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AutoCAD Essentials is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. In this installment, author Jeff Bartels concentrates on the particulars of creating basic geometry in AutoCAD, including assigning imperial or metric units of measurement, using object snaps to control accuracy, and drawing and transforming basic lines and shapes. The last chapter in the course tests your newfound skills in a short project.
Using sketch lines can be an easy way to create object snaps for building new line work. Unfortunately, sketch lines have to be erased when they're no longer needed. In this lesson, we're going to look at temporary tracking, a tool that allows us to create geometry without the need for sketch lines. On my screen, I have a drawing of a typical front door, and to the left of it I have an unfinished drawing. Let me mention that this is an architectural example, so we will be entering our measurements using feet and inches. The goal in this lesson is to finish this drawing on the left by adding the doorknob and the deadbolt using the provided dimensions.
Before we get started, I'd let to take care of a little housekeeping. First, I'm going to come down to the Status bar and I'm going to turn my Dynamic Input back on, otherwise known as the heads-up display. Now, we can also toggle that using the F12 key. Also note that I am using Running Objects Snaps and I've currently selected endpoint, midpoint and center. Finally, I'm going to zoom in on the lower portion of the doors and I'll center these onscreen. We'll place the doorknob first. I know that the center of the doorknob measures three feet above the bottom of the door and two and a quarter inches from the left edge. To find this point in the drawing, I could come up and launch my Line command and I could snap to the corner of the door. I could lock my Ortho and pull this straight up three feet, Enter. I could then pull to the right a distance of 2-1/4 inches, Enter.
I'll press Escape when I'm done. And this endpoint represents the center of this circle. Now, there's nothing wrong with this method. The only downside is I have to erase this geometry when I'm finished. Let's take these out. I'll do that by clicking each of these lines and I'll press the Delete key. I will also come down and turn my Ortho back off. Let's try and place the doorknob using Temporary Tracking. Using Temporary Tracking I, can simply show AutoCAD how to get to the desired point. I'll start by launching the Circle command and when AutoCAD asks for the center point, I'll type TK--this stands for Temporary Tracking-- and I'll press Enter.
Note that the Ortho is turned on automatically. All I have to do now is give AutoCAD the directions. So, I'll snap to the corner of the door. I will then pull straight up. In the event you're having difficulty pulling up using temporary tracking, simply hover over the object snap and then pull up. I'll come up three feet and I'll press Enter. I will then pull to the right, 2- 1/4 inches, Enter. Now that I'm where I want to be, I'll hit Enter to accept this location and then resume the Circle command. This circle has a diameter.
I'll select the Diameter suboption and I'll type 2-1/4 inches. As you can see, I was able to place the doorknob without the need for any sketch lines. Let's try and place the deadbolt using temporary tracking. I know it needs to be positioned to six inches above the doorknob. Once again, I'll launch the Circle command. At the center point prompt, I'll type TK and press Enter. My first tracking point will be the center of this circle. I'll pull straight up and I'll type six inches. I will then press Enter to accept this location and I'll give this circle a diameter of 2-3/8 inches. When it comes to locating points in space, consider using temporary tracking. By simply giving AutoCAD directions, you can easily place geometry without the need for sketch lines.
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