Drawing & Drafting Tools

we’ve spent a lot of time exploring the interface of AutoCAD in the previous chapters and sections I did this because I wanted to make sure that you knew how to work in AutoCAD and that you were comfortable navigating it but enough is enough let’s learn how to draw that’s why we’re here
the focus of this section and the next few chapters will be on how to draw an AutoCAD it’s likely that the most common object used are created in AutoCAD especially for 2d drawings is the line you will use lines you want to create lines you will use lines for
construction you will use lines to find your right place you will use lines in so many different ways the line is a universal a line is defined as all of the points between two specific points so it’s also one of the most easiest objects in AutoCAD to draw you just pick two end points just two clicks of the mouse and you’re there but even though a line is very simplistic there are many ways to draw a line in AutoCAD to start the line command you can go to one of several different places you can use one of several different methods it’s up to you on the ribbon on the Home tab
the first panel which is the draw panel you have the first icon which is for the line command click that and
and is started remember to follow the command prompts in your dynamic input and on the command line they will tell you what you need to do obviously now we need to draw our first point click one anywhere
now as you move your crosshairs with the mouse
can see where the line is going to go your dynamic input will give you information about that line right now this line if I were to click again to create the second endpoint for the line would be fourteen point two eight units in length and drawn at 17 degrees very simple once you click that second point you can continue drawing from that last endpoint to create another line keep going
until you finally decide to stop in Turkey press the Escape key right click or hit the spacebar and that’s it and that’s how you draw a line that is the most simplest way to draw a line it’s to pick two points now there are many other ways that you can also draw a line a lot of times a line is not arbitrary in fact the majority of the time you need to draw your line in a very specific way well there are many ways available to us to do that if you’re starting a brand new drawing it can be difficult to figure out where to start I suggest that you find a line that you can use as the base of all of your other lines and go from there in this example we will draw a very simple outline of a house
let’s erase all of these lines and II then enter for the erase command and then select everything or you can select everything and then hit the Delete key so let’s start a new file type new on the command line
browse to the template folder if it didn’t open up there for you already and let’s start with the tutorial I Arc DW T file
click open
while we’ll probably open up for you in what’s called paper space we’ll talk more about paper space later on we’ve mentioned it before already but we want to make our drawing create our model and you put your line work in the model tab so come down to the bottom of the screen
find these tabs click on the one that says model this is where we’re going to draw quickly check your units type in the word units and make sure we’re working an architectural type precision of 1/16 is fine more importantly we want to make sure we’re using inches and click OK
this setting we will be drawing as one unit equaling one inch we will be drawing everything in inches so let’s start the line command let’s put our first point at the origin or at coordinates zero comma zero so come up to the ribbon click on the line command or just type in the word line or just the letter L
since we have just started the command and have not picked up point yet for our first point AutoCAD is assuming that we’re looking for coordinates so type in zero comma zero press Enter
now remember while you’re in a command you can use your mouse to pan around or zoom in and out as needed with the middle scroll wheel we’re going to draw a horizontal line 50 feet long to the right and when working in architectural units you draw in inches there are 12 inches to a foot so 12 times 50 equals 600 because we want to draw a 50 foot long line that’s horizontal to the right so you can do that math all the time if you would like to who I suggest you don’t you can type in 50 and then an apostrophe for 50 feet and if you need additional inches like 6 inches and you can type that in but 50 then apostrophe will draw a line at 50 feet long not to draw this line horizontally or to the right you can do that one of two different ways the easiest way is to toggle on your ortho by pressing the f8 key
just like that or if you don’t toggle it here
you can come down to your status bar click on the button here this is the ortho mode button ortho mode will lock your drawing cursor or crosshairs into drawing
orthogonally which means just the horizontal line or a straight up and down line your line or your object or your movement will be constrained to following one of the two axes in this case the X and Y axis so we draw our line we pull it to the right and we type in 50 feet and press Enter
press ENTER again select the line the blue boxes are the grips and you’ll see that this is a 50-foot line excellent
start the line command again press the Enter key and that will automatically start the last command you were using type e and D for end or endpoint this is an oh snap we’re going to use we’ll go into greater detail about Oh snaps but Oh snaps will help you draw precisely they will grab specific places on your objects like the endpoint of a line move your crosshairs over to that endpoint of the line on the right and you’ll see a green box or glyph come up and the word endpoint it’s telling you that you are grabbing the endpoint of that line left click
