AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know

AutoCAD Secrets Every User Should Know

CAD software is used in so many fields of design that it would be impossible to develop
extensive standards that apply to all of them.

I’ve trained people who use AutoCAD to design quilts, hearing aids, doll clothes, houses, barns, commercial buildings, M16s, submarine hatches, and the myriad components of machinery. But there are some foundational rules that represent a consensus among serious users of CAD.

You’ll find exceptions to these rules, of course, but think of them the way you think of the rules for dimensioning drawings: You follow them if possible. The fact that a rule has rare exceptions doesn’t reduce its value as a guide.

You certainly follow the rules requiring you to drive on the proper side of the road all the time except when a dog darts out in front of you, or the road is washed away by a flash flood, or you’re passing someone. So, here are some of my rules for using AutoCAD.

Much of the material in this book was developed for the Advanced AutoCAD course at Southern Maine Community College and then used in presentations at Autodesk University
over the past decade.  The topics derive from the kinds of questions I’ve been asked over the years by people who use AutoCAD every day.
This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive book about AutoCAD. I’ve tried to identify common problem areas and provide some advice on how to approach them.
I’m also trying to preserve some traditional knowledge that is often overlooked by users: knowledge as simple as making proper centerlines, as arcane as using DOS to improve efficiency, as exciting as programming, and as dramatic as 3D modeling. Here’s a brief review of what’s covered in each chapter.


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