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Using layers to organize a drawing

From: AutoCAD 2013 Essentials: 03 Editing and Organizing Drawings

Video: Using layers to organize a drawing

Now that we understand the process of creating and modifying layers, let's see if we can use layers to replicate this drawing. Our goal in this lesson is to recreate everything, except for the dimensions. If I come up to Layer control, you can see this drawing already is organized into layers. We obviously can't create our new geometry in this file, since the layers already exist. So what I would like to do is come up and launch the New command, we'll create a new drawing from the acad template. I will then click the View tab, I will come down to the User Interface panel and I'll choose Tile Vertically.

Using layers to organize a drawing

Now that we understand the process of creating and modifying layers, let's see if we can use layers to replicate this drawing. Our goal in this lesson is to recreate everything, except for the dimensions. If I come up to Layer control, you can see this drawing already is organized into layers. We obviously can't create our new geometry in this file, since the layers already exist. So what I would like to do is come up and launch the New command, we'll create a new drawing from the acad template. I will then click the View tab, I will come down to the User Interface panel and I'll choose Tile Vertically.

This allows us to view the example files side-by-side with our new drawing. I'm going to click in the example file and I will zoom this out a little and center it on screen. I will then come back and click to put the focus on my new file. And then we will jump back to the Home tab. I'd like to start by creating some layers, I will do that by I opening the Layer Properties Manager, mine happens to be anchored to the interface. If yours is not, just use the icon in the upper left corner of the Layers panel to turn it on. Let's create a New Layer, I am going to call this layer part and I will press Enter.

Here's a shortcut, if you press the Enter key again after creating a layer, you'll create another new layer. I am going to call this layer, hidden lines, Enter, Enter. I will create another layer called center lines. Now let's take care of their properties. We will do the linetypes first. Now we are going to click the Linetype property for center lines. I will come down and choose Load. And I'm going to load the CENTER2 linetype; this gives me the smallest dash for the style.

Once the linetype has been loaded, I will select it and click OK to assign it to the layer. Let's do the linetype for hidden lines, I will click Load. In this case I'm going to load a HIDDEN2. Once it has been loaded I will select it and click OK to assign it to the layer. Next we can take care of the colors. The part layer is going to be yellow, so I will click the Color property and I'll choose yellow and click OK. Now my Layers Manager is collapsed, that's all right, we will just hover to open it back up again.

I will then set the color of the hidden lines layer to be magenta. And finally we will do the color of the center line's layer; this is going to be green. Finally, I would like to set the center line's layer Current, I will do that by making sure that layer is selected and I will click the green check. I will then move away from the palette and allow it to collapse. I'm going to start the drawing by creating the Object Snaps that identify the centers of these circles. I will launch the Line command, I'll start my line from anywhere here on screen, I will then lock my Ortho and I'll pull straight down about a distance of four units, that's fine, I will just click to identify that length.

I will press Escape when I am finished. Then, next I'm going to offset this line 3 units to the right. I will launch the Offset command, I will enter 3 from my distance, I will grab this line and offset it to the right side. And I will press Escape when finished. Next, I'm going to great a line segment from the midpoint of the first line to the midpoint of the second. The endpoints of this line represent the centers of those circles. Let's set the part layer current. I am going to go back to Layer Properties Manager; I will select layer part and click the green check.

Everything that I draw now will be on the part layer. I will launch the Circle command and I will create a circle from the left endpoint, this one has a radius of 1.2. I will press the spacebar to go back into the Circle command. I will create a circle from the center of this one. This circle has a diameter of 1.4. Let's create another circle; I'll create this one from the endpoint on the right side. This circle has a radius of .7. And we will create one more from the center of the last circle; this one will have a diameter of .8.

Let's zoom in a little closer and I will center this geometry. Next, we'll tie this geometry together using the Line command. I will launch Line and I'm going to press Shift+ Right-Click to bring up the Object Snap menu. I'll choose Tangent and I will click this larger circle. I will then Shift+Right-Click, I will choose Tangent again and I'll grab the circle on the other side. When I am finished, I will press Escape. Now that I have created this first entity, I could use the Mirror command to create the line segment on the other side.

