inside bricscad
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I N S I D E B R I C SC AD ®
A Quick Tour Through BricsCAD
Navigating the BricsCAD Interface
Setting Up A New Drawing
Creating Your First Drawing
Adding Details to Drawings
Making Changes to Drawings
Adding Notes and Dimensions
Bills of Material
Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans
Direct 3D Modeling & Editing
Dimensional & Geometric Constraints
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Copyright Information
Copyright © 2016 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
All rights reserved worldwide.
This eighth edition is based on BricsCAD V17
23 November 2016
Updated 26 January 2017
Technical Writer
Ralph Grabowski
This book is sold as is, without warranty of any kind,
either express or implied, respecting the contents of this
book and any disks or programs that may accompany it,
All brand names and product names mentioned in this book
including but not limited to implied warranties for the
are trademarks or service marks of their respective compa-
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nies. Any omission or misuse (of any kind) of service marks
for any particular purpose. Neither the publisher, authors,
or trademarks should not be regarded as intent to infringe
staff, or distributors shall be liable to the purchaser or any
on the property of others. The publisher recognizes and
other person or entity with respect to any liability, loss, or
respects all marks used by companies, manufacturers, and
damage caused or alleged to have been caused directly or
developers as a means to distinguish their products.
indirectly by this book.
Table of Contents
1 — A Quick Tour Through BricsCAD.................................... 1
How to Start BricsCAD V17....................................................................3
Starting BricsCAD on Windows.......................................................................................................... 3
Windows Vista and 7......................................................................................................................................... 3
Windows 8............................................................................................................................................................ 4
Windows 10......................................................................................................................................................... 4
Starting BricsCAD on Linux................................................................................................................. 5
Starting BricsCAD on Mac MacOS..................................................................................................... 5
BricsCAD V17 User Interface ............................................................................................................. 6
Getting Started......................................................................................8
The BricsCAD Window......................................................................................................................... 8
A Basic Tour of the User Interface.................................................................................................... 9
Crosshair and Arrow Cursors.......................................................................................................................... 9
Command Bar.......................................................................................................................................10
All About Command Prompts...................................................................................................................... 11
Undoing What You’ve Done: U..................................................................................................................... 13
Seeing What You Did Before: Command History.................................................................................... 14
Typing Less: Aliases and AutoComplete..................................................................................................... 15
UCS Icon.................................................................................................................................................17
Online Help...........................................................................................................................................18
Exiting BricsCAD..................................................................................18
What’s New in BricsCAD V17................................................................19
What’s New in Generated Views.....................................................................................................35
What’s New in Rendering..................................................................................................................36
SUPPORTED GRAPHICS BOARDS.............................................................................................. 44
2 — Navigating the BricsCAD Interface ............................. 45
Above the Drawing Area......................................................................46
Title Bar..................................................................................................................................................47
Menu Bar................................................................................................................................................48
Toolbars..................................................................................................................................................49
Toolbar Buttons and Macros......................................................................................................................... 50
The Standard Toolbar...................................................................................................................................... 51
Flyouts................................................................................................................................................................. 51
Droplists.............................................................................................................................................................. 52
Changing Properties.............................................................................53
Other Panels...................................................................................................................................................... 56
USER INTERFACE ELEMENTS OF PANELS.................................................................................. 57
Ribbon Tabs and Panels.....................................................................................................................59
Drawing Tabs.........................................................................................................................................59
In the Drawing Area.............................................................................60
Shortcut Menus....................................................................................................................................61
quad cursor ..........................................................................................................................................61
Quick Properties .............................................................................................................................................. 62
Scroll Bars..............................................................................................................................................63
Prompt Menu........................................................................................................................................63
Look-From Control..............................................................................................................................63
The UCS Icon in 2D Drafting, 3D Modeling, and DUCS............................................................65
Tips Widget............................................................................................................................................67
Below the Drawing Area......................................................................69
Layout Tabs............................................................................................................................................69
Status Bar...............................................................................................................................................70
Summary.............................................................................................72
3 — Setting Up A New Drawing.......................................... 73
Before You Begin.................................................................................75
Starting A New Drawing.....................................................................................................................75
Default Settings................................................................................................................................................. 77
Selecting the Linear Units..................................................................................................................77
WAYS TO START NEW DRAWINGS........................................................................................... 78
iv
Inside BricsCAD V17
Selecting the Angle Style...................................................................................................................80
Choosing the Plot Style......................................................................................................................81
Setting Entity Properties....................................................................................................................82
Finishing the Wizard............................................................................................................................82
Additional Important Settings..............................................................83
Setting the Drawing Limits................................................................................................................83
Accessing and Changing Variables..................................................................................................85
Changing the Snap and Grid Spacing.............................................................................................87
Creating Layers....................................................................................89
QUICK SUMMARY OF LAYERS.................................................................................................. 90
Naming Layers......................................................................................................................................91
Saving Drawings...................................................................................93
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE SAVEAS COMMAND........................................................................ 94
Making Backups Automatic..............................................................................................................94
QUICK SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVE SAVE FORMATS................................................................ 96
Summary.............................................................................................96
4 — Creating Your First Drawing........................................ 97
Reopening Drawings............................................................................99
Drawing the Lot Boundary................................................................. 100
Planning the Next Steps..................................................................... 102
Changing Layers.................................................................................................................................103
Drawing the House Outline................................................................ 104
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE PLINE COMMAND..........................................................................105
Direct Distance Entry........................................................................................................................106
Dynamic Input....................................................................................................................................106
QUICK SUMMARY OF ENTITY SNAP MODES...........................................................................107
Moving the House into Position......................................................... 110
Starting on the Driveway................................................................... 111
Finishing the Driveway.....................................................................................................................112
Mirroring Entities............................................................................................................................................113
Putting Drawings to Paper................................................................. 115
QUICK SUMMARY OF PRINT PREVIEW....................................................................................117
Solving Printing Problems................................................................................................................118
Table of Contents v
Generating PDFs of Drawings.........................................................................................................119
Specifying PDF Output Options..................................................................................................................120
Summary........................................................................................... 121
5 — Adding Details to Drawings....................................... 123
Dividing the Lot................................................................................. 125
Smoothing Polylines..........................................................................................................................128
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE PEDIT COMMAND..........................................................................129
Grips Editing...................................................................................... 130
QUICK SUMMARY OF EDITING WITH GRIPS............................................................................132
Hatching the Lawn ...........................................................................................................................133
Creating Symbols............................................................................... 136
Drawing Circles...................................................................................................................................136
Zooming in Real Time...................................................................................................................................136
QUICK SUMMARY OF DRAWING CIRCLES...............................................................................137
Creating Arrays...................................................................................................................................138
Making Blocks.................................................................................... 140
Adding Many More Trees ...............................................................................................................141
Drawing the Pond.............................................................................. 142
QUICK SUMMARY OF DRAWING ELLIPSES...............................................................................144
Array Paths...........................................................................................................................................145
Drawing Splines..............................................................................................................................................145
QUICK SUMMARY OF SPLINE..................................................................................................146
Zooming to Objects.......................................................................................................................................147
Paving Stones from Polygons......................................................................................................................147
QUICK SUMMARY OF POLYGON.............................................................................................148
Arraying Along a Path...................................................................................................................................148
QUICK SUMMARY OF ARRAYPATH..........................................................................................149
Summary........................................................................................... 150
vi
Inside BricsCAD V17
6 — Making Changes to Drawings.................................... 151
Changing the Look of Lines................................................................ 153
Loading Linetypes..............................................................................................................................153
Changing Properties..........................................................................................................................155
QUICK SUMMARY OF PROPERTIES PANEL...............................................................................156
Changing the Linetype Scale...........................................................................................................157
Selecting Entities by Other Methods............................................................................................158
Selecting Entities by Their Properties.......................................................................................................158
Selecting an Entity by Tabbing....................................................................................................................159
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE LENGTHEN COMMAND..................................................................160
Changing Line Lengths.....................................................................................................................160
Stretching the Pond........................................................................... 161
QUICK SUMMARY OF SELECTION SET OPTIONS......................................................................162
Moving Entities...................................................................................................................................164
Adding the Fence............................................................................... 164
Listing Data..........................................................................................................................................166
Summary........................................................................................... 167
7 — Adding Notes and Dimensions................................... 169
Adding Notes to Drawings................................................................. 172
Determining the Size of Text..........................................................................................................173
QUICK SUMMARY ON CALCULATING TEXT HEIGHTS...............................................................174
Creating Text Styles...........................................................................................................................175
Simple Text..........................................................................................................................................176
QUICK SUMMARY OF TEXT JUSTIFICATION MODES................................................................177
Changing Text.................................................................................... 178
Placing Rotated Text..........................................................................................................................178
Placing Multiple Lines of Text.........................................................................................................180
Searching and Replacing Text.........................................................................................................180
Placing Dimensions in Drawings......................................................... 181
Preparing the Drawing for Dimensioning...................................................................................181
Dimensioning the Yard.....................................................................................................................182
Vertical and Baseline Dimensions.................................................................................................184
Table of Contents vii
Baseline Dimensioning..................................................................................................................................184
Aligned and Radial Dimensions.....................................................................................................185
Radial Dimensions..........................................................................................................................................186
Annotatively-Scaled Text and Dimensions.......................................... 186
Using Annotative Scaling.................................................................................................................188
A FEW EXTRA THINGS ABOUT ANNOTATIVE SCALING............................................................192
Summary........................................................................................... 193
8 — Bills of Material......................................................... 195
About Attribute Data......................................................................... 197
Creating Blocks with Attributes......................................................... 198
Drawing Blocks...................................................................................................................................200
Defining Attributes............................................................................................................................200
Adding More Attributes...................................................................................................................202
Combining Entities and Attributes into Blocks..........................................................................203
Inserting Blocks with Attributes......................................................... 205
Alternatives to the Insert Command............................................................................................206
Exporting Data from Drawings........................................................... 207
Data Extraction ..................................................................................................................................207
Importing Data Files into Spreadsheets.......................................................................................213
Placing Data in Drawings as Tables.................................................... 215
Summary........................................................................................... 216
9 — Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans .......................... 217
About Regions................................................................................... 219
How to create Regions.....................................................................................................................219
Tutorial: Creating Boundaries.........................................................................................................220
QUICK SUMMARY OF BOUNDARY OPTIONS...........................................................................221
Boolean Operations........................................................................... 225
Tutorial: Creating a Waffle Shape..................................................................................................225
QUICK SUMMARY OF BOOLEAN OPERATIONS.......................................................................226
viii
Inside BricsCAD V17
Measuring Regions............................................................................. 232
About Mass Properties.....................................................................................................................232
Summary........................................................................................... 233
10 — Direct 3D Modeling & Editing.................................. 235
About 3D Solid Models...................................................................... 237
Planning Ahead..................................................................................................................................237
ELEMENTS OF 3D MODELS......................................................................................................238
Planning Ahead by Deconstructing 3D.....................................................................................................239
Traditional Solid Modeling Commands............................................... 239
Traditional Extrusion Method.........................................................................................................240
Preparing the Drawings................................................................................................................................240
Modeling a Box...............................................................................................................................................242
QUICK SUMMARY OF EXTRUDE COMMAND..........................................................................243
3D View Rotation...........................................................................................................................................245
Extrusion by Direct Modeling.........................................................................................................246
Applying Dynamic UCS.................................................................................................................................246
Extruding Directly with the Quad Cursor................................................................................................248
Subtracting Solids To Make Holes.............................................................................................................250
PushPull Modeling..........................................................................................................................................251
QUICK SUMMARY OF LOOKFROM COMMAND......................................................................252
Aligning the UCS.............................................................................................................................................254
Pulling, Instead of Pushing...........................................................................................................................255
Filleting 3D Solids...........................................................................................................................................259
Joining Parts with Union...............................................................................................................................261
Generating 2D Drawings.................................................................... 262
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWBASE OPTIONS.............................................................................263
Slicing Sections And Adding Detailed Views..............................................................................265
Resizing Views.................................................................................................................................................265
Making Section Views...................................................................................................................................265
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWSECTION OPTIONS........................................................................267
Creating Detail Views....................................................................................................................................268
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWDETAIL OPTIONS..........................................................................270
Summary........................................................................................... 271
Table of Contents ix
11 — Dimensional & Geometric Constraints .................... 273
Working with Constraints.................................................................. 275
About Dimensional Constraints.....................................................................................................275
QUICK SUMMARY OF DIMENSIONAL CONSTRAINTS...............................................................276
Using Dimensional Constraints...................................................................................................................277
QUICK SUMMARY OF 2D GEOMETRIC CONSTRAINTS..............................................................280
About Geometric Constraints.........................................................................................................281
Identifying Geometric Constraints.............................................................................................................281
Using Geometric Constraints......................................................................................................................282
QUICK SUMMARY OF 3D CONSTRAINTS.................................................................................285
Summary........................................................................................... 287
x
Inside BricsCAD V17
APPENDICES
A — Concise Summary of Command Aliases..................... 289
BricsCAD Aliases Sorted by Alias Name......................................................................................290
BricsCAD Aliases Sorted by Command Name...........................................................................294
B — Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings .297
C — Concise Summary of Command Names..................... 317
Chapoo Commands...........................................................................................................................322
Dimension Commands.....................................................................................................................323
Dimensional Constraint Commands.............................................................................................324
Direct Modeling Commands...........................................................................................................324
Geometric Constraint Commands.................................................................................................326
Layer Commands...............................................................................................................................328
Sheet Metal Commands...................................................................................................................334
Vba Commands..................................................................................................................................336
ViewBase Commands........................................................................................................................336
Table of Contents xi
xii
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 1
A Quick Tour
Through BricsCAD
Welcome to BricsCAD V17!
You want to know how to create drawings with BricsCAD, and this book shows you how to — in as little
as a day! But before doing any kind of drafting, you really should take a tour of the user interface to learn
your way around BricsCAD. Even if you know other CAD programs, it may be useful for you to skim this
chapter to take note of the areas in which BricsCAD might operate differently from what you expect.
Here you learn how to start this popular 2D/3D CAD program, take a tour through its user interface, and
then get your feet wet by drawing a few lines.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Starting BricsCAD V17
•
Becoming familiar with parts of the user interface
•
Understanding the crosshair cursor, command bar, auto-complete, and UCS icon
•
Drawing lines
•
Reversing errors
•
Accessing online help
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Button — executes associated command when clicked
Cursor — provides feedback from the operating system and from BricsCAD
Flipscreen — switches between the drawing window and text window
Flyout — shows a secondary toolbar when clicked
Icon — represents commands pictorially
Layout — defines how drawings are plotted
Pickbox — specifies the points being picked (selected)
Right-click — involves pressing the right mouse button to display context-sensitive (shortcut) menus
Toolbar — collects buttons into a single, useful strip
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
Alt Alternate key on PCs
Cmd
Command key on Macs
Ctrl
Control key on PCs
F
Function key
U Undoes the last command or option
UCS
User-defined coordinate system
NEW COMMANDS
CommandShortcut*
Menu Selection**Ribbon
Help
? or F1
Help | Help
Home | Help | Help
Line
L
Draw | Line
Draw | Draw | Line
QuitAlt+F4File | Exit...
TextScr
F2
View | Prompt History Window
...
UndoCtrl+ZEdit | Undo...
UcsIcon.........
F1 means function key F1
*
Alt+F4 means hold down the Alt key, and then press function key F4.
**
2
The vertical bar separates menu selections. Draw | Line means: from the Draw menu, select the Line item.
Inside BricsCAD V17
How to Start BricsCAD V17
If BricsCAD is not yet set up on your computer, do so. To run BricsCAD, your computer must be
operating recent releases of Windows, just about any recent dialect of Linux, or MacOS on Macs.
To start BricsCAD, double-click the BricsCAD icon found on the computer desktop.
Left to right: BricsCAD icon on Windows, Linux, and Mac
(BricsCAD was available as V16 for Linux at time of writing)
Depending on the speed of your computer, it can take from 10 to 30 seconds to load BricsCAD.
During this time, a “splash screen” appears and disappears as BricsCAD starts up.
STARTING BRICSCAD ON WINDOWS
BricsCAD V17 works with Windows Vista and newer.
Windows Vista and 7
In Windows Vista and 7, you can start the program from the task bar using the following steps:
1.
2.
3.
Click the task bar’s Start
icon.
Choose All Programs.
Select Bricsys, followed by the BricsCAD V17 folder, and then click on BricsCAD V17.
The exact name you see depends on the language version you downloaded. For example, “BricsCAD
V17 (x64) en_US” is the name of the 64-bit program for English speakers in the US dialect.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 3
Windows 8
In Windows 8.x, you make these moves:
1.
2.
If necessary, switch to the Start screen.
In the Start screen, tap on the BricsCAD V17 icon.
Windows 10
Under Windows 10 starting BricsCAD reverts more to like it started with Windows 7:
1.
2.
3.
Tap the
Start button.
Choose All Apps.
In the B menu, tap Bricsys folder, and then tap the BricsCAD V17 item.
If the item is not visible in the menu, then follow these steps:
1.
2.
3.
Tap the Start button.
Start typing “bricscad”
When you see Bricsys V17, tap it.
TIPS
Instructions in this book specific to Linux and Mac are shown in gray text.
No matter the operating system, BricsCAD looks pretty much the same in each one, as illustrated on the
following pages.
4
Inside BricsCAD V17
STARTING BRICSCAD ON LINUX
BricsCAD works with just about any recent release of Linux, but is specifically supported on Fedora,
OpenSuse, and Ubuntu. To start the program, follow these steps:
1.
2.
3.
Click the task bar’s Main Menu button.
Choose Graphics.
Click on BricsCAD.
STARTING BRICSCAD ON MAC MACOS
BricsCAD works with recent releases of MacOS on Mac computers, 10.8 or higher. (MacOS is the
new name for OS X.) On the dock, click the BricsCAD V17 icon:
If you do not see the icon there, then follow these steps:
1.
In the dock, open the Application folder.
2.
Find the BricsCAD V17 icon, and then click it.
To keep the icon in the dock, follow these steps
1.
2.
Right-click the BricsCAD icon.
From the shortcut menu, choose Options, and then choose Keep in Doc.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 5
BRICSCAD V17 USER INTERFACE
Illustrated is BricsCAD running on Windows 10.
Title bar
Ribbon
Drawing tabs
Crosshair cursor
Pickbox
Grid lines
(Dark gray = major lines
light gray = minor lines)
Drawing area
Y axis (green)
UCS icon
Drawing origin (0,0)
X axis (red)
Command bar
6
Inside BricsCAD V17
Layout tabs
Close BricsCAD
LookAt Control
Properties bar
Resize window
X, y coordinate and elevation (z)
Status bar
Status bar options
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 7
Getting Started
(new in V17) The first thing BricsCAD displays is the Welcome dialog box. (It replaces the Getting
Started dialog box from earlier releases of BricsCAD.)
There are many options in this dialog box:
Get Started — starts with a new, recent, or other drawings, or else selects a template drawing
Profile Presets — shows the available workspaces and sets the units to metric or Imperial
What’s New — reproduces “Release Notes” from https://www.bricsys.com/common/releasenotes.jsp
Tutorials — accesses the video tutorials hosted by Bricsys TV at https://www.bricsys.com/tv
Left to right: Profile Presets, What’s New, and Tutorials
For now click New Drawing to enter BricsCAD.
THE BRICSCAD WINDOW
Take a look at the details of the BricsCAD window by checking out the figure spread across the
earlier two pages.
BricsCAD’s central area consists of a large graphical drawing region. Here you can see the red-green
cursor with its pickbox, and the red-green UCS icon with its x,y axes. The drawing region is surrounded by several panels of information — toolbars or ribbon, status bar, and so on.
8
Inside BricsCAD V17
Along the very top of the BricsCAD window, you see the title bar. Below it is the menu bar, below
them the fat ribbon, and then the thin row of ribbon tabs. (Depending on how BricsCAD is configured, you might see toolbars.)
BricsCAD showing one possible configuration of its user interface
Along the bottom of BricsCAD are the layout tabs, the command prompt area, and then at the very
bottom is the status bar.
A BASIC TOUR OF THE USER INTERFACE
The user interfaces of CAD programs have many elements, and so it can be daunting to learn all of
it at once. Here you look at just a few UI elements:
ÐÐ
Crosshair and arrow cursors
ÐÐ
Command bar
ÐÐ
UCS icon
Later, Chapter 2 provides a detailed tour of BricsCAD and its UI (short for “user interface”).
Crosshair and Arrow Cursors
The cursor gives you feedback from BricsCAD, Windows, and other software. When the cursor is
in the BricsCAD drawing area, it looks like a crosshair that shows you where “you” are in the drawing, precisely.
Pick box
X axis
Y axis
Try moving the cursor now around the BricsCAD window: move your mouse.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 9
Notice that the crosshair cursor has colors. These help you orient yourself, particularly in 3D (three
dimensional) drafting. Here’s what the cursor looks like in 3D, and what the colors mean:
• • • • The black square
Red line represents the x axis
Green line represents the y axis
Blue line represents the z axis; it is hidden when your draw in 2D mode
Black square is the pick box, for selecting entities
at the center of the crosshairs is called the “pickbox.” It shows you exactly
where you are picking entities in the drawing. Entities outside the pickbox will not be picked. You
use the pickbox during Chapter 5, “Adding Details to Drawings.”
You can change the colors and the size of the cross hairs, as well as the size of the pick box, with
the Settings command; see the tip coming up soon.
When you move the crosshair out of the drawing area, the cursor changes it shape to an arrow — one
that you probably are familiar with from other software. You use the arrow cursor to make menu
selections, pick buttons on the toolbar or ribbon, and so on. The cursor can change to other shapes.
For example, when the cursor becomes a double-ended cursor, you can resize windows and palettes.
