CADnotes http://www.cad-notes.com CAD Tutorials and Best Practices for professionals and students Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:55:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 12 settings I’ve changed in AutoCAD 2015 already! http://www.cad-notes.com/12-settings-ive-changed-in-autocad-2015-already/ http://www.cad-notes.com/12-settings-ive-changed-in-autocad-2015-already/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 09:55:00 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7638 I love getting my hands on the latest technology. I’m a real CAD geek. But there are some AutoCAD settings that I’m just used to. So I am compelled to change them.

Here are twelve settings that I just had to change in AutoCAD 2015 before I could get productive!

File format

We share a lot of files with customers, partners and subcontractors. We currently use AutoCAD 2007 file format without too many complaints!

AutoCAD 2015 Default file type

Background plotting

Background plotting  allows you to continue working while you batch publish plots in the background.
I haven’t experienced to many problems with batch publishing – but when I have Background publish appears to be the culprit.

If you turn Back ground plotting off, you will have to wait for AutoCAD top open and plot each layout in turn.

I don’t mind this, AutoCAD is still waaay quicker at plotting than I am!

To turn off background publishing:

Big Red A > Options > Plot and Publish > Back ground processing options

Turn off background pulishing in AutoCAD 2015

Block attribute editor

I’m not a big fan of the advanced attribute manager when I’m filling out title blocks. Give me the plain old fashioned block attribute manager any day!

From this:

AutoCAD EATTEDIT

To this (Much simpler!):

AutoCAD ATTEDIT

Type ‘CUI’ at the command line and hit enter.

Look under double click actions > Attribute block > edit attribute

Change the command from ‘EATTEDIT’ to ‘ATTEDIT’

AutoCAD CUI change EATTEDIT to ATTEDIT

Bonus Tip: Can you believe that I’ve been using AutoCAD for ten years and I only just noticed that you can fill out block attributes from the properties palette!

OSNAPS

We all have our own favourite OSNAP setting – here are mine.

AutoCAD Osnaps

Polar tracking

I use Polar tracking and object snap tracking a lot, and I like to set it to 45° increments.

Click on the drop down arrow next to the polar tracking icon in the status bar and pick your preference.

FIELDEVAL

I don’t know why this was turned off when I booted AutoCAD 2015 for the first time? FIELDEVAL  controls whether values in fields are updated when re-gen’ing.

We use fields and the Sheet set manager extensively – so it is important that information in block attributes with fields are current.

Type FIELDEVAL at the command line to change the behaviour.

AutoCAD FIELDEVAL

Here are the allowed values. You can add them up to combine properties. ’31’ will turn everything on.

0 Not updated
1 Updated on open
2 Updated on save
4 Updated on plot
8 Updated on use of ETRANSMIT
16 Updated on regeneration

CENTERMT

When I set Mtext to centre justified, I like the grip handles to size the Mtext width equally on both sides.

CENTREMT controls this. Type it at the command line to change it.

CENTREMT = 0 (Off)

AutoCAD CENTREMT off

CENTREMT = 1 (On)

AutoCAD CENTREMT on

Dynamic columns

One day I will want to type a whole load of text in AutoCAD and have it neatly set out in columns.

Not today.

To turn off Automatic column text  go to In the MTEXT editor and select > Columns > No columns

AutoCAD 2015 No MTEXT columns

Layout tabs

The new, clean user interface for AutoCAD 2015 doesn’t leave much room for layout tabs.

Right click in the layout tab area to push them up above the Status bar and give them more room to breathe!

AutoCAD 2015 dock layout tabs above Status Bar

AutoCAD 2015 dock layout tabs inline with Status Bar

View cube

I don’t do any 3D in AutoCAD, and I don’t use the view cube much. I prefer to set it to a smaller size and turn the inactive capacity right down, so that it only appears when I hover over it.

Right click over viewcube and choose ViewCube Settings:

AutoCAD Viewcube settings

Change the size to ‘Small’ and the Inactive Opacity to 0%

AutoCAD Viewcube settings dialoge

PDF Export

I use PDF export a lot (When I don’t need to batch publish!). To get this set up go to:

output settings > Export > PDF

AutoCAD Export PDF settings

Click on the ‘Settings’ button to create single sheet files and turn off layers in the exported PDF

AutoCAD Export PDF options

Fuzzy lines

The new ‘Luminescent’ selection effects in AutoCAD 2015 look really cool. However, after a while – they just gave me a head ache!

