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Original Title: What's New Autocad 2010_Segment_1

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Segment 1

Level: All Levels

Category: AutoCAD 2010

Web: www.AUGI.com

1

Introduction

It’s April, the flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and spring is in the air. It must be time for the

next version of AutoCAD to be released. This year, the good folks at Autodesk have done their best to

put together another version that tempts the wallets of even the stingiest user.

I don’t know how many of you are Star Trek fans, but there has always been a belief among many of

the fans that the even numbered movies were better than the odd numbered ones. I’ve yet to meet a

person that would pick Star Trek V: The Final Frontier as their favorite over the very popular Star Trek II:

The Wrath of Khan. I’m not asking everyone to don some Spock ears and speak Klingon with me, I’m

simply illustrating the point because, oddly enough, that same theory seems to hold true with AutoCAD.

There’s no comparison between Release 13 and the much-lauded Release 14. Some old school

AutoCAD users like myself still long for

the heady days of Release 12.

prove the even number theory wrong.

AutoCAD 2009 made huge changes in

the user interface, with the introduction

of the menu ribbon and a completely

revised the look and feel of the

program. It was also slower, a

memory hog and had more than it’s

share of glitches.

release has a lot great new commands

and time saving tools to offer and it’s a

more stable program to boot. In this

course, we’re going to cover the new

commands, the improved commands,

and the ones that have been

completely over hauled.

Parametric modeling

The biggest and initially the most intimidating new feature in AutoCAD 2010 is Parametric Modeling.

You may be surprised to find that there is no actual Parametric command. That’s because it’s the

name for a new set of tools that allow you to create geometric relationships between objects or restrict

the dimensional properties of objects. The two different types of tools are referred to as geometric and

dimensional constraints. That doesn’t sound that complicated now does it?

Well before you panic and pull out the old dictionary that you used to use to decipher what Dennis

Miller said on Monday night football, relax. We’ll go through the tools and their usage in plain English

and before you know it, you’ll see that it’s really not complicated at all.

2

All of the constraint settings and display options are handled by the Constraint settings dialog box. You

can open it with the CONSTRAINTSETTINGS command. We’ll refer back to this command as we

cover the different constraint functions and commands.

Another important feature that is used with the constraints are the Constraint Bars, these show which

constraints are applied to drawing objects. The CONSTRAINTBAR command effects how the

constraint bars are displayed. When constraint bars are displayed, you can pass the cursor over a

constraint to view the constraint name and the objects that it affects. You can also control the display

of constraint bars with this command or use the Show, Show All, and Hide All options on the Geometric

panel of the Parametric ribbon tab.

There is a new Tab on the menu ribbon for the parametric modeling tools called the Parametric tab.

This tab is broken down into three panels, each with a different set of tools that you would use for the

different constraint functions. Let’s look at each separately.

Geometric Constraints

The first panel on the left side of the Parametric tab is for the tools that create and modify geometric

constraints. These are the relationships that are applied between two objects, points on objects, or

between a single object and the coordinate system. In simple terms it works like an object snap that

stays persistent throughout your design.

The middle sub panel on the Geometric constraints panel contains the commands

that you will use to apply the constraints to objects in your drawings. These can be

accessed from this location on the ribbon or with the GEOMCONSTRAINT command.

There are twelve to choose from, we’ll cover each of them.

together. A constraint point on an object can be made

coincident with an object or a constraint point on another

object. When the cursor hovers over the constrained

point, the constraint bar to the right is shown.

3

Colinear – Constrains two or more line

segments to lie along the same line.

Regardless of how the original line is moved

or rotated, the Colinear line will move to

match the new location.

point. This also works for arcs and ellipses. The result is

the same as that of a coincident constraint applied to the

center points of the curves. Moving one of the circles will

move the other with it, much like a block.

be on an object, or a point in relation to an object, like a

center point of a circle for example. This command may be

a let down for those people who thought it might fix

something in the drawings that doesn’t seem to work the

way they wanted it to.

other. When one is modified the other will move to match it.