Left: Arrow cursor outside the drawing area, used to select UI elements; right: Double-headed cursor used to change size of UI elements
TIPS
Many user interface options are changed in BricsCAD with the Settings command. It provides
you with over 600 settings that let you control how BricsCAD works and looks. The best way to find a
specific setting quickly is to enter its name in its search field, as shown below.
Changing the Pickbox Size. To change the size of the pickbox, enter “pickbox.” The default size that you
see on the BricsCAD screen is 3 pixels wide, but you can change the size from 0 (gone) to 50 pixels (huge);
I suggest you change it to 5 to make it just a bit bigger.
Changing the Crosshair Cursor Size. Should you find the crosshair cursor too small or too large, you
change its size also through the Settings command: search for “crosshair.” The default value is 5, which
means the length of the cross hairs is 5% of the screen’s size. When set to 100, the cross hairs stretch across
the entire drawing area.
COMMAND BAR
Commands
CommandLine, CommandLineHide
Ribbon
...
Shortcuts Ctrl+9, Shift+F2
Alias ...
The command bar is near the bottom of the BricsCAD window. This is one place where you can enter
the names of commands and their options. If you are a touch typist like me, then you’ll find that
you probably prefer specifying commands by typing them — instead of hunting through a menu
or the ribbon. The command bar is also the place where BricsCAD prompts you for any additional
information it needs to complete a command.
10
Inside BricsCAD V17
While you can turn off the Command bar with the CommandLineHide command, I don’t recommend
doing this; there is no good reason to do so! These are the important parts of the command bar:
Click to close
command bar
Scroll through earlier
command history
Command history
Drag to move
command bar
Prompts from
BricsCAD
Enter your
response here
Let’s take a look at how the command bar works.
All About Command Prompts
When you see the ‘ : ’ (colon) symbol by itself in the Command bar, like this...
:
...it means that BricsCAD is ready for you to enter a command. The colon is called the “prompt.”
Should you wish to enter a command but there is text after the ‘ : ’, press the Esc key once or twice
to clear the command line.
Try drawing a few lines with the Line command now:
1.
Enter the Line command, as follows:
This means that you should type the word line, and then press the Enter key. Pressing Enter tells BricsCAD
that you are finished typing the name of the command, and that it can now execute the command.
Notice that BricsCAD changes the prompt from ‘ : ’ to ‘ Start of line: ’ as follows:
: line (Press Enter)
2.
Start of line:
BricsCAD is asking you where you want it to start the line. You move the cursor (to the spot at which you
wish the line to begin) by moving the mouse. As you move the mouse, notice that the crosshair cursor moves
in concert.
3.
At any spot in the drawing area, pick a point on the screen by pressing the first button on your mouse. (The
first button is the left-most one.) The left button is known universally in the CAD world as the “pick button.”
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 11
Notice that the Command bar changes the prompt wording by adding more options. I’ll tell you their meanings later.
Angle/Length/Undo/<End point>: (Pick another point)
4. As you keep moving the mouse, notice the line that stretches like a “rubber band” from the point you picked.
This rubber band is also known as the “drag line.” It shows where the line would be located if you were to
click now.
Drag line
Current location
of the cursor
Start of line
Notice that BricsCAD may be providing you with information about the state of the line, specifically its length
and its angle. If this appears on-screen, then it is called “direct distance entry.” You learn more about it in a
later chapter.
5.
Move the mouse some more, and then press the pick button again. There: you’ve drawn your first line with
BricsCAD!
6. Continue drawing some more lines by repeating the same steps: (a) move the mouse and then (b) press the
pick button. Draw as many lines as you like.
12
Inside BricsCAD V17
7.
To end the Line command, press the Esc key. Pressing Esc stops just about any command, although in some
commands you may need to press the key two or three times.
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: (Press esc)
I want to point out that the prompt text you see — ‘Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End
point>’ — has subtle aspects that are not immediately obvious. For instance, you can specify an
option by typing just the letters displayed in uppercase, such typing ‘a’ to start the Angle option.
The other aspect to notice is that the default option (or value) is always shown angle brackets,
such as <End Point>. “Default” means that this is what BricsCAD will do when you just press Enter,
without picking an option. This becomes a pretty fast way of working.
TIP Pressing Enter when you use the Line command has different effects, depending on the prompt
that is currently active. (See the table below.) This is why it is important to always keep an eye on the
prompts displayed by BricsCAD on the Command bar.
PromptEffect of Pressing Enter
Start of line: Pressing Enter makes BricsCAD continue drawing from the last point, that was
placed as a line or an arc. This is a great way to ensure that new lines are perfectly
tangent to the ends of previous lines or arcs.
<End point>: Pressing Enter terminates the Line command, just as Esc does.
: Pressing Enter repeats the last command, which in this case is the Line command.
Undoing What You’ve Done: U
To erase the lines you drew, type U at the ‘:’ prompt to undo the lines, as follows:
: u
Alternatively, you could also access the U command in these ways:
ÐÐ
Click the Undo
ÐÐ
Select Undo from the Edit menu
icon on the Standard toolbar
ÐÐ
Press Ctrl+Z — the shortcut keystroke for undo, and one that your fingers should memorize!
As you can see from the Undo example, BricsCAD provides several ways to perform actions. In
the days to come, you will probably find yourself using a combination of keyboard typing, toolbar
or ribbon icons, menu picks, keyboard shortcuts — whichever one you find the most convenient.
TIP At any time, right-click in the drawing area to display shortcut menus. (Press the mouse’s right
button.) These menus show commands that are relevant to the current action or the state of the drawing.
Because these menus are context-sensitive, their content changes depending on what’s going on at the
time you right-clicked.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 13
Seeing What You Did Before: Command History
The command bar typically displays three or four lines of history, which is the text of previously
displayed prompts. When you need to see more lines of history, then you have a couple of choices:
ÐÐ
Drag the command bar’s top border to stretch it taller or shorter. For the exact point at which to do this, see the location of the
double-ended arrow cursor in the figure below.
ÐÐ
Drag the bar away from its docked position, and then resize it, as shown below.
ÐÐ
Press F2 to see the prompt window. BricsCAD display a second window on the computer screen.You can reposition it anywhere,
such as on a second screen.
The Prompt History window displays the most recent 400 lines of command text. You can scroll
back to earlier prompts and other text by clicking on the vertical scroll bar along the right edge of
14
the window. You can leave the window up, or else dismiss it by again pressing F2.
Inside BricsCAD V17
To keep a copy of the history, enter the LogfileOn command. Everything types in the command
bar is recorded to a .log file with the same name as the drawing in this folder: C:\Users\userid\
AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\. Use the LogFilePath variable to specify a more
convenient folder, and the LogFileOff command to turn off command logging.
Alternatively, you can copy the text to the clipboard: select the text, then press Ctrl+C. Once copied,
you can paste the text in any word processor or text editor. (This is process we use to get command prompts and path names into this book!) Right-click the text window for more options in
the shortcut menu.
Typing Less: Aliases and AutoComplete
There are two ways to spend less time entering command names: by entering aliases and by taking
advantage of the auto-complete function. I use both.
ÐÐ
“Aliases” are command abbreviations, such as ‘c’ for the Circle command
ÐÐ
“Auto-complete” lists the names of all commands that begin with the same letters as you are typing
Aliases are described later in this book and are fully listed in Appendix A. Here is how auto-complete
works with the Line command:
1.
At the command prompt, type L. Notice that a box pops with listing the names of all commands and system
variables that start with ‘l’. To see them all, scroll down the list, all the way to where it ends with “lwunits.”
2.
Now type i, the second letter of the Line command. Notice that the suggestion list shortens to just the names
that begin with ‘li.’
a.
You can keep typing letter of the command name to further reduce the suggestion list.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 15
Notice that the last letter (‘E’) is highlighted in blue. This means that if you now press Enter, the entire
command shown (‘LINE’) will be executed.
b. Or you can use the cursor to select a name from the list. It’s your choice.
Here are the user interface elements of the auto-complete function:
Suggestion list
Alias with command
name in brackets
System variable name
Command name
Auto-Append
Suggestion list does not distinguish between the names of commands and system variables, but
you can turn off the display of system variables, as described below.
Aliases are identified easily by the full command name being in brackets, such as LI (LIST).
Systems variables hold settings that determine how BricsCAD looks and acts; often, they are the
same as AutoCAD’s. Preference variables are similar, but are unique to BricsCAD. See Appendix B
for the list of all of them.
Auto-Append highlights in blue the letters of the command name that BricsCAD is automatically
completing for you.
To change the auto-complete settings, right-click the command bar and then choose AutoComplete
from the shortcut menu.
Here is what the options in the shortcut menu mean:
Auto-Append — turns on of off (toggles) the command-completion characters, which are highlighted in blue
Suggestion List — toggles the display of the auto-complete list
Display System Variables — toggles the display of system variable names in the list
Display Preference Variables — toggles the display of preference variable names in the list
Delay Time — determines how long BricsCAD waits before displaying the auto-complete list
To change other things like the font or color used by the command line, right-click and then choose
Options from the shortcut menu.
16
Inside BricsCAD V17
UCS ICON
CommandUcsIcon
Menu ...
Alias
...
The UCS icon is usually found somewhere in the drawing area, and often in the lower-right corner.
UCS is short for “user-defined coordinate system.” Its job is to help you understand the drawing’s
orientation in 3D. In 2D mode, it looks like this, packing a bunch of information:
Direction of positive y axis
Looking straight down on xy-plane
Z axis
Direction of positive x axis
Drawing is in World coordinate system
X,Y Axes. The red X and green Y lines point in the direction of the positive x and y axes. At the
intersection of the two lines is where the Z line points up, invisible now in 2D mode.
Drawing Origin. This UCS icon is usually (but not always) placed at the origin of the drawing. The
origin is the intersection of the x and y axes, precisely where x = 0 and y = 0 are located.
World Coordinate System. When there is a ‘W’ at the origin, it means you are “looking straight
down” the z axis, and straight onto the x,y-plane. The W means “world coordinate system,” which
is the normal Cartesian system you may have learned about in school.
User-defined Coordinate System. When the W is missing, it means the drawing is in a “user-defined
coordinate system” — UCS, for short, and one that you or someone else created. User-defined coordinate systems are especially handy when drawing on the slopes of roofs or the undersides of boxes.
I find the UCS icon gets in the way of 2D drafting, and so I recommend that you turn it off, as follows:
1.
Type the UcsIcon command at the ‘:’ prompt in the command bar, as follows:
: ucsicon (Press Enter)
Press Enter to execute the command.
2. Notice the next prompt displayed by BricsCAD:
ON/OFF/All/Origin/<ON>: off (Press Enter)
3.
Type ‘Off,’ and then press Enter. Notice that the UCS icon disappears from the drawing area.
You’ll get to try out the UCS icon later during the 3D modeling portion of this book.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 17
ONLINE HELP
CommandHelp
Ribbon
Home | Help | Help
Menu Bar
Help | Help
ShortcutF1
Alias`
?
To peruse help during a command, press F1 and BricsCAD displays a separate Help window, such
as the one illustrated below for the Line command.
Icons indicate whether the command operates in each of the supported operating systems, Windows, MacOS, or Linux. Most commands do. Other icons indicate which edition the command works
with, such as Pro, Platinum, or Sheet Metal. For the complete list of commands, see Appendix C.
In addition, there is an online version of help information that you access through a Web browser.
Enter the following URL: https://www.bricsys.com/bricscad/help/en_US/V17/UsrGui/index.html.
Exiting BricsCAD
CommandQuit
Menu Bar
File | Exit
Shortcuts
Ctrl+Q, Alt+F4
To exit BricsCAD, use the Quit command. When BricsCAD asks if you want to save the drawing,
click No.
Alternatively, press Ctrl+Q, or else select Exit from the File menu.
18
Inside BricsCAD V17
What’s New in BricsCAD V17
This list of new and changed BricsCAD functions was compiled from version 17.1.07. Bricsys
continually updates this software, and so for information on functions added since this book was
published, please see http://www.bricsys.com/common/releasenotes.jsp.
Changes are highlighted throughout this book, but be aware that information on theses pages
is not comprehensive. Command and variable names new since the last edition of this book are
shown in boldface blue, updated ones are in boldface black. Commands and variables are listed
in alphabetical order, sorted into the following sections:
ÐÐ
User Interface
ÐÐ
2D Drawing and Editing
ÐÐ
Text and Dimensions
ÐÐ
3D Modeling
ÐÐ
Generated Views
ÐÐ
Rendering
ÐÐ
BIM Module
ÐÐ
Sheet Metal Module
ÐÐ
Communicator Module
ÐÐ
Mapping
ÐÐ
Files
ÐÐ
APIs
BricsCAD V17 installs and runs independently from previous BricsCAD versions.
What’s New in the User Interface
BricsCAD V17 supports ultra-high resolution monitors with an extra-large set of icons and reworked dialog boxes.
When BricsCAD V17 starts, it displays a redesigned Getting Started dialog box that makes available the following functions:
The Welcome window replaces the Getting Started screen
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 19
ÐÐ
New and existing drawings
ÐÐ
Workspaces
ÐÐ
User profiles
ÐÐ
Release notes
ÐÐ
Online tutorials
TIPThe OnSwitch list (commands executed when switching between workspaces) is emptied in V17
so that changes in workspaces are unaffected.
BricsCAD adds more panels (new name for ‘panes’), and multiple panels can be docked in an
overlapping manner. Each docked panel has its own tab: Command Bar, Compositions (for BIM),
Content Browser, Layers, Mechanical Browser, Properties Bar, Render Materials, Ribbon, Sheet
Sets, Structure, and Tool Palettes.
Left: Tabbed panels stacked one over the other; right: moving a panel onto others
20
ÐÐ
To dock a panel, drag it by its title bar over another panel, choosing one of the five offered locations (see figure above, at right)
ÐÐ
To dock the panel beside, above or under an existing panel, drop it on the corresponding drop location
Inside BricsCAD V17
ContentBrowserOpen command displays the new Content Browser panel with a tree view of
drawings in user-selected folders, along with model space views, which can be dragged into the
current drawing.
Content Browser panel displaying the content of user-chosen folders
TIP
Dragging model views from the Content Browser activates the new Placeview command automatically. Bricsys plans to add more drawing content, such as blocks and dimension styles.
ContentBrowserClose command closes the Content Browser pane.
Dynamic UCS behavior on curved surfaces is improved in V17.
Explorer command adds an option to hide and show xref symbols, which applies to all symbol
tables. It gains Copy/Paste/Cut for MLeader Styles, MLine Styles, and Layer Filters.
Grid command now draws grid lines partially transparent, and adaptive grid density is reduced to
make the grid display less intrusive.
Pale grid lines
Layer command now displays which layers are in use in the Current column. (You turn it on in the
LayerPanelOpen panel.) This coimmand now displays a warning dialog box when opening drawings
with more than 250 layer filters, and then offers to remove the filters, as they can cause performance
penalties. In any case, the performance of opening drawings with many layer filters is improved.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 21
LayersPanelOpen command displays layer names and properties in a new dockable panel.
New Layers panel
The Settings button toggles the display of the panel’s UI elements, including the new Indicate
Layers in Use option.
Left: The Layer Settings dialog box; right: new layer-in-use icons
The white layer
icon indicates layer is “unused,” and so has no entities on it; the blue layer
icon indicates layer is being used. (The blue dot
indicates the current layer, as in earlier releases.)
LayersPanelClose command closes the dockable Layers panel.
Localization is improved localization for Hebrew menu files.
-Pan command returns the old manner in which pan operations were carried out; -P is changed
to be its alias.
: -PAN
Set pan base point or [Left/Right/Up/Down/PaGe Left/PaGe Right/PaGe Up/PaGe Down]:
Pan displacement point:
22
Inside BricsCAD V17
PromptOptionFormat variable determines how command options are displayed on the command
line and in the prompt menu; option 4 is meant for international versions of the software:
PromptOptionFormatMeaning
0 (default)
Show description only
Set end of arc or [draw Lines/Angle/CEnter/CLose/... 1
Show keywords only
Set end of arc or [Line/Angle/CEnter/CLose/...
2
Show description, with keywords in brackets
Set end of arc or [Draw lines(Line)/Angle/Center(CEnter)/Close(CLose)/...
3
Show description, with shortcuts in brackets
Set end of arc or [Draw lines(L)/Angle/Center(CE)/Close(CL)/...
4
Show local keyword, with global keyword in brackets
TIP
Use this variable to keep the command line as compact as possible, or as clear as possible at the
expense of extra length.
PromptOptionTranslateKeywords variable toggles the use of international commands. When
off, the underscore ( _ ) prefix is not needed during command input; default = on.
Properties command adds geometry properties for surfaces, such as Watertight, Loops, Holes,
Lumps, and Faces. Read-only properties can now be copied to the Clipboard. Iterating through
vertices of 2D and 3D polylines is improved.
QuadDisplay variable’s value is now preserved when using F12 to toggle its state.
QuadExpandTabDelay variable specifies the number of milliseconds between hovering over quad
tabs and the tabs expanding; default = 50msec.
-Rename command now renames layers, blocks, and so on using wild cards.
Ribbon command shows extra items after a panel break in a slide-out panel.
Condensed Entity Snaps panel showing all items in a slide-outpanel
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 23
Structure panel displays a structured tree view of the drawing’s content. When entities are selected
in the structure tree, they are highlighted in the drawing — and vice versa. The panel operates in
model space only.
New Structure panel showing the structure of a 3D assembly and highlighting a selected part
The format of the panel can be customized through the Configure dialog box, and then saved and
loaded through .cst configuration files.
Customzing the display of the Structure panel
StructureTreeConfig command loads .cst customize structure files from folders, such as C:\Users\
userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support.
: STRUCTURETREECONFIG
New value for StructureTreeConfig, or . for none/<”bim.cst”>
ToolPalettes command now displays Group names in the context menu.
-ToolPanel command opens panels by name at the command bar:
: -TOOLPANEL
Enter Tool Panel name <* for all>:
Enter an option [Show/Hide/Toggle] <Show>:
24
Inside BricsCAD V17
TpNavigate command displays the tool palette or palette group specified by the user; meant for
use at the command line.
: TPNAVIGATE
Specify tool palette to display or [palette Group]:
Settings command extends search options to string values in control labels.
Updated Find Setting dialog box
VisualStyle command switches between rendered visual styles quicker.
What’s New in 2D Drawing and Editing
Note: BricsCAD does not have a block editor; the presence of these variables indicates it may be added to a future release.
BlockEditLock variable prevents the Block Editor from opening when a block is double-clicked;
default = 0.
BlockEditor variable reports whether the Block Editor is open (read-only); default = 0.
BvMode variable toggles the display of hidden entities in the Block Editor; default = 0.
ResetBlock command resets dynamic blocks to their default values.
Center comand and CENter entity snap now snaps to circular and elliptical viewports in paperspace.
Fillet command now applies a radius of 0 when the Shift is held down while selecting the second
entity.
GCE (Geometric Center Esnap) now snaps to the center of rectangular and polygonal paperspace
viewports, both clipped and unclipped.
SplinEdit command edits splines:
: SPLINEDIT
Select spline:
Edit spline [Close/Join/Fit data/Edit vertex/convert to Polyline/Reverse/Undo/eXit] <eXit>:
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 25
What’s New in Text
AttDef, EAttEdit, and BAttMan commands boast improved dialog boxes.
Redesigned attribute dialog boxes
DataExtraction command now moves property rows using the new Move Selected Up/Down
buttons or with the right mouse button. It now supports properties specific to BIM and sheet metal
objects.
Data Extraction dialog box’s new Move Selected buttons
Properties command adds the Misc > Multiple Lines option to convert single-line attribute definitions to multi-line ones.
Spell command offers improvements and bug fixes.
-Style and Explorer commands now show local font name if available, such as Chinese.
26
Inside BricsCAD V17
Table command now selects a delimiter for .csv files from a combo box: semicolon, tab, comma,
and space.
Table dialog box’s new Delimiter option
What’s New in Dimensions
aiDimPrec command sets the precision (number of decimal places or accuracy of fractions) of
dimension text, and then stores the result in the dimDec variable.
aiDimFlipArrow command mirrors selected arrows of dimension lines.
dimStyle command now offers an Edit Dimension Styles panel in the Dimension Styles explorer
to see the differences between selected dimension styles (highlighted in yellow); values can be
edited directly in the comparison table.
Differences in dimension styles being highlighted in yellow
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 27
Dimension style families start with a parent style (ie, a regular dimension style), and the define one
or more child styles that are variations of linear, angular, diameter, radius, ordinate, or leader styles.
Creating new child styles
TIP
To create a child style, right-click the parent style in the Dimension Styles explorer and then
select the New child style option in the popup-menu.
Sub-units factor sets the number of sub units to a unit, and is used when the distance is less than
one unit. For example, enter 100 if the suffix is m and the sub-unit suffix is to display in cm. This
turns 0.96m into 96cm. Dimension styles display of dimension distances less than one unit in subunits when the dimZIN variable is turned on (normally suppresses leading zeroes).
dimTxtDirection variable is added to the Properties panel and the Drawing Explorer.
dimTEdit command now immediately accepts preselected entities, when there is only one entity in
the preselection. If more than one, or none, in the preselection, the command asks to select an entity.
What’s New in 3D Modeling
(bm = bricsCAD modeling; dm = direct modeling)
AniPath command records a series of images from a camera moving along a path in 3D models,
and then saves it to .avi, .mpg, or .wmv files.
Dialog box for controlling the creation and output of movie files
28
Inside BricsCAD V17
Component materials define materials with physical properties, so that the mass and other geo-
metric properties are accurately calculated. Materials are accessed from built-in or user-defined
libraries of the Physical Materials dialog box. The default material is <Inheret>.
