Learn how to create basic linear elements such as SmartLines and lines.
- [Instructor] In this chapter, we will be learning how to place basic geometry, including linear elements, circular elements, arch elements, and different types of shapes. Open the file for chapter five, Placing Basic Geometry, and using View Group, select the Linear Elements model. Here you can see that we have two linear element types, a SmartLine and a Line. The difference between a SmartLine and a Line is that a SmartLine contains multiple segments that are all connected as a single element, while a Line has individual segments, each one independent of the other.
Let's look at how I created both of these elements. Using the Task navigation panel, you will see the first two linear commands are SmartLine and Line. The SmartLine or polyline command is the tool with the light bulb. Using the Tool Settings dialog, I can create a line using different types of segments, Lines or Archs. I will start with a Line and define a Vertex Type as Sharp. Turn on the Join Elements toggle to make sure that the SmartLine is a continuous group of segments joined together.
I always recommend using SmartLine as opposed to the Line command whenever possible, because it offers more functionality later on during modifications. Select the Place SmartLine command, and start by issuing the first left mouse click to start the line. As I drag my cursor across the screen, I will drag the SmartLine in the X-direction and left-click on the mouse to accept the point. Then, I will drag the line down in the negative Y-direction and left-click to issue a point. Last, I will drag the line in the X-direction and left-click to issue a point.
I will hit Escape to stop the current element. When I hover, you will see that I have a SmartLine that is a contiguous string of segments. If I do the same thing using the Line command and echo the same cursor movements and distances, each Line segment is an individual element. Select the Place Line command, and issue the first left mouse click to start the Line and drag the line in the X-direction and left-click. Then drag the line down in the negative Y-direction and left-click. And last, drag the line in the X-direction and left-click.
This time, I will use a right-click on the mouse to reset and stop the current line. Note that I'm still in the Place Line command and can draw another line. Hit the Escape key to stop the current Line command, and MicroStation automatically selects the Element Selection command. Using the Element Selection command, I can hover over the line elements and see that these segments are all separate. Next, I'll Place SmartLine again and issue a left mouse click to start the line. I will drag the line in the X-direction and issue a left mouse click.
Then, in the middle of the SmartLine command, I will use the Tool Settings dialog to change the Segment Type to Archs. Back in the View window, I will drag the cursor straight down and issue a left mouse click. I can use my cursor to change the direction of the arch until I have a 180 degree swing. Now, using the Tool Settings dialog again, I will change the segment type back to Lines and continue drawing the SmartLine. To align with the previous line, I will use the Enter key or Smart Lock and hover on the start point of the first line and issue a left mouse button to accept that point.
Again, I will change the Segment Type back to Arch and complete the capsule-looking element. Now let's use the SmartLine command to draw lines with non-sharp vertices. I will change the Vertex Type to Rounding Radius and define the radius at 20 feet. When using unit values in MicroStation, do not use the foot and inch unit labels. Just use the numeric values. MicroStation does not understand symbols for the units and numbers. Now I will draw a new SmartLine to demonstrate that you can draw filleted corners automatically with the SmartLine command.
Using the Line command, the only options are Length and Angle. I don't typically use these tool settings for placing Line commands, as discussed in the earlier exercises, because using AccuDraw is much easier. I can just drag the line in any direction and key in the distance value. If you want to control the Angle value, just make sure that you are using the round, polar compass, and use the Tab key to move the AccuDraw focus to the Angle field and key in an angle to control the Line element. AccuDraw was covered in detail in a previous chapter.
Here, we will place some basic geometry, so you can get familiar with how to use these commands in MicroStation. The next exercise, we'll take a look at how to use the shape commands.
- Using menus, settings, and toolboxes
- Modifying MicroStation preferences
- Working with DGN files
- Leveraging multiple views
- Using AccuDraw and AccuSnap
- Drawing lines, shapes, and forms
- Rotating, stretching, and scaling elements
- Trimming and modifying elements
- Selecting handles and element attributes