Join Paul F. Aubin for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding walls, part of AutoCAD Architecture Essential Training.
In this movie we're going to start laying out a simple floor plan. And we're going to start that by laying out the walls. Now, walls are the most basic element of any building model so it's a good place to start. I'm in a file called walls start and it's just based on the default AutoCAD Architecture template. So, let me hold down my wheel here and pan slightly so we can get a look at the origin point down here in the corner. And I'm then going to roll my wheel to kind of zoom in a little bit on this area. Now, you may recall from a previous movie that this grid spacing is about every ten feet, so I'm just giving myself a sense of scale here.
Now, you could start the Wall command in a couple ways. You can either use the button here on the Home tab of the ribbon, or you can go to the Design Tool tool pallet and click the Wall command right here. Either way, it's the same, you're going to get the same experience. Now, when you first click the Wall command, you're going to see a tool tip appear on the Help menu over on the right hand side of the screen. So we're going to talk about that in just a moment, but for now we're just going to ignore it. And, I'm going to click a point right here. Pull my mouse straight up, I've got polar tracking turned on, so it's automatically keeping me constrained to a 90 degree angle.
You can move off at other angles if you like, but let's make sure that we're going up 90 degrees. Click. And then we'll turn right here, make sure we're going exactly horizontal, and then let's click again. Now, let's stay in the command. Don't press Esc yet. But take a look at what that created. Both of the walls that we created have a little bit of thickness. And when I turned the corner, it automatically joined up and cleaned up at the intersection. Furthermore, if you keep going, and I'm just going to go at an angle here and come back and snap right to this guy.
Notice that, now I'm going to go ahead and press Esc. Notice that it cleans up here and here as well. So, one of the big features of walls is they automatically join and clean up with each other at all the intersections. So, this is really going to be helpful when we're laying out a floor plan, because traditional methods of laying out a floor plan is to use the Line command, draw lines, offset those lines, and then manually trim to create all these intersections. That's a lot more work than what we have available to us here with Walls.
Furthermore, when you select a wall after you create it, if you go look over at the Properties palette, there's lots of user configurable properties here. For example, the width of this wall, and let's go ahead and pan this over a little bit so we can see the drawing in the background as we're working on the properties here. The width of that wall is currently six inches. So if I change that to 12 inches, and I press Enter, notice that that wall gets thicker, interactively, on screen. And let's go ahead and Esc, so we can see it more clearly.
All the connections stay connected so, all those walls stay joined to one another. So, that is a really powerful set of features that we are going to leverage here when laying out this floor plan. So, what I'm going to do is surround all those walls that I just drew and press my Delete key to delete them. Then I'm going to roll my wheel mouse back a little bit to zoom out. Pan slightly and just give myself a look at the screen about this big. Now again, you can always adjust the zoom later. So, let's go back to our Wall command and again this time I'll click it here on the Home tab, just to show you that it doesn't matter which place you click it.
And before I click this time, let's think about what we just saw. What we just saw was that we can come back and change the thickness of those walls later. Well, it turns out you can actually change the thickness of the wall before you start. So, I want to draw these exterior walls of my building layout, and I want the thickness of those exterior walls to be about 12 inches thick, or 1 foot thick. So, I'm going to put in 12 right here for the width property. So, right where it says width just type 1 2, 12 and press Enter, it will automatically format that as 1 foot.
So even if you're not comfortable with imperial units, it's just a matter of just typing the two numbers there. Now, the next thing I want to do is I'm going to start my first point right about here. And, start moving off to the right. Now, if you need to, zoom in a little bit closer to see that we're actually drawing down the center of the wall right now. So this is where I want you to direct your attention up to that tool tip that's displayed on the Help menu there. It says, while adding the wall, and it gives you lots of options that you can do to change that wall.
Now this particular wall that we're drawing, if you did the first option, we really wouldn't see anything change, so, we're going to ignore that first option but it's the second option that I want to focus on. The one that says use, the shift to change the justification. So, if you press your Shift key, press and release, you're going to see the wall shift, in my case, it shifted down. So, it just went to that upper face of the wall as the justification. If I press it again, it's going to go back to the center, press it again, it's going to go to the right.
So, each time you press and if you did it one more time, it will go back to what we call baseline. So there's exactly four options, left, right, center, and baseline, so I'm going to press it a couple times to get it to go to the right justify. In other words, the bottom edge of the wall. And then I'm going to start moving off in this direction. Now, before I click, all I want to do is make sure that that green dashed line is displaying off to the right. Now, if you prefer ortho instead of polar, you can toggle on your Ortho here, with the F8 key.
