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Help With Scaling and Plotting


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I'm a beginner using AutoCAD 2014. I am still confused when it comes to My units and plotting to scale. If I want my drawing at 1/8" scale what would I set my units to and what would I set my scale to when plotting?


Any information at all would be helpful.

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1/8" is not a 'scale'.



forget scaling for now. Always draw in MODEL SPACE @ 1:1...... if you're drawing a house, draw a PROPER HOUSE, not a tiny little doll's house!


AutoCAD doesn't know (or care) what units you use. Choose either an Imperial or Metric template to start drawing with.

Decide on an appropriate unit and that is it......if you draw a line 300 long it's up to you what units it's in....could be 300mm or 300miles, autocad will just tell you it's 300 long.


Draw your model.

When you come to insert external content is when your units and the external content's units matter, but until then you don't really need to worry.


When it comes to plotting, go to PAPER SPACE and set your page up (size, orientation).

Add a viewport to your PaperSpace.....this is like a window into ModelSpace. You scale the viewport to make the view of your model fit on the page. The model remains in MS @ 1:1.


Your object is 150mm long: you may want your viewport at 1:1 if using A4 paper

Your object is 1.5mm long: you may want your viewport at 100:1

Your object is 1500mm long: you may want your viewport at 1:10

In all cases the model is in MS @ true size, you just zoom in and out with your PS viewport.


You're not finished tho, as you will need to set up your plotter before you plot.


imo MS is strictly for the 'real world' object(s). PS strictly for what goes on paper.

So if you sent just the MS to a manufacturer, that is what you would get back in a box - no notes, dimensions etc in the box with it.

PS is for paper output - IE it has 'picture(s)' of the model, with notes, dimensions drawn on the paper, titles etc

- just my way of thinking.

Edited by mikekmx
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Let me guess. You are drawing a floor plan of some kind and when you print it out you want it to be at a scale of 1/8"=1'-0". Is that correct?


As Mike said you draw the floor plan in model space at FULL size. You do NOT draw "to scale" as you might do on a drafting board. Printing to a scale can be accomplished best if you use a paper space layout but I doubt we are even at that point yet. Draw your floor plan geometry first then stop. When you are ready to add notes and dimensions come back here and we'll tell you at least two different ways to handle it. Are we clear?

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