4

Perpendicular - Causes selected lines to lie 90

degrees to one another. Perpendicular constraints

are applied between two objects and, unlike the

Perpendicular object snap, these lines do not have to

be touching each other when the constraint is

created.

parallel to the X axis of the current coordinate system.

Be aware when using this constraint that they are set

to the axis in the coordinate system in which they

were created. When another user coordinate system

is active the Constraint bar icon (pictured below) will

change to show that the current axis in not the one

that the constraint was created in.

of points to lie parallel to the Y

axis of the current coordinate

system. Just like the

Horizontal constrain these are

set to the axis in the coordinate

system in which they were

created. When another user

coordinate system is active the

Constraint bar icon (pictured

on the right) will change to

show that the current axis in

not the one that the constraint was created in.

5

Tangent - Constrains two objects to maintain

a point of tangency to each other or their

extensions. Tangent constraints are applied

between two objects, those objects could be a

curve (arc or circle) and a line or another

curve.

the circle does not touch the line and a curve

can be tangent to another even if they do not

physically share a point.

be contiguous and maintain continuity

with another spline, line, arc, or

polyline. When the constraint is

applied the endpoints of the curves to

which you apply the smooth

constraints are made coincident.

they are updated to be

contiguous with one another.

This function is similar to using

the JOIN command for polylines

except the splines are not joined

to be one object; they only

behave as if they were one

object.

6

Symmetric - Causes selected objects to become

symmetrically constrained about a selected line.

The function is similar to that of the Mirror

command. Unlike other constraints where two

objects are selected, with a symmetric constraint

you must have an axis around which you will

constrain the objects or points to be symmetrical.

line’s angle is made symmetric and not the endpoints.

For arcs and circles, the center and radius are made

symmetric not the endpoints of the arc.

radius, or selected lines to the same length.

Constraint Settings

The sub panel on the far right side of the Geometric

panel controls the display of the Constraint Bars. This is

where you can control the display of constraint bars with the

Show, Show All, and Hide All options. These are the same

functions that are available in the CONSTRAINTBAR

command mentioned earlier.

Show will display the current constraints that apply to an object when you place your cursor over the

object. It will also highlight the objects affected by the constraints.

Show All will turn on all the constraint bars for the objects in the drawing that have constraints applied

to them.

Hide all turns off all of the constraint bars in the drawing.

7

Auto Constraints

The sub panel on the left contains the AutoConstraint command. This tool can significantly speed up

the process of adding constraints to objects. AutoConstraint

will add specific constraints to objects that meet certain

parameters. For example, applying AutoConstrain to two

circles will apply the appropriate concentric constraint while

applying AutoConstraint to a rectangle applies the coincident,

horizontal, parallel, and perpendicular constraints to maintain

the rectangular shape.

in the constraint settings dialog box. Select the button on

the menu panel or type in CONSTRAINTSETTINGS at the

command prompt and select the AutoConstraint tab.

determine which constraints are

applied to an object or a selection set

and also gives you the ability to

change the order in which the

constraints are applied.

be used to require that a tangent

constraint will only be applied if the arc

and the tangent object share a

common point or if two perpendicular

lines intersect before the constraint will

be applied.

applied to limit the tolerances that are

applied to those values.

8

Dimensional Constraints

dimensions, only in this case it’s the object that changes to

match the dimension and the not the dimension changing

to match the object.

tab next to the Geometric constraints. This panel contains

several commands, which will apply different dimensional constraints.

dimensional constraint. Select the Linear icon on the

Dimensional constraint panel or type DIMCONSTRAINT and

select the Linear option Selecting the pulldown menu on the

lower half of the icon allows you to choose from Linear,

horizontal or vertical. Linear switches from vertical to

horizontal dynamically depending on the direction that you

move the dimension line based on the extension line origins.

regardless of the angle of the object and

Vertical does the same in the vertical

direction. When a new dimensional

constraint is created it is given a unique

identifier by AutoCAD. These identifiers

can be changed in the parameter manager,

which we’ll cover later.