I noticed that the new graphic acceleration options in AutoCAD 2015 slow down some of our users machines who don’t have dedicated graphics cards.

Note: You may need to re-start AutoCAD to see the result of adjusting these variables.

You can control the selection highlighting effects by typing the following commands at the command line:

‘PRESELECTIONEFFECT’ (Controls the highlighting of lines when you hover over them) 1= ON 0 = OFF

‘SELECTIONEFFECT’ (Controls the highlighting of lines when you select them) 1= ON 0 = OFF

Or right click on the Graphics config icon in the status bar and choose graphics performance.

AutoCAD 2015 Graphics performance status bar Icon

You can toggle hardware acceleration off here:

AutoCAD 2015 Graphic performance toggle

You can toggle hardware acceleration, and turn line smoothing off independently:

AutoCAD 2015 Smooth Line display

‘PRESELECTIONEFFECT’ 1= ON

AutoCAD 2015 Preselectioneffect on

‘PRESELECTIONEFFECT’ 0 = OFF

AutoCAD 2015 Preselection Effect Off

‘SELECTIONEFFECT’ 1= ON

AutoCAD 2015 selectioneffect on

‘SELECTIONEFFECT’ 0 = OFF

AutoCAD 2015 Selectioneffect off

Hardware acceleration off, line smoothing off

AutoCAD 2015 Hardware acceleration off, line smoothing on

Hardware acceleration off, line smoothing on

AutoCAD 2015 Hardware acceleration off, line smoothing off

Over to you

How about you? What are your preferred settings? Is there anything in AutoCAD 2015 that you just can’t get on with? What are your favourite new features in 2015?

Leave a comment to share your observations!

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Autodesk will no longer sell perpetual license after Feb 1st, 2016 http://www.cad-notes.com/no-more-autodesk-perpetual-license/ http://www.cad-notes.com/no-more-autodesk-perpetual-license/#comments Mon, 09 Feb 2015 04:29:55 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7602 Last week, Autodesk announced that they will no longer sell perpetual licenses for some products. They will only offer desktop subscription for new seats beyond that date.

surprising news

This could be a good news. Now with desktop subscription, you can use latest software with relatively small price. Much cheaper than perpetual license + maintenance subscription.

It could be ideal for small and medium companies, as you can also pay for monthly, quarterly or annually to use the license. You could get more licenses near project deadline with a low price.

If you already owned perpetual license, you can keep using it. And also renew your subscription (now they call it maintenance subscription). An interesting point for me in desktop subscription is: Autodesk hasn’t offered the ability to use previous version. In the FAQ, it did say that Autodesk will support it in the future for desktop subscription. I hope this will be available before February 1, 2016.

There are probably many questions about it, you can read the detail in Autodesk website about perpetual license here. There is also a FAQ about this changes here (PDF).

In 2016, not all products are available as desktop subscription. It will apply to standalone product first. For Autodesk Suites, you will still need to purchase perpetual licenses. No news about network license on desktop subscription either. It could be because this is still in transition period.

What do you think about this change? What are your concern? Do you think this will be good for your business?

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How to use more reference point in your AutoCAD block http://www.cad-notes.com/more-reference-point-in-autocad-block/ http://www.cad-notes.com/more-reference-point-in-autocad-block/#respond Tue, 03 Feb 2015 04:33:17 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7597 Using blocks in AutoCAD has many benefits, as we covered here before: Why you should use AutoCAD blocks. However, there is one thing that people can find annoying: To insert a block, you must use the insertion point as reference. It works fine in many cases, but sometimes we need to use other point as reference. It could be when we insert the block, or when we need to move or rotate it.

For the last one, this tip would be useful if you like to use grips. If you use MOVE command, you can define any point as reference.

So let’s see some tips to work with other reference points in blocks.

AutoCAD drawing screen

Add point parameters in block editor

Since AutoCAD 2006, Autodesk introduce Dynamic Block feature. You can use point parameter in block authoring palette to add invisible insertion points. When you insert a block, you can easily switch between insertion points by pressing CTRL key.

If you want to learn how to use it, Lynn Allen posted this tip on Cadalyst YouTube channel as embedded below. You can see how easy to do it.

If you can’t see the video above, you can see it here: Adding multiple insertion point for a block.