now we’re drawing our line again we want to make this line 30 feet vertical with the ortho still on move your crosshair into the direction you want the line to go type in 30 and then the apostrophe if you leave off the apostrophe AutoCAD will assume you mean inches and we don’t want 30 inches we want 30 feet down to the bottom then the line will go down or if I type in a negative 30 with my crosshairs up here it will also go down but so far we’re correct press ENTER there’s our line
line 50 feet to the left
I remember AutoCAD is directional whichever way I move my mouse that’s the way the line is going to go I can tell it 50 feet and it will go on either direction in which I’m moving my crosshairs so move to the left type in 50 feet again and press Enter and now we want to come down
we can just snap to the end point here or we can tell it to go thirty feet down whichever one you want to do
press Enter
is the start to our site view of our house and that’s what you need to do when you start a drawing you need to make sure that you put in a line that you can work with a base point a starting place once your lines are in then you can base everything else and your drawing off of that it gives you a starting point you can also draw lines in many different ways you can draw them at angles now let’s put in a roof let’s go to the top right corner over here start the line command again go to this endpoint press E and D enter pick that line and now let’s go to the right five feet or you can type in 60 inches which is the same thing
and that gives us our five foot line site and do the same thing start the line command
and end grabbed the endpoint go to the left
five feet enter
again and here we go now you can also draw lines and what are called a polar coordinates a lot of the times we’re drawing in a Cartesian coordinate system but AutoCAD will also allow us to draw in polar coordinates drawing in polar coordinates means that you will be drawing lines based on length and angle not just distance or direction to do this start the line command pick a point turn off ortho type in the distance Elfi press tab
and then type in an angle 35
there you go that is a polar coordinate a distance and an angle you’ll find that you’ll use this trick time and time again let’s use it now actually to draw in a rough Gable
he raced this line
draw the Gabel
line command
and for this endpoint
but in a distance 40 feet press the tab key
and I’ve predetermined
ready ahead of time what angle were going to need let’s type in 138 point five nine press Enter
there you go
that draws a line right to the middle of our roof
type in E and D again
and click there that’s a pretty steep roof I know but we’re learning how to draw an AutoCAD with lines and with polar coordinates a lot of times in AutoCAD all you’ll have to do is draw half or part of your object and then the rest will automatically fall into place similar to this last line when we drew and then this last roofline now one thing that we can do and let’s erase these two pieces
draw two other points besides an end point start the line command type in m ID for mid or mid point press Enter triangle glyph will show the midpoint that’s the middle of our house turn on the ortho command
and let’s draw a line up 20 feet Center
now we know where our pee
going to be
mine command again type II and II type II nd again
press ENTER pick
enter
and if you mess up typing in the dynamic input you can always go back if you type in something that’s not possible that AutoCAD doesn’t know what to do with you saw that red box come up and it says hey I don’t know what to do this please tell me again that’s fine you can backspace or delete what’s inside there and type again you can also use your arrow keys to navigate inside the text
as you can see there through my examples and there we go
now we can delete that line and that’s basically it in a nutshell
but before we go let’s review some thing about drawing with coordinates if you enter in coordinates for the first point in your line but as we did to start our house they will be absolute meaning that those are the coordinates where your first point of your line will be drawn if you enter in coordinates for the second point they will be a relative distance or from that point
so if you need to draw your second point to an absolute set of coordinates start it by pressing the pound key
then enter the coordinates for example start the line command
enter in five comma four for the first point that is an absolute point that is going to the coordinates of 5 comma 4 and that will be in inches in this case as you can see where it is
now type in six comma four
these are relative coordinates it went not to coordinate six comma four but it went six units over four units up from our previous position
sit out of the line command start the line command again
and this time type in 5 comma 4 and remember your first point will be absolute points there is no other point for it to be relative to so that’s why press ENTER and we’re starting at the exact same starting point as we did with the other line now type in the pound key then hit six comma four
press Enter
enter again to
very different lines
this line and this line both start at coordinate 5/4
now the coordinate for this one is at six four which is what we told it to do and we told this one to go over six units and up four units so it is at coordinates eleven eight
so keep that in mind a lot of times you will find drawing in relative coordinates if something needs to be you know 20 feet long or 20 meters long you can tell it I want to go 20 units to the right and zero units up and you have drawn an horizontal line and 20 units in length so that’s the basics of drawing with lines there are a lot of different ways to do it through absolute coordinates through just random points picking the first in the second point through object snaps through distances and angles and through other coordinates a lot of the times you will just start a line
making it very long
long enough
and going from there if your coordinates are irrelevant and you don’t care what coordinates you are in then try to draw close to zero that will make things a bit easier to manage in the long run

More Stories
Introduction To AutoCAD LT