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Properly managing a drawing is essential to being productive in AutoCAD. In this course, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the Autodesk AutoCAD tools and features dedicated to organizing and editing geometry. The course covers making selections, creating and adjusting layers, identifying objects with hatch patterns, and scaling, exploding, and joining elements. It also includes lessons on creating fillets and chamfers, copying existing objects into rectangular or circular patterns, and accessing specialized tools that make measurements and calculations a lot easier.
If you've ever used a copy machine to enlarge or reduce a photograph, you already know how the Scale command works. Scale allows us to make our geometry larger or smaller by multiplying its current size by a scale factor. In this lesson, we'll look at the workflow behind the Scale command. On my screen, I have three equally sized stop signs. Let's say that I'd like to resize this sign on the left, such that it's half its current size. To do that, I'll use the Scale command. Scale can be found in the Modify panel of the Ribbon.
After launching the command, I'll select the geometry I want to scale and press Enter. Then I will choose a Base Point. The Base Point is the point at which the geometry is going to get larger or smaller. I'm going to select an endpoint down here at the bottom of the pole. As I move my cursor, you can see our geometry is getting larger or smaller relative to that point. Since I want the geometry to be half its current size, I am going to use a scale factor of .5 and I'll press Enter.
Let's make another change. This time I'd like to make the head of the sign on the right side twice its current size. I will press the spacebar to go back into the Scale command. I'll select the geometry that represents the head of the sign. For my Base Point, I'm going to grab the Midpoint at the bottom of the sign, and since I want this to be twice its current size, I'll use a scale factor of 2 and press Enter. As you can see, the Scale command makes it very easy to resize your geometry.
Now that we understand the basics of this tool, let's try and use it in a practical example. We'll use it to convert geometry between two different drawing units. I am going to start by closing this drawing. I won't save changes. I'll come up and launch the Open command. I'd like to open these two drawings; number 07_balls, and number 07_pool_table. I'll do that by selecting one of the drawings. I will then hold my Shift key and grab the other. And I'll click Open.
Once both drawings are open in the interface, I'll come up to the View tab, and then I'll come down and open the User Interface panel and choose Tile Vertically. This allows me to view the drawing side-by-side. I will then click in each window, and I'll zoom out and center the geometry onscreen. These drawings were created with different drawing units. The drawing on the left was created using millimeters. I can see that this ball has a diameter of 57 millimeters. The drawing on the right was created using inches.
This pool table is 108" long x 54" wide. I'd like to move the pool ball geometry into the table drawing. I'll start by clicking to put the focus on the table drawing, and then I'll zoom out and I'll pan this geometry down to give myself some room. I will then click in the ball drawing and I'll select this geometry. Once it's selected, I will click and hold on the edge of one of the objects and I'll drag this geometry into the other file.
And you can see that it's coming in way too big. That's because AutoCAD only sees units. This ball has a diameter of 57. When I dragged it over, it still has a diameter of 57. It's just 57" in this file. So we need to scale this geometry down. There are 25.4 millimeters in an inch. So these balls are 25.4 times larger than they need to be. That means that our scale factor is going to be 1/25.4. I am going to go back to the Home tab.
I'll launch the Scale command. I'll select the balls and press Enter. For my Base Point, I am going to grab the center of the 9 ball. Now for my scale factor, I don't know what the decimal value is for 1/25.4. What I am going to do is type 'cal and I'll press Enter. This gives me access to AutoCAD's calculator and I can use it to find the value for me. I'll type 1/25.4 and press Enter, and you can see those balls are now resized.
I am going to click the Maximize button to maximize this drawing on screen. I will then launch the Move command and at the Select objects prompt, I am going to type P for previous. To reselect those balls, I'll press Enter when I'm finished and I'll pick them up from one of the object snaps, and drag them down under the table. And you can see that they are perfectly sized in this drawing. In fact, if we click on one of the balls, we can grab this grip and verify that they will fit into the pockets. So the next time, you have to resize your geometry, try using the Scale command.
In addition to making arbitrary size changes, it's also the perfect tool for converting between drawing units.
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