Dialog box for defining real-world properties of materials
TIP
There is no command to access this dialog box. Instead, open the BIM Composition panel
(right-click a toolbar or the ribbon, and then choose BIM Composition). In its toolbar, click the
Physical
Materials button.
bmAutoUpdate variable controls whether locally stored copies of external components are reloaded
automatically on opening the assembly document.
bmBom command’s bill of materials table can now include the Material column.
bmBrowser command’s Mechanical Browser pane now shows constraint arguments in the tree
with their properties. Arguments can be removed from rigid sets or added to them from the current selection set.
bmExternalize command now preserves features and constraints attached to components in a
larger number of cases, and now resolves file name conflicts when using the ‘automatic mode’ option.
bmInsert command now supports the insertion of local components, sheet metal form features,
and arranges inserted items in linear arrays. The new Edit option modifies component parameters
during insertion.
TIP
When a component definition file contains 3D solids on BC_UNITE or BC_SUBTRACT layers, then
the solids are added or subtracted from target 3D solid upon component insertion. The Insert as property
of the component definition specifies whether the component is inserted as local or external.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 29
bmLocalize command now preserves features and constraints attached to components in a larger
number of cases.
bmMassProp command now takes into account the density of materials assigned to components.
The group “Density” is removed from component properties and is not taken into account by this
command. To define density, materials are to be used instead.
bmReplace command’s new Similar inserts option control if all similar inserts are replaced or
only a selected one. It also preserves features and constraints attached to components in a larger
number of cases.
bmUpdateMode variable determines when external assembly components are reloaded:
bmUpdateMode
Meaning
0 (default)
1
Update only modified components
Update all components
dmAngle3d command applies a constraint that controls the top angle of a cone; specify the angle
between the axis and the cone face (= cone half angle).
: DMANGLE3D
Select first entity or specify [cone Angle constraint]:
Select second entity:
Specify angle value or set [set Axis] <90.00>:
dmAudit command replaces the dmRepair command to validate 3D solid and 3D surface geometry.
The former dmRepair command structure and the clarity of reported issues has been improved.
: DMAUDIT
Select entities to audit [Entire model] <Entire model>:
Entire model will be processed, number of entities: 2
Choose action [Check/Fix/Options] <Fix>:
Selected count: 2
---------- Solid -----------------------------------------------Handle: 393
Name in Mechanical Browser: Body_1
Errors: None
---------- Skipped: --------------------------------------------1 Line
No errors were found.
Delete key deletes 3D solid sub-entities. dmDelete command is replaced by the Delete key, but
still works in V17.
dmDistance3d command measures between the nearest points on boundaries, central points, or
the axes of geometry on cylinders, circles, and spheres.
: DMDISTANCE3D
Select a first entity or specify [Measurement mode]:
Select a second entity or specify [Measurement mode]:
Specify distance value <12.51>:
30
Inside BricsCAD V17
dmExtrudeMode variable controls Boolean operations for dmExtrude command’s Auto option:
dmExtrudeMode
Meaning
0
1
2
3 (default)
Unite with new 3D solid
Create new 3D solids that extrude from a face
Subtract from solids that intersect
Both
dmSelect command is enhanced with the following options:
: DMSELECT
Select [Selection/Attribute/Relation/Primitive/feaTure/Finish] <Finish>:
Select [Face/Edge/Loop/edge Network] <Face>:
ÐÐ
New Primitive > EdgeNetwork option to find adjacent edges with similar convexity
ÐÐ
New Primitive > Loop option is enhanced to select borders of selected sets of faces
ÐÐ
Selects G1- or G2-connected faces
dmMove command now rotates adjacent planar faces, instead of translating edges.
dmRecognize command is no longer affected by design intent options during parametric components recalculations.
dmStitch command no longer preserves tolerance between command runs.
dmThicken command now creates tube-like 3D solids from wireframe entities, such as lines,
splines, and polylines.
: DMTHICKEN
Select entities/subentities to thicken:
Entities in set: 1
Select entities/subentities to thicken:
Specify thickness value:
Tube made from a spline with the dmThicken command
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 31
dmTwist command modifies 3D solids, 3D surfaces, or 2D regions by twisting them about an axis
by a specified angle.
: DMTWIST
Select object to twist:
Entities in set: 1
Select object to twist:
Enter start point of twisting axis:
Enter end point of twisting axis:
Pick start point of twisting:
Specify twist angle or set [Continuity]:
Square bar twisted by the dmTwist command
Erase command now accepts edges and faces of 3D solids and 3D surfaces, such as to erase a hole
in a surface (after all edges are selected).
Extrude command now creates surfaces from open curves, instead of just solids from closed ones.
3D surface extruded from an arc
Interfere command now supports block references and nested selection of 3D solids inside blocks.
Intersect command now combines 3D solids with 3D surfaces or 2D regions.
Loft command now creates surfaces from open and closed curves.
32
Inside BricsCAD V17
MassPropAccuracy variable defines the number of decimal places, but is now stored as an integer
with range of 2 - 12, instead of as a double-precision value (range 0.01-0.000000000001).
MassUnits variable specifies the units the Properties pane uses to report the mass of 3D solids;
default = “z lbs stone mg g kg tonne”.
PolySolid command can now snap to itself during creation, and now closes itself when the last
point equal to the starting point.
: POLYSOLID
Current settings: Height=80, Width=5, Justification=Center, Separate solids=On, Dynamic=On
Start point or [Height/Width/Justification/Entity/Separate solids/Dynamic] <Entity>:
Set next point or [draw Arcs/Distance/Follow]:
Set next point or [draw Arcs/Distance/Follow/Undo]:
Set next point or [draw Arcs/Close/Distance/Follow/Undo]:cl
Height of polysolid <80>:
Perspective command now interprets perspective view parameters in a DWG-compatible manner,
which may cause perspective views created with older BricsCAD versions to look different when
opened in V17.
Properties command now controls the visibility of a particular component insert parameter by
the new Exposed property.
Subtract command now subtracts 3D solids with 3D surfaces or 2D regions.
Sweep and Revolve commands now create surfaces from open curves, instead of just closed ones.
ToolPalettes command now supports components insertion.
Tool Palettes panel showing available form features
TIP
Use the right-click menu to add components from files listed in the Folders tab of the Drawing
Explorer to the current tool palette.
XEdges command creates line, circle, or arc entities from the edges of 3D solids, 3D surfaces, and
2D regions.
ZINTersection command (or zint) is a new 3D snap that snaps to the intersections of edges and
tracking lines with faces.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 33
3dCompare command loads two drawing files and then finds differences among 3D solids and
surfaces using color coding. New panel in the ribbon.
Selecting two drawings for comparing changes in 3D objects
3dCompareMode variable determines if the results of the comparison results are shown in one
or in two viewports; default = 3.
Two viewports showing differences in 3D models
3dCompareMode
Meaning
0
1
2
4
Show models without differences
Show differences in layout ‘Comparison’ left viewport Show differences in layout ‘Comparison’ right viewport Show differences in model space
3D constraints now take lines, circles, arcs, xlines, and rays as arguments of 3D constraints. If a
constraint of the same type already exists, the new constraint is created with the “Disabled” flag.
34
Inside BricsCAD V17
WHAT’S NEW IN GENERATED VIEWS
AutoVpFitting variable controls the auto-fitting and resizing of viewport borders surrounding
generated drawings. It moves derived views automatically when the parent view moves.
AutoVpFittingMeaning
0
1 (default)
Keeps viewport border sizes fixed
Resizes viewport borders automatically
FlatShot and SectionPlaneToBlock commands lose the combo box listing preset orientations;
use Dynamic UCS instead to control the orientation during insertion.
GenerateAssocViews variable determines whether the ViewBase, ViewSection, ViewDetail,
and bimSection commands update the views and associative dimensions attached to 2D drawings
automatically when the source 3D model changes. Upon changes to the 3D model, these views will
be updated automatically or in course of bimSectionUpdate and ViewUpdate commands.
GenerateAssocViewsMeaning
0 (default)
1
bimSectionUpdate and Viewupdate manually update views
Automatically updates views and associative dimensions
PlaceView command places a model view from a source drawing into the paper space layout of
the current drawing:
ÐÐ
Source drawing is inserted as an xref in the model space of the current drawing, using the same layer(s) as the source drawing
ÐÐ
Paper space viewport is added that matches the source view
ÐÐ
Only layers of the xref are visible in the viewport; view is not disturbed by other drawing content
ÐÐ
When the current drawing belongs to a sheetset, a matching sheetset view is created and a view label block is added
Properties command now shows additional properties when a generated view is selected.
ViewBase command’s new Select objects option includes or excludes entities from the selection
set of the base view.
: VIEWBASE
Preset: “None”, View scale: “Adapt to paper size”
Select objects or [Entire model/preseTs] <Entire model>:
ViewDetail command has new options:
Select option [Scale/Hidden lines/Tangent lines/anChor/Annotation/Boundary/model Edge] <Cancel>:
ÐÐ
Boundary option chooses between rectangular or circular boundaries for detail views
Detail boundary [Rectangular/Circular]:
ÐÐ
Model Edge option determines how the leader line is drawn between the detail view and the detail boundary.
Model edge type [smooth with Border/smooth with Connection line]:
ÐÐ
View properties can be edited before the command is completed
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 35
ViewEdit command has new options:
ÐÐ
Anchor option fixes view center in paper space
ÐÐ
Depth option specifies the depth of sectioned views
ÐÐ
Select option includes and exclude objects from base view
ÐÐ
Hidden lines settings and scales are propagated from the parent view to section and detail views.
: VIEWEDIT
Select option [Scale/Hidden lines/Tangent lines/anChor/Annotation/Boundary/model Edge] <Cancel>:
ViewSection command’s new Aligned option chooses alternative projection types.
: VIEWSECTION
Select drawing view:
Specify start point of section line or [Type] <Type>: t
Select type [Full/Half/Offset/Aligned] <Full>:
View properties can be edited before the command is completed.
Select option [Scale/Hidden lines/Tangent lines/anChor/Annotation/Depth/Projection] <Cancel>:
It now uses material-defined hatch patterns for mechanical components and assemblies.
WHAT’S NEW IN RENDERING
MaterialMap command adjusts how rendering textures are mapped on to basic shapes likes planes,
boxes, cylinders, and spheres.
: MATERIALMAP
Select an option [Box/Planar/Spherical/Cylindrical/copY mapping to/Reset mapping] <Box>: c
Select faces or entities:
Entities in set: 1
Select faces or entities:
Edit the mapping or [reseT/sWitch mapping mode] <Accept current mapping>:
The manipulator gizmo controls the origin, rotation angle, and scale factor of the texture.
3D gizmo for controlling position of materials on surfaces
MatchPerspective command changes the perspective viewpoint of the current view in model
space view to match a background image; this is done by selecting at least three point pairs. The
command works only when the Perspective variable = on.
: MATCHPERSPECTIVE
Enter Model Point:
Enter Image Point or
Enter Model Point or
Enter Image Point or
Enter Model Point or
Enter Image Point or
Enter Model Point or
36
Inside BricsCAD V17
[Undo]:
[Undo]:
[Undo]:
[Undo]:
[Undo]:
[Undo] <Match>:
Materials commands adds the following functions:
ÐÐ
New columns indicate the render material definition type — regular or RedWay — and the download status
ÐÐ
New option convert RedWay material definitions to a regular definitions
ÐÐ
New preview object size control
ÐÐ
Each material now has a projection type: planar, box, cylinder, or sphere
Renovated Materials section in the Drawing Explorer
ÐÐ
Width and Height scale values are interpreted differently, depending on the projection type:
Projection TypeWidthHeight
Cylindrical Spherical TIP
Number of cylinder rounds
for full texture width
Number of sphere rounds for full texture image width
Number of drawing units
correspond to full image height
Number of sphere rounds
covered by one full image height
Double-click the material’s download icon to start downloading.
MatBrowserOpen command (opens the Render Materials pane) now supports double-clicking a
material to open it in the Materials Explorer for editing. Materials can be drag-and-dropped from
the Library Materials list to the Drawing Materials list.
Updated Render Materials panel
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 37
What’s New in the BIM Module
BIM is an optional extra-cost add-on as of V17. (bim = building information modeling)
BricsCAD BIM V17 is certified for IFC export at IFC2x3 Coordination View V2.0 level. BIM elements
carry all of the properties defined by the IFC2x3 Coordination View CV2.0, and are accessible in
the Properties panel.
bimAutoUpdateRoom variable automatically updates rooms when bounding walls are modified;
new walls are not detected.
bimClassify now has the Other option to classify the following new BIM elements: Covering,
CurtainWall, FlowTerminal, Footing, FurnishingElement, Member, Pile, Railing, Ramp, RampFlight,
Roof, Site, Stair, and StairFlight. This command applies Window and Door classifications on window
and door definition files.
TIP
To reclassify a drawing, enter the bimClassify command, select the Window or Door option, and
then press Enter to select nothing. The Properties panel edits the drawing’s Window and Door properties
when nothing in the drawing is selected.
bimRoom command defines a room by clicking inside a room area or by selecting a 3D solid.
: BIMROOM
Pick a point or [select 3d Solid]: S
Select 3d solid or [pick a Point]:
Successfully created a room.
TIPS
Rooms keep the relationship with their bounding walls. When clicking a point inside the room
area, BricsCAD uses dynamic UCS to defines the bottom plane of the room. BricsCAD finds the area
enclosed by walls, and then places a room marker consisting of a block made of a hatch and attributes for
the room’s name, number, and area.
When a room is defined by the click method, then it will report the finishing materials of the wall sides inside
the room.
bimSection command adds the Detail option, which creates a section with Volume state by default.
Room section label
TIPS
To create the volume section, the command prompts for three points using dynamic UCS to
define the base plane of the box and becomes section plane.
Starting bimSection from the Quad creates detail section boxes based in the same plane as the section
over which the cursor is hovering.
38
Inside BricsCAD V17
bimSection now displays hatch patterns from compositions live on the 3D model when the Clip
Display property is active.
bimSpatialLocations command opens the Buildings & Stories Manager dialog box to create and
edit the site (one per drawing), buildings (one or more per site; default = 3), and stories (one or
more per building).
Buildings & Stories Manager dialog box
bimUpdateRoom command executes the room-finding algorithm to redefine the room, such as if
new walls were added.
DataExtraction command now exports the properties of all BIM elements, including windows,
doors, and rooms.
PlaceView command drags 3D views from the Content Browser onto the paper space of a section
result drawing.
Properties command is updated for BIM to list Display Composition. When on, the selected 3D
solid shows its composition of ply faces, which can then be separately selected.
StructureTreeConfig variable loads a .cst “configuration structure” file that formats the new
Structure panel. In BIM, it examines all aspects of the BIM model, and can be customized by the
user. The default structure organizes the building spatially: first by Building, then by Story, BIM
type, and composition. The new Structure panel groups sections by type: Section, Plan, Elevation,
or Detail. See comments on the Structure panel earlier in this chapter.
TIP
The Structure panel can configured to group and sort by any property, including all IFC properties.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 39
What’s New in the Sheet Metal Module
The Sheet Metal module is an optional extra-cost add-on. (sm = sheet metal)
smBendLineExtentValue variable specifies the bend line properties; default = 0.25.
smConvert now recognizes cylindrical lofted bodies as lofted bends, form features in imported
geometry, and more types of wrong bend features.
smExportOsm command now creates .osm files when bends are adjacent to lofted bends, and adds
information about component materials to .osm files.
smFlangeBend command bends existing flanges along lines, obeying the k-factor for the given
bend radius.
smFlangeEdge command now improves relief creation.
smForm command converts a selected set of faces to form features. A drawing file with a userdefined form feature can be saved and then used with the bmInsert command to insert the form
feature.
Adding form features to a sheet metal part
TIP
Form features are a new kind of sheet metal feature that mimics applying a forming tool to the
sheet metal, such as bridges, louver, and embosses. They inserted from built-in or user-defined libraries;
BricsCAD recognizes form features in imported geometry. Form features are listed in the Mechanical
Browser pane with their parameters; they can be edited directly or parametrically through Properties
panel. C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support\DesignLibrary\SheetMetal\
FormFeatures
smFormFeatureUnfoldMode variable controls the appearance of form features in 2D and 3D
unfolded model representations; this variable must be modified through the Settings dialog box.
smFormFeatureUnfoldMode Meaning
0
Keep
1Remove
2
Project
3
Contour
4 (default)
Symbol
40
Inside BricsCAD V17
smJunctionCreate adds the option to select “Entire model” and 3D solids.
smKFactor variable specifies the default K-factor; default =0.27324.
smLoft command’s new Auto option for fillet radius creates bodies with the smallest possible fillet
radius (given the thicken type).
smReliefSwitch command adds options for bend reliefs: “Switch to Smooth”, “Switch to Round”
and “Switch to Rip”. The new auto value for corner relief extensions now means “Keep the extension, which is set in the feature. Switching corner reliefs near flange splits (a mitter) to V-type are
automatically converted to two smooth bend reliefs.
smReliefCreate command optionally forces the creation of bend reliefs. It creates correct relief
geometry when the bend radius is not equal to the default bend radius set in the drawing.
smRepair command replaces the smRethicken command, which is removed. It now repairs wrong
bends by converting them into regular bends, changes the “Enable lofted bend repair” prompt to
“Merge lofted bends”, with improved support for adjacent lofted bends. It gains automatic repair
of coincident faces cases for WrongBend features.
smReplace command replaces form features (including recognized ones) in sheet metal parts with
form features from built-in or user library — even if their dimensions are different.
smSelect command selects hard edges, same and similar form features, and is added to the Select
section of the Quad menu.
smRethicken command is removed; its function is replaced by the smRepair command.
_Sm_Thickness component parameter can be edited during and after insertion with the bmInsert
command.
smUnfold command adds information about component materials to .dxf files, and displays a
warning message about torn lofted bends.
What’s New in the Communicator Module
Communicator is an optional extra-cost add-on. BricsCAD V17 is not compatible with Communicator
V16, and so Communicator must be upgraded.
ExportProductStructure variable determines whether the product (assembly) structures are
exported.
ImportHiddenParts variable controls if hidden parts are imported
Communicator now exports the following data:
ÐÐ
Product (assembly) structures to IGES/STEP
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 41
Communicator now imports the following data:
ÐÐ
Materials with physical properties, if they are assigned to the parts of imported products
ÐÐ
Root assembly component names are set to the imported assembly file name automatically.
ÐÐ
Alternate search paths search for imported assembly parts from Creo, Inventor, NS, SolidEdge, and Solidworks file.
ÐÐ
XCGM file format
What’s New in Mapping
BricsCAD V17 now supports the following coordinate reference systems:
ÐÐ
Czechia/Slovakia S-JTSK
ÐÐ
Croatia EPSG 3765
ÐÐ
Netherlands EPSG 28992
GeographicLocation command gains a fast filter-as-you-type control when searching coordinate
reference systems.
What’s New in Files
AppLoad command’s dialog is redesigned to make auto-loading applications easier, adding support
for.LSP, .NET, and .VBA (in addition to .BRX and .TX).
Redesigned AppLoad dialog box
CheckDwlPresence variable reports whether .dwl and/or .dwl2 locks files are associated with the
drawing being opened.
-eTransmit command is the new command line version of the eTransmit command. Both commands now handle the additional files required for BIM and mechanical assembly modeling.
ExportPdf command takes over PDF exporting from the Export command. Text in exported PDF files
is now searchable for all visual styles. (Text in clipped inserts is not yet exported as searchable text.)
ImageAttach command now allows multiple selections of images from a single folder to attach
multiple images at once. This is especially useful for images with geo-information attached. The
images are laid on top of each other.
42
Inside BricsCAD V17
-ImageAttach now support relative and absolute paths in the command line version.
PdfMergeControl variable determines how overlapping lines are printed.
PdfMergeControl Meaning
0 (default)
Lines overwrite
1Lines merge
XrefOverride variable controls the display of properties like color, linetype, lineweight, transparency, and plot style in referenced layers.
What’s New in APIs
ACIS is upgraded to v2017 1.0 (R27).
BricsCAD V17 is compiled with Visual Studio 2013 (platform toolset = v120), and so to be compatible C++ extension .dlls need to be compiled with the same platform toolset.
VBA is upgraded v7.1. It add support for the following items:
ÐÐ
Allows 64-bit operations and is compatible with earlier versions
ÐÐ
Provides compilation constants VBA7 and Win64
ÐÐ
Adds keywords LongLong, LongPtr, and PtrSafe
TIP
VBA is no longer installed by default, but requires a separate installation from the VBA subfolder
of the application installation folder, such as in C:\Program Files\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17 en_US\VBA.
The following BricsCAD-specific APIs are added to BRX:
ÐÐ
An API for the Quad in BRX and .Net
ÐÐ
An unmanaged C++ Ribbon API
ÐÐ
An API for 3D constraints and parameters
ÐÐ
Subentities are supported by the C++ OPM API part of BRX
ÐÐ
Ribbon API was added for BRX and .NET
BRX 17 interface is updated to be source code-compatible with ARX 2015/2016 SDK, such as
overrules. As there are some exceptions, BRX supports newer and legacy interfaces when possible.
TIP
Sample applications installed with BricsCAD are updated to demonstrate these new APIs, such
as under the C:\Program Files\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17 en_US\API folder.
chapter 1 A Tour Through BricsCAD 43
License Requirements
Pro or Platinum license is required for rendering, 3D modeling, and Drawing Views functions.
Platinum license is required for creation of 3D Constraints, Mechanical Assembly design, and Deformable Modeling functions.
BIM design and Sheet Metal design functions require a separate license for each on top of a BricsCAD Platinum license.
———
This has been your introduction to seeing and using BricsCAD. Next, you get into greater depth
using the user interface. But first... a summary of what’s new in the V17 release of BricsCAD.
