AutoCAD a product of the AutoDesk Company is very popular among the engineering community for its versatility and ease of use for making 2D drawings. Yet the full potential of the software has note been utilized to the fullest extent. AutoCAD is available is various forms to suit different types of engineering fields. They are as follows
· AutoCAD – Mechanical ( For Mechanical Engineering)
· AutoCAD – Architecture ( For Civil and Architectural Engineering)
· AutoCAD – Civil ( For Civil Engineering)
· AutoCAD – Electrical (For Electrical Engineering)
The list tends to continue more but I have restricted to the well known fields. The software thus offers full flexibility and ease of use for each field of engineering. Now let us look into the usage aspects of this software. I will deal mainly related to the mechanical side but the procedures can be applicable to other fields of engineering also.
A typical AutoCAD screen looks like this. Click here to have a look . As usual the screen area consists of the menu and icon areas which we can use for creating various entities in the drawing. But we have to take care of certain things before be begin a drawing using these entities. Before opening a drawing, a menu appears asking us to select whether the drawing needs to be in Metric or Inches. Take care in selecting this based on the units you are going to work on and the proceed tot the following procedures.
1. Setting the Limits: Setting the limits is something like defining the workspace where we are going to work in the drawing. The limits are normally set for a working area normally to the standard paper sizes like A4, A3, A2, etc. By setting the working limits we need to work within that to ensure a standard working procedure. Moreover the paper or working size can be decided based on the size of drawing we are going to work on. A component very large in size can be scaled down in order to fit into the limit area. The limit can be set by using the following command.
Specify lower left corner: <Indicate the left corner by x & y coordinates normally 0, 0>
Specify Upper Right corner: <Can be filled based on the working area decided by the user>
2. Setting the Units: This is an important procedure to be followed, which informs the software on the unit system we are planning to work on. Based on the unit we have selected during the creation of the drawing. A dialog box appears asking us the various units available in each system like mm, cm or meter in the metric system. The method by which we plan to measure angular measurements also need to be mentioned. Click here to look at the dialog box . The dialog is invoked by the use of the command : UNITS
These two procedures have to be compulsory followed before we start to draw in the drawing. We will look into the various other aspects of drafting using AutoCAD in the forthcoming articles.