Enable grips within blocks

Above trick is very helpful when you insert a block. As mentioned before, if you prefer to move block by using grip you will only have option to select insertion point. In below example, this bed was created as a block. The insertion point is only at the left top corner  of the bed.

block_base_point

You can show all the grips from the objects inside the block by activating Show grips within blocks in AutoCAD options, selection tab. Or set the GRIPBLOCK system variable to 1.

grips_within_blocks_option

After you activate the option, you will see all grips when you select the block. You can select any grips to move the block.

grips_within_block

Changing the base point

Showing grips within blocks isn’t always the best option. If you have complex geometry inside your block, you will see too many grips. It can be confusing.

The other option is to select the insertion point until you can see the grip turns to red and the block is at your pointer, right click and choose Base Point from context menu.

change_block_base_point

Now you can select any point as the new base point. Certainly, you can also choose Base Point from command line.

Cycling between commands

After you select a grip, the default action is to stretch the grip. In this case, it will move your block to new location.

You can press ENTER or SPACE to cycle between all other possible action. Check the command line, you will see the action is changing between stretch, move, rotate, scale and mirror.

** STRETCH **
Specify stretch point or [Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit]:
** MOVE **
Specify move point or [Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit]:
** ROTATE **
Specify rotation angle or [Base point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit]:
** SCALE **
Specify scale factor or [Base point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit]:
** MIRROR **
Specify second point or [Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit]:

You can also right click and change the action from context menu.

change_grip_action

Bonus tip: Change GRIPBLOCK variable quickly with LISP

If you want to use grips within block and want to turn it on/off quickly, you can use this LISP program below. After you load it, just type GB then enter to change the variable quickly.

(defun c:GB (/ CURGRIPBLOCK)
(setq CURGRIPBLOCK (getvar "GRIPBLOCK"))
(if (= CURGRIPBLOCK 0)
(setvar "GRIPBLOCK" 1)
(setvar "GRIPBLOCK" 0)
)
)

If you’re not familiar with using AutoLISP code, you can use the LISP program by following this article: Saving, using and managing your AutoLISP program.

Insertion point isn’t the only reference point in block!

As you can see above, insertion point isn’t the only reference point in block. You can change insertion point easily during insertion and you can use other points when you modify your block.

You can quickly pick a grip if you set GRIPBLOCK to 1. Or you can change the base point later.

Using grips probably isn’t the preferred way for AutoCAD veterans, but many people do use it. Using grips allow you to remember less command, I think occasional users find this useful.

What about you? Which method do you prefer? Or you have other method that you can share with us?

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3 Benefits of Using Revit view filters http://www.cad-notes.com/revit-view-filters/ http://www.cad-notes.com/revit-view-filters/#respond Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:24:48 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7586 You probably already know that there are several ways to control object appearance in Revit. We covered about it before, with controlling line thickness as example.

Have you tried using the Filters tab?

filters

Using filter in visibility graphic can give you more control. It allows you to control many objects appearance faster and extend the capabilities. Let’s try to see what it can do here.

3d building construction

Group Different Types of Objects

To override different object types, you need to override them one by one. You change the appearance for walls, then columns, doors and other objects individually. This could take some time.

You can create a filter to include different types of objects. This will allow you to override their properties in a single action.

As you can see below, you can create a filter to override appearance of interior objects. That could includes doors, floors, ramps, stairs and walls.

grouped_interior_objects

It means that you can change the appearance of multiple objects immediately. You don’t need to change the appearance for each object.

Filter Object by Parameters

You can also filter objects by their parameters. It means that not only you can filter multiple types of objects, you can also override appearance for same objects differently.  For example, You want all wall with exterior function to be filled with red color.

In the example below, I created filter for wall with exterior function. I use red color for those walls.

exterior_wall_highlight

As you can see in this example, the interior walls don’t have fill color.

Ability to Change Visibility when Overrides Graphics Doesn’t Allow You to

In Visibility/Graphics Override, you will find that there are visibility settings that you can’t override.

In this example below, you can see that you can’t change the room color fill. Yes, you can change it in color scheme. But in this case, I want to create a floor plan with same color fill. Only for this particular view.

This will be faster to create a filter then override the color fill.

color_fill_override

After I define a filter, now I can change the fill color in filter tab.

room_fill_pattern

Conclusion

Using filters in graphic overrides will give you more controls. If you want to create a compelling presentation, you will want to learn more about it.

