Working With The Coordinate System

by default autocad sets up the UCS and a world coordinate system that means that the origin is at coordinates 0 comma 0 comma 0 a 0 for each axis an AutoCAD LT there are only two x and y so it sets up the origin at those coordinates of 0 comma 0 and that angles facing east or to the right of your screen start at 0 degrees so this line here is drawn at 0 degrees this line here is drawn at 90 degrees
this line is 180
line is 270
then back to 360 being the same as zero where everything is and you can interact with it accordingly well there are times when you need to work with a different coordinate system an example might be of a surveyor who needs to work with a coordinate system that is offset and maybe even rotated from like a point of commencement or some other land based marker I’ve opened up the Civil example dash Imperial file to kind of give you an idea this road and these lots are right in the middle and aligned with our user coordinate system but what if we needed the road and lots to match this line here of the parcel well we can draw lines with it and work in it but we have to go through extra steps we can do that and that’s where making a customized UCS or user coordinate system comes in very handy and what we want to do is to use the UCS command to create or change the current UCS and we can save it for later use it can help us make special views for our drawings it can do a lot of things in it so to get started just type in UCS and press Enter or you can go up to the ribbon and go to the View tab and here you have different preset views top bottom left right these are all for the different 3d views you can go to the View manager to help create or make some or you can go up to the ribbon go to the View tab and you need the coordinate panel now by default this coordinate panel doesn’t show up and I’m not sure why it’s set that way but out of the box that’s what’s happening so we want it in here because we want to use our user coordinate system settings right click anywhere in the top of this gray area and the ribbon where there’s no txt go to the show panels and if there are panels in here that you don’t want to use you can easily turn them off and on but we want to show the coordinates panel for what we’re doing here so I’m going to go to it and click it and turn it on that will load our coordinates panel here we can get to all over our UCS controls we want to get to the UCS command and this is it right here
one thing to note is the UCS icon it is selectable and most of the functionality here in the coordinates panel you can get to here just by selecting it will show you that in a little bit but if you don’t see the UCS icon come up here and go to the UCS icon button or just type UCS icon that will turn it off and on if you’re never going to rotate your view you’re not going to keep track of the your coordinate system then you can turn it off so that it’s not there
and there you go but for this exercise we want it on
keep it on so now if we go to the UCS command
click it we can make changes all we want to to this UCS now you see here in the command line we have different options that we can use there are several of them and you use the option according to the information you have and according to what you want to do so you can create a new UCS from the face of an object from a named view from the line work of an object you can go to a previously used UCS you can go to a saved view you can go back to the world coordinates or you can make a change according to the XY or z axis or on the z axis alone the z axes are only options available to autocad and aren’t available in autocad LT so if i pick object or i type in OB and remember in the command line when it gives you options to type in the parts that are in blue you’ll be able to type in so i can type in OB for object now I need to just follow the instructions I pick the object that I want to align my ucs-2 let’s say it’s this line right here and as I put my cursor over the top it will highlight and show you what it’s going to look like now you can have your x and y or y rotate on it and come from different directions you know do you want your Y to be at the top or the bottom of this view well to change that just go to the different end of the line this is the way I won’t mind to show so i’m going to pick it
doesn’t rotate your view it still looks the same but you notice the icon is different and my crosshairs have been rotated so if I draw a line and i turn on my ortho by pressing f8
that will constrain my line work and y axis so now I can draw lines that are parallel to either of these lines in the axis if I draw something like a rectangle
it’s right there it follows it perfectly how to draw a line like this I would have to go into several different steps into a long procedure but I can draw it that way without switching my UCS that’s possible
but in this case I don’t have to so to get everything back I can go to UCS and in this case since my last UCS that I used was the world coordinate system i can hit previous or i can just hit w for world again and that resets it so it’s very easy to do now let’s look at another option here UCS I can pick the face of something find a name view previous view or I can go about the x axis or about the y axis
turn off my ortho command you can see me rotating it about the x axis
now it doesn’t look like it’s changed much but that’s because it rotated it about the x-axis so is kind of spinning around it let’s reset that type in UCS and then W for world now let’s look at it in a much easier view hit Z for z axis
this is right here at that corner and it’s coming straight at me right out of the screen I can rotate my view this way now if I know what angle that I’m using i can type it in or i can just align it with some other object but here’s my UCS and I can type in UCS and then W to reset everything now before and you probably saw me do it earlier type in plan and W for world that won’t rotate my UCS that only changes my view from whatever it was to the plan view so there are two slightly different things when you work in 3d UCS can be a big help there is a dynamic UCS feature that will automatically change your UCS to match the face of an object
automatically and temporarily while you’re working that’s very quick very easy to work with it’s not available in autocad LT because we don’t do 3d and LT and that’s getting a little bit heavy for our course here but I just wanted to let you know that that is something that’s available now you can create your new UCS from scratch by picking you know several different points rotating about an axis matching an object or using a previously used UCS or you can use the UCS icon itself here it is we can find it and pick it we’ve talked about grip edits on different things before this has different grips for different things so I can pick it here and just rotate the UCS icon and now my UCS has been changed can pick it and rotate back it can
direction if I hover over it I can give it different commands here as well or I can just rotate it if I go back to the origin park I can move my UCS so that now this is coordinate 0 comma 0 I can move just the origin
of it aniline it
or I can reset it to the world coordinates this is very useful and this is one of the reasons why the coordinate panel no longer shows up by default in AutoCAD is all of these buttons will have you do just what these few group things can do
now you can save a ucs
set it up however you want in any method that you want then go to the UCS icon and right click now again here you can get to a lot of the different UCS settings and properties
change your icon style
to look at different ways change the size of it
linewidth
you want to do change the colors even ucs you can save it go to named UCS and then save and then type in a name give it whatever name you want yes is going to be saved over here this is the viewcube it’s another way to navigate inside your drawing you can click over here make a new UCS go to one that’s saved or go back to the world coordinate system so as I’m working and if I want to I can go to my UCS create an object
from here and now I can
another name
right click
yes save and I can call it whatever I want
partial view so now i can quickly navigate between my different views just come up to the viewcube
and select the view you want
and you’re very quickly working in your different views
very handy in a very useful tool now another way you might want to use the UCS is if you’re making an isometric drawing or maybe a peds sheet where you need to work at specific angles you can create those you can create a ucs let’s say at 45 degrees
I select my UCS and I grip edit it Oh to 45 degrees
I can save this view
45
degrees now my
turned on
ox
that’s at 45 degrees can switch back to my regular UCS
and I can
drawing
a 3d looking box
very easily
with very little effort
though it’s not in 3d I’ve just drawn an isometric view and it makes it easy to work in that and I can rotate it back and forth very easily for different things so there are a lot of ways to use or to utilize the user coordinate system to customize your working situation depending on what you need to do and it will make drawing things easier especially with the ortho command turned on

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