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Saturday, 6 July 2013

For all of you perfectionists, who want to add something extra to your AutoCAD designs, there is a solution: Photoshop. In this two part tutorial, I will demonstrate how easy it is to setup AutoCAD plotter and then import your drawings into Photoshop.

The first thing to do is to type Options in the command line. A pop up menu will appear. We then select Plot and Publish tab. From there we have to click on Add or Configure Plotters.

Figure 1 - Options Menu

We will be transferred to a new file window as shown below. 

Figure 2 - Plotter Wizard

From there we have to choose Add a plotter wizard. Click next twice.

Figure 3 - Plotter Model

Select Raster File Formats in the Manufacturers list and then select the Portable Network Graphics PNG (LZH Compression) option in the Models list as shown in Figure 3.

For the next step you have to click next twice.

In the next window select Plot to File (Figure 4) and then next.

Figure 4 - Ports

In the next step you may change the name of the plotter.

Figure 5 - Plotter Name

In the last step click finish in order to complete the process.

This process has to be done once in order to export AutoCAD drawings to Photoshop.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A very important part of any drawing is placing dimension lines, but this process must be done in a proper way. There are certain rules that has to be followed in order to highlight all the needed details to produce correct and easy to understand designs ready to be constructed. So, I am going to show you several common mistakes that are made in various situations and ways to avoid them.

 1) The dimension lines should be thin, the arrows should have proper size and the numbers should be at the correct place.

 2) When there is not sufficient space we must place the arrows, even the numbers outside of the specific area.

 3) Design lines should not be used to display dimension lines.

 4) Design lines should not be ''interupted'' when possible.

5) Dimenstion lines should be placed in such a way to avoid confusion.

 7) Every dimension have to be displayed once at the best possible location.

8) When a hatch is applied, dimension lines should be placed outside the object. However, we can put the dimension line inside the hatched object but the hatch lines have to be interrupted around the number.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Let's say that we want to add text in our drawing. There is an easy way to create a new single line style and customise it until we are pleased.

The first thing to do is to open our drawing and go to annotate on the ribbon menu.

Figure 1 - Annotate Menu

At the down right corner there is an arrow that opens the text style menu.

Figure 2 - Text style menu

At this point we can see that the only available style is the standard one. So, we have to create a new style by pressing the New button. After we have chosen a name for our new style, then we can customise text style until we are satisfied.

In our example, we want to have a specific height for our text. So, every time we add text, the height will be predefined. 

  • Height of the text is set to 0.3
  • Font style is changed to Bold.
  • Apply, Set current.
 From the annotate ribbon we can see the multiline button. By pressing it, single line text is revealed.

Figure 3 - Selecting Single Line Text

When we have selected where to place our single line text the program skips the part where we have to specify the text height because it is predefined. However, we still have to specify rotation angle of text as shown below.

Figure 4 - Adding Text

In this case we write GROUND FLOOR and then we press enter twice to exit from text edit menu.

Figure 5 - Mission Accomplished

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Figure 1 - Quick Selection icon
Presenting a quick & effective way to select objects, blocks etc. in AutoCAD.  
Quick selection is an underrated command that can save us time.

Quick selection button can be found on the utilities menu, on the home tab.

Let's say that we are working on the drawing like the one shown below.
Figure 2 - Ground Floor
As you can see there are six trees at layer 0 and we want to select them and move them into the appropriate layer. Instead of picking each & every one of them (in this case is six but in other cases we may need to select 20, 30, etc.) we will select them all in once.

Figure 3 - Quick selection's pop up menu
Step 1: Click Quick select icon,
Step 2: Select Block reference, from the Object type drop down menu,
Step 3: Select Name from properties,
Step 4: Choose the block that you need to select. 
In this case --> Tree Round.

As you can see all the needed elements are selected by following 4 easy steps. The next thing to do, is to place them in their proper layer.

Figure 4 - Selection of trees

At this point all we need to do is to select the trees layer in order to place the trees block into the correct layer.

