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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.
When a design changes, you may be tempted to erase your line work and start over. Most of the time though erasing isn't necessary. It can actually be faster to edit the geometry that you already have. In this lesson, we are going to look at the Stretch command. Stretch allows us to modify geometry by pushing and pulling it into any shape we need. On my screen I have an abstract example. I've got a shape that's 39" wide, it has a 5" notch that's been cut into it, 14" from the right side.
Let's say that I would like to add 3" to the right side of this object. Well, rather than offsetting and extending and trimming, it would be much faster to come up to the Modify panel and launch the Stretch command. The trick to using Stretch is selecting your objects using a crossing window. I am going to click down here to lower right and I will pull up and create a crossing window around the endpoints that I want to move. Essentially, the Stretch command is an endpoint mover. I will click to finish my window. I will press Enter when I'm finished, and I'll pick this geometry up from the lower right corner, and as I move my cursor, you can see I am stretching or moving those selected endpoints.
To make this accurate, I want to turn my Ortho on and I will pull to the right and type 3", Enter. Let's make another change. Currently this notch is 17" away from the right side; maybe I would like it to be 21" away. So I have to add 4". I will go back to the Stretch command, I will create a crossing selection around the endpoints that I want to move. I will press Enter when I am finished, I will pick this geometry up from the lower left corner of the notch, I will pull to the left and type 4", Enter.
Let's make one more change. I would like to change the width of the notch, currently it's 5". Maybe I would like this to be 3" wide. Once again, I will launch the Stretch command and I'm going to apply the changes to the left side. So I will create a crossing window around those two endpoints. I will pick the geometry up from the lower left corner of the notch and I will pull this to the right, and as I pull, I am being mindful of the running objects snap. Notice that AutoCAD is currently looking at that endpoint. I am going to type 2" and press Enter and notice that nothing happens.
That's because that running objects snap is more important than the number that I just typed in. In order to make this stretch work, I need to move my cursor up slightly, so that AutoCAD can't see that endpoint anymore. I will type 2" and I will press Enter. Now that we understand how the Stretch command works, let's try and use it in a practical example. This geometry represents a small coffee table. Currently, the table measures 42" wide. Let's say I'd like to make it 48" wide. Since it's symmetrical, let's add 3" to either side.
I will launch the Stretch command and I am going to create a crossing window around all of these endpoints. I will press Enter when I am finished, I will pick the geometry up from this endpoint and I will pull to the left and type 3". I will press the spacebar to go back into the Stretch command. I will grab the endpoints on this side, I am being mindful not to include the end of the drawer. I don't want to stretch that geometry. When it comes to picking a point to stretch your geometry, really, you don't have to pick a point on the object itself, I could pick a point and space here; pull to the right and type 3".
Let's change one more thing. I would like to apply a taper to the legs. I would like to take an inch off the bottom and add 2" to the top of each leg. I will launch Stretch and I will select this endpoint. I will grab it from the endpoint here and I will pull to the right 2". I will then press the spacebar to go right back into the command. I will grab this endpoint and I am going to pick it up from a point and space, this way my running objects snaps don't get in the way, I will pull to the left and I will type 1".
I will press the spacebar to go back into the command. One more time we will pull this leg out 2" and I will push this leg in 1". As you can see the Stretch command is one of the fastest ways to edit a drawing. It allows us to easily modify our geometry and avoid a lot of unnecessary erasing.
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