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New to CAD.. Have some questions

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Hey guys,


I like the site! Been playing with autoCAD since 2002 but now Im getting into it a lot more. Im a Journeyman Steel fabricator and I want to learn CAD. I have AutoCAD 2004.


First question is how do I set up a drawing to fit on a piece of 8.5x11? My drawings dont fit properly. I have been reading and really like the book AutoCAD for Dummies. GREAT BOOK but not getting the paper layout part.


The fist project is no bigger than about 20 inches square of drawing area and the other is about 7 feet of drawing area. I can figure out the rest once I learn how to scale the drawings and to be able to print them properly.


Any help much appriciated!



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the easiest cheat for plotting is to check/tick the 'scale to fit' box, note what size that comes out at, then choose a sensible scale near to that number to actually plot it :thumbsup:

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I am on scale to fit, my plot scale shows 1 inches = 2.786 units.


Is there not a way to set the whole drawing up with a scale to enter into cad? Im kinda confused on that area.


My book I am following is to go to the drafting settings which I type ddim.

Then set snap and grid on, then snap x and y spacing to 1.000 and grid x,y spacing to 5 or 10. Also set the over all scale to 10 under the fit tab.


Then make line factor through LTScale a factor of 5.


Limits are 100x80..... 10x8 for paper that is...


So how does this all make my page work with what I am drawing? Im thinking its all with in the limits?


Sorry if I am totally off my rocker here just got everything else going but when I plotted it was either too big or too small. lol

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oh scaling drawings is an ongoing nightmare! Most companies have a set of drawing formats and that's all you need to know :wink:


Firstly, nobody draws with limits any more


secondly - draw in modelspace full size


thirdly - park your drawing border full size onto a layout tab (paperspace) and use a VIEWPORT to (effectively) bring your drawing into your page (so just like framing a picture)


is that making sense so far?

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Okay the whole view port thing I don't understand but I am drawing within the limits of paper so things are looking up. A friend of mine that does cad for a living said the same thing. All his drawings are preset for size and scale. He mentioned view ports but when we tried it, he couldn't remember how to do it.


We tried mvsetup

then Y for paper space

then we didnt know where to go, tied scale viewports and then limits and units... got derailed there haha.

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info from WIP FAQ:

1. Model Space


In AutoCad, always draw in Model Space at a scale of 1:1.


Autocad uses drawing units. 1 AutoCad drawing unit = 1 whatever unit, be it millimetres, metres, feet, miles or light years. Always stay with the drawing unit first set up to represent an AutoCad drawing unit.


Use the AutoCad command UNITS to set up the required drawing units. Select the unit features required. The following image sets up the units for Civil Engineering and Surveying. Ensure the “Clockwise” box is ticked, or left unticked, depending on whether angles are to be measured clockwise, or counter-clockwise (AutoCad default). Also ensure the “Direction” button is picked in order to select the starting direction for the measurement of the angles.




2. Paper Space and Plotting



At the bottom of the drawing editor, there are some tabs. The first one is called “Model”, then there is “Layout1” etc. Any tabs following “Model” are Paper Space tabs. The “Model” tab is for Model Space.




Paper Space is the area of AutoCad where the plot sheets are set up for plotting. Click on a Paper Space tab to activate that tab, then bring in (as a block) a standard drawing title sheet. Insert the standard drawing title sheet at a scale of 1:1, such that the lower left corner of the sheet is inserted at coordinates 0,0,0.




The next step is to create a viewport within the drawing area of the standard drawing title sheet. Do this using the AutoCad command MVIEW. It is best to create the viewport on it’s own layer, ideally the layer is called “Viewports” and in the Layer Properties Manager dialogue window, click the printer symbol under Plot, to ensure that the viewport will not plot.




Think of the viewport as the sheet of paper to be plotted, with a section cut out of the centre of it, that cut-out being the viewport. Think of holding the sheet of paper horizontally, looking through it at Model Space. As you lift the paper up, more of the Model Space is displayed through the cut-out (the viewport). This is where the concept of scaling comes in. Any scaling required should be done by the use of a viewport in Paper Space.




Once the viewport has been created, select it and type PROPERTIES. In the Properties dialogue window, set the following items:




· Display locked = Yes.


· Standard scale = to suit plot scale requirements, e.g. 1:200.


· Linetype scale = to suit requirements based on Standard selected.





The next step is to capture that section of Model Space (that is required for plotting) into the viewport. This can be done a number of different ways. For the sake of this exercise, proceed with the following method.




Exit out of the Properties dialogue window. Select the viewport, and select one of the corner grips. Drag that grip away from its current position until the section of Model Space required for plotting comes into view within the viewport. Then select any other viewport grip and move it until the whole viewport shows only that part of Model Space required for plotting.




Cancel out of the selection of the viewport, and MOVE the viewport back into the drawing area of the standard drawing title sheet.




Now plot the layout tab (standard drawing title sheet) at a scale of 1:1.




Further information can be obtained from this tutorial Tutorial "Units and Scales"

Link: http://www.cadtutor.net/faq/questions/15

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Right on that helped a lot thank-you! I will play with that some more. I remember something about this now a few years ago when I was just starting out with cad.


One more question that has haunted me for a long time. How can I make a dotted line on the screen? I want to make the line as if the part of the object, we will say a box, shows the hidden lines as a dotted line. Almost like a 3D view in 2D layout if you get what I mean.

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you should really start a new thread for a new question, so the search facility works for other people with the same question, but...


... you need to load your line types - you'll need to select one of several 'dotted' or 'hidden' linetypes

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