I recommend you to read this AU Class: Autodesk Revit for Presentation – Graphic that Pop. The class was presented by Jason Grant and David Light at Autodesk University 2011, but still relevant to current version. It’s a great resource to get some ideas how you can make your drawing presentation looks compelling, without having to render the model. And many of those tricks are using filters!

How about you? Have you used filters to override your model appearance before? Can you share what more it can do? And what you have created with it?

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My Grids are not showing on certain level in Revit http://www.cad-notes.com/my-grids-are-not-showing-on-certain-level/ http://www.cad-notes.com/my-grids-are-not-showing-on-certain-level/#comments Mon, 19 Jan 2015 08:20:38 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7568 Do you ever have problem that some of your grids are missing on floor plans? In this example, I can see all of my grids on floor plans for level 1 to 5. But for level 6 or above, the grids are missing.

grid level appearance

If you see all of your grids are missing, it could be you turn off the grid visibility in Visibility/Graphics Overrides. The other possibility is you hide the grids in certain views.

But if you find none of those are true, then you need to check the grid lines on elevation view.

Check if your grid lines extend beyond the level you want it to show. In the example below, the grid lines are only slightly above level 5. That’s why I can see it on level 6 and above.

 

grid_lines_below_level

 

To fix it, all you need to do is select the grid. Then drag the grip at grid’s end until it extents the top most level.

drag_the_grid_end

Now you should be able to see it on every level.

Why this happens?

This could happen if you add more levels after you created the grids. The grid lines will not automatically extend their length to the new level.

That is why is most Revit books, it is recommended to set levels before you draw the grids.

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No, AutoCAD LIMITS is not obsolete http://www.cad-notes.com/autocad-limits/ http://www.cad-notes.com/autocad-limits/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 04:03:57 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7555 Do you ever heard about LIMITS command? Many AutoCAD users think this tool is obsolete and not relevant anymore. It seems pretty useless.

obsolete

Why do we have to set the drawing limits? We can arrange the drawing later in layout anyway. We try to set the limits, but we don’t really see the difference. We can still draw outside of the limits anyway.

So let’s see what we can do with limits in AutoCAD. You probably will find it useful in your job.

When do we use LIMITS in AutoCAD?

We use LIMITS command to set drawing invisible drawing boundary in our model space. This is very useful if you have to draw within a defined area.

But I don’t see the difference on my screen. And I can still draw outside of the boundary.

That’s not true. We will see about that later.

A good example in using LIMITS is when you need to draw schematic drawing in A4 paper size (or any other paper size). Schematic drawing is not to scale. So setting the boundary and having guides would be very useful.

Using AutoCAD LIMITS

You can set the drawing limits by typing LIMITS in AutoCAD command line then press enter. There are 3 options that you can use. The default is to specify the drawing limits.

Defining LIMITS

To define the drawing limits, you can pick points or type the coordinate. In below example, I set the drawing limits from 0,0 to 420,297. It is the size of A4 paper size.

Command: LIMITS
Reset Model space limits:
Specify lower left corner or [ON/OFF] <0.0000,0.0000>: 0,0
Specify upper right corner <420.0000,297.0000>: 420,297

Using LIMITS checking

By default, the limits checking is off. That is why you can still draw outside of the boundary. Now, let’s try to turn it on and see how it works.

Type limits then press enter again. This time, choose ON.

Command: LIMITS
Reset Model space limits:
Specify lower left corner or [ON/OFF] <0.0000,0.0000>: ON

Now try to draw any object outside of the boundary. Now you only can draw within the drawing limits!

Working with grid Snap

Let’s explore further. We can use grid snap to work together with limits. Open the snap settings by clicking the grid snap icon, then choose snap settings…

setting_up_grid_snap

In this dialog we will explore some settings.

First, you can check “Grid on” to make it visible. You can also set the grid spacing in this category.

Second, you can force the cursor to snap to grid. The snap spacing isn’t necessarily to match the grid spacing, but it would be more logical if you set the same value.

And third, you may want to uncheck “Display grid beyond limits”. This will make the drawing limits more obvious.

snap_and_grid_settings

Click OK to accept the new settings.

grid_within_limits

Now it begins to make sense, doesn’t it? The grids will help to complete the drawing within the boundary.

