Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and using arrays, part of AutoCAD 2018 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] We're staying in the 05_ModifyingObjects.dwg file, and you might have saved this, obviously, to a known location and given it a slightly different file name so that you're following along with the videos and making the changes as we go. Now, we're going to look at the array command now and there are two types of array command available in AutoCAD that you use on a regular basis. They are the rectangular array where you use rows and columns to place objects. The polar array where you rotate around a point.
There's also a thing called a path array as well, which we will look at a little bit as well. Now, what we've got is we've got our little diamond-shaped table here. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to go over to the top view here, and select custom model views and go back to our furniture named view, first of all. Then I'm going to select the table. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to right-click and use the shortcut menu. So if I do that and select move, and I'm just going to pick that end-point, snap there, drag it down in line, roughly, with the little rubber plant there on the left of the grid-line like that.
Now the reason I've done that is, when we work with rectangular arrays, it's easier to use positive numbers. So going from the table here, outwards to the right along the X-axis is positive, going upwards from the table that way is in the Y-axis, and that is also positive. it just allows me to put positive numbers into the ribbon when we're editing the variables on the rectangular array. Now, what we're going to look at first of all, is the rectangular array, and I'm going to create four of these tables here. So I go over to the modify panel, on the ribbon, and select this fly-out menu here and select rectangular array.
You'll notice I'm not using the shortcut menu because the array command is not on the shortcut menu. You get a little video of each, which is really nice as well It allows you to see what's going on. So if I click there on rectangular array, come into the drawing area, and I select my object there like so. So there's my object and I then right-click on the mouse to confirm that. And you'll notice it gives a default number of objects in the array. So we've got four columns there, and three rows. And you'll notice the ribbon has changed.
Now this is all graphically driven. There is an array classic command as well, which I'll show you in a moment. So I'm going to go up here, I want to change my column value in there to two and press tab. And I want to change my row value, in there, I'll double-click again. Press two, and press tab. There's my four tables. Now, the lovely thing is, is AutoCAD has looked at that and gone, "Oh, I can see the spacings that are needed, "everything is fine." Now, the one thing you will notice there, is it's associative.
You'll see why, what happens in a moment, when I actually close the array command. So I close it like that. If I now select those objects that have been arrayed, because they're associative, they have been grouped. That's the grouping there. Now, if I want to lose that group, what I've got to do is, hit escape a couple of times, and you'll notice I've got an explode command there, in the modify panel. So what I do is, I select the group of tables, notice it automatically goes into edit array there on the ribbon, so I have to go back to the home tab. I select explode, and they're now individual tables again.
So that's my rectangular array. So if i just pan up a little bit now. You can see we've got a nice little sofa here and it's placed perfectly to allow me to use the intersection of those two red grid lines to array it in 90 degree increments. So let's have a look at that now. So again, modify panel on the home tab, on the ribbon. And I select a polar array this time. I select the little furniture there, the little sofa. What I do is, I then right-click to confirm the selection and it asks for the center point of the array.
Now, I've got to specify the center point of the array before the ribbon changes, so if I zoom in, I want the intersection there of those two grid lines. So I click there, if I zoom out now, can you see, it's looking a little bit weird and wonderful. That's because I've actually got six items up here on the ribbon, so if I change that to four and then press tab, you'll see it changes. I've got those four nice sofas, all sort of looking at each other. Very community-driven. Everybody can look at each other while they're sitting on the sofas. Now, I know that all looks very pretty, but it's not very practical.
There's not a big gap between the sofas, but I'm just purely demonstrating that polar array command there You'll notice you get all of the tools available on the command line as well, down there in the white box. So you can use the ribbon, or you can actually click on the objects on the command line if you wish. Again, it's associative. So when I click on close array, and I click here, you'll see, again, I've got a group of objects and when I click on them, you can see that the array tab, the contextual array tab appears on the ribbon again.
So I go back to the home tab, like so, hit explode and now, if I just hit escape a couple of times to make sure everything's deselected, if I click on that now, it's just a block again. It's not an associative array anymore. So that's how you utilize the polar and the rectangular. Now let me just zoom out slightly and just pan over to where that little rubber plant is,like so. What I'm going to do, I'm just going to jump into the home tab, into the draw panel, click on arc and go for a 3-Point arc like so. I'm just going to go, one, two and three.
There's my 3-Point arc, like that. I'm then going to select the rubber plant. There's a grip in the middle. See that blue grip? If you hover over it, and see it highlights in red? When it goes red, click on it. Drag the rubber plant to the end point of the arc and click to place it there, like so. Now, what you want to do is, place those rubber plants along that arc. So I go back to the array command here, use the path array. It says select object. So I want to array the rubber plant and right-click to confirm the object like so. Then you select the path curve, like that.
And you select the grip to edit the array. Now, you can see the array's going the wrong way at the moment. If I just zoom out slightly, you can see they're going that way. So I want them to go the other way. So I want the tangent direction here. So if I select that and then specify whether tangent vector is going like that, I can change that and I can change where it's going and press enter to confirm. And I can change the settings. Now, obviously, it's following that, but I can change the direction as well. If I just click there like that, can you see? It's going around, and it's changing the direction of those particular rubber plants.
Now, it's slightly weird how that path works. I'm just going to hit escape there. Now, the reason that I've done that is, I'm closing the array command and there they are, there. They're rotating around that path, but they're not following that. So why are they not following that? That's because AutoCAD always follows a positive counterclockwise direction. So I've started it there, so really, the rubber plant should be at the other end of the line. So if I just undo what I've done a couple of steps, and I click on the rubber plant, click on the grip and place it here like that, you'll see that when I do a path array on it this time, and select the object, like that, and right-click and then select the path curve can you see it's following a different route? What I can do is, I can change the number of items there if I want to.
So if I come down here, to items in the command line, just to be different. I'll change that, and I can say, specify distance between items, or expression, so distance between items. I'll change the value there. Say, I don't know, let's say 500. You can see there, that I've now got 500 between each item, which makes for a very pretty array of little rubber plants, like so. But that's how they work. So if I press enter to finish, and then closing out of the command, enter again, job done. You can see that there's all these different arrays, which are a bit like copy, but on steroids.
A bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The body builder of the copy command. So utilize the array command to make your life easier and help with your design work in AutoCAD 2017.
- Exploring the user interface
- Using the ribbon, status bar, and ViewCube
- Opening, saving, and closing files
- Setting and converting drawing units
- Navigating drawings
- Saving and restoring views
- Drawing and modifying objects
- Drawing accurately
- Reusing content
- Creating output
- Using PDFs in AutoCAD