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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.
In this lesson we are going to learn one of the fastest ways to edit our geometry. We will do that by taking a look at the Stretch command. Stretch allows us to change the shape of our line work by pressing and pulling on the end points. On my screen I have a drawing of a simple part as you can see this part measures 6 inches long. Let's say I'd like to lengthen these arms another 6 inches. To do that I will launch the Stretch command. Stretch is located in the Modify panel. Now that I have launched the tool take a look at the command line.
Notice that AutoCAD is requiring us to select our objects using a crossing window. So I am going to click right here and I will pull down into the left and here is the trick, you only want to select the end points that you'd like to move. So I am going to click right here to finish my window and then I'll right-click. I'd like to pick my geometry up from the end point here and as I stretch this, notice that I am essentially moving the end points that fell within my selection window.
Now, I'd like my stretch to be accurate. So I am going to turn on my Ortho and then I will pull to the right and I will enter 6 inches, Enter. Let's make one more change. This time we will make this upper arm 4 inches shorter. To do that, I will press the Spacebar to relaunch the Stretch command. I will create a crossing window around these end points and then I will right-click. I will pick my geometry up from the end point here and I will pull this back to the left 4 inches.
Now before I hit Enter, take a look at my screen. Notice that in addition to my measurement, AutoCAD is also seeing the end point of that line. Don't let your running object snaps get in your way. If I hit Enter to accept my distance, AutoCAD gets confused, because it also sees the object snap. So I am going to move up and off the line so the object snap disappears. Then I will type my measurement and I will hit Enter. Always be mindful of your running object snaps. I am going to zoom out a little bit and we'll pan this drawing over.
On my screen I have a drawing of a large cabinet. Let's use the Stretch command to revise this drawing and create a smaller matching cabinet design. I am going to start by using the eRase tool and I am going to erase these doors. Now I would also like to erase this wide drawer and I am going to change the width of the cabinet, essentially I am going to stretch this right side over to meet the left side. But before I erase this large drawer, I want to save this end point object snap.
To do that I will create a circle at this end point, the radius isn't important. This entity is only being used as a target. I will launch the eRase command again and I will get rid of this drawer geometry and I will right-click. Now I will launch the Stretch command, I will create a crossing window around this geometry and right-click. I would like to stretch the line work from the end point here to the center of this circle. Now when I am finished I don't need my target anymore. So I will select it and press my Delete key to erase.
Now, this overall design doesn't look too bad, but you know what, this cabinet is kind of small and having six drawers on a small cabinet like this is kind of overkill. Maybe I'd like to have three wide drawers instead. I am going to create another target. I will launch my Circle command and I'd like to hold this object snap momentarily. So I will create a circle at that end point. Then I will launch my eRase command and I will eliminate these drawers and right-click. I will then launch stretch, I will create a crossing window around these end points and right-click.
I will stretch them from the end point here to the center of my circle. Finally, I will remove the circle by selecting it and pressing my Delete key. As you can see the Stretch command is one of the more powerful editing tools and it can be a very efficient way to modify your geometry.
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