By setting the limits and grid snap, you can easily draw schematic drawing now. Not only you can see the drawing area easily, you can draw with specific unit distance easily. Without having to type the distance.

The grid spacing in this example was set to 5. So when you move your cursor, you will only can click distance 5, 10, 15, 20 and so on.

grid_snap_with_5_units_distance

That is nice, isn’t it?

Conclusion

Probably not everyone needs to use LIMITS. But it definitely not obsolete, we can still get the advantage of using it. In this example, in creating schematic drawing.

I believe there are some other types of drawings can use it. And if you think it can help with your work, please share it in the comment section here. We would love to hear your experience!

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CADnotes most popular articles in 2014 http://www.cad-notes.com/most-popular-2014/ http://www.cad-notes.com/most-popular-2014/#respond Tue, 23 Dec 2014 07:54:07 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7539 It’s already December! Only a few days to 2015. Time goes by so fast, isn’t it?

In 2014, we have published many articles to share with you, and we hope they do help you to be more productive in using your CAD software.

most popular

Here, we list popular articles we have in 2014. You probably missed some of them. In this list, here are popular AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor articles we published in 2014.

AutoCAD Articles

Work Better with AutoCAD Challenges

We also publish this in our email newsletter, so if you are subscribed to our newsletter you should have received this series. This series consist of articles to help you to improve your AutoCAD workflow. We identify the process that requires a lot of time and repetitive tasks. Each challenge will guide you to improve your workflow.

It’s easy to find resources to learn AutoCAD features. But it requires years of experience until you can use it properly and have optimal workflow. Unless your company has strict policy for standard drawings.

So we share some challenges to help you work better with AutoCAD. Here, we also ask you to share your experiences with each challenge. It will definitely help the others too!

If you missed the challenges, you can read them here: Work better with AutoCAD challenges.

AutoCAD activates wrong command when using command line

Since AutoCAD 2014, Autodesk introduced AutoCorrect, AutoComplete and Synonym suggestions. They are very useful features and I like them. However, veteran AutoCAD users often use command line very fast. This often cause AutoCAD to activate wrong command.

In this article we cover how you can adjust the setting so it can work properly. Unfortunately, if this still can’t fix it you will need to turn the setting off.

You can read about this here: AutoCAD activates wrong command!

How to create Classic Workspace in AutoCAD 2015

Since AutoCAD 2015, it doesn’t have classic workspace out of the box. I would suggest you to try to get familiar with ribbon interface, as it looks like it is what Autodesk want. However, if you still need to use classic interface, we have a workaround how you can create it for your AutoCAD 2015.

You can read these articles to create AutoCAD classic workspace: Creating classic workspace using command line and UI and Creating classic workspace using CUI.

AutoCAD 2015 doesn’t show linetype on hatches

This is another new system variable in AutoCAD 2015 that you probably need to know. AutoCAD 2015 has new system variable that by default, doesn’t allow you to change linetype for hatches. You still can change linetype for hatches, but you need to change a system variable to make it work like previous version.

Read about this new linetype hatch system variable here: AutoCAD 2015 doesn’t show linetype on hatches.

AutoCAD text labels overlapped on palettes

I’m not quite sure when this has become an issue. But if you use recent version, you might find some text labels are overlapped like shown below.

Read what cause the issue and how to fix it here: AutoCAD text overlapped in palettes.

AutoCAD Graphic Acceleration Issue

I found this issue has become common in AutoCAD 2015. Autodesk does improve graphic performance in AutoCAD 2015, such as anti-aliasing option. As you see below, you see random lines like spider web across your drawing area. This is actually a graphic acceleration issue and you can fix it by disabling the hardware acceleration.

Read about this further and how you can turn off graphic acceleration here: AutoCAD graphic card hardware acceleration issue.

Create your own AutoCAD Pattern Easily

We always need custom settings. That includes hatch patterns. In this article, we share how you can create the hatch pattern easily by using AutoLISP program. This AutoLISP program allows you to create it graphically, by clicking points, not by typing the hatch pattern on notepad!

Read how you can create your own hatch pattern easily here.

Inventor Articles

Using constraints & work features in Inventor Tube & Pipe

Chris Benner shares how you can use constraints and work features in Inventor Auto Routes. Auto Routes is an awesome time saving feature. However, it doesn’t handle changes nicely.

