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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
Whenever you are working with geometry that's symmetrical keep the Mirror command in the back of your mind. Sometimes making a mirrored copy can quite literally cut your work in half. I'm going to click my Open icon and we are going to look inside the Chapter 9 folder within the Exercise Files directory and I'm going to come down and we are going to open up drawing number 5. This is our Mirror Drawing. So let me select this and click Open. Now I have got an abstract example on my screen. I'm going to use this to show you how the Mirror command works.
Now hopefully you can identify that this is one half of the wine glass. Now it's not the best looking wine glass in the world but this is just an abstract example. The thing I want to reinforce is that we don't have to draw both sides of the wine glass. Since it's symmetrical I have already created the left side. I'm going to use this left side to create the right side. We are going to do that by using the Mirror command. The Mirror command will create a mirrored or reflected copy of our geometry. Now well, does AutoCAD need to create a mirrored copy? Well, it needs an entity that we want to copy and it also needs a line segment that defines a mirror.
Now I happen to have both of those on my screen so let's launch the Mirror command. I'm going to come over to my Modify toolbar and I'm going to select the Mirror icon. Now AutoCAD is asking me to select objects. Which objects would I like to create a reflected copy from? I'm going to click on this entity. This is one continuous poly line. Let me right-click to finish the selection. Now AutoCAD is asking me to specify points on my mirror line.
Pretty much I just need to give two points to identify my line segment that I'm going to use for my mirror. So the first point of my mirror line I will grab the endpoint right up here. I happen to be using our running objects now so I will just click and then as I come down and grab the other endpoint notice I'm creating a mirrored copy. Let me come down and click my remaining endpoint and when I do the very last question AutoCAD asks me do you want to erase the source objects. I don't have to keep the original if I don't want to. In this case I'm going to select No.
I'm just going to hit Enter because I want to keep my original geometry. When I hit Enter I have created a mirrored copy of my wine glass. Now that we get the idea of how the Mirror command works let's try and use the Mirror command in a practical example. I'm going to zoom back just a little bit. We will pen over. Let me center my entertainment center on screen to tweak this back one more time. Let's assume I'm a furniture designer and I'm working at an entertainment center.
Now I have already finished the raised panel door on the left side and I don't want to go to the hassle of drafting another door on the right side since this geometry is symmetrical I'm going to create a mirrored copy of my left door to create my right door. Let's try that. Before I launch the Mirror command I'm going to create a line segment that represents my mirror line. So I'm going to come over and launch the Line command. AutoCAD says Specify first point.
I'm going to use a midpoint Object Snap. So I'm going to come over and click my midpoint Object Snap and then I will click at the top of my entertainment center. Since I'm creating a mirror line I want to bring this guy straight down. I'm going to use another midpoint Object Snap and I will grab midpoint and I will grab the bottom of my entertainment center. I will just click and when I'm all done with the command I'm going to hit Escape. This is the line I'm going to use to create my mirrored copy.
Alright let's launch the Mirror command. I'm going to come over to my Modify toolbar and select Mirror. AutoCAD asks me to select objects. Well I'm going to start clicking on these. Well, it seems like there are bunch of disjointed pieces so let's do it with a window. Since AutoCAD is saying select objects I'm going to click just above my panel and I'm going to pull to the right and create a nice window selection. Let me click to finish the window and then I will right click to let AutoCAD know I'm done selecting objects.
Now AutoCAD is asking me to specify the points on my mirror line. Perfect I will grab the endpoint right here. Click and then I will come up and I will grab the endpoint right here. Notice I don't have to be all the way on the endpoint to select it. Let me left-click and do I want to erase the source objects? No, I'm going to hit Enter to finish the command. Now here is the dirty little secret. I don't have to have a physical line to do my mirror. Let me erase this guy. I want to use the Erase command. I will come over and click Erase and then I'm going to click this line and then right-click to finish the selection.
Let me zoom in on my draw handle. I would like to create a mirrored copy of my handle on the left. I would like to produce a copy of this guy on the right. Let's do that by using the Mirror command but this time we are not going to create a physical line. I'm going to come over and launch the Mirror command. Let me click the Mirror icon. AutoCAD asks me to select objects. I will select this one and then right-click. Alright AutoCAD is asking me to specify the first point of my mirror line.
I'm just going to use an Object Snap. Let's use midpoint again. I'm going to come up and grab my midpoint Objects Snap and then I will come down and grab the midpoint of this line and then let's grab the other point. I'm going to select the midpoint again and I want to come down and grab the midpoint of the bottom. I didn't need an ending, I had the Object Snaps. Erase source objects. Now I will go ahead and hit Enter and I have just mirrored my drawer handles. Let's do one more.
I would like these handles to be on the upper drawer. I'm going to launch the Mirror command one more time. Let's get it from the right-click. I want to right-click and select repeat mirror, select objects. Let's click and make a window around both of these handles. I will click to finish the window and then I have to right-click to finish the selection. Now I can specify my points on my mirror line. I have a running Object Snaps set for endpoint so I'm going to move up and click the endpoint here and then I'm going to move over and click the endpoint here.
When I'm done, do I want to erase source objects? No, I will go ahead and hit Enter and the drawers are finished. Remember that every time you are working with symmetrical geometry you have an opportunity to use the Mirror command and if you use it properly you will be making AutoCAD do half of your work.
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