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The Line tool is the most common tool in our arsenal of tools. It's simple to understand, and a very powerful tool. We've already played with a little bit, but we're going to get a little more in depth in this movie. First off we'll click on Sketch> Start a Sketch. If I choose a sketch, it's going to ask me to choose one of these planes. I'm going to choose the top plane, and we're going to jump into the Line tool. And this time I'm going to start at the origin. But I don't want to start at the origin with the regular Line tool. I actually want to go ahead and choose the center line tool. So if you haven't added the center line tool to your Tool palette, go ahead, click on the drop down arrow, choose the Center Line tool.
And from that tool, I can go and drag a line directly up. And notice I get a little heads-up display showing me that it's roughly two inches long and at 90 degrees, and it's giving me that little yellow box, showing me that's a vertical line. Go ahead and click OK. Notice as soon as I click, I get some of these yellow helper lines, helping me to draw a nice square or a perpendicular shape. So if I click on that line, I can drag it over here. This time I'm going to go out to about four. Come down over here, to back to the origin. And notice, as soon as I do that, I gives me these little helper lines showing me that I'm at the origin.
So it makes it easy to draw things in SolidWorks like this. When you are done with that. Go ahead and click on escape and turns it off. I can drag the shape around. Move it up and down. But right now they are all made out of construction lines, or center lines. So construction lines and center lines are really the same things just depending on how that you are using them. Now I can flip between the two very easy by clicking on a line itself. And then coming over here and turning this box, For construction, and unchecking it. Turns it into a regular line. Same thing over here, I can say, For construction. Or if I wanted to, I could choose all these lines and turn them off to turn them all into regular lines.
So you can easily flip between the two types of lines very quickly. What you want to use a construction or center line tool, something that's not really going to create any geometry, it's just going to be there to help you or help you lay out a sketch. For example, if I had a line like this, I can make a line from the top, to the bottom. What that allows me to do now, is I have this line right in the center of that shape, and notice, because I start in the center point, it gave these little relationships, it snapped to the midpoint here, and the midpoint there. Now, I can go ahead and draw something else. For instance, I could maybe use the Rectangle Tool, which we'll be getting into soon, but if I just draw a little rectangle out, starting at that center point.
That way everything's tied together, and notice as I move things, automatically everything stays in a relationship to each other because they're all linked to different lines and center lines. Now, I don't have to use a rectangle tool. I could easily have created these with the line or center line tools, and notice that's exactly what happens when you use a tool like your rectangle tool as Solidworks behind the scenes just created four regular lines. And, then, two center line tools. And, then, link them all together. Notice, it also adds a bunch of relationships. Keep in mind how relationships interact. Notice, I've got these vertical relationships here, and here, and midpoint relationships here, and here.
That's what's really defining the shape and turning this into a parametric model. So, I can move things around, and everything automatically updates, with the line. I also want to point out a few other ways that create lines. If I come up to the Line command here, notice we've been using the click click method. We click once where we want to start, click again where we want to end, and the tool stays active. If that's not what you want to do, if you just want to make one line, use the click and drag method. So click once where you want to start, and then hold down the left mouse button and drag it out to wherever you are. When you release the mouse button, the line ends and so does the command.
The line tool's the basis for most sketches in Solidworks. Although it's simple to use, it's also one of the most powerful building blocks in the Solidworks tool library.
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