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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.
One thing is certain. We will never create a drawing by simply free-picking points on screen. If we want to draft accurately, we will need to know how to use AutoCAD's coordinate system to lock on to our geometry. I am going to open a drawing and I am going to our Open icon and we are going to come down to our Exercise Files folder, we will go into Chapter 5 and I am going to open up the number 2 drawing, Using OSNAPS. So I will highlight that guy and click Open to bring him up on screen. When I look at this drawing, I can see a finished version on the right and an almost finished version on the left. Our job throughout this session is to go through and finish each of the drawings.
Let's look at this guy first. If I want to finish this star shape, I am going to launch my Line command and it would be really nice if I knew what the coordinate of the end of that line was. Now I could look down in the lower left hand corner of my screen. I could check out the status bar, but I would only be guessing because as I move around those numbers change. So I need to know what the coordinate is, but you know what AutoCAD is a tool that will find that coordinate for me, that tool is called an Object Snap. So I am going to hit my Escape key to cancel out of the Line command and let's bring up the Object Snap toolbar on our screen.
I am going to come over and right-click on an existing tool and in the list of toolbars, I am going to come down to Object Snap. Let me click on this guy to turn him on. He pops up right in the middle of our screen. He is going to be important for this session, so I am going to keep him right in the middle. I am going to click, hold and drag and I will move him right up to here. I can use Object Snaps to lock on to my geometry. Let's start by looking at the endpoint Object Snap. I am going to launch my Line command. Now I would like to start my line from the endpoint of this line.
If I want to do that, AutoCAD is asking me to specify first point. I am going to come up, click my endpoint Object Snap and now if we look the command line, AutoCAD is looking for an endpoint. So as I move my cursor close to this line, notice AutoCAD brings up a little icon, tells me it's going to find the endpoint. If I left-click, AutoCAD just locked on to that location. Now I can go to my next point. I am going to come up and select endpoint again. I want to lock on to the endpoint right here. Now that I am done, I am going to hit my Escape key.
Let's take and finish this guy up, I am going to right-click to go right back into the Line command. AutoCAD says, where is your first point? Well I am going to come up and we are going to use an Object Snap. I am going to say the endpoint and I am going to hover by this line. Notice how far away from that endpoint I can be and still grab that endpoint. S long as I am 50% of the way to one side I can grab the endpoint. Notice as I get closed to the other side, AutoCAD is going to find the other endpoint. The thing I am trying to stress is you don't have to be right on it to grab it, OK.
So I can grab the endpoint from right here, let me just left-click, AutoCAD found it where do I want to go to, I am going to come up and click my endpoint Object Snap again and I grab the endpoint right here. Let me hit Escape. That is the endpoint Object Snap. It allows us to lock onto the endpoints of our geometry. Let's look at another one. I am going to pan this geometry up. Let's look at this center-point Object Snap, now the center point obviously allows us to snap to the center of our circles or our arcs.
Let's replicate the geometry we see on the right. Once again I am going to launch my Line command. I will click Line and then I am going to come over and I am going to click to this icon, represents my center Object Snap. Once again if we look at the command line, AutoCAD is saying center of. If I want to grab a center Object Snap, we need to look at the x or the cursor on my screen as AutoCAD's eyeball. As I move the cursor on top of my geometry, notice as soon as the eyeball hits the arc, AutoCAD finds the center. At this point, when the eyeball hits the arc, I can left- click and AutoCAD will find the center of that entity.
Let me come up and grab another center Object Snap and then we will put our eyeball on this arc and click. Once again, we don't have to move our cursor all the way to the actual location of the Object Snap. Let me hit Escape. Let's finish this guy up. I am going to launch the Line command. Where do I want to start? I want to start from the center of here and I want to go to the center of here and I want to go to the center of here. Alright let me hit Escape to finish.
That is the center-point Object Snap. Let's pan this up. We have another Object Snap for midpoint. I am going to use the midpoint Object Snap to replicate the geometry we see on the right. I am going to launch my Line command. This time we are going to come up and we are going to click this icon, this icon represents midpoint. Don't forget the little tool-tip that pop-ups. Sometimes it may take a little while before you remember what each one of these little cryptic symbols means. midpoint is right here, let me click that. AutoCAD says midpoint of what? As I bring my cursor down and put the eyeball on the entity, notice AutoCAD brings up a little symbol that represents midpoint. Each of the Object Snaps has a different symbol, midpoint happens to be a triangle.