SUPPORTED GRAPHICS BOARDS
BricsCAD works with whatever graphics board is built into your computer.When it comes to non-wireframe renderings,
however, BricsCAD employs RedSDK GPU-acceleration technology provided by Redway3D. (GPUs are the processing
chips on graphics boards.) Download the latest drivers from http://www.redway3d.com/supported-gpu-tables-for-redsdk/
list-of-the-available-drivers/.
WINDOWS
On Windows, Redsdk hardware acceleration supports graphics boards made by AMD, Intel, and nVidia. See http://www.
redway3d.com/downloads/public/documentation/bk_ba_gpu_chipset_reference.html; for the comprehensive list.
MAC
Apple does not allow developers to have full access to the graphics hardware inside Mac computers, and so there are
no third-party drivers available to speed up the display of CAD programs.
LINUX
On Linux, RedSDK support graphics chip sets for 3D graphics hardware acceleration from AMD and nVidia. Intel is not
supported in Linux, nor are laptops with discrete graphics systems. You are advised to download the latest recommended
drivers from NVIDIA and AMD.
44
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 2
Navigating the BricsCAD
Interface
We continue here our tour of BricsCAD’s user interface (UI), looking at parts of it in greater detail.
You will work your way from the top of the screen to the bottom — from the title bar down to the status bar.
In subsequent lessons, you’ll learn about some of the nuances to the UI, such as entering aliases and working with relative coordinates.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Working with the upper half of BricsCAD: title bar, menu bar, toolbars, and ribbon
•
Trying out some user interface elements of the drawing area: Quad, LookFrom widget, and UCS icon
•
Finding out about the lower half of BricsCAD: layout tabs, scroll bar, command bar, and status bar
•
Understanding panels (palettes)
Title bar: program name and name of the current drawing, with program window controls at the far right
Menu bar: commands arranged in logical order
Toolbar: buttons in toolbars, with flyouts and droplists
Ribbon: tabs with panels with buttons, flyouts, and droplists to access commands
Drawing tabs: quick access to all open drawings
Above the Drawing Area
The figure above explodes the top part of BricsCAD’s interface into horizontal bars. Let’s take a
look at them, from top to bottom:
Title bar — reports the name of the program and current drawing file, as in “BricsCAD - [Drawing1.dwg]”
Menu bar — contains pull-down menus for accessing commands logically
Toolbars — collects buttons labeled with icons (miniature pictures) into bars of the same type of commands
Ribbon — collects tabs and panels with icons that execute commands
Drawing tabs — switches between open drawings quickly
Let’s take a look at each one to better understand their function in BricsCAD.
46
Inside BricsCAD V17
TITLE BAR
The title bar displays the name of the BricsCAD program, its edition (such as “Platinum”), and the
drawing you are working with, such as...
[Office Fixtures.dwg]
If the drawing is read-only (cannot be saved by the same name to its original file location), then a
note is added to the file name that looks like this:
[Office Fixtures.dwg (Read-Only)]
The title bar has a couple of hidden tricks. To quickly maximize the BricsCAD window, double-click
the title bar; to restore the window, double-click the title bar a second time. To quickly open a
drawing, drag it from the file manager to BricsCAD’s title bar.
At the far left end of the title bar is a rarely used menu that performs the same function as the trio
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 47
of buttons at the other end: they
and
exit BricsCAD.
minimize and maximize or
restore the BricsCAD window,
Left: Control menu at left end of title bar; right: equivalent control buttons at right end of title bar.
MENU BAR
The operations of BricsCAD’s menu bar and its menus are identical to that of other programs that
run on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. If you do not see the menu, enter the MenuBar variable:
: MENUBAR
New current value for MENUBAR (Off or On) <Off>: on
Click the words on the menu bar,such as View, to reveal the dropdown menus, such as this one:
Some notes on what you see in the menus:
48
ÐÐ
The > marker indicates submenus, which group together command options. Submenus can also have sub-submenus!
ÐÐ
To the right of command names are sometimes keystroke shortcuts . For example, to the right of the Command Bar is Shift+F2.
Instead of selecting items from menus, you can also do it by pressing function keys — Shift+F2, in this case. Here’s how shortcut
keystrokes work: (a) Hold down the Shift key, and then press F2.
ÐÐ
The check mark
in front of a command means it is a toggle. “Toggle” means to turn on and off. The presence of check mark
means the item is turned on; the lack of a check mark
means it is turned off.
ÐÐ
The ... after a command name means clicking it will open a dialog box.
Inside BricsCAD V17
The check mark and the keystroke shortcuts are examples of the symbols used by menus to indicate
special meanings. They indicate the status of commands, as shown by the table below:
Menu SymbolExampleMeaning
... (ellipsis)
Named Views...
(arrowhead)Zoom
 (check mark)
 Clean Screen
+ (plus)
Shift+F2
_ (underline)
Command Bar
TIPS
Indicates command displays a dialog box
Indicates the presence of a submenu
Indicates that the command is turned on
Uses the Shift key for command shortcuts
Uses the Alt key to access menu items
If you pick a menu item accidentally, you can “unselect” it by picking it a second time.
Some users find pressing keys on the keyboard faster than selecting items from the menu or ribbon.
You can access the menu bar without a mouse! Here’s how to do it:
1. Hold down the Alt key. On the menu bar, notice that each word has a letter underlined, such as View. See
figures on the facing page.
2. Press the v key to drop the View menu. Notice that every menu item has a letter underlined.
3. Press a key, such as c key to execute the Command Bar command.
Advanced users may be interested in customizing menus and other parts of BricsCAD with the
Customize command; see the Customizing BricsCAD ebook, which is available for purchase from
http://www.worldcadaccess.com/cb8.
TOOLBARS
Below the menu bar might be several toolbars. Toolbars are collections of similar functions — a bar
of tools. For instance, the “Draw 2D” toolbar has commands for drawing 2D entities, such as lines,
arcs, and rectangles; the “3D Constraints” toolbar contains commands for connecting and sizing
entities automatically with 3D geometric and dimensional constraints.
Left: Toolbar for drawing 2D entities; right: toolbar for connecting entities with 3D constraints
Each toolbar consists of a row of buttons and/or list boxes — these are known as “controls.” Click a
button or select an item from a list box to execute the related command. The figure shows examples
of of controls you can expect to find on toolbars.
Dragbar
Open Layer dialog box
Move entity to current layer
Access additional layerrelated commands
On/Off
Unfreeze/Freeze
Unlocked/Locked
Set layer by entity
Droplist
Layer name
Color sample
Print/No print
chapter
(click to display list)
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 49
Toolbars have several visual elements for controlling them:
Drag bar
Flyout indicator
Button
Droplist indicator
ÐÐ
Drag bar at the left end of a docked toolbar lets you move the toolbar around the screen. To drag a floating toolbar, grab it by its
title bar.
ÐÐ
Flyout (small black triangle) displays an embedded toolbar; hold down on the button to see the flyout
ÐÐ
Droplist (a.k.a. list box) lists items; click the arrow at the right end of the box to access the list.
BricsCAD has more than thirty toolbars, but you see only a few of them now.
The visible ones are placed along the top and side edges of the drawing area.
To see the complete list of toolbar names, right-click any toolbar or the ribbon,
and then choose BRICSCAD.
The shortcut menu that appears lists the names of all the toolbars; see the
figure on the side. Those names prefixed with a check mark are currently dis-
played. You can toggle (switch on or off) the display of a toolbar by selecting
its name from the list.
BricsCAD lets you change the look of the icons displayed by all toolbars, the
function of the icons, and even the shape of the toolbar. These operations are
described in the Customizing BricsCAD ebook.
Toolbar Buttons and Macros
Buttons have small pictures called “icons.” Icons are pictorial representations
of commands. For example, one button on a toolbar shows the
icon, which
represents... Well, what does it represent? The three sheets of paper are the
symbol for layers, but the blue star (or is it a snowflake?) is not as clear.
Because icons are pictures, their meaning is not always clear. For this reason,
BricsCAD also displays word descriptions. Pass the cursor over an icon, and
then wait for a second. A small tag, called a “tooltip,” appears; below, the tooltip
tells you that the button executes “Set Layer by Entity” (LayMCur command).
Keep the cursor over the icon, and look down at the status line at the very bottom of the BricsCAD
window. It displays a one-sentence description of the button’s meaning.
In other words, when you click the button, BricsCAD prompts you to choose an entity in the drawing, and then changes the working layer to that belonging to the entity.
50
Inside BricsCAD V17
The Standard Toolbar
Of all the toolbars, the topmost one contains those buttons that you are probably familiar with from
other Windows or Linux applications — as well as a few unique to BricsCAD. This one is called the
“Standard” toolbar, because it is standard to most Windows and Linux applications. It’s important
enough that I point out the meaning of all its buttons.
QNew
Open
QSave
Preview
QPrint
Copy
Cut
Publish
Pate
Match Proproperties
Undo
Add Selected
Select Similar
Erase
Redo
Explorer
Sheet Sets
Settings
Help
Properties
From left to right, the icons have the following meaning:
QNew creates new drawing files; Q is short for “quick.”
Open opens existing drawing files.
QSave saves the current drawing.
Preview shows what the drawing will look before it is printed or plotted.
QPrint immediately prints the drawing to the default printer; no dialog box is displayed.
Publish prints collections of drawings.
Cut (CutClip command) copies entities to the clipboard, erases them from the drawing; “clip” is short for clipboard.
Copy (CopyClip command) copies entities to the clipboard.
Paste (PasteClip command) pastes graphical or text data from the clipboard into the drawing.
Match Properties (MatchProp command) copies properties from an entity and applies them to other entities.
Add Selected (AddSelected command) adds additional entities to the selection set.
Select Similar (SelectSimilar command) selects additional entities similar to the first one selected.
Erase deletes the selected entities.
Undo (U command) undoes the last command(s).
Redo redoes the last undo.
Explorer opens the Drawing Explorer for controlling named entities, such as linetypes and blocks.
Sheet Sets (SheetSet command) opens the Drawing Explorer for creating and modifying sets of sheets.
Settings opens the Settings dialog box for adjusting the values of all system variables.
Properties opens the Properties pane; reports and edits the properties of selected entities.
Help displays the help window.
Flyouts
Some toolbar buttons contain flyouts, which are sub-toolbars containing two or more additional
buttons “hidden” underneath. When you take a close look at the View toolbar...
...notice that in the lower-right corner of the Zoom Extents button is a tiny triangle:
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 51
The
triangle indicates that the button contains the flyout, a sub-toolbar with additional buttons.
To see how a flyout works, move the cursor over the Zoom Extents button:
1.
2.
Move the cursor down to the button you want, keeping the left mouse button depressed.
Let go of the mouse button.
Notice that the command is executed; the button you selected now appears on the toolbar. It can
be a bit tricky accessing a flyout the first few times, so practice this procedure until it works.
Left: Holding down on the button displays the flyout; right: Selecting a button from the flyout
TIPS Toolbars can be dragged around BricsCAD. Toolbars can stick to any side of the drawing area or
float anywhere on the desktop. If your computer has two monitors, you may want to drag the toolbars to
the second one to create a larger drawing area. BricsCAD remembers toolbar placement.
You can make the icons larger and smaller. Right-click any toolbar, select Toolbar Size, and then choose
Small icons, Large icons, and Extra-large icons. Each icon size is twice as large:
Small = 16x16 pixels
Large = 32x32 pixels
Extra-large = 64x64 pixels
(new in V17) The extra-large icons are meant for very high-resolution computer screens, such as 4K.
Droplists
Droplists in toolbars provide instant access to useful lists, such as the names of layers and of colors.
From left to right: Droplists access layer names and their properties; colors; linetypes (patterns); and line weights (entity widths)
Droplists operate the same, whether they are found in a toolbar, ribbon panel, or Properties panel.
(There are no droplists in menus.) See the description of the Properties panel later in this chapter.
The exception is, however, the layers droplist. It is found in the Entity Properties toolbar and the
Home > Layers panel. (You learn more about layers in Chapter 3.)
TIP If the toolbars are turned off, such as in a ribbon-only environment, then use the Properties panel to
view and change the properties of entities.
52
Inside BricsCAD V17
Here is what the Layers droplist looks like in a toolbar. (The ribbon version is similar.)
Droplist
(click to display list)
Layer button labeled with an icon
(click to access Layers dialog box)
Status icons
report the state of each layer
To change the status of a layer, open the droplist and then click one of the symbols next to a layer
name. The symbols have the following meanings:
Light bulb — turns the layer on and off
Sun or Snowflake — thaws and freezes the layer in all viewports
Sun on page — thaws and freezes the layer in the current viewport only; this symbol appears only when the
drawing is in paper space
Padlock — unlocks and locks the layer
Printer — prints or doesn’t print the layer
Square — specifies the color assigned to the layer (black in the figure above)
Name —specifies the name of the layer (“0” in the figure above)
TIP
Click the color square to access the Colors dialog box, which lets you change the layer’s color.
Changing Properties
The two big jobs in CAD are making and editing drawings, but following closely in third place is
viewing and changing properties. Properties are things like the color and location of entities. The
Properties panel provides immediate feedback of the properties of the entities with which you are
working. It parks on the edge of the drawing area, so it is always handy while not taking up too
much space.
If the Properties panel is not visible, you turn it on with the Properties command. Look for it at the
right edge of the drawing area.
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 53
Here the ways in which you can use the Properties panel to view and change properties of entities:
54
When no entities are selected, then the Properties panel reports the current (active) property names,
such as the name of the current layer, color, lineweight, and linetype. For instance, the default color is
usually “ByLayer,” meaning that the current layer defines the default color. See figure above.
When an entity is selected, the Properties panel reports the properties associated with the entity. For
example, select a blue, dashed polyline. The panel reports the color (Blue) and linetype (Dashed).
When an entity is selected and you choose a different property from the Properties panel, then the entity takes on the new property. For instance, select “Red” from the Color droplist, and the polyline turns
red.
Inside BricsCAD V17
In the same way, you change other properties of the selected entity — elevation (distance in the
z direction), transparency (level of see-through-ness), and even the coordinates of its location in
the drawing.
Some droplists in the Properties panel contain extra functions. Here is how to access them:
Adding Colors. Initially the Color droplist shows nine colors. If you want a different color from
these nine, follow these steps:
1.
Go to the end of the Color droplist, and click then Select Color... .
Choosing the Select Color option from the Color droplist
2.
Notice the Select Color dialog box, Choose a color from one of 255 “index” colors (standard colors among
BricsCAD and AutoCAD uses) or 17.6 million “true” colors (standard in the broader world of graphics).
Select Color dialog box showing the Index Color tab and its 255 colors
3.
Click OK. Each color you choose from this dialog box is added to the droplist, so that you can reuse them in
the future.
New color added to the Color droplist
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 55
Adding Linetypes. You use the Linetypes droplist to change the linetype of selected entities, such
as dashed or dotted. But in new drawings it shows only three linetypes — Continuous, ByLayer,
and ByBlock. The steps to add linetypes are similar to that of colors:
1.
2.
3.
Go to the end of the Linetypes droplist, and then click Other...
Notice the Load Linetypes dialog box. Choose one or more linetypes from the dialog box. To choose more
than one at a time, hold down the Ctrl key.
Click OK. Their names of the linetypes you picked are added to the end of the droplist.
TIP To remove unwanted linetypes, use the Purge command. Unwanted colors cannot be removed from
drawings.
But! It is good CAD drafting practice to not override properties with these droplists. The better
way to assign colors and linetypes is through layers. Indeed, colors and linetypes named ByLayer
and ByBlock have a special meaning in BricsCAD:
ÐÐ
ByLayer — entities take the color and linetype defined by the layer they reside on.
ÐÐ
ByBlock — entities take the color and linetype defined by the block to which they belong
This is why you often see “ByLayer” in property droplists.
Other Panels
BricsCAD has more panels, in addition to the Properties panel. You can see the full list when you
right-click a toolbar or the ribbon:
A blue check mark means the panel is open. The panels perform the following functions:
PanelCommandDisplays
Mechanical Browser
bmBrowser
Assembly and parts browser, libraries
BIM Compositions
bimComposition Dialog
BIM compositions manager
(new in V17) Content Browser ContentBrowserOpen, ContentBrowserClose Content of user-selected folders
(new in V17) Layers
LayerPanelsOpen, LayerPanelsClose
Layers panel
Render MaterialsMaterialsRendering materials manager
Sheet Sets
(new in V17) Structure
Tool Palettes
56
Inside BricsCAD V17
Sheetset, SheetsetHide
...
Toolpalettes, ToolpalettesClose
Sheet set manager
Drawing structure browser
Tools palette
USER INTERFACE ELEMENTS OF PANELS
Panels or “palettes” are so important to BricsCAD that I am going to give you this quick tour of their user interface features.
(Prior to V17 many of them were called “bars.”) Once you learn these for the Properties panel, you can use them with other
panels, as well. (See Chapter 6 for how to use the Properties panel.)
Close the bar
Name of selected object
Toggles bar between Properties
and Quick Select modes
Click - to collapse section
(click to + expand)
Property value
Property name
Drag to resize the bar
Drag the title bar to relocate the panel on the screen
Click the x button to close the panel
Click the droplist to access other entities (if any)
Click the + node to expand a section
Click the - node to collapse a section
Click on a property value to modify it
Drag the edge of the panel to change its size, smaller or larger
SHORTCUT KEYSTROKES FOR PANELS
Several panels and bars can be opened and closed using shortcut keystrokes. Here is a summary of them:
ActionCommandShortcut Keystrokes
Open or close Command bar
CommandLine
Ctrl+9 Shift+F2
Open or close Properties panel
Properties
Ctrl+1 Ctrl+Shift+P
Open or close Ribbon barRibbonCtrl+F2
Display or hide status barStatBarShift+F3
Display or hide scroll barsScrollBarShift+F4
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 57
(new in V17) Panels can be stacked on top of each other or else placed next to one another. To do
so, follow these steps:
1. Drag a panel by its title bar on top of another panel. Don’t let go of the mouse button!
2. Notice the five trapezoids. One is colored in with blue. If you let go of the mouse button, it will land at that
spot:
Lands to the top
Lands on top (tabbed) left
Lands to the left
Lands to the right
Lands at the bottom
Trapezoids indicating the land location for a panel
Here is what two panels look like when one panel lands above another (shown at left) or the panel
is stacked on top of another (shown at right):
ÐÐ
When above or beside each other, a drag bar appears between them that lets you change their size
ÐÐ
When on stacked, tabs appear that let you switch between them
To unstick panels, grab one by its title bar and then drag it away from the others. To close a panel,
click the x in its upper right corner.
These panels can be docked: Command Bar, BIM Compositions, Content Browser, Layers, Mechanical
Browser, Properties, Render Materials, Ribbon, Sheet Sets, Structure, and Tool Palettes.
58
Inside BricsCAD V17
RIBBON TABS AND PANELS
The ribbon dominates the upper part of the user interface. It’s kind of like a series of overlapping
toolbars, where of tabs segregate the “toolbars” into groups of functions. Each tab has is further
segregated by a series of panels, and each panel contains a group of buttons, flyouts, and droplists
— just like toolbars.
If you do not see the ribbon, enter the Ribbon command:
: ribbon
Shown below is the ribbon’s standard Home tab.
Home tab showing nine tabs of command groups
Each tab shows a different group of panels. Click the name of a tab to switch to it. Here is the View tab.
View tab
Because Bricsys wrote its own version of the ribbon interface, it is equally available on the Windows, Mac, and Linux versions, unlike all other CAD systems. You customize the ribbon through
the Customize command.
DRAWING TABS
Drawing tabs let you switch quickly between open drawings, and provides a shortcut to file-related
commands, such as Open and Close. BricsCAD calls it “Document Tab.”
To access the commands, right-click a drawing tab:
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 59
Most of these commands are familiar to you, but here are a couple that are unique to BricsCAD:
Close Left Tabs — closes all drawings to the left of this tab. This is useful for closing older drawings, ones
that were opened earlier
Close All But This — closes all other drawings, except the current one. I could find this useful when I open an
entire folder’s worth of drawings, and then want to keep just one open
Save All — saves all drawings at once
Duplicate Tab — makes a copy of the current drawing, naming it Copy_name.dwg
Open Folder — opens the folder from which the drawing was opened
There are two variables that control drawing tabs. DocTabPosition places the tab at the top,
bottom,left, or right of the drawing area. ShowDocTabs turns the tab row on and off.
In the Drawing Area
The drawing area is in the center of the BricsCAD window, as shown above. Here I will tell you
about some of the user interface elements you find in the drawing area.
60
Inside BricsCAD V17
SHORTCUT MENUS
Scattered all about BricsCAD are accesses to shortcut menus. Nearly any place you right-click,
a menu will pop up with a list of commands. The commands usually are relevant to the spot
you right-click. Holding down the Shift or Ctrl keys sometimes displays other shortcut menus.
In later lessons, I’ll point out shortcut menus that are useful to the work at hand. I don’t detail
them all here, because there are so many. The figure shows what happens when you hold down
the Ctrl key and click the right mouse button: you access the entity snap modes, as describe
later in this book.
QUAD CURSOR
Status barQUAD
ShortcutF12
The Quad is unique to BricsCAD in the way that it incorporates drawing and editing commands.
This multifunction cursor takes its cue from the “heads-up” style of computer interface design,
placing in the drawing area many useful commands.
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 61
The Quad is normally not visible; most of the time, you see the standard tri-color crosshair cursor
or arrowhead cursor. When you pass the cursor over an entity, however, the quad cursor appears,
first as a single button; see figure below.
(If it does not appear, then turn it on by clicking QUAD on status bar or pressing function key F12.)
When you move the arrow cursor onto the sole button, the quad cursor expands to show additional
buttons, usually for commands most commonly used with the nearest entity.
In addition, there are blue boxes for groups of additional buttons. Some groups are for common
operations, while others are specific to the entity. To access the additional buttons, pass the cursor
over a blue box. Click a button to execute its command.
