One of the basic skills required by an architecture student is to know how to draft drawings in AutoCAD. In fact, in most colleges and universities, AutoCAD is the first software that is taught.
Although tedious to make, CAD drawings are easy to read and understand by the people involved in the construction of the project. Hence, it is extremely important to make them as accurate as possible in order to avoid miscommunication, which might lead to drastic mistakes on-site.
You can download the free student version of AutoCAD from the official Autodesk website.
There are certain ways to make drafting in CAD easier. Drawing every single line and element individually is not only time-consuming but also makes drawing hard to understand by those who attempt to read it.
The very first step is to familiarize yourself with the tools available. Some of the tools which are often used are:
Layers make working in AutoCAD so much easier and more organized. There are hundreds and thousands of elements that need to be drafted in a drawing which will not only overwhelm the ones who read it but might also confuse you.
Every tool has a shortcut in AutoCAD. In order to get the list of shortcuts, press the following:
But one of the amazing features of AutoCAD is that you can also customize your own shortcuts. To do this:
This is one of the most important and convenient aspects of AutoCAD. When you make certain elements like windows or doors, which are repetitive in your drawing, you can make them into blocks rather than drafting them each time.
Now you may ask why we need to make blocks when we can just directly copy-paste the drafted window.
Let’s say you finished drafting the front elevation of a residence. But due to certain reasons, you now have to change the window design or dimensions. Without the use of blocks, you have to sit and individually change the design of each window. But if you had made your windows into a block, you simply have to edit one block. Every single window will change, saving you hours of repetitive work.
You can also download pre-existing blocks from the internet.
On the bottom of the work window, there are a variety of buttons available that help with accurate selections and movements of elements in a drawing. Preferred settings simply need to be checked according to requirements.
Selection: Pressing the arrow mark opens up a drop-down menu of all the options available like center, tangent, end-point selection, etc. These buttons allow you to accurately select an element, making your drawings clean.
Movement: Most of the time, you need to move parts of your drawings in certain directions and to a certain location. AutoCAD has settings for this too. For example, turning on the perpendicular movement button allows for only movement in perpendicular directions.
These buttons can be unchecked if they are not needed.
In a CAD drawing, in order to show the placement of objects, line weights and transparency is used. If an object is closer, heavier line weights are used, and if the object is farther, lighter ones are.
The same steps can be followed for changing transparency.
AutoCAD is popularly used for its accurate and clean finishings. This is why it is important not to overlap lines while drafting, which will clearly be visible while printing hard copies. These can easily be cut or termed by the various tools available.
But sometimes, this clean-up work might prove to be tedious. AutoCAD has a command, the overkill command, which does the work for you.
AutoCAD will definitely be overwhelming when you first start. But once an efficient workflow is set, it becomes easier and faster to draft.