So I will bring my cursor down and touch the line, left-click to grab the midpoint and where do I want to go? I want to go to the midpoint right here. Let me hit Escape and we will finish this guy up. I will go right back into the Line command and I want to go from the midpoint of the left side to the midpoint of the right. Let me hit Escape to get out of the command. That is the midpoint Object Snap. Let's pan up. We have got one for intersection. Intersection will allow us to snap to the intersection of existing line work, let's replicate this geometry. I am going to do it with circles.
So I am going to launch my Circle command. Where would I like the center-point of my circle to be? I am going to come up to my intersection Object Snap and click. I want to place my circle to the intersection right here. Now with the intersection Object Snap, you do have to be pretty close to the intersection because AutoCAD needs to see both lines. So let me left-click. AutoCAD found the intersection. Now I don't need to know what the radius is. You know you may be thinking well how is he going to know what radius to put in there? I am just going to use another intersection. If I click intersection, I can grab the intersection of this circle in the line.
Remember we don't have to enter a radius or a diameter for a circle, we can pick a point on screen as well. Alright let's finish it up. I am going to go right back to the Circle commands, let me right-click, Repeat Circle. And this time we are going to have to mix the Object Snaps up just a little bit. I am going to use endpoint first, endpoint of here to the intersection right there. Last one. Right-click, Repeat Circle and I want to go from the endpoint here to the intersection right there.
Using Object Snaps is the only way to create accurate geometry, because if I am using an Object Snap, I know that I am locking onto my coordinate with an accuracy of 14 spaces to the right of the decimal. Let me pan this up. I have got a couple more I'd like to look at. We are going to look at the quadrant Object Snap. Quadrant allows us to snap to the north, south, east or west areas of a circle or an arc. If I left-click on this circle, notice I get little blue squares. Those pop up at the quadrant locations. Let me hit Escape to deselect the circle and let's finish our basketball.
I am going to do this with the line command, so we will come up and launch Line. I want to draw a line from the quadrant. That quadrant icon is right here, Snap to Quadrant. If I put AutoCAD's eye on the arc, notice I can find the quadrant at the top. If I move close to the edge, I could find the quadrant over here, whichever one I happen to be closest to is one AutoCAD is going to grab. Let me click to grab this Object Snap. We will go to the quadrant down here. I will hit Escape to get out of the command and we will finish this guy. I am going to right-click, go right back into the Line command. I want to draw that line from the quadrant of the left side to the quadrant of the right. Let me hit Escape to finish.
Let me pan this guy up. We have got two more Object Snaps I want to look at. This one is tangent, it's important to know how to use the tangent Object Snap. Tangent will allow us to create geometry that is tangent to an arc. I am going to replicate this geometry using the Line command, so I am going to launch Line. Where do I want to start my line? I am going to come up and grab the tangent Object Snap. As I put AutoCAD's eye on the arc, notice the symbol is different for tangent. If I click and as I pull away, notice the line segment that I'm creating was always going to maintain its tangency to that arc.
So I am starting from that point. Where do I want to go to? I want to go to a point tangent to this arc. And when I click I get my line. Let me hit Escape to cancel out and we'll finish this guy up. I am going to right-click, Repeat Line. I want to start from a point tangent to this arc and I want to go to a point, we'll click tangent to this arc. Let me go and hit Escape. Pan this up. We will do the last one, perpendicular. Perpendicular will allow us to create geometry that is perpendicular to other geometry.
I am going to finish this guy using the Line command. So I am going to come over and launch Line, specify first point. This time we are going to mix the Object Snaps up just a little bit. I want to start from the endpoint here. I also could have chosen intersection if I wished and I want to go to a point perpendicular. Here's my perpendicular Object Snap. I will click this guy and when I put AutoCAD's eye on that line, notice no matter where I click on this line, AutoCAD is going to find the perpendicular location. So let me left-click to find that, I will hit Escape.
We will do one more and I want to create a line from the intersection here and I want to draw that perpendicular to this line. Let me left-click to grab that snap and I will hit Escape to get out of the command. Now Object Snaps are very valuable. We are going to be using these frequently from this point on, so I am going to dock this toolbar to my interface. And I am going to dock this to the right side. You maybe wondering, why don't you dock it to the left where all the other toolbars are? I do that for a reason because some times the Object Snap icons tend to look similar to some of the Draw icons.
We can see that the Line icon happens to look very similar to endpoint and the Circle icon happens to look very similar to center-point. So if I take and dock this toolbar to the right side, we can always remember that the Object Snaps are to the right and the Draw tools are to the left. From this moment on, we will always use Object Snaps as we draft. Using Object Snaps is the only way to guarantee that we are creating accurate geometry.
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