The Quad changes its content, depending on the nearby entity and the workspace. BricsCAD comes
with sets of predefined Quads for the various workspaces.
To customize the Quad, right-click it to access the following shortcut menu:
Quick Properties
When Quick Properties are turned on, the properties of an entity are displayed by the Quad. To
turn this in, click RP on the taskbar. (RP is short for “rollover properties” — I know, the name keeps
changing. Sigh.)
Hover the cursor over an entity, and the Quad displays some of the properties of it.
Quad displaying some properties of a line
If you want the Quad to display other properties, then use the Customize command’s Properties
tab to specify the properties for every entity.
62
Inside BricsCAD V17
SCROLL BARS
A scroll bar rests at the right edge of the drawing area. It lets you pan the drawing up and down. A
second one is along the bottom of the drawing area; it pans left and right. Normally, they are turned
off, but I find them handy. To turn on scroll bars, enter the ScrollBar command.
Scroll bars are limited to panning left-right and up-down.
Click buttons to pan drawing
by 1% of screen width
Click here to pan drawing
by 10% of screen width
Drag to pan drawing interactively
Using the scroll bar to pan the drawing
As a more flexible alternative, hold down the middle button (or the roller wheel in the middle of
the mouse), and then drag the mouse around. This action pans the drawing in any direction during
any command.
PROMPT MENU
The Prompt menu shows the prompts available for the current command. This menu appears in
the upper right corner (usually) of the drawing areas. It is useful when the Command bar is turned
off, because then you see what options are available for each command.
To select an option, just pick it from the list shown. When the command ends, the Prompt menu
disappears.
LOOK-FROM CONTROL
BricsCAD has a LookFrom widget in the upper right corner of the drawing area. When you pass
the cursor over the widget, small triangles appear, as does the the preview of a chair. Pausing the
cursor over a triangle shows what the 3D view will look like:
Left: LookFrom control with no cursor interaction...; right: ...and when the cursor is over one of the small triangles
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 63
Clicking the triangle changes the 3D viewpoint.
The green dot indicates the cursor position, kind of like a laser pointer:
TIPS
To see the bottom views, hold down the Ctrl (or Cmd in Mac) key.
Click the center of the LookFrom control to return the view to its home view. This is particularly helpful in
Twist mode.
There are two ways you can change the way the LookFrom control operates. The easier one is
right-click the control, and then choose an option from the shortcut menu.
Most of the options in the shortcut menu are straight-forward, but I do want to explain the difference between Isometric and Twist modes:
ÐÐ
Isometric mode is like using the Viewpoint or View commands
ÐÐ
Twist mode is like using the RtRotF (real time view rotation) command
Left: LookFrom in isometric mode; right: And in twist mode
The other method is to enter the LookFrom command, from which you can turn off (and on) the
control and access its settings:
: lookfrom
LookFrom [ON/OFF/Settings] <ON>:
64
Inside BricsCAD V17
The Settings option opens the Settings dialog box at the LookFrom section. Here you can adjust the
properties of the widget, such as its translucency and position. Of particular interest is the number
of isometric viewpoints it can display, which is set through “Direction Mode” or the LookFromDirectionMode variable. The following table shows you the options:
LookFromDirectionMode
Number of Views
0 6 orthogonal views
1 14 views; no flat views of corners 2
18 views; top down corners
3
26 views; eight top down corners
THE UCS ICON IN 2D DRAFTING, 3D MODELING, AND DUCS
I described the function of the UCS (user-defined coordinate system) icon in the last chapter. Here
I want to talk a bit about how the UCS is used — rarely in 2D drafting, but a lot in 3D modeling. In
short, a UCS lets us locate twist the x,y,z axes in any direction in space. This makes it easier to draw
and edit at unusual angles and on slanted surfaces.
Static UCSs for 2D. In 2D drafting, for example, when we draw things at an angle, such as the
angled wing of a building, then we use a USC. Changing the coordinate system to match the angle
of the building rotates everything else as well. In the figure below, I rotated the UCS icon to match
the angled walls; notice that the crosshair cursor has matched the angle.
Rotated coordinate system allows easy drawing at an angle
To change the angle of the UCS icon, you tell the UCS command three things:
1. The new origin point (0,0)
2. The new direction of the x axis (determines the angle)
3. The new direction of the y axis (determines the orientation)
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 65
From these three, BricsCAD figures out the direction of the z axes using the right-hand rule. Here
is how to use the UCS command in 2D drawings:
3. Pick new y axis using
ENDpoint esnap
1. Pick new origin using
INTersection esnap
2. Pick new x axis using
ENDpoint esnap
Picking three points to define a new orientation of the coordinate system
: ucs
Specify origin of UCS or Face/NAmed/Entity/Previous/View/X/Y/Z/ZAxis/Move<World>: (Pick a point
like the intersection of two lines; BricsCAD turns on INTersection entity snap automatically)
Point on X-axis or <Accept>: (Pick a point along the new x axis; BricsCAD turns on ENDpoint entity snap automatically)
Point on the XY-plane with positive Y value or <Accept>: (Pick a point along the new y axis;
BricsCAD turns on ENDpoint entity snap automatically)
If you use the same UCS often, then you can give it a name. This lets you switch back to it quickly.
Named UCSes can be managed through the ExpUcs command, which displays the Coordinate Systems section of the Drawing Explorer.
Dynamic UCSs for 3D. The same system works for manually changing the UCS in 3D modeling.
Why would you want to change the UCS in 3D? Because CAD is still fundamentally 2D, even when
in 3D. To draw on a face, the UCS needs to match the orientation in space of the face. BricsCAD,
fortunately, can do this automatically through dynamic UCS. Here is a brief example. In the figure
below, the UCS icon is in the “world” position:
UCS icon at its home position
66
Inside BricsCAD V17
To, say, write some text on the bottom of the piston, the UCS needs to relocate to the flat face. To do
so, first turn on DUCS (dynamic UCS) mode by clicking the DUCS button on the status bar (so that
it looks black). Then start the Text command:
: text
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: (Pick a face on which to write)
Now move the cursor around faces of the piston. Notice how the UCS jumps to match the orientation of the face. I show two of these in the figures below.
Left: UCS dynamically placed on one face...; right: ...and on another face
UCSs in Layout Mode. In paper space of layout modes, the UCS icon turns into something that
looks like a sheet of paper.
It serves no purpose. In the early days when layout mode was first introduced, the CAD interface
was such that it could be difficult for users to determine if they were in model or paper space. So
the UCS icon switched to a triangle in some CAD programs, and a piece of paper in BricsCAD. Today,
however, the user interface makes layout mode quite clear, and so the paper icon remains primarily
for sentimental reasons.
TIPS WIDGET
“Tips” are interactive tooltips that report options that might otherwise be unknown to users. For
example, the following Tips widget appears during the Polysolid command.
Notice that it shows several icons. The Ctrl “button” is a reminder that by holding down the Ctrl
key during the command, you can change the justification of polysolids between left, centered, and
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 67
right. To get a brief description of the purpose, pause the cursor over the Tip.
Tips widget appearing during the Polysolids command
To dismiss the Tip, click the small x at the right end. (The Ctrl button itself does nothing; neither
does the i icon.) The display of the Tips widget is toggled through the TIPS button on the status
bar. Right-click the button for options.
Options for controlling the Tips widget
Layout tabs
Help line
68
Inside BricsCAD V17
Command bar
Coordinates
Below the Drawing Area
At the bottom of BricsCAD are several more areas of information:
Layout tabs — switch between model space and layouts quickly
Command bar — accepts typed input and displays prompts; see Chapter 1 for details
Status bar — reports on the status of the drawing and provides on-off toggles
Let’s examine the function of each area.
LAYOUT TABS
Under the drawing area are three tabs labeled Model, Layout1, and Layout2. You may have seen
similar tabs in other Windows or Linux software, such as the sheet tabs in LibreOffice Calc or Excel.
Click to move
through layout tabs
Click to access
model space
Right-click for
shortcut menu
Click to access
layout view
In BricsCAD, these tabs switch the drawing view among layouts. Layouts allow you to define how
the drawing will look before it is plotted, such as positioning its location on the paper, adding a
drawing border, or specifying shades of gray instead of colors. The arrow buttons (to the left of
the tabs) are for when there are too many tabs to fit along the bottom of BricsCAD.
Horizontal scroll bar
Status bar
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 69
To access a shortcut menu of layout options, right-click any layout tab. The options let you create
more layouts,rename them, or specify settings specific to a variety of plotter models.
Layouts are discussed in greater detail later in this book.
So, there are drawing tabs to switch between drawings, and layout tabs to switch between layouts
inside each drawing.
Scroll Bar
The scroll bar is described earlier in this chapter.
Command Bar
The Command bar is described in the previous chapter.
STATUS BAR
Below the command prompt area is the status bar, which reports the status of the drawing. From
left to right, the status bar displays the following info:
X, Y coordinates,
and elevation (Z)
Help text
70
Mode toggles
Drag to resize BricsCAD window
Current settings for
layer, color, linetype, text
style, dimension styles,
and workspace
Status bar options
Help text — displays a line of helpful text when the cursor is paused on a toolbar button or a menu item.
X,Y Coordinates — 2D coordinates of the cursor’s current location in the drawing.
Elevation (Z) — the current setting of the elevation.
Layer — reports the currently active layer name (default = 0)
Color — reports the current color (default = 0; black)
Linestyle — reports the current line type (ByLayer)
Style — reports the current text style (Standard)
Dimension style — reports the current dimension style (ISO-25)
Inside BricsCAD V17
Workspace — reports the current workspace (2D Drafting).
Drawing Settings — reports the status of drawing settings. Each word is an on/off button called a “toggle:”
ÐÐ
Gray text — the toggle is turned off, as for SNAP in the figure above.
ÐÐ
Black text — the toggle is turned on, as for POLAR.
Click a button to turn the mode on and off.
SNAP — toggles the distance snap
GRID — toggles the display of grid lines
ORTHO — toggles orthographic drawing mode to draw at right angles
POLAR — toggles snapping at common polar angles, such as 15 degrees
ESNAP — toggles all entity snaps (a.k.a. object snaps)
STRACK — toggles snap tracking
LWT — toggles lineweight display
TILE / P:Layout — switches between paper and model modes
Annotation Scale — specifies the current scale factor for annotative entities
AutoScale — toggles wether annotation scales are added automatically
Tablet — toggles tablet mode on and off
DDUCS — toggles dynamic UCS mode for drawing on the faces of 3D entities
DYN — toggles dynamic dimensions mode
QUAD — toggles the cursor between crosshair and quad modes
RT — toggles the display of rollover tooltips
TIPS — toggles the tips widget
None — selects a GIS coordinate system
When you right-click any of status bar button, BricsCAD displays a shortcut menu. Many have the
same set of options: On, Off, and Settings,
Settings is a shortcut to the dialog box that regulates the mode. For example, to change the settings
for the grid, right-click the GRID button and then select Settings; BricsCAD displays the Snap/Grid
section of the Settings dialog box.
When you right-click a few buttons, they present a longer list of options so that you can, for example,
choose an entity snap.
chapter
2 Navigating the BricsCAD Interface 71
Click the tiny black triangle
listing all possible toggles.
near the right end of the status bar to display a shortcut menu
This lefts you turn on and off toggles that you want (or don’t want) to see.
Summary
You have learned all about BricsCAD’s user interface, from the title bar at the top to the status bar
along the bottom, and nearly everything in between
Next, you begin to start working with BricsCAD, beginning with starting a new drawing.
72
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 3
Setting Up A
New Drawing
You now prepare the CAD environment for creating new drawings. By the end, you will know how
to set up drawings, save your work to disk, and how to exit BricsCAD.
Before creating any drawing with BricsCAD, you must prepare it. Here we have the tutorials show you how
to do this:
Step 1:
Step 2:
Step 3:
Step 4:
Step 5:
Step 6:
Step 7:
Start a new, blank drawing
Name the drawing
Specify the units of measurement
Set the snap and grid spacings
Indicate the drawing limits
Create layers
Save the drawing
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Preparing a drawing for first-time use with a wizard
•
Specifying units, angle formats, and drawing settings
•
Understanding how layers organize the drawing
•
Saving the drawing
•
Recognizing the importance of automatic backups
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Default — value of a setting defined by the program and unchanged by the user
File name — uniquely identifies drawing files and other documents
Grid — displays a grid of lines or array of dots as visual guides
Layers — organize drawings by segregating common elements
Limit — specifies the nominal limits of drawings, and constrains the range of grid marks
Scratch — brand-new drawing with no preset parameters
Snap — constrains cursor movement to discrete distances
Template — a drawing file read by BricsCAD that sets default parameters for new drawings
Unit — specifies units of measurement, such as metric, architectural, and engineering
Wizard — series of dialog box that step users through a procedure
Working set — set of one of more drawings that were previously open in BricsCAD or were saved for future use
Workspace — predefined user interface specific to tasks, such as 2D drafting or 3D modeling
Zoom — enlarges and reduces the visual size of drawings
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
' or ft
Feet
" or in
Inches (12 inches per foot)
ANSI
American National Standards Institute
BAK
Backups of BricsCAD drawing files
DWT
Portion of file names that identify them as template files
DWG
Portion of file names that identify them as BricsCAD drawings
mm Millimeters (1000mm per meter)
m
Meters
NEW COMMANDS
CommandAliasMenu BarRibbon Tab
Layer
Limits
NewWiz
Settings
SaveAs
74
la
...
ddnew
rm
...
Inside BricsCAD V17
Settings | Layers
Settings | Drawing Limits
File | New Wizard
Settings | Settings
File | Save As
Home | Layers | Layers
...
...
Settings | Settings | Settings
...
Before You Begin
To learn how to use BricsCAD, you will work with a drawing based on a landscape plan, creating
and modifying the drawing of a yard around a home.
Before beginning this tutorial, you may want to measure your yard and locate major features, such
as the house, driveway, and garden areas. If you’d rather not measure your yard or you don’t have
access to one, then you can follow along with the following sketch, which is the drawing used by
the next several lessons.
The tutorial will be in metric units (millimeters and meters), and for North American readers I’ll
provide imperial units (feet and inches).
STARTING A NEW DRAWING
NewWiz
File | New Wizard
Command
Menu
When you start a new drawing in BricsCAD, you can start in several ways:
ÐÐ
From “scratch” with a blank drawing
ÐÐ
With a template drawing that presets certain aspects
ÐÐ
Enlist the services of a software wizard — how you will start this tutorial
THIS SECTION’S DRAWING
During this book’s first few chapters, you create the following drawing.The completed Yard.dwg file can be downloaded
from http://www.upfrontezine.com/lb8. (Use Imp-Yard.dwg if you draw with imperial units.)
15.00
12.00
23.00
5.00
House
R1.00
24.00
15.00
Pond
13.00
Donlyn Avenue
6.00
35.00
4486 Donlyn Avenue
Anytown BC
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 75
The wizard is a series of dialog boxes that take you through the steps needed to set up a new drawing. It prompts you to select the units, grid, and so on.
In this tutorial, you create the new drawing with the assistance of the wizard.
1. If BricsCAD is not running, start it now by double-clicking its icon on the desktop
2. Notice the Welcome dialog box. Click New Drawing.
3. Start the wizard by taking one of the following steps:
ÐÐ
In the ribbon’s Home tab, click New and then New Wizard
ÐÐ
From the menu bar, choose File, and then New Wizard
ÐÐ
At the command line, enter the NewWiz command
: newwiz
Notice the Create New Drawing dialog box:
Selecting the Use a Wizard option
The dialog box supplies you with these options for starting new drawings or opening existing ones:
Start from Scratch — starts empty new drawings, using either imperial or metric units
Start from Template — starts new drawings based on a template file that you select from a long list
with names like default-mm.dwt and Mechanical-imperial.dwt
Start from Default Template — starts new drawings with the template file specified by the BaseFile
system variable; the current default is default-mm.dwt
Use a Wizard — creates new drawings based on settings specified in a series of dialog boxes that follow
4. Select the Use a Wizard button by clicking the circle (called a “radio button”) next to it.
5.
Click Next.
The wizard takes you through a series of dialog boxes that ask you to specify the units, format of
angles, and other drawing settings. I’ll explain what each of them mean.
76
Inside BricsCAD V17
Default Settings
First off, you choose the units. Well, the wizard calls them the “default settings.” This is because
so many settings in a drawing are affected by the units — metric (decimal) or Imperial (feet and
inches). Choosing one type of unit determines many other settings.
Here is how to decide which units to choose:
ÐÐ
If you measured the yard in feet and inches, then click the radio button next to Imperial (feet and inches)
ÐÐ
If you measured the yard in meters and centimeters, then click the radio button next to Metric
6. If you are following along with my tutorial drawing, then choose Metric, as shown above.
7. Click Next.
SELECTING THE LINEAR UNITS
Drafting uses linear measurements for things like lengths and areas, as illustrated by the dimension
below. (The only other kind of measurement that you work with in CAD are angular measurements,
and they are used to measure angles.) Linear measurements can be displayed in several different
kinds of formats.
Linear dimension showing feet and inches
Look closely at the example measurement below to understand how BricsCAD displays each one.
Note that the dash (-) separates feet from inches, while a space separates inches from fractional
inches.
Unit Name
Measures In
Example
Architectural
Engineering
Fractional
Decimal
Scientific
Feet, inches, fractional inches
Feet, inches, decimal inches
Inches, fractional inches
Units and decimal units
Units, decimal units, and exponents
4'-6 1/16"
4'-6.0625"
54 1/6"
2128.4449
2.1284E+03
The default is called “Decimal,” which is often used for metric measurements, such as millimeters.
BricsCAD shows metric measurement as unitless “decimals,” such as 1.2345. The “mm” for millimeter is not displayed.
Once you select a unit style, BricsCAD displays all measurements in that format. But don’t worry!
You can always switch the measurement format to something else. You would do that with the
Units command.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 77
WAYS TO START NEW DRAWINGS
OPENING WORKING SETS
A “working set” is a list of previously-opened drawings, or a saved sets of drawing file names. To save and open sets of
drawings, use the Workset command.
Dialog box for loading and saving sets of drawings
OPENING MORE THAN ONE DRAWING
To select one than one drawing at once, hold down the following keys as you pick them in the Open dialog box,:
Shift — select a contiguous range of .dwg files
Ctrl (Cmd on Macs) — to select non-contiguous files, as shown below
Choosing more than one drawing to open at once
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
New “empty” drawings employ default settings for all variables, which are read from the following DWT template files:
78
default-mm.dwt — for drawings with metric units or unitless (millimeters)
default-imperial.dwt — for drawings with Imperial or British units (inches)
Inside BricsCAD V17
STARTING FROM TEMPLATES
New drawings are begun with a DWT template file that you select from the following list:
Selecting a template drawing on which to base the new drawing
You can create your own templates: edit the current drawing, and then use the SaveAs command. Choose “Drawing
Template (*.dwt)” from the Save As Type droplist.
STARTING FROM THE DEFAULT TEMPLATE
Start new drawings with the template file specified by the BaseFile system variable, usually default-mm.dwt if none other
is specified. This option is useful when you usually want to start with the same template, such as one specified by your
firm or a client.
To change the value of BaseFile, enter the Settings command, search for “basefile,” and then click the
button in the
Template field. From the Choose a File dialog box, select the .dwt file you wish to employ as the new default template.
Specifying the default DWT template file name
USING A WIZARD
Creates new drawings based on settings specified in a series of dialog boxes. See the tutorial in this chapter.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 79
(The reason you can switch between units is because internally BricsCAD keeps track of measure-
ments with unitless real numbers accurate to 14 decimal places; it actually doesn’t use metric or
Imperial units. For the sake of us humans, however, BricsCAD displays distances and angles in the
units we want; the software converts them on-the-fly.)
8. For this drawing tutorial, measurements were made in centimeters. Under Unit of Measurement, ensure
“Decimal” is selected.
9. Centimeters are represented by two decimal places. To set the number of decimal places, follow these steps:
Next to Precision, click the down arrow and then select “0.00.”
(For imperial drawings, measurements made to the nearest 1/4-inch are accurate enough for this project.
Select Architectural, and then choose 0'-0 1/4".)
10. Click Next. As we see next, BricsCAD displays the set of options for measuring and displaying angles.
TIP
You are free to enter distances more accurate than a centimeter, because BricsCAD remembers
distances to full accuracy. When BricsCAD displays coordinates, however, it will round them off to the nearest 0.01 units, because we told it to in step 9.
SELECTING THE ANGLE STYLE
Before we choose the angle measurement system, I must mention some facts about angles:
ÐÐ
Angles are measured counter clockwise from the positive x axis; see figure below
ÐÐ
0 degrees is the direction of the positive x axis
ÐÐ
90 degrees is at the positive y axis
Positive Y axis
at 90 degrees
Positive angle are measured
counter clockwise
180 degrees
270 degrees
or -90 degrees
Positive X axis
at 0 degrees
The elements of axes and angles
80
Inside BricsCAD V17
The Angle dialog box lets you choose from the formats of angular units that BricsCAD should display.
The options available are listed below:
Angle NameMeasures InExample
Decimal degrees Degrees and decimals
12.3456
Degrees/Minutes/Seconds (d ' ")
Degrees, minutes, seconds, and decimal seconds 12d34'56"
Grads (g) Grads and decimals123.45g
Radians (r)Radians and decimals1.23r
Surveyor’s Units (N d ' " E)
North/South degrees towards East/West
N12d34'56"E
Note that there are 400 grads (used in Germany) and are 2*pi radians in a 360-degree circle.
If we were real land surveyors, we would use Surveyor format. But we’re not, and so we’re sticking
with the more familiar decimal degrees. (Again, you can choose the change the angular format at
anytime with the Units command without affecting the drawing.)