I will launch Mirror; I will grab my Line segment and press Enter. I will then grab the endpoints of this Line segment to identify my Mirror line. And then I will press Enter to keep my original entity. Next we can do some drawing cleanup, I will launch the Trim command and I will grab my two Tangent segments and press Enter. And I will trim off the insides of these circles. When I am finished I will press Escape. I am going to zoom out and I will pan the drawing up a little. Next we will start creating the geometry of the front view.

I will start by launching the Line command and I'm going to create my line from Shift+Right-Click, I will select Quadrant from the Objects Snap menu. And I will grab this quadrant on the left side of the part. My Ortho is locked, I am going to pull straight down and click. When I am finished I will press Escape. The endpoint of this line will represent the lower left corner of the front view of my part. The next thing I want to do is offset this line through the Quadrant of the other side of the part.

This will give me a projection that identifies the full width of the object. I will launch Offset; I am going use the Through option. I will grab my Vertical line and I will offset that through the Quadrants on the right side of the part. And I will press Escape when I am finished. Next, we will launch the Line command and I'm going to connect these lower two endpoints, this creates the bottom edge of the front view. Now I can offset this a distance of .5, we will offset it up to create the top edge and I will press Escape when I'm finished.

Let's do some more cleanup, I will launch the Trim command, I will grab this top edge and press Enter. And then I will create a crossing window to select these vertical lines to remove them. I'm going to project my center lines down next. I'll do that by launching the Extend command. I will grab the bottom edge of the front view and press Enter; that represents my boundary object. I will then create crossing window to select my center lines to project them down to meet the edge. Let's create the geometry that represents these holes.

We will start by setting the hidden lines layers current. I will go back to Layer Properties Manager and I will select hidden lines. I will then click the green check. I'm going to launch the Line command again and I'll create a line from the Quadrants of the left side of the hole, and I will draw this to a point Shift+Right-Click and I will choose Perpendicular to this bottom edge. When I am finished, I will press Escape. Now we will offset this line through the other quadrants to create the rest of the projected geometry.

I will launch Offset and choose Through. I will grab my line segment and I will offset it through the Quadrants on the right side of this hole. I will grab the line again and I will offset it through the Quadrant on the left side of the smaller hole and we will do the same thing through the quadrant on the right side. I will press Escape when finished. Now we can do some more cleanups, I will launch the Trim command again. I will grab this top edge of the front view as my cutting object.

And I would like to trim off all of these projected hidden lines. Finally, we can cleanup our center line geometry. We will start by launching the Trim command and I will grab the top edge of the front view. And then I will grab the outside edge of my top view and press Enter. And I will trim off the center lines between them. When I am finished I will press Escape. To finish the center lines in the front view, I'm going to use the Scale command. I will launch Scale and I will click this center line and press Enter.

I'd like to scale it from the midpoint, and I'd like to make it three times its original size. I will press Spacebar to relaunch scale, I will select the other center line and we will scale this object up three times its size as well. Let's pan this down, to cleanup the center lines in the top view, I'm going to use some circles. I will draw a circle from the center of this circle on the left and I'll pull this out and click to identify the total length of my center lines.

I will do the same thing for the circle on the other side. Next, we will use the Extend and Trim commands to cleanup the geometry. I'll start with Extend; I will grab both of my circles and press Enter. And then I will extend all of the center lines such that they meet the edge. I will then hold the Shift key to switch to the Trim command and I'll trim off any of the center lines that cross over. When I am finished I will press Escape, I will then select my circles and press Delete.

The last thing I want to do is clean up the center line geometry at the center of this large circle on the left. I'd like my center lines to look like the example on the right. Unfortunately, there's no way to do this automatically, we have to do it manually. The method I like to use is to zoom in on one of the circles that looks correct, and then I'm going to create some geometry that represents the size of this gap. I will draw one circle that represents the outside edge and then I'll create another circle that represents the inside edge.

I will then launch the Move command, I will select these circles and I'll move them from the center of the small circle to the center of the large circle. I can then use these circles to trim the center lines and create a perfect match. When I am finished I will press Escape, I will then select my circles and press Delete. I am going to do a Zoom Extents by double- clicking the wheel on my mouse and we will wrap this up by launching the Move command and I'm going to move this front view up, just a little bit.

I will pick it up from the corner and my Ortho is locked and I'll pull this up, so it's a little closer, and I will click when finished. As you can see by creating layers, I could easily control the color and linetype of this geometry. Later on as I continue to add things, like dimensions and text, these layers will give me the added control of being able to turn specific items on and off if necessary.

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