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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.
The Property Changer is the most powerful palette within AutoCAD. With it we can modify or correct anything in our drawing. In this lesson, we are going to use the Property Changer to make some geometric changes to our objects. On my screen I have two mechanical parts, now these are guys are suppose to be identical. The part on the right has been drawn correctly. and the part on the left is got a few problems. The goal in this lesson is to correct the geometry of this part by using the Property Changer. Now my Property Changer is anchored to the interface, if yours is not, you can always press Ctrl+1 to bring it up on screen.
Since I am going to be using this palette frequently in this lesson, I am going to click the Auto-hide button to doc the palette to my screen. Notice the palette is filled with settings that are organized into groups. If we want we can expand or collapse a group by clicking on these triangles. And it's important to note that the number of settings that we see will change, depending on what we select. For instance, I am going to click and select this circle, and if we look at the top of the palette, we can see that AutoCAD recognizes that I have selected a circle. For the work we will be doing in this lesson, we will be looking at the geometry group of settings.
First of all take a look at the settings that we have, notice they are all specific to circles. If I want to change a value, I can click in a field, I am going to click on Radius for instance, and from here I can type a new value. I am going to type 0.5 and I'll hit Enter, and notice how my geometry changes instantly on screen. Take a look at the some of the other things I can change. I could change the circles Diameter or Circumference, or I could change its Area. Notice that some of these settings are grayed out, if a setting is grayed out, it means that you cannot change the value. Now we know how this works, let's assign the appropriate radius to the circle.
Based on my example, I can see this radius should be 0.25, so I am going to click in the Radius field and I'll type 0.25, Enter. Now when I am finished I'll hit Esc to deselect my entity. Alright, at this point I have three more circles to correct. Let's see if we can do them all at the time. I am going to click on each of these circles, and if we look at the Property Changer, we can see AutoCAD recognizes I have selected three of them. Let's come down to the Geometry group, notice the Radius setting says VARIES, that's because each of this circle has a different Radius, no problem.
I can still click in the field and I'll set all of these to a Radius of 0.25, and then I'll hit Esc to deselect. Now let's correct the Ellipse, I'll click to select this entity, and we can see that an ellipse has several more settings than a circle does. So I am going to click on the slider, and I'll drag this down, so we can see all of the geometry settings on screen. To fix this entity, I can see that the major axis of the Ellipse is 4, so I am going to come over and set the Major radius to 2 and I'll hit Enter. Then I'll come over and take a look at the minor axis, that's 3.25, well the Minor radius will be half of that. And you know what.
I don't like doing math in my head. Take a look at this, if I click in the Minor radius field, there is a little calculator icon here. If I click this, it will bring up AutoCAD's calculator on screen. Now the calculator is coming up in a minimized state, so I am going to click this More Then, so I can see all of the functions. Then I'll press 3.25 divided by 2, I'll click Equals, there is my answer. I'll come down and click Apply, which applies that value to that setting and my Ellipse has been corrected. Now when I am finished I'll press Esc to deselect me entity, and since I am through with the Property Changer for now, I am going to move up and click minimize to collapse this down to a single icon.
Without a doubt, the Property Changer is the most valuable tool in our interface. As we continue to explore AutoCAD and learn to create more objects, keep looking to the Property Changer as a means of modifying anything on your screen.
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