11. Ensure that the default, Decimal Degrees, is selected for the angle of measurement.
12. Change the default Precision to 0 degrees, as we are measuring angles to the nearest degree.
13. Click Next.
CHOOSING THE PLOT STYLE
When it comes time to printing drawings, they can be formatted by BricsCAD using one of two
methods. One method is known as a color table (a.k.a. “color dependent” styles or CTB), while the
other method is through a style table (a.k.a. “named” styles or STB). They are, unhappily, mutually
exclusive, meaning only one can be active at a time — meaning you have to choose one.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 81
14. Right now, all you need to know is that neither color tables nor style tables really matter when plotting regular 2D drawings on monochrome printers. And so, ensure that the Color Dependent (CTB) option is selected.
15. Click Next.
SETTING ENTITY PROPERTIES
You come to the final dialog box of the wizard. Here, you set the defaults of some entity properties
(a.k.a. “objects”). By default, all entities are drawn with a color named “ByLayer” and a linetype of
the same name.
ByLayer means that layers determine the color and linetype of entities. If the layer is set to red,
then all entities on that layer appear red; change the layer to green, and the entities follow suit. In
this dialog box, you can overrule these default properties. But you won’t, because changing colors
and linetypes is best left for later and done with the Layers dialog box — i.e. “by layer.”
16. The only change to make here is turning off the UCS icon, because it is unhelpful (by being visually intrusive)
to the tutorial drawing. See figure above for how settings should look.
17. Click Finish to close the dialog box.
FINISHING THE WIZARD
When the wizard is done, BricsCAD’s drawing area looks a little bit different from before. There
is an array of lines in the drawing called the “grid” lines. There is one grid line that goes through
the origin (at 0,0) that is red and another that is green — the same colors as the x an y crosshair
cursor lines:
Red grid line — x axis (horizontal)
Green grid line — y axis (vertical)
The UCS icon is gone, because you turned it off and because it is unnecessary for this tutorial. And
when you move the mouse, the coordinate display on the status bar changes in increments of 0.01
— this is due to setting the precision of units to 0.01.
82
Inside BricsCAD V17
BricsCAD’s drawing area at the end of the wizard
The wizard does not adjust all settings, and you have a few more to change, as described next.
Additional Important Settings
The wizard does not, unfortunately, set up everything you need in new drawings, and so for the rest
of this lesson you’ll use commands to set other things, such as the area of the drawing’s limits, the
spacing of the snap and grid, and the names of layers. Along the way, I’ll explain what each means.
SETTING THE DRAWING LIMITS
CommandLimits
Menu Bar
Settings | Drawing Limits
There is no limit to the size of drawings you can create with BricsCAD. You could, if you wanted,
draw the entire solar system full size. Indeed, an early AutoCAD sample drawing showed that this
was possible: from the orbit of Pluto we could zoom all the way down to the individual letters on
a plaque mounted on a lunar lander in a crater on the Earth’s moon.
When it comes time to printing drawings, however, the overall size of a drawing is constrained by
the size of the paper that the printer can handle, often just 210 x 297mm or 8-1/2 x 11" — a far
sight smaller than the solar system! One way to control the size is by setting the limits with the
Limits command.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 83
Limits show the nominal area of a drawing, and they perform two other functions that are useful:
ÐÐ
Constrain the extents of the grid lines
ÐÐ
Determine the area shown by the Zoom command’s All option
More on these later. In the meantime, here is how you determine the limits and then set them:
1.
Examine the size of the yard in the sketch. After leaving a bit of “breathing room” around the plan, the drawing will need about 40m (130 feet) of width and 30m (100 feet) of height.
ÐÐ
Width is represented by the x coordinate, which sometimes is shown in red
ÐÐ
Height by the y coordinate, shown in green usually
The origin of the drawing is where the lines of the x and y axes meet, at 0,0.
Y axis represents height
The origin of the drawing
is located at 0,0
X axis represents width
2.
At the ‘ : ’ prompt, enter the Limits command, as follows:
3.
Notice that BricsCAD reports that the limits are turned off. Turn them on:
: limits (Press Enter to execute the command)
Limits are off: Set lower left corner or [turn limits ON] <0,0>: on
4. Restart the Limits command by pressing the spacebar. This is a shortcut to repeating the last-used command:
: (press the spacebar)
: LIMITS
Notice that BricsCAD reports the name of the command it is repeating, so you are sure it is the correct one.
5.
Now specify the x,y coordinates of the lower left corner. The default value of 0,0 is good for this drawing, so
just press Enter to leave the value as is:
Limits are on: Set lower left corner or [turn limits ON] <0,0>: (Press Enter to accept
the default value of 0,0)
6. When BricsCAD asks for coordinates of the upper right corner, enter 40 and 30 (meters), as follows:
Upper right corner <12,9>: 40,30
Upper right corner is at 40,30 meters
Drawing limits
Lower left corner is at the origin 0,0
Warning! If you work with imperial units, it is important that you include the apostrophe ( ' ) when you
enter measurements as feet, like 130'.
When you leave out the apostrophe of 130, BricsCAD assumes you mean 130 inches, which it translates to
10'-10.
84
Inside BricsCAD V17
7.
I find it handy to restrict the grid’s lines to the extent of the Limits. To do so, I change the value of the GridDisplay system variable to 2 like this:
: griddisplay
New current value for GRIDDISPLAY (0 to 15) <3>: 2
8. Finally, use the Zoom All command to see all of the drawing. Enter the Zoom command, and then enter ‘a’
for the All option:
: zoom
Zoom: In/Out/All/Center/Dynamic/Extents/Left/Previous/Right/Scale/Window/<Scale (nX/nXP)>: a
The Zoom command lets you see the “big picture,” as well as zooming in for a detailed look.
The drawing area after the grid is restricted to the area of the limits
The grid is now constrained to the area specified by the limits. (new in V17) Grids lines are fainter
in BricsCAD V17 so that they do not obscure drawing elements.
When you began this tutorial, BricsCAD displayed an area of 12" by 9"; now BricsCAD displays an
area of 40m by 30m (130' by 100'). When you move the cursor to the upper right corner of the
drawing area, the status bar should report values near 40, 30 (meters).
ACCESSING AND CHANGING VARIABLES
CommandSettings
Ribbon
Settings | Settings | Settings
Menu Bar
Settings | Settings
Alias
SE
Some of the values you entered at the command prompt can also be changed through the Settings
dialog box. This is a special dialog box that reports on the values of variables. “Variables” hold settings that control and report on nearly all aspects of BricsCAD — and there are over 800 of them! I
list them all in Appendix B. Variables are also known as “system variables,” or “sysvars” for short.
For example, GridDisplay is a variable. You used it to tell BricsCAD how to display the grid. This
specific variable has four settings, each represented by a number (technically, an integer).
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 85
Here is what the GridDisplay variable controls:
GridDisplayMeaning
1 (default)
2 (default)
4
8
Display beyond the area of the limits
Display adaptive grid
Allow subdivisons below grid spacing
Follow dynamic UCS
The numbers can be added together to turn on more than one option. The default value is 3, which
means that (1) the grid is displayed beyond the limits and (2) the adaptive grid is displayed. In the
tutorial, you changed the value to 2 so that the grid no longer displayed beyond the limits.
(Adaptive grid means that as you zoom out, the grid shows fewer lines so that the drawing area
is not overwhelmed with too many closely-spaced lines. Allow subdivisions means that additional
lines are displayed between the specified grid spacing. Follow DUCS means that the grid rotates to
match the x,y-plane specified by the current UCS.)
Here is another example: When you used the Limits command, for example, BricsCAD stored the
values you entered in two system variables, LimMin and LimMax:
LimMin — stores the x, y coordinates of the lower left corner.
LimMax — stores coordinates of the upper right corner.
These two system variables can be accessed directly at the command bar by entering their names,
just like they were commands:
: limmin
New value for LIMMIN <0,0>: (Press Enter to keep values as they are)
: limmax
New value for LIMMAX <40,30>: (Press Enter)
A problem lies in remembering the names of hundreds of system variables. And so the other method
is to use the Settings dialog box, as follows:
1.
Enter the Settings command:
: settings
2.
86
Notice the Settings dialog box.
This dialog box contains hundreds of settings, and so the best way to access one of them is to use the Find
feature, as follows:
a. Enter “limits” in the Find field.
b.Press Enter.
Inside BricsCAD V17
The Settings dialog box goes to the first setting with “limits” in its name. Click the
you arrive at the Limits Minimum and Limits Maximum settings:
Find Next arrow until
3.
There is no “Close” or “OK” button to dismiss the dialog box. Instead, when you are done just click the red X.
TIP
When the Find field turns orange, it means that there is no setting by that name. This can occur
when you misspell the name.
CHANGING THE SNAP AND GRID SPACING
One great advantage to drawing with CAD is that software permits you to create very accurate
drawings. BricsCAD has several functions that help you draw with pretty much perfect accuracy.
One such feature you already met, the grid. It helps you visualize distances.
Another such function is known as “snap mode.” Snap can be thought of as setting the mouse resolution. It determines the distance the cursor moves in the drawing. For instance, by setting the
snap distance to 0.5, the cursor moves at precise, 0.5-unit distances during drawing and editing
commands. (You learn about other accuracy aids in later lessons of this book.)
During the wizard, you turned on snap mode, but the spacing of 0.5 meters is too wide. Follow
these steps to change the snap and grid spacing to 0.1 meters:
1.
(If you are not in the Settings dialog box, then enter the Settings command.)
In the Find field, enter “snap mode” and then press Enter.
Enter text to search for
Click arrows to Þnd next occurance
Click X to close dialog box
and save changes
Click + to expand section
Click - to collapse section
Descriptive name of system variable
Value of system variable
Actual name of system variable
Description of system variable
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 87
2.
3.
Notice that the listing in the dialog box jumps to the Snap Unit field. It specifies the distance that the cursor
moves.
Change the X and Y values of Snap Unit to 0.1, 0.1 to represent 1 decimeter (or 1",1" in imperial units). Leave
other snap settings at their default values, such as Snap Angle = 0.
4. Earlier, the wizard had turned on the grid as a visual guide. The grid is meant to guide you; the default spacing of 10 units is perhaps to far apart. (BricsCAD will in fact not display the grid when its lines or dots are too
closely spaced.) Change the spacing to 1 meter by changing the value of Grid Unit to 1,1.
5. Finally, change the type of grid from lines to dots. Grid lines are useful in 3D modeling, but tend to cover up
lines in 2D drafting. Here is how to do this:
a. Click the
node next to Grid Style .
b. Turn on the Dotted Grid is 2D Model Space option.
6. To close the dialog box, click the X at the top right end.
TIP A grid distance of 0" has a special meaning in BricsCAD. It means that the grid spacing matches
the snap spacing, 1" in our case.
88
Inside BricsCAD V17
Notice that the drawing area is covered by a grid of dots.
TIPS
Sometimes the snap function can get in the way of your drafting. You can turn the snap on and
off at any time by pressing function key F9.
Similarly, the grid can be toggled with F7.
For many options in BricsCAD’s commands, you need only type the first letter of the option. For example,
type “a” as the abbreviation for the All option. When two options begin with the same letter, you need to
type the first two characters of the option.
When entering text and numbers in a dialog box, pressing the Tab key is a quicker way to get to the next
field. Fields are buttons, text entry boxes, list boxes, and other dialog box elements that you can change.
To return to previous fields, press Shift+Tab (hold down the Shift key, and then press Tab).
When you change values in the Settings dialog box, they are shown in boldface text. And, the changes take
effect immediately.
Creating Layers
Commands
Layer, layerpanelon
Ribbon
Home | Layers | Layers
Menu Bar
Settings | Layers
Alias LA
If you ever worked with overlay drafting, then you would be familiar with the concept of layers. In
overlay drafting, drafters draw the base plan on one clear sheet of Mylar, a common form of drawing
media made from plastic. The electrical plan would be drawn on another sheet, the structural on
a third. Since the Mylar is transparent, drafters would overlay the two or all three of the drawings
to create a single blueprint —depending on how much detail needed to be shown.
In CAD, layers operate in a similar manner. We draw different parts of drawings on different layers.
The base on one layer, electrical on another, and so on. Then we turn layers off and on to display
the drawing in different ways.
For example, the electrical contractor would be interested in seeing only the base plan layer with
the electrical layer. While it is possible to create hundreds and thousands of layers in drawings, it
is more common to work with a few dozen layers; in this book, we work with a mere half-dozen.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 89
QUICK SUMMARY OF LAYERS
BricsCAD provides great control over layers through the Drawing Explorer. It lists the names of all layers and their
properties. The names of properties are indicated by the names on the header bar.
(To sort layers alphabetically, click a header such as Name or Linetype. Click a second time to sort in reverse order, Z to A.)
• — indicates the current layer.
Layer Name — specifies the name up to 255 characters long.You can use numbers, letters, and the following punctuation marks: dollar sign ( $ ), hyphen ( - ), underline ( _ ), and spaces. Two layers cannot have the same name in the same
drawing. There is no limit to the number of layers in a drawing.
On/Off (obsolete) — when on, displays entities; when off, entities cannot be seen nor are they plotted.
Freeze — freezes entities so that they cannot be seen, edited, or plotted. Also, frozen layers are not included when
BricsCAD performs drawing regenerations and hidden-line operations. When thawed, the layers behave normally. (To
thaw layers means to turn off their frozen status.) It is better to freeze layers than turn them off.
Locked — locks layers, which means entities are seen but cannot be edited. Unlock layers to make entities available
for editing.
Color — specifies the color of entities on the layer.The default color is 7, which is displayed as white or black, depending
on the background color. Entities drawn on the layer are displayed in this color, but the entity color can be overridden
with the Color command.
Linetype — specifies the line type by which entities are displayed.The default linetype is Continuous (solid line). Before
any other linetype can be used, its definition must be loaded into the drawing; can be overridden by the Linetype command.
Lineweight — specifies the line widths for entities on the layer.The default is 0.00mm; the maximum is 2.11mm (about
0.08", or 6 points wide); can be overridden by the Lineweight command.
Plot Style — specifies the plot style with which entities plotted. Named plot styles defines colors, widths, and percentages of black during plotting. This option is not available for drawings created with color-dependent plot styles.
Plot — specifies whether the layer is plotted; when off, the layer is not plotted. Material — specifies the material used during renderings.
LAYOUT MODE PROPERTIES
When drawings are in layout mode, this dialog box displays more columns. (VP is short for “viewport.”)
VP Freeze — freezes the layers in new viewports created in paper space
VP Color, VP Linetype, VP Lineweight, VP Plot Style — specifies the color, linetype, lineweight, and plot style
for the layer in paper space viewports
90
Inside BricsCAD V17
The layers in this tutorial segregate the text, the yard, the road, and so on.
A further advantage to CAD layers is that global properties can be applied to entities. For example,
all entities assigned to a layer called “grass” could be colored green — or maybe brown, depending on the time of year! Changing the color of the layer instantly changes the color of all entities
assigned to that layer.
Assigning entities to layers is this simple: (a) set the name of a layer as current, and then (b) start
drawing! The most common way to set a name as current through the Layer droplist. There are
commands that let you move entities to other layers, should that be necessary.
NAMING LAYERS
Layers are specified by name. BricsCAD lets you give layers names up to 255 characters long. Start
setting up new layers with the Layer command, which displays a dialog box. (new in V17) Layers
can also be displayed in a panel, which can always stay open, with the LayersPanelOpen command.
1. Enter the Layer command:
: layer
Notice the Drawing Explorer dialog box. This dialog box lets you control almost every aspect of layers in drawings.
The drawing already has one layer: 0. Every new BricsCAD drawing has one layer, called “0”, which you can
never erase. Layer 0 has special properties that affect the creation of blocks, as discussed in greater detail
later in this book.
Create a new layer
Rename the layer
Properties of layers
Set the layer current
2. Following the steps illustrated below, create a layer:
a. Click the New Layer
button. Notice that BricsCAD creates a new layer called “NewLayer1.”
b. Change the name by clicking “NewLayer1.”
c.Type Lot , and then press Enter.
Step 1: Click New button
Step 2: Click new layer name
Step 3: Enter name and press Enter
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 91
3.
Assigning a color to each layer makes it easier to determine which lines belong to which layers. Change the
color of the Lot layer to blue, as follows:
a. Click the black square under the Color column across from the layer name Lot.
b. The Select Color dialog box appears, displaying 255 colors. Which one to choose?
c.
Above the set of black and gray squares are BricsCAD’s “standard colors,” which are the most-commonly used ones. Select the dark blue square. Notice that the number “5” appears in the Color text box,
because this is color number 5 according the color-numbering system used by many CAD systems.
Click OK to exit the Select Color dialog box. The color of the square across from layer Lot changes to blue.
4. Add the remaining layer names and colors, using the table as a guide. If you make a spelling mistake, just click
the layer name and type the correction.
New Layer
Lot
House
Road
Lawn
Plants
Pond
Layer Color
Blue (color 5)
White (black)
Red (color 1)
Cyan (light blue, color 4)
Green (color 3)
Blue (color 5)
5.
When you finish assigning colors to layer names, pick the Lot layer name, then click in the blank square between the 2 and Lot. Notice the blue ball that appears; it indicates the current layer.
For now, drafting takes place on the Lot layer — until you select another name as the current layer.
6. To exit the Drawing Explorer dialog box, click X at the top right of the dialog box.
92
Inside BricsCAD V17
Notice that the name of the layer on the Entity Properties toolbar changes from 0 to Lot. The color
has changed from black to blue. When you click the layers droplist, you see all of the newly-created
layer names and their properties. Later in this book, you make use of this droplist to control layer
properties.
TIPS There can be some confusion over the color “white” — or is it black? BricsCAD switches white
and black depending on the background color of the drawing area. When the background is black, BricsCAD displays white lines; when white, BricsCAD displays black lines. So, white can be black — at least in the
world of CAD.
To set the background color in BricsCAD, from the Settings menu, select Settings. In the Find field, enter
background color, and then press Enter. Select the color.
Saving Drawings
CommandSave
Ribbon
Home | File | Save
Menu Bar
File | Save
Shortcut
Ctrl+S (Cmd+S on Macs)
As the final activity, save your important work with the Save command, as follows.
1.
2.
On the toolbar, click on the icon that looks like a diskette
(tooltip = Save).
In the ribbon’s Home tab, click the Save button in the File panel.
Because this drawing has a generic name of “Drawing1.Dwg,” BricsCAD displays the Save Drawing As dialog
box to give you a chance to give it a better name. Type the name “Yard” in the File name text entry box.
Step 1: Choose the folder in which to save drawings
Step 2: Enter the drawing's name
3.
Step 3: Click Save to save the drawing
Click the Save button. BricsCAD saves the drawing with the name yard.dwg. From now on, you and BricsCAD refer to this drawing as “Yard.”
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 93
MAKING BACKUPS AUTOMATIC
For speed, BricsCAD keeps parts of the drawing in the computer’s memory (RAM). The drawback
is that when the operating system crashes or when the power is cut to the computer, you may lose
some or all of your work. Because crashes are common in older versions of Windows especially, it
is an excellent idea to save drawings every 10 or 15 minutes.
BricsCAD does this automatically, but also lets you specify the interval in which the drawings are
saved — without you needing to repeatedly use the Save command. The default setting is 60 minutes, which is too long.
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE SAVEAS COMMAND
The Save As dialog box lets you save drawings in several dialects of DWG. Newer versions of BricsCAD can always
read drawings created by older versions of BricsCAD, Ares, DraftSight, AutoCAD, AutoCAD LT, IntelliCAD, and other
DWG-based drafting programs.
Older versions of BricsCAD cannot, however, read drawing files created by newer versions, and this is true of all other
CAD programs, including AutoCAD. For example, BricsCAD V8 cannot read drawings created in BricsCAD V17. When
working with users of older versions of CAD programs, you must make BricsCAD explicitly save drawings in earlier
formats compatible with older software, as described by this table:
Save As File Format
Saves Drawings in File Formats Used By These Versions
AutoCAD 2013 AutoCAD 2010 AutoCAD 2007 AutoCAD 2004 AutoCAD 2000 AutoCAD Release 14
AutoCAD Release 13
AutoCAD Release 11/12
20132014201520162017
2010
2011
2012
2007
2008
2009
2004
2005
2006
2000
2000i
2002
Release 14 (released in 1997)
Release 13 (released in 1994)
Releases 11 and 12 (released in 1990 and 1992, respectively)
When you regularly save drawings in older formats, then you can make one of them the default. In the Settings dialog
box, search for “save format,” and then choose the file format you wish to make the default.
Should you need to go all the way back to AutoCAD 10 through 2.5, then use the DXF format, such as “DXF Release 10.”:
AutoCAD Release 10 AutoCAD Release 9 AutoCAD Release 2.6 AutoCAD Release 2.5 R10 (released in 1988)
R9 (released in 1987)
R2.6 (released in 1987)
R2.5 (released in 1986)
DXF is short for “drawing interchange format,” and is a (mostly) open file format read by many CAD and other programs.
BricsCAD imports and exports drawings in DXF format.
Warning! BricsCAD may erase and alter some entities when it translates drawings to earlier formats of DWG and DXF. Check drawings after translation. This is not the fault of BricsCAD but due to the way that entities are represented in
drawing files.
94
Inside BricsCAD V17
To ensure that automatic backups are enabled, and to make automatic saves more frequently, follow these steps:
1.
2.
3.
Enter the Settings command.
In the Find field, enter “save time,” and then press Enter.
Change the value from 60 to 10.
TIPThe Save Time Interval setting specifies how much time elapses before BricsCAD saves drawings. Don’t set this number too low, otherwise the computer spends so much time saving to disk that
other work cannot be done.
4. If it isn’t already, you might want to turn on Incremental Save Backup. This means that BricsCAD keeps the
previous saved file as a backup copy — and that’s a good thing. Automatic saves and backups are not made
to the original files. Instead, during automatic saves, BricsCAD saves drawings with the extension of .sv$ and
backed up files with .bak.