And that'll keep it exactly horizontal, but don't click your point. I want to type in the dimension I want instead. Now, in this case, I want a dimension in both feet and inches. To get feet and inches I have to use the Foot symbol in keyboard. So, I am going to type 6, 7 for 67 feet. Use the Foot symbol, which is the little apostrophe right next to your Enter key. And then, 4, and the way this will be interpreted by AutoCAD Architecture is, that I'm drawing a wall, that I want it to be exactly 67 feet, 4 inches long.
When you press the Enter key, notice that number went right in that dimension there. It will create a wall that's exactly 67 foot, 4 inches long. Now, if you remember, from the previous movie, we talked about the grid spacing was about 10 feet. And if you count the grid squares, you'll see that you've got a little bit more than six grid squares. So it's 67 foot 4 inches. So that pans out. Go ahead and pull the mouse straight up now. Make sure you're going at a 90 degree. And this time you want to do 65 foot 4, okay.
So again, 65 the foot symbol and then 4 and press Enter. Now, that will likely go off screen. So, without clicking, you can hold down the wheel and pan to get it to go to the top there. To pan up to the top and then in this direction, I want to finish out the rectangle. So, let me show you what that's going to look like. Let me roll the wheel to zoom out, just a touch. I want to draw both this line and the vertical that finishes that up.
So the wall command has an option called, Ortho Close. Now look down at your command line, and you can see all the options that are available while you're in a particular command. The Wall command has a bunch of them. We've got style and group and width and height, so there's all different options that are available there. The last option, kind of wrapped around to the second line there on my screen, is Ortho Close. So, you can either type O+R, press Enter, that will access it. You see that's the two capital blue letters. You can right click and choose Ortho Close, or you can click it right here off of the command line.
What that does, is it's now asking you for a direction that you want to close in. This vector can go at any direction you want, so if I said this way, it would draw a diagonal line this way and then it would go perpendicular back to here. If I said here, it would shoot off at that angle, and perpendicular back to here. So, it's actually going to draw two wall segments. The first one, at whatever angle you click. And the second one is going to be perpendicular to the original. Make sure you're pulling this straight over to the left. So, we want it to go exactly 180 degrees, and click anywhere.
And, that will draw one1 wall at 180, and the second wall, it will go down. And that's what they mean by Ortho Close. It'll go down and close it up at a perpendicular. And that gives us a nice clean rectangle right here. So, now what I want to do is, I want to add a little bump out to my building right here. Now, in AutoCAD, if you press the Enter key, it will repeat the last command. So, the last command that I did was Wall command and just by pressing Enter, I can repeat the Wall command.
So, now what I'm going to do is show you something called polar tracking. The way polar tracking works is, I don't want to start right at this endpoint. What I want to do is start some distance away from that endpoint. So, the way you do this is you put your mouse over that endpoint but don't click. If you click, it's going to start right there. You don't want to click right there, you want to highlight it first. Now move your mouse away. It leaves this little green plus sign behind. This basically tells you that AutoCAD has acquired that point.
So, it understands you want to line up with that point. If you go this way, you're going to line up with it horizontally. If you go this way, you're going to line up with it vertically. Start moving up vertically, like so, and then type 1 4 feet, 14 feet. When you press Enter, it will begin drawing the wall, not down there at the end point, but up 14 feet away. So, you first acquire the point. Then you move in the direction you want to go, and type your number.
Now I'm going to go horizontally this way and I'm going to type in 20 feet, 2 0 feet, pull straight up this way, and I want to line up with this existing point. So, I can use tracking again to do that. How do I do that? Don't click but highlight that end point. If you click you get this diagonal line, that's not what we want. Slide over this way, and notice that it acquired that point and when you snap back vertical, it actually sees the virtual intersection between those two locations.
That's where we're going to click and then we're going to come back here and click right there to finish up. Now, we're still in the Wall command, so at this point, this is when you would press Enter to complete the command. And so, that gives you three new walls here to create that little bumped out space right there. So, that gets us started on our basic wall layout. There's plenty more walls for us to draw, but we'll continue working on that in the next movie with additional walls. But the basics of working with walls is very similar to drawing lines or other geometry in AutoCAD.
But they have the huge advantage that when walls intersect one another, they automatically clean up at the intersections. And this is going to save you a tremendous amount of time when you're doing your floor plan layouts.
- Adding and offsetting walls
- Working with columns
- Adding stairs and railings
- Working with the display system
- Setting up projects
- Using callouts
- Adding schedules and tags
- Creating documentation
- Printing and exporting