So here Chris shows you how you can use constraints and work features to handle design changes properly.

Read more about it here: Using constraints & work features in Inventor Tube & Pipe.

Automate standard additional notes in the drawing

Adriana shares how you can automate creating specification notes in Inventor drawing.

By automating this process, it will reduce repetitive tasks and reduce human error.

Read how to automate standard additional notes in the drawing here.

Easy Design with Master Skeleton Concept in Inventor

Adriana talked about top-down design in Inventor. He shares how you can use master skeleton concept in tank design. To make it even more interesting, he uses iLogic feature for this design.

Read about master skeleton concept here.

Part Catalogue with Inventor iPart Feature

Another great post by Adriana. He shows how you can create part catalogue using iPart feature.

If you want to learn about iPart feature and want to create similar part catalogue like above, read here: Part catalogue with Inventor iPart feature.

Revit Articles

Different Revit view range in a floor plan

In some design, you need to have more than one view range. Sometimes because some components are outside of the view range. Or you have split floor with different height.

You can have more than one Revit view range for a particular floor plan.

If you need to know more about this, read about it here: Different Revit view range in a floor plan.

3 Things Orient to View in Revit can do for you

When working in 3d models, you need all help that navigation tools can give you. There is a tool that many Revit users have overlooked: Orient to View.

Here, we listed 3 things that Orient to View can help you with.

Let’s check what are they here: 3 Things Orient to View in Revit can do for you.

How to change object line pattern in Revit

Revit comes with predefined line pattern, line weight and color. But you can always change them. Here, we show you how to change the line pattern in Revit to match your drawing standard.

Check how you can do it here: How to change object line pattern in Revit.

How to copy project settings to other projects

Most Revit families can be saved as RFA files. However, there are also many settings and families stored in projects, such as walls. So how can you copy these settings and families to other projects? Probably to create a project template?

Here we show you how to use Transfer Project Standards tool. Read more about it here: How to copy project settings to other projects.

What’s your favorite?

So what’s your favorite articles from CADnotes in 2014? You can share article in this list, or other that you might find interesting. Write in the comment section in this article.

See you soon in 2015!

I see that many of you has already taken your annual leave until the end of the year. Enjoy your holiday, and hopefully we can help you to boost your productivity next year.

Merry Christmas for you who are celebrating, and happy new year to you all!

Just a few things for you to notice:

  1. You can also write for CADnotes. Read our quality guidelines here. And check CADnotes contributors here. You can get listed too!
  2. You might want to subscribe to our email newsletter, so you won’t missed our new articles. You can subscribe by filling this form here. However, if you prefer to follow our social media account, you can follow CADnotes Facebook page here and twitter account here. We also share our older articles and other resource on our social media.
  3. Because our focus is to help you to be more productive with your CAD software, we don’t focus on basic learning materials. If you want to learn the basics, we recommend Autodesk Official Press (formerly known as Autodesk Official Training Guides) or Infinite Skills training video. You can find them listed here on our e-store. There are also “Mastering” series if you want to learn advanced materials.
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Modifying techniques using multifunctional grips http://www.cad-notes.com/multifunctional-grips/ http://www.cad-notes.com/multifunctional-grips/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 02:10:22 +0000 http://www.cad-notes.com/?p=7531 Every AutoCAD user is aware of tiny blue dots associated with most of the drawing components  yes I am talking about multifunctional grips, most of the time you must have used them to make minor adjustments or manipulations in the drawing like stretching and changing lengths but little are aware that a multifunctional grip can be used to perform more than that and it can be used  in a variety of ways that can enhance your productivity and also reduce time in making a drawing so here I will tell you how a multifunctional grip can be used to perform tasks without using their command equivalent.

multifunctional tool

Modifying Drawings:

Make a rectangle and select it so that its multifunctional grips are highlighted now go to any of its multifunctional grips and click on it the color of multifunctional grip changes to red and on your command line you will see **STRETCH** as shown in image.

stretch autocad multifunctional grips

Now go ahead and press enter or space bar and the command line will now show MOVE press enter again and it changes to SCALE and then MIRROR so you can basically perform all these commands using multifunctional grips without even going to any of these commands, let’s now explore each of these commands I will use rectangle to explain these tools in the examples below.