5. Click X to close the dialog box.
6. If you need to take a break at this point, use File | Exit. BricsCAD closes its window and you find yourself back
at the desktop.
Although BricsCAD automatically saves drawings, it is still a good idea for you to save your work
after finishing a significant amount of editing.
chapter 3 Setting Up a New Drawing 95
QUICK SUMMARY OF ALTERNATIVE SAVE FORMATS
In addition to saving drawings in AutoCAD’s .dwg file format, BricsCAD can export drawings with the File | Export
command in the following formats:
ÐÐ
ASCII and binary DXF (*.dxf)
ÐÐ
Template (*.dwt)
ÐÐ
Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf)
ÐÐ
Scalable Vector Graphics (*.svg)
ÐÐ
Windows Bitmap (*.bmp), Metaformat (*.wmf), and Enhanced Metaformat (*.emf)
ÐÐ
And many versions of DWF, such as 2D, 3D, binary, ASCII, and compressed ASCII
Summary
Let’s review the drawing to this point. Although you haven’t drawn anything yet, the drawing file
contains a fair amount of information.
ÐÐ
On the toolbar, you see the color of the current layer is blue and its name is Lot.
ÐÐ
On the status line, you see that the coordinates are displaying in decimal units, or meters; and that drafting modes, like snap, grid,
and model, are turned on.
ÐÐ
The grid is made of dots.
ÐÐ
The automatic backup feature saves your drawing six times an hour.
In the next lesson, you begin to draw!
96
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 4
Creating Your First
Drawing
The point to 2D CAD is to draft drawings efficiently, and then print them — either on paper or electronically. Here you learn how to draw lines, accurately, how to make changes to them, and then produce
a copy of your first drawing on a printer.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Drawing with lines and polylines
•
Understanding absolute and relative distances
•
Using polar coordinates
•
Modifying entities
•
Plotting (printing) drawings
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Absolute coordinate — refers to measurements made relative to the drawing’s origin
Aperture — refers to the area around the cursor in which BricsCAD searches for entities to snap to
Direct distance entry — specifies points by moving the mouse in a direction, then entering the distance
Extent — refers to the invisible rectangle that encompasses all entities in drawings
Fillet — rounds corners
Mirror — mirrors copies of entities
Entity (entity) snap — snaps the cursor to geometric features, such as to the ends of lines
Origin — refers to the location of x=0, y=0, usually at the lower-left corner of drawings
Ortho — constrains cursor movement to the vertical and horizontal; short for “orthographic”
Pick cursor — refers to the square cursor in which BricsCAD searches for entities to select
Polar coordinate — describes measurements specified by distances and angles
Relative coordinate — describes measurements made relative to the last point
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
@ Specifies relative coordinates, such as @2,3
#
Specifies absolute coordinates, such as #4,5
<
Specifies angles, such as 10<45
-
Forces BricsCAD to use the command-line version of a command, such as -layer
[option] Indicate command options, such as [Undo]
<value> Indicate the default (current) value, such as <LOT>
x
Specifies the X coordinate along the horizontal axis
y
Specifies the Y coordinate along the vertical axis
NEW COMMANDS
Command
Aliases
Menu Selection
Ribbon Tab
CancelEsc...1...
Fillet
f or fi
Modify | Fillet
Change | Modify | Fillet
Mirror
mi
Modify | 2D Mirror
Change | Arrange | 2D Mirror
Move
m
Modify | Move
Change | Arrange | Move
Open
op or Ctrl+O
File | Open
Home | File | Open
OSnap
os or F3
Settings | Settings
Settings | Settings
PLine
pl
Draw | Polyline
Draw | Draw | Polyline
Plot
Ctrl+P
File | Print
Home | Print/Plot | Print
QSave
Ctrl+S
File | Save
Home | File | Save
Zoom
z
View | Zoom
View | Zoom | Zoom
The ellipsis (...) indicates no menu selection is available.
1
98
Inside BricsCAD V17
Reopening Drawings
CommandOpen
Ribbon
Home | File | Open
Menu Bar
File | Open
ShortcutCtrl+O
If you exited BricsCAD at the end of the last lesson, then you need to restart BricsCAD, and then
load the Yard drawing.
TIP
The Recent Drawings item of the File menu always holds the names of the last ten drawings you
opened with BricsCAD. Here’s how to do this:
1. Click File on the menu bar.
2. Slide your cursor down to Recent Drawings, and then click on yard.dwg. See figure below.
Notice that when the Yard drawing opens in BricsCAD, it looks exactly the same as when you last
saw it — that is to say blank, except for the grid lines.
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
By the end of this lesson, your drawing should look like this one:
Tutorial-04 drawing file
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 99
Drawing the Lot Boundary
CommandLine
Ribbon
Draw | Draw | Line
Menu Bar
Draw | Line
Alias
L
Let’s get some lines on the screen! To orient yourself, the first thing to do is to draw the boundary
of the yard. That helps you see the extents of the drawing.
The lines making up the lot boundary are drawn with the Line command. You begin drawing the lot
lines at the lower-left corner, the origin (0,0), then work counterclockwise around the lot boundary,
as shown by the illustration below.
1.
First, ensure DYN is turned off on the status bar; the word should look gray. This turns off dynamic input, so
that all prompts appear in the Command bar.
2.
Enter the Line command, as follows:
: line
3.
Respond to the ‘Specify first point:’ prompt by typing the coordinates of the origin:
: _line Start of line: 0,0
4. To draw the lower boundary line 35m long, you need to tell BricsCAD that the far end of the line is located at
the x,y coordinates of 35,0. (In imperial units, this is 116',0.)
Angle/Length/Undo/<End point>: 35,0
@23<180
Angle of line: 216.88
Length of line: 15
C (close)
35,0
Start at 0,0
(the origin)
100
Inside BricsCAD V17
TIP
Notice that the prompt line Angle/Length/Undo/ is separated by slashes. The slashes indicate
that these words are options of the Line command. If you were now to type “undo”...
Angle/Length/Undo/<End point>: undo
...BricsCAD would un-draw the last line segment. “Angle” and “Length” are other options that specify the
angle and length of line segments. Later, you will encounter another option, “Close.”
5.
The next line is 24m north. Its endpoint is located at coordinates 35,24.
(In imperial units, draw to 116',80'. Remember to include the apostrophe ' with each distance; the apostrophe
indicates feet; if you were to leave it out, BricsCAD would interpret the numbers as inches, and you would
end up with a very small yard!)
Angle/Length/Follow/Undo/<End point>: 35,24
6. You drew the first two lines with absolute coordinates, where you calculated the coordinates based on measurements relative to the origin at 0,0. BricsCAD, however, can do these calculations for you when you use
polar coordinates, in which you specify the distance and angle. Continue drawing the lot boundary by combining relative and polar coordinates like this:
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: @23<180
(In imperial units: End point: @76'<180)
With all that punctuation, entering @23<180 can feel like quite a typing chore. I’m getting you to type coordinates for now so that later you will appreciate other, less cumbersome input methods!
TIPS
When you tell BricsCAD to draw a line with the above relative polar coordinates, you enter a
special notation that has the following meaning:
Notation
Meaning
@
Use relative coordinates
23
Distance is 23m from the current point
<
Draw the line at an angle...
180
...of 180 degrees
Lines are drawn relative to the current point; the angle, however, is measured in absolute degrees using
the East-is-0-degrees convention. Using relative polar coordinates makes sense when you have many
angled lines to draw.
In the meantime, if you make a mistake entering the coordinate notation, simply use the Undo option (type U
at the prompt) and reenter the coordinates.
7.
Enter the coordinates for the next endpoint using the Angle option, as follows:
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: a
Angle of line: 216.88
Length of line: 15
(In imperial units, Length of line: 50'.) Notice that the Angle option removes the need to use the @ and <
characters.
The Length option works the same way, but prompts first for the length, then the angle.
8. To finish the lot boundary, you use a shortcut. Type c (short for “Close”) to close the boundary — instead of
typing the final coordinates (0,0):
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: c
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 101
BricsCAD automatically draws a line from the current endpoint to the beginning of the first line.
As I mentioned earlier, slashes separate options names. All of the options for the Line command
are Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/ :
Angle — asks you to enter the angle of the next line segment, followed by length
Length — asks you to enter the length of the next line segment, followed by angle
Follow — asked you to show the angle with the mouse, and then enter the length
Close — BricsCAD closes the polygon formed by the lines
Undo — BricsCAD undoes the drawing of the last line segment
9. To add space around the drawing, use the Zoom command to make the drawing 10% smaller, as follows:
: zoom
In/Out/All/Center/Extents/Left/Previous/Right/Window/<Scale (nX/nXP)>: 0.9x
This zooms the drawing 90% as large as it was before.
Instead of drafting on paper, you have created your first digital drawing! More importantly, you
have drawn it full size — even if it looks small on your computer screen. This is one of the most
powerful aspects of CAD: everything is drawn full size. There is no need for a scale ruler or to divide
distances by a scale factor as in manual drafting.
Planning the Next Steps
The next step is to draw the outline of the house. The lower-right corner of the house is located 3m
up and 6m in from the lot corner.
There are several ways in BricsCAD to locate one entity relative to another, in this case the corner
of the house relative to the property line. You could...
102
�
Calculate the coordinates of the house’s corner
�
Use the XLine command to draw a pair of construction lines, then start drawing from their intersection
�
Use the From option to start drawing from an offset from the lot corner
�
Use tracking to offset the starting point (described in a later lesson)
�
Draw the house in the corner of the lot, then move the house into position
Inside BricsCAD V17
Please don’t feel overwhelmed by this list of many options. I showed them to you purely to make
the point that in CAD there are many ways to skin a cat.
In this tutorial, you use the last method in the list: draw, and then move. It demonstrates two of
BricsCAD’s most powerful commands, PLine and Move. But first, make a layer change.
CHANGING LAYERS
Command
-Layer
Before you draw the house, you need to change the layer to “House.” Continuing with the theme of
many approaches to solving drafting problems, a significant number of BricsCAD’s commands can
be carried out in more than one way. Here you learn an alterative way to control layers.
In the previous chapter, you used the Drawing Explorer dialog box to create and color new layers
and to set “Lot” as the current (or working) layer. Another method is to change the layer through a
droplist on the ribbon, status bar, toolbar, or use the Layers panel. And then there is another method:
In this part of the tutorial, you change layers by typing the command and its options at the keyboard
by entering the -Layer command. The hyphen ( - ) in front of Layer forces the command to display
its prompts in the command bar.
1.
To set the House layer with the -Layer command, enter the following:
: -layer
2.
The -Layer command has more than a dozen options, most of which you ignore for now:
? to list/New/Make/Set/Color/Ltype/LWeight/TRansparency/MATerial/Plot/stAte/ON/OFF/Freeze/
Thaw/LOck/Unlock: s
3.
Enter s, and BricsCAD invokes the Set option. It sets another layer as active, whose name you specify.
BricsCAD prompts you to enter the name of the layer to make active. To change the working layer to House,
type “house” and then press Enter.
New layer to make current: house (Press Enter)
4.The House layer is now current.
The -Layer command repeats its many-optioned prompt. Press Esc to cancel the command and return to the
‘ : ’ prompt.
? to list/New/Make/Set/.../Unlock: (Press Esc)
TIP You can cancel commands at any time by pressing Esc. Sometimes, however, you may need to
press Esc two or even three times in commands that have large numbers of sub-options, such as the PEdit
command.
5.
Look at the ribbon, status bar, or toolbar to confirm that BricsCAD has changed the working layer from layer
Lot to layer House.
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 103
TIP For all of command options, BricsCAD capitalizes one (or more) letters of each option. To select
an option, you need type only its capitalized character, such as S for the Set option.
When two (or more) options begin with the same first letter — such as LType and LWeight — then you
need to enter the first two characters, as specified by the capitalization — LT and LW in this case.
There are a few times when the character that’s capitalized is in the middle of the option name, such as A
for the stAte option. This is because the all the other letters in stAte were already taken up by other option
abbreviations.
By capitalizing them, BricsCAD shows you the fewest characters you need to enter for it to know what
you’re talking about. So you could enter SE for the Set option or LTY for LType.
Drawing the House Outline
Status Bar
ORTHO
Ribbon
Settings | Settings | Draw Orthogonal
Menu
Settings | Draw Orthogonal
ShortcutsCtrl+L
F8
CommandPline
Ribbon
Draw | Draw | Polyline
Menu Bar
Draw | Polyline
Alias
PL
Earlier, you drew the lot boundary as a polygon with the Line command. It looked like a continuous
line that was made of several segments and vertices (corners). Each segment, however, is independent; they only look connected. This disconnected group of lines can be difficult to deal with when
it comes to selecting something like the entire lot boundary at once.
To remedy this, BricsCAD offers a special kind of line called the “polyline.” Polylines are lines made
up of many features, as suggested by the prefix poly. They can be made of lines and arcs, or of
snaky-looking spline-like shapes; plines can have widths (which lines cannot), and even varying
widths — all connected together as a single entity, as illustrated below.
Segment
Vertex
End point
Arc
(aka polyarc)
Width
Start point
Length
1.
Because the lines describing the house are all at right angles, I recommend using orthographic mode, known
as “ortho” for short. The mode constrains cursor movement to the horizontal and vertical directions. Turn on
ortho mode by clicking the ORTHO button on the status bar so that it turns black.
As confirmation, BricsCAD reports the following:
104
: <Ortho on>
Inside BricsCAD V17
2.
Draw the house’s outline as a polyline. (The figure further below gives the dimensions for the outline of the
house.) To do so, enter the PLine command.
: pline
BricsCAD prompts you for the point from which to begin drawing the polyline. But instead of specifying coordinates, you this time ask BricsCAD to find a geometric feature by using entity snap:
ENTER to use last point/Follow/<Start of polyline>: int
When you enter int (short for “intersection”), BricsCAD attempts to snap to the nearest intersection, rather
than to the nearest 0.1m you specified earlier with the snap mode. Entity snaps override regular snap distance. Here, intersection snap overrides the 0.1m-snap. This is referred to as “entity snap override.”
8.5 (28')
6 (20')
1 (3')
16 (50')
Start here with INT osnap
10 (30')
C (close)
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE PLINE COMMAND
A polyline consists of numerous lines and/or arcs connected together as a single entity. Polylines are drawn with the
PLine command, and edited with the PEdit command.The PLine command has the following options for drawing polylines:
: pline
ENTER to use last point/Follow/<Start of polyline>:
Arc/Close/Distance/Follow/Halfwidth/Width/Undo/<Next point>:
Next point — specifies the location of the polyline’s next vertex
Arc — draws polyarcs; you can switch between lines and arcs when drawing polylines
Close — joins the last endpoint with the starting point
Follow — draws a specific distance, in the direction of the cursor’s angle
Halfwidth — specifies the width of polylines by the distance from their center line to their outside edge
Width — specifies the width of polyline segments; allows independent starting and ending widths for tapered polylines
Undo — undoes the last polyline drawing operation
Press Esc to exit the PLine command.
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 105
3.
BricsCAD then prompts you to position the cursor near the intersection of two lines.
Snap to intersection of:
(Pick the lower-right corner of the lot.)
Snap marker (X)
Tooltip
a.
Move the cursor until the aperture is over the lower-right corner of the lot boundary. The tooltip reports
the entity snap found by BricsCAD.
b. Click — press the left mouse button. BricsCAD “captures” the intersection as the starting point for the
polyline.
DIRECT DISTANCE ENTRY
As CAD systems improve, they develop easier way to specify distances and angles. Let’s now look
at a shortcut called “direct distance entry” (DDE). It combines cursor movement with keyboard
entry — you directly show BricsCAD the angle, and then type in the distance. It’s a lot quicker than
typing values of angles — and more intuitive, too.
Carrying on with the tutorial, here is how to use DDE:
4. The second line of the prompt displays many options, but don’t let them intimidate you; for now, you ignore
all of them, except for the default, ‘Next point.’
Arc/Distance/Follow/Halfwidth/Width/<Next point>: (Move cursor up)
Here is how to do direct distance entry:
a. First, move the cursor up towards the top of the drawing. The distance does not matter, only the direction. (Other ways of saying “move the cursor up” include “in the positive y direction,” or “to the North,”
or “at 90 degrees”).
b. Then, on the keyboard, type 10 and press Enter. (In imperial units, 30')
Notice that the line is drawn upwards, 10m long. Direct distance entry is like another form of relative coordinates: BricsCAD measures the 10m relative to the last entered point.
DYNAMIC INPUT
Let’s now move to another way of using direct distance entry, one that is even more interactive
with the drawing area. It is known as “dynamic input,” because it displays distances and angles
dynamically — right at the cursor in the drawing. Let’s see how it works:
5.
106
To use dynamic input for the next segment, the 1m line, follow these steps:
a. On the status bar, ensure DYN is turned on. When black (instead of gray) then dynamic input is on.
Inside BricsCAD V17
QUICK SUMMARY OF ENTITY SNAP MODES
BricsCAD has the following entity (object) snaps that look for specific geometric features on entities:
Mode
CommandSnaps to...
app
cen
end
ext
from
gcen
ins
int
mid
nea
nod
APParent
CENter
ENDpoint
EXTension
FROM
GCENter
INSertion INTersection
MIDpoint
NEArest
NODe
Apparent intersections of two entities
Center of arcs, circles, and polyarcs
Either end of lines, arcs, and other open entities
Extension of two entities
Offset distance from a specified point
Geometric center of objects
Insertion point of blocks and text
Intersection of lines, arcs, circles, and other entities
Middle of lines, arcs, and other open entities
Nearest point on the nearest entity
Point entities
par
per
qua
qui
tan
PARallel
PERpendicular
QUAdrant
QUIck
TANgent
Parallel to lines and other entities
Perpendicular to lines, arcs, and other entities
0-, 90-, 180-, and 270-degree points on arcs, circles, and polyarcs
First geometric feature found by BricsCAD
The tangents of arcs and circles
The M2p command is kind of like an entity snap, in that it finds the middle between two points.
Because more than one entity snap can be active at a time, BricsCAD provides a number of visual cues to
identify the current one. You can toggle the visual cues through the Program Options | Display section of the
Settings dialog box.
Snap marker (X)
Tooltip
The table below illustrates on-screen markers associated with each entity snap mode.
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 107
Notice that a couple of “dimensions” immediately appear in the drawing area:
b. These are known as “dynamic dimensions,” because they change as you move the cursor. Try it now:
Move the cursor and watch how the length and angle values change.
Left to right: Dynamic dimension values changing as the cursor moves
TIP
When you enter numbers at the keyboard, they are entered into the blue field. Notice in the
figures above that the length field is highlighted in blue.
To move between the length and angle fields, press the Tab key. In the figure below, the angle field (135
degrees) turns blue, as shown below.
c.
Enter the length of the wall, 1 and then press Tab. (In imperial units: 3'.)
Notice that the length field (1 or 3) turns red. This tells you that BricsCAD has accepted the value, and
has locked it temporarily.
d. When you pressed Tab in the last step, BricsCAD highlighted the angle field in blue. This means that it is
ready for input: enter the angle of the wall, 0 (degrees)...
108
Inside BricsCAD V17
e.
...and then press Tab again to lock the value. (To change the length and/or angle, press Tab to switch
between the two fields.)
Accept the length and angle values by pressing Enter.
6. Draw the remainder of the house outline by moving the cursor in the appropriate direction, and then entering the distances:
Cursor Direction
Metric Distance
Imperial Distance
East13'
North620'
West8.528'
South 1650'
7.
Complete the polyline with the C option, as you did with the Line command.
8.5 (28')
6 (20')
1 (3')
16 (50')
Start here with INT osnap
10 (30')
C (close)
When Lot was the working layer, the lines you drew showed up in blue. You changed the layer to
House, and BricsCAD automatically drew the lines in black instead. This shows that lines take on
the color specified by their layer. (You can, if you need to, change colors on-the-fly with the Color
command.)
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 109
Moving the House into Position
CommandMove
Ribbon
Change | Arrange | Move
Menu Bar
Modify | Move
Alias
M
Now that you’ve drawn the outline of the house, you need to move it into position. Entities are
moved with the Move command.
1.
Enter Move the ‘Command:’ prompt:
: move
2.
3.
Notice that BricsCAD asks what you want to move:
Select entities to move:
(“Entities” is an older word that means the same as objects.)
At the same time, BricsCAD changes the crosshair cursor into a small square cursor, called the pick cursor.
Move the cursor to any part of the house’s polyline, and then press the pick button.
Select entities to move: (Pick the outline of the house)
The entire house outline is highlighted. The highlighting shows as a dotted line, which is how BricsCAD lets
you know it found the entity you picked.
Select polyline with pick cursor
Selected polyline
is highlighted
4. BricsCAD reports the number of entity selected, and then lets you make additional selections, if need be. The
prompt repeats:
5.
Select entities to move: (Press Enter to exit entity selection)
Because you are moving just one polyline, press Enter to end the entity selection process.
Just as when drawing lines, the Move command needs to know a from-point and a to-point. But here the
from-point is named the “base point,” as follows:
Enter base point: <Displacement>: 0,0
(If you were to press Enter at the ‘Enter base point <Displacement>’ prompt, BricsCAD would ask for the
displacement vector, which consists of a move in the x,y, and z directions.)
6. Now BricsCAD wants to know where you want to move the selected entities. The Move command calls the
to-point the “displacement point,” as follows:
110
Displacement point <ENTER to use base point as displacement>: -6,3
Inside BricsCAD V17
Y = -3 (-10')
X = -6 (-20')
Displacement point
Base point
7.
The coordinates -6,3 (in imperial units: -20',10') tell BricsCAD to move the house left by 6m (x direction = –6
meters) and up by 3m (y direction = 3). BricsCAD instantly relocates the house much faster than a house
mover. The Move command shows you a powerful aspect of CAD: no eraser dust!