Aligned – Aligned dimensional constraints are much like the aligned dimensions in that they align with

the angle of the object that they constrain. Select

the aligned icon on the Dimensional constraint

panel or type DIMCONSTRAINT and select the

Aligned option. At the command prompt the

options Object, Point & line, and 2Lines appear.

Object will allow you to add the aligned constraint

to an object without picking constraint points. Point

& line will select a constraint point and the closest

point on a line to that point. 2lines is handy in that

it will select two lines and make the second parallel

to the first and maintain the distance between the

two lines.

9

Radial – This is not a constraint that involves

tires, it controls the radius of an arc or circle.

constrains the diameter of an arc or a circle.

between two line or polyline segments, the angle

swept out by an arc or a polyline arc segment, or the

angle between three points on different objects. If

the angle is greater than 360 degrees or is a

negative number, the number displayed is based on

the units in the drawing. For example, in decimal

degrees, 390 degrees would display as a 30-degree

angle.

Form – This constrain commands serves two purposes, first it will convert associative dimensions into

a constraint or it can specify whether a constraint it dynamic or annotational. These will most likely

raise two questions, why is it called Form and not Convert and what are dynamic or annotational

constraints?

There is one answer for both questions, although it’s a complicated answer. There are three forms of

dimensional constraints; dynamic, annotational and reference. This command determines which “form”

the Dimensional constraint will take on. Let’s look further into what purpose the three forms of

constraints server.

10

Dynamic constraints are the default form of dimensional constraints. These are best for normal

parametric drawing and design tasks as they function much like a construction line would. They can

easily be turned on or off globally in the drawing using the DYNCONSTRAINTDISPLAY command.

They display using a fixed, predefined dimension style. They position the text information of the

constraint automatically, and provide triangle grips with which you can change the value of a

dimensional constraint and they do not display when the drawing is plotted.

Annotational constraints are useful when you want dimensional constraints to have more of the

characteristics of typical dimensions. They can be placed on layers, which is not an option available to

Dynamic constraints. They are displayed using the current dimension style. They can be modified

using grips provide grips similar to those used on dimensions. They are also displayed when the

drawing is plotted.

After plotting, you can use the Properties palette to convert annotational constraints back to dynamic

constraints.

Reference constraints are driven by the geometry and are strictly for informational purposes. This

means that it does not control the associated geometry, but rather reports a measurement similar to a

dimension object. Dynamic and Annotational

Constraints can both be converted into

reference constraints.

text information in parentheses and cannot be

modified. Like an associative dimension, it

will follow the constrained geometry and

display the new information for that object or

objects.

Managing Constraints

The final panel on the Parametric menu tab is the Manage panel. This panel

has only two commands, Delete constraints and the Parameters manager.

constraint and selecting ERASE or hitting the delete key. Delete constraints

will delete all of the constraints associated with the selected object at one

time.

11

The Parameters Manager is a palette that displays the constraints in a drawing and all of the

associative variables (dimensional constraint variables and user-defined variables).

displays three columns, by default.

You can also right click and use

the shortcut menu to add two

columns for Description and Type.

name that AutoCAD generated for

the dimensional constraint. This

name can be changed to

something more user friendly.

the real number or the equation for

the expression, for example,

d1+d2 or 390 degrees.

number that will be displayed on the dimensional constraint. For example, it would show the distance

between d1+d2 or 30 degrees.

Description and Type, if displayed, will show user comments added to the constraints and dimensional

constraint type respectively.

Conclusion of Segment 1

Hopefully this segment helped clear up the mystery behind Parametric modeling. While it all may seem

intimidating, after experimenting with it you might be surprised at how easy it is to use the new

commands. In the next segment we’ll look at some more new commands and some of the ones that

have been completely overhauled.

Remember that this material is only a portion of the class, support is always available online in the

private course forum. I encourage you to visit the course forum and ask any questions that you may

have about this segment or simply join in the discussion. The ATP Mantra is: the only stupid question is

the one you don’t ask. Thanks again for attending this course!

12

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