USING STRETCH:

Click on any of the midpoint multifunctional grip the command line now reads **STRETCH** specify direction in which you want to stretch your rectangle and enter length that you want rectangle to stretch and press enter the rectangle will acquire new stretched length you can use similar method for other geometries as well.

USING MOVE:

Simply specify the direction in which you want to move your rectangle and specify distance the object will move to new location you can also move rectangle dynamically by moving cursor and placing on desired location using multifunctional grips, to make a copy of object instead of moving it select COPY from sub command which appears in command bar, You can also change base point of rectangle using subcommand.

move autocad multifunctional grips

USING ROTATE:

Here also you can use multifunctional grip to specify direction dynamically or enter angle in command bar angle will be measured in anticlockwise direction from positive side of X axis, you can make copy of this rectangle while rotating or change the base point using options available in subcommand.

USING SCALE:

Just like previous options you can use scale too select the multifunctional grip which you want to make as base point and drag your cursor to dynamically scale rectangle you can also specify numeric value of scale in command line. COPY and BASE point options can also be found in this situation as well.

USING MIRROR:

Here you need to specify second point of mirror line as the first point is multifunctional grip itself, and to make a mirrored copy of rectangle select COPY from subcommand otherwise the after mirroring original rectangle will get erased.

Modifying Hatches:

When you select an associative hatch you will find one single multifunctional grip at the center of hatch go ahead and hover your cursor over that multifunctional grip you will find a menu which is similar to the image below let’s explore options of this multifunctional grip menu.

hatch autocad multifunctional grips

Origin point:

When you hatch over an area the hatch pattern is applied to it without prompting you for a specific start point of hatch but if you want to indicate a start point for hatch so that patterns are placed uniformly you can use origin point to indicate where the origin should be taken in order to make the hatch, the following image will make this point more clear.

hatch origin point

Hatch angle

To change the angle of hatch pattern you can select this option from multifunctional grip menu note that the default angle of hatch pattern is considered zero no matter what its inclination is for example in this case of ANSI 31 Hatch pattern the hatches are incline at 45 degrees but AutoCAD will assume this to be zero degrees similarly if a pattern has vertical hatch lines then that will be considered zero for hatch angle consideration as it is the default pattern, In this case the default hatch angle can be changed dynamically by selecting hatch angle option and the hatch angle will change with your cursor click on screen to keep the new angle where you want or enter new angle in command bar and press enter.

Hatch scale

It is the separation between hatch lines or patterns you can increase or decrease hatch scale using this option dynamically, select this option now move your cursor away from multifunctional grip to increase scale and also you can move your cursor towards multifunctional grip to decrease hatch scale click on screen when you are satisfied with the hatch scale or enter numeric value of scale in command bar and press enter.

Modifying Dimensions:

You can use multifunctional grips to modify dimensions as well let’s explore some of the options associated with dimension multifunctional grips. In the image shown below you will find four sub options in the menu which appears when you hover cursor over one of the multifunctional grips near dimension arrows.

multifunctional grips on dimension

Stretch

You can use this option to stretch placement of dimension on drawing area, select stretch then move your cursor in drawing space and click on new point where you want to place your dimension.

Continue dimension

To make dimensioning clutter free a method of chained dimension is used where each subsequent dimension starts from end point of last dimension if you want to apply this method of dimensioning select ‘continue dimension’ and keep clicking on next points to make chained dimensions.

Baseline dimension

In this case the dimensioning starts from one point and all the subsequent dimensions are measured from that point only to make these type of dimensions select ‘baseline dimension’ the first point of primary dimension will become base point and keep clicking on subsequent points dimensions will be added measuring from initial base point the following image will clarify difference between baseline and continue dimension.

continue and baseline dimension

Flip arrow

Here in this image you can see that both the arrows are pointing towards dimension value to change direction of any of the arrow hover the multifunctional grip over that arrow and select flip arrow the direction of arrow will get reversed.

Other multifunctional grip options associated with dimensions

When you hover your cursor over multifunctional grip near dimension text you will find multiple options which are self-explanatory I suggest you to explore these options yourself they might come in handy for minor adjustments and giving final touch to your dimensions.

Multifunctional grip associated with spline:

You can convert a spline (FIT) into spline with control vertices and vice versa by picking this arrow multifunctional grip and selecting “Fit” or “control vertices” from sub-options menu, this image will make things more clear.

spline multifunctional grips

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