Figure 5 - Moving trees to the proper layer

Monday, 3 June 2013

 The viewing commands can be accessed through the ribbon menu under View.
  • Back & Forward is used to go to the previous and next selected view.
By pressing the down arrow a floating menu appears displaying all the available viewing commands.

  • Zoom Extents is used to zoom to all objects.
  • Zoom Window is used to specify a rectangle. By specifying two opposite corners, whatever is inside the rectangle will look larger.
  • Zoom all will zoom to the limits boundary.
  • Zoom Previous is used to restore the previous view, up to the last ten views.
  • Zoom Realtime is done by clicking the left button on the mouse and holding it. If you move forward, you are zooming in; if you move backward, you are zooming out.
  • Zoom Dynamic is used with the Zoom Window first. You will see the whole drawing and your current place (shown as a dotted green line), go to the new location, and press [Enter].
  • Zoom Scale is used to input a scale factor. If you type in a number less than 1, you will see the drawing smaller. If the scale factor you type in is greater than 1, you will see the drawing larger. If you put the letter x after the number (e.g., 2x) the scale will be relative to the current view.
  • Zoom Centre is used to specify a new centre point for the zooming, along with a new height.
  • Zoom Object is used to zoom to certain selected objects. AutoCAD will ask you to select objects and the selected objects will fill the screen.
  • Zoom In is not really a zoom option, but rather a programmed option equal to the Zoom Scale with a scale factor of 2x.
  • Zoom Out is just like Zoom In, but with a zoom factor of 0.5x.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Any location in a drawing has its unique coordinates (Cartesian or Polar System) and can be described in X, Y and Z coordinate values. Those values are shown at the left side of the drawing status bar.

Cartesian & Polar System

Cartesian co-ordinate system is the standard system that it is used in AutoCAD. In 2 dimension drawings the first value is expressed as the X co-ordinate measured along the horizontal axis, the second value is expressed as the Y co-ordinate measured along the vertical axis, while the third value, Z will always be zero. It has to be mentioned that the origin is always 0, 0.
2D Line
Polar co-ordinate system is used to express the position of point in drawing space. The main difference between Cartesian & Polar is that the second one uses one distance and one angle in order to describe the position of a point. Both the distance and the angle are measured from the origin (0,0) as shown below. The angles in AutoCAD starts at X axis (0 or <360 degrees) going anticlockwise. In the positive Y axis the angle is 90 degrees, in the negative X axis is < 270 degrees and finally c

Polar System

Co-ordinate system in 3D drawings:

In 3 dimension drawings the points are expressed in X, Y, Z coordinate values and there are always separated by a comma.

3D Lines

Sunday, 26 May 2013

The days of pen & paper belongs to the past. Nowdays designing by hand is replaced by the use of CAD programs (CAD stands for Computer Aided Programs). Mouse & keyboard are the tools in order to create new drawings.

At this point I will demonstrate the mouse functions.
  • Left click is used for selection purposes as for example we can select to draw a line from the toolbar.
  • By right clicking the following menu will appear on the screen. We can pan, zoom, repeat a previous command, options etc.

  • Select an object and then by right clicking a different menu is availiable. The options are related to the selected object that gives us the ability to make alterations. We can move, rotate, erase it, etc.

  • Hold left click + drag the mouse to the right: Every object that is inside this window is selected. It has to be noted that the whole object must be included in the window.

  • Hold left click + drag the mouse to the left: Creates a crossing window. Every object that it is crossed by this window is selected even if the whole object is not included.

Crossing Window

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Hello everyone, my name is Constantinos and I am a Civil Engineer. I love design, so I have decided to create this blog in order to share my passion & knowledge. This is my 1st post and I hope that you will enjoy and learn staff about design. If you have any comments, suggestions or anything else do not hesitate to contact me. So, with no further delay I welcome you to the amazing design world.


video source: Autodesk

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