Working With Specific Units

working within a certain set of defined units is crucial in AutoCAD you can only work with one set of units at a time so how do you do it well first you have to define your units this is where a template file comes in very handy you can have this already set up for you and just start with the template you can set up multiple templates one set up four inches one set up four millimeters etc but if your template isn’t set which it probably isn’t right now then you need to set it up in your own file and that’s easy to do we looked at that in the last section just on autocad if you want to make a new file
you
and then type in the word units you can also go up to the application menu go down to drawing utilities and go to the unit’s option click it and set up your units here accordingly for this example we’re going to use decimals and feet this means that one unit will be one foot long
so we want to set up two decimal and we want to
sir shin scale two feet
this doesn’t change your units in AutoCAD but it will affect how other auto cad files or blocks are scaled when you bring them in so you can draw in feet in this drawing here then you can get another drawing that’s made by someone else that’s drawn in millimeters and as long as your insertion scale and their insertion scale are set up correctly it will take the other file and scale it accordingly so that it is in the actual size that it should be okay in this example we’re going to assume everything is in one foot since we’re in feet and we have decimals when I draw a line of one unit long it will be one foot long it’s good CAD practice to draw everything to its real length that means that if you need to draw a room that is 15 feet wide by 20 feet long then you draw it 15 feet long by 20 foot wide don’t scale it don’t guess at it draw it exactly that this is good for several reasons one you are always creating an accurate drawing and to your drawing will be properly drawn to scale when printing and three others that need to use your file will know what’s going on with your line work typically autocad users will work with one set of drawing units whatever they might be sometimes though you will need to work with files that are drawn in different units that’s why it’s so important to define your units in the unit manager if this is done properly then autocad can interpret the different units accordingly and scale the line work is needed when you bring it into your drawing keep in mind that not all cad users are created equal and none of them are as responsible as you are and they may not have properly set their units so it’s a good idea to check the file before you work with it
let me give you an example I’m going to close this file
in this file this is an architectural example drawn in inches
if we check the units will see that it’s in inches and that’s set to
architectural
if we use the distance command by typing in di we can measure the sizes of the rooms the walls etc
so this room is 12 feet
by 26 and a half feet
overall
this building
is 64 feet
by 40 feet so we get an idea
I have another file open called the civil example and this is an imperial its units
are in feet and decimals
it’s just a small road in another Road a little pond and then three Lots this outline or building footprint it measures 40 feet by 70 feet that building that I showed you and I want to insert it into this drawing it’s very simple to do i type in the insert command
and then I can insert any of these blocks that are already in here or I can browse to a folder
browse to anywhere that you have access to
and I want to insert the architectural example file so browse to where you have this
select it click open
we’re going to insert it by scale now since both drawings were set up correctly our civil example is set up in decimals and feet and the architectural example is set up in architectural units with inches autocad as you can see here in the block unit is automatically scaling this accordingly so both of them have units one unit in the civil drawing is one foot one unit in the
architectural drawing is one inch so I’m going to click OK
going to tell it to put it right here and now we can move this around ever we want and however we need and we’ve inserted our building to scale here
so we can measure this
with the distance command we can come to this end point
measure it across
we see that it’s 40 units
40 units in this drawing means 40 feet now if we go back to double check and you can toggle back and forth through drawings that you have open by pressing ctrl + tab at the same time di again for distance
pick this point
and then pick this point
with our 40 feet long so that’s fantastic that worked exactly the way we wanted it to now I’m going to undo all of this
we undid everything now let’s check the units again
or still at feet but I want
inches which is going to be wrong okay and now let’s insert that file browse to it remember typed in the word insert I NS er T browse to the file you want this is it click open
you can see the unit is set to inches and the scale factor is 1 so it’s going to bring it in at 121
and now what happens
our building is as big as our whole entire subdivision that’s because AutoCAD thinks that the units are the same it thinks that they’re both inches so one inch is one inch while one inch equals one twelfth of a foot so this is 12 times too big so it will measure same units across
you
but it thinks it’s in inches so as 40 units long but it scaled it two inches x 12 because that’s the scale factor so it makes it 480 units long so getting your units correct can help you and it can help you save a lot of time in a lot of effort and it makes things more accurate so just take the time to set your units so whatever units you’re using and when you get another file take a few moments to make sure it’s set correctly if you forget to do that and something comes in too big or too small then check your units in your file and in the other

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