my grip represents the Base Point. If I right-click I can select Rotate, I am now rotating the geometry around that Base Point, I'll right-click, let's select Scale.
As I drag back and forth, I am now scaling my geometry about that grip location. I am going to right-click again to bring back the menu because I want to mention that you should take some time and explore some of the modification options in this menu. There are a lot of things that we can do with grips. I am going to press Escape to close the Menu and then I will press Escape to clear these grips. Let's make one quick change. Let's say I'd like to rotate all of this geometry using grips. To do that I will make a window selection around everything.
I will select this middle grip, I will right-click and select Rotate and then I will enter a Rotation Angle of 90 degrees, when I am finished I'll hit Escape. Now that we have a working knowledge of grips, let's try and use them in a practical example. I am going to pan the drawing over, let's zoom in a little bit. On my screen I have two mechanical parts, this part on the right represents a finished drawing and the part on the left is unfinished. Let's see if we can use grips to convert this geometry such that it looks like the geometry on the right.
Well, first of all, I don't need this Tab anymore, that was obviously removed. So I am going to create a window selection around this geometry and then I will press my Delete key to erase these entities. Then I will select this line, I will grab this end grip and I will stretch it down to the end point of this line and I will press Escape. Next, I am going to take care of this top edge. To do that I will select the geometry, I will click this grip, I will Tab to the overall length and I will give this a length of 4.75, and I will hit Enter.
Next, I will select this line segment, I will select this grip and I will Tab to the overall length, I will give this a length of 3 units and I will hit Enter. When I am finished I will hit Escape. Finally, I will launch my Line command and I will create a new line from the end point here to the end point here. Using grips can be one of the fastest ways to make changes to your geometry. In fact, grips can do much more than what we have seen here. If you know how to use these little blue handles, you are well on your way to understanding future concepts like Dynamic Blocks and 3D Modeling.
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