It’s a good idea to regularly save your work. Press Ctrl+S, and BricsCAD silently saves the drawing to disk. The
only indication is that “: _qsave” appears on the command line.
Alternatively, you can click the diskette icon on the toolbar, enter the QSave command, or select Save from
the File menu.
Starting on the Driveway
The final drafting for this project is to add the driveway and the street. Before drawing them, change
the layer to Road using the technique described below. Once the layer is set correctly, you will draw
the driveway and street outlines using a shortcut. Once the upper roadwork is drawn, you duplicate
it with a single command to create the lower roadworks.
1.
2.
On the toolbar, status bar, or ribbon, click on the House layer name.
When the list box appears, select Road. BricsCAD changes the layer name from House to Road and the working color from black to red. Below, I show the toolbar version of the Layers droplist.
3. Ensure that ortho mode is still on by glancing at the status bar. The ORTHO button should be in black text.
4. Start the Line command:
: line
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 111
...and then draw the upper driveway and street line using direct distance entry, as follows:
ENTER to use last point/Follow/<Start of line>: int
Snap to intersection of: (Pick upper-right corner of house)
Angle/Length/Undo/<End point>: 8.5
Angle/Length/Follow/Undo/<End point>: 12
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: (Press ENTER to end the command)
From point: INT
12 (40')
8.5 (28')
Recall that you can “back up” to undraw incorrect lines with u (short for “Undo”), as follows:
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: 21
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: u
Angle/Length/Follow/Close/Undo/<End point>: 12
FINISHING THE DRIVEWAY
CommandFillet
Ribbon
Change | Modify | Fillet
Menu Bar
Modify | Fillet
Alias
F
To add the curb return — the arc joining the driveway and street — use BricsCAD’s Fillet command.
It draws arcs between intersecting lines. The lines don’t have to physically meet; BricsCAD takes
care of extending (or trimming) the lines so that the arc is drawn between them.
You use the Fillet command by specifying the radius of the arc and then applying the fillet.
1.
To start the command, enter the Fillet command, or else do as I do: just type f at the ‘ : ’ prompt.
: f
2.
Notice that BricsCAD reports the current fillet radius. To change it, enter the hidden r option:
_filet
Fillet (radius=0.50): Settings/Polyline/Radius/Trim/Undo/Multiple/<Select first entity>: r
TIP
If you follow the official route by entering “s” for the Settings option, then BricsCAD opens the
Settings dialog box at the section where the fillet radius is specified. Just another case of more than one
way to skin cats.
3.
Enter the fillet radius of one meter (three feet in imperial units):
Fillet radius <radius=0.50>: 1
4. With the fillet radius set to 1m, perform the filleting, as follows:
112
Fillet (radius=0.50): Settings/.../<Select first entity>: (Pick one line)
Select second entity: (Pick the other line)
Inside BricsCAD V17
BricsCAD automatically adjusts the two lines to fit the 1m arc between them.
Select second object
Select first object
Fillet radius = 3'
Mirroring Entities
CommandMirror
Ribbon
Change | Modify | 2D Mirror
Menu Bar
Modify | 2D Mirror
Alias
MI
Above, you used the Line and Fillet commands to create one part of the roadway. A very important
concept behind computer-aided anything is that you should never have to draw the same line twice.
To illustrate the power of this concept, use the Mirror command to duplicate the lower driveway
and street line without having to draw them! This command creates mirrored copies of entities,
naturally: the copy is the reverse of the original.
1. Enter the Mirror command:
: _mirror
2.
BricsCAD asks you to select the entities you want to mirror. Use the cursor to pick the line and arc segments,
as follows:
Select entities to mirror: (Pick the driveway line)
Entities in set: 1
Select entities to mirror: (Pick the curb return)
Entities in set: 2
Select entities to mirror: (Pick the street line)
Entities in set: 3
Select entities to mirror: (Press Enter to end entity selection)
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 113
3.
BricsCAD needs you to specify the mirror line, an imaginary line about which it mirrors the entities you just
picked. Use Midpoint and Perpendicular entity snaps to help you:
Start of mirror line: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick center of garage entrance)
End of mirror line: per
Snap to perpendicular of: (Pick right-hand lot boundary)
The length of the mirror line is not important, but its angle is crucial. For this reason, you used two new entity
snap modes: mid to find the midpoint of the garage entrance and per to ensure the mirror line is perpendicular to the lot boundary.
4. At this point, BricsCAD gives you the option of erasing the old entities — the two lines and arc you picked. In
most cases, as in this case, you don’t want them erased:
Delete the original entities? <N> n
BricsCAD draws the lower driveway and street outline as a perfect mirror image of the upper set.
You have now drawn the outline of the lot, house, and driveway. The work you have done is valuable and it is important that you save the drawing to disk. Use the QSave command to store the
drawing on disk.
114
Inside BricsCAD V17
Putting Drawings to Paper
CommandPrint
Ribbon
Home | Print/Plot | Print
Menu Bar
File | Print
ShortcutCtrl+P
While it is efficient (and environmentally aware) to create and store drawings on computers and
share them electronically via email or Web sites, you may want to print copies on paper. That lets
you mark up the drawing with notes or show off your progress to friends and family!
The Print command sends the drawing to printers, plotters (oversize printers), and files. It is also
known as the print command. Traditionally, “plotters” used motors to move the pen over the paper,
while “printers” are what we mostly use today – laser printers and inkjet printers.
The following series of dialog boxes assumes you have a printer compatible with Windows or Linux
attached to your computer. (The method for printing with Macs is roughly similar, but shows different dialog boxes.)
1.Press Ctrl+P or enter the Print command. Notice that BricsCAD displays the Plot [Model] dialog box.
(Old timers might enter the command as “plot,” but this makes the command’s options appear in the Command bar, instead of in the dialog box.)
Drawing orientation: Landscape
Plot offset: Center on Page
Choose a printer
Choose Extents
Choose Fit
print area to
size of page
Click Preivew
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 115
2.
The dialog box has many options. Fortunately you can ignore most options, except for these:
Printer/Plotter Configuration
Select a printer from the Name droplist. BricsCAD supports local and networked printers.
Plot Area
Select Extents. This option ensures everything in your drawing is plotted on the paper.
Plot Scale
Check that Fit Print Area to Size of Page is selected. This ensures the entire drawing will be plotted, and
that it won’t be too large or too small.
Page Orientation
If the orientation of the paper doesn’t match that of the drawing, then you need to change it. The paper
is tall but the drawing is wide. To change the orientation of the paper, select Landscape.
Plot Offset
116
Turn on the Center on Page option to have the drawing nicely centered on the paper.
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
To check that the drawing fits the paper, click the Preview button. The drawing appears simulated on a sheet
of paper.
QUICK SUMMARY OF PRINT PREVIEW
The Print Preview window has the following controls:
Print button prints the drawing as shown.
Close closes the window, and returns to the Print dialog box.
Print Settings also returns to the Print dialog box.
Zoom droplist changes the size of the preview image; scale ranges from 10% to 500%.
TIP
If the Preview button is grayed out in the Print dialog box, this means you have not
yet selected a printer for this drawing.
To make preview available, select a printer — any printer! — from the Printer/Plotter Configuration droplist:
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 117
4. If the drawing looks alright to you, then click Print to print the drawing.
(If, however, the preview shows a problem, click Close to exit, and return to the Print dialog box to adjust
settings.)
BricsCAD sends the drawing to the printer, and it should appear a few seconds later looking exactly
like the preview.
SOLVING PRINTING PROBLEMS
If the printer does not produce the drawing correctly, here are some items to check:
�
Check in the Print dialog box that...
...drawings are centered on the page
...and check that the Extents of the drawings is printed.
These two settings ensure that all of the drawing will be printed on the paper.
Left: Print will be centered on page.
Right: Print will be made to drawing extents.
�
Check the printer:
Is it turned on?
Does it have paper?
Is the paper not jammed?
Are the toner or ink cartridges not low”
Are there any warning messages or lights?
Left and right: Warning lights from various printers.
118
�
Check that the BricsCAD is printing to the correct printer. The operating system sometimes mistakenly lists names of printers
that are not necessarily accessible by the computer.
�
In some cases, the spooler acts up in Windows. The spooler is software that feeds data to the printer, allowing you to continue
working with BricsCAD while the printer works in the background. Sometimes, the spooler plugs up, preventing the printer from
receiving the data.
To fix the problem, follow these steps:
1. Click Start, and then Devices and Printers in Windows 7.
Inside BricsCAD V17
2.
3.
(In Windows 8, press Windows+W, and then enter “printers” in the Search field. Choose View Devices
and Printers.)
In the window, click Add a Printer. Install the same printer as the one that is giving you problems.
You now have two drivers for the same printer. Remove the first printer: right-click its icon, and then
choose Remove Device.
4. Printing should now work.
GENERATING PDFs OF DRAWINGS
The PDF format from Adobe is a popular way of sharing drawings electronically, so that you can
send them by email or post them to Web sites. When drawings are saved in PDF format, they can
be viewed but not altered. (new in v17) In V17, BricsCAD moved the PDF function from the Export
command to the ExportPDF command.
To save drawings in PDF format in BricsCAD, follow these steps:
1.
Enter the ExportPDF command.
: exportpdf
2. Notice the Export Drawing As dialog box. You have the options of choosing a folder in which to save the file
(“Save In”), and changing the file name (“File name”).
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 119
Click Save.
You can open the PDF file in Acrobat Reader or another program that displays .pdf files.
Specifying PDF Output Options
You control aspects of the PDF files produced by BricsCAD through the Settings dialog box. The
quick way to access options specific to PDF files is with the PdfOptions command, which then opens
the Settings dialog box at the section for PDF Export options, conveniently enough
Here is an explanation of the settings available, along with the default values in parentheses:
PDF Embed Fonts (on) embeds TTF font files in the PDF file:
�
PDF TTF Text as Geometry (off) converts text made with TTF fonts into geometry (lines and arcs)
�
PDF SHX Text as Geometry (off) converts text made with SHX fonts into geometry
PDF Simple Geometry Optimization (on) reduces the file size by combining individual line segments into
polylines, and uses Bezier control points to define splines. This option does not affect the drawing, only the
resulting PDF file.
PDF Zoom to Extents Mode (on) exports the drawing unscaled, so that its extends fit the page
(new to v17) PDF Merge Control (0) determines the look of overlapping lines:
0 Overwrite; the topmost line obscures lines underneath it
1 Merge; overlapping lines are semi-transparent
PDF Layer Support (1) determines whether layers are included:
0 Exclude layers; export entities with no layer information (this is a form of security)
1 Export layers, except those turned off (default setting)
2 Export all layers, including those turned off
PDF Layouts to Export (1) specifies which layouts should be included in the PDF file:
PDF Papersize Override — determines whether the PDF page should be of a custom size:
�
PDF Overridden Paper Width (210) specifies the width of the PDF page in millimeters
�
PDF Overridden Paper Height (297) specifies the height in millimeters
(new to v17) Export solid hatches (2) as...
120
0 Only the current “active” layout; this is like plotting a single layout (default setting)
1 All layouts; the PDF file becomes a multi-page PDF, with each layout on its own page
0 Bitmaps
1 Vectors
2 PDF paths (default)
Inside BricsCAD V17
PDF Use Plotstyles (on) determines whether the drawing is exported to PDF format using named plot styles;
named plot styles must exist in the drawing
Image Anti-Aliasing (on) applies anti-aliasing (smoothing) to images requiring upscaling for export to PDF
format
Image Compression (JPEG) specifies whether to compress raster images in drawings; 0 = off.
(new to v17) Vector Resolution (2400) specifies the resolution of vector graphics.
Image DPI (300) specifies the minimum resolution of raster images
Render DPI (300) specifies the minimum resolution of rendered images
Hatch to bitmap DPI (300) exports hatch patterns as raster bitmaps, and specifies their resolution
Summary
Congratulations! You’ve drafted your very first drawing using a computer. You can save the drawing
as a memento of your introduction to computer-aided drafting.
In the next lesson, you learn how to add details to drawings, such as hatching and symbols (blocks).
chapter
4 Creating Your First Drawing 121
Notes
122
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 5
Adding Details
to Drawings
So far you’ve learned how to draw lines to create the outlines of the lot, the house, and the driveway.
Now it’s time to add details, like the lawn, some trees, and a pond. Here you learn to use BricsCAD’s intermediate commands, such as those that create ellipses, place hatch patterns, and draw offsets.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Drawing circles and ellipses
•
Editing with grips
•
Applying hatch patterns to areas
•
Arraying entities
•
Making parallel offsets of entities
•
Creating symbols (blocks)
•
Performing real-time zooming and panning
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Drag — describes holding down the left mouse button while moving selected entities
Grip — describes the small square that indicates the editing points on a selected entity
Grips editing — refers to selecting entities, and then applying editing commands
Hatch pattern — displays a repeating pattern that indicates the material of entities
Palette or bar — describes a window that provides continuous information about BricsCAD
Real time — refers to an action in BricsCAD that occurs as the same time as you move the mouse
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
L
W last (used by entity selection)
window (used by entity selection and zooming)
NEW COMMANDS
CommandAliasesMenu BarRibbon Tab
Array
Block
Circle
Ellipse
Hatch
Insert
Offset
Pan
PEdit
RtZoom Zoom Window
124
ar
b
c
el
h
i
o
p, -p
pe
...
z w
Inside BricsCAD V17
Modify | 2D Array
Tools | Create Block
Draw | Circle
Draw | Ellipse
Draw | Hatch
Insert | Block
Modify | Offset
View | Pan
Modify | Edit Polyline
View | Realtime | Realtime Zoom
View | Zoom | Zoom Window
Change | Arrange | 2D Array
Tools | Blocks | Create Block
Draw | Draw | Circle
Draw | Draw | Ellipse
Draw | Hatch | Hatch
Insert | Blocks | Insert Block
Change | Modify | Offset
View | Navigate | Real-time Pan
...
View | Navigate | Real-time Zoom
View | Zoom | Zoom Window
Dividing the Lot
The yard has both a lawn and a garden area. In this tutorial, you draw the boundary between the
two areas with a polyline using the PLine command, and then smooth it with the PEdit (polyline
edit) command.
If BricsCAD is not running, start it now. If you did not complete the previous lesson, open
the tutorial-04.dwg file. You can download them from my public Dropbox folder at https://
dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCAD-Tutorial-Files.zip. (If you’re doing the
tutorials in imperial units, open Imp-tutorial-04.dwg.)
Before starting to draw, though, take these steps:
1.
You won’t be drawing at right angles, so turn off ortho mode by clicking the ORTHO button on the status bar.
It should look gray to indicate it is turned off.
2.
Change the working layer to Lawn; its color should be cyan (light blue). Here are several different ways to do this:
ÐÐ
In the toolbar or ribbon interfaces, choose “Lawn” from the Layers droplist (as shown below).
ÐÐ
Or from the Properties panel, choose “Lawn” from the Layers droplist
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
By the end of this lesson, your drawing should look similar to this one:
Tutorial-05 drawing file
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 125
ÐÐ
Or in the status bar, right-click the current layer field...
... and then choose “Lawn” from the list
TIP
If the Current Layer button is not visible on the status bar, then you can add the button like this:
1. Click the black arrow at the end of the status bar
2. From the shortcut menu, choose Current Layer.
ÐÐ
Or at the command prompt, you can enter the CLayer system variable. (Clayer is short for “current layer,” and s a quick
way to change layers at the keyboard. In fact, this is what the Current Layer field on the status bar uses.)
: clayer
New current value for CLAYER <"0">: lawn
Now the drawing is ready for you to draw the lawn-garden boundary.
3.
To draw the polyline, start the PLine command.
: pline
4. To determine the polyline’s starting point, you use an entity snap mode. But this time, you will access entity
snap modes differently than in last chapter’s method:
a. Hold down the Shift key on the keyboard.
126
Inside BricsCAD V17
b. Press the right mouse button, and then let go of the Shift key. Notice the new menu that pops up on the
screen. This is called a “shortcut menu.” The menu lists all of BricsCAD’s entity snap modes.
c.
Move the cursor down to Snap to Midpoint, and then click. On the command line, notice that BricsCAD
reports that MIDpoint esnap is activated:
5.
Start of polyline: _midpoint
Move the cursor to any point on the diagonal portion of the lot line, and then select the line.
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick diagonal lot line)
Polyline snaps to the
midpoint of the segment
MIDpoint esnap forces to BricsCAD snap to the precise midpoint of the lot’s diagonal line.
6. Moving your way down toward the bottom of the yard line, pick a few more points at roughly 3m to 6m
intervals. (In imperial units: 10' to 20' intervals.)
TIP
If you are not sure how far 3m or 6m is (10ft or 20ft), keep an eye on the distance displayed by the
coordinates on the status bar. Or else turn on DYN on the status bar, and watch the distance dynamically:
7.
When you get to the bottom lot line, press Shift+right mouse button. From the shortcut menu, select Nearest entity snap.
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 127
8. Pick anywhere the line crosses the cursor’s aperture box. Again, BricsCAD snaps the polyline precisely to the
lower lot line.
9.Press Esc to end the PLine command.
Here is the reason you created the boundary as a polyline: you can now use the PEdit command
(short for “polyline edit”) to change the crooked polyline segments into a smooth flowing curve easily.
SMOOTHING POLYLINES
CommandPEdit
Shortcut
double-click the polyline
Menu Bar
Modify | Edit Polyline
Alias
PE
The PEdit command’s purpose is to change the look of polylines. It has many, many options; don’t
worry, you’ll use just one of them.
1.
To edit the polyline, begin the PEdit command:
: pedit
2.
Pick the polyline.
Select polyline to edit: (Pick the polyline, or type L to choose the last-drawn entity)
Original polyline
(“frame”)
Splined polyline
(cubic Bezier curve)
3.
Use the Spline option to smooth the straight lines into a flowing curve, as follows:
Edit polyline: Edit vertices/Close/Decurve/Fit/Join/Linetype-mode/Reverse/Spline/
Taper/Width/Undo/<eXit>: s
The straight lines disappear and are replaced by a smooth curve. (Technically, BricsCAD redrew the line segments as a cubic Bezier curve based on the polyline frame.)
4. Exit the PEdit command by pressing Esc.
128
Inside BricsCAD V17
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE PEDIT COMMAND
The PEdit command edits polylines:
: pedit
Edit polyline: Edit vertices/Close/Decurve/Fit/Join/Linetype-mode/Reverse/Spline/Taper/
Width/Undo/<eXit>:
Edit vertices — edits the width and position of individual segments; inserts and removes vertices.
Close — closes an open polyline by drawing a segment between the starting and ending vertices; this prompt is displayed
only when an open polyline is being edited.
Open — opens a closed polyline by erasing the last segment drawn; this prompt is displayed only when a closed polyline
is edited.
Decurve — reverts a curve-fit or splined polyline to its original form.
Fit — applies a curve fit to the polyline.
Join — joins this polyline with another polyline, line, or arc; entities must be connected to form a single polyline (best
done with entity snaps); this option fails when gaps exist between the entities to be joined.
Linetype-mode — determines if linetypes fit over the entire length of the polyline, or between vertices.
Reverse — reverses the direction of the polyline.
Spline — applies a Bezier spline to the polyline.
Taper – applies a varying width to segments.
Width — applies a uniform width to all segments making up the polyline.
Undo — undoes the last polyline editing operation.
eXit — exits the command.
TIP
While you can use the PEdit command’s Edit vertices option to change the shape of
polylines, it is much easier to use grips editing, like this:
1. Select a polyline.
2. Notice the green squares, called “grips.” Pick one; it turns red.
3. Drag the red grip. Notice that the polyline changes its curvature.
4. When done editing the polyline, press Esc.
TIP The letter L is short for “last,” and is shorthand notation for selecting the last entity drawn
still visible on the screen. After you select one or more entities, BricsCAD reports the number selected: “1
found.”
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 129
Grips Editing
When you edited the polyline, you started the PEdit command, then selected the polyline to edit.
BricsCAD can do this in reverse: select an entity, and then edit it. This is called “grips editing.”
Grips editing can sometimes be a faster and more direct way to edit CAD drawings. I say “sometimes,”
because not all editing commands lend themselves to it. Here you use grips editing to change the
shape of the splined polyline separating the garden from the lawn.
TIP If floating toolbars obscure an entity you want to edit, use the Pan command or a scroll bar to
move the entity into view. Alternatively, hold down the roller button on the mouse and then move it to
pan.
1.
First though, enlarge the view of the splined polyline with the Zoom Window command:
a. Enter the Zoom command:
: zoom
b. Specify the Window option by entering ‘w’:
Specify corner of window, enter a scale factor (nX or nXP), or
[All/Center/Dynamic/Extents/Previous/Scale/Window/Entity] <real time>: w
Specify first corner: (Pick a point)
c.
The Window option requires you to pick a rectangular area on the screen to magnify.
Specify opposite corner: (Pick another point)
When you pick points for the first and other corners, you specify the two opposite corners of the rectangle,
as shown in the following figure.
A. Specify first corner
Area to be zoomed into
B. Specify opposite corner
130
Now that the working area is larger, you can start to edit the polyline using grips. In an earlier lesson, I
pointed out the small square at the center of the crosshair cursor. It is called the “pickbox.” When BricsCAD
displays the pickbox, you can select entities without any command being active.
Inside BricsCAD V17
2.
Pick the polyline. Notice that the polyline changes from solid to dashed, and that small green squares appear
along the splined polyline. The green squares are called “grips,” because they let you grip entities. The green
grips that are not on the spline indicate vertices of the straight polyline segments you originally drew, before
splining it.
3.
Pick the green grip at the very bottom end of the polyline. BricsCAD prompts:
New location for control point: nea
Hot grip
Drag grip to relocate end point
4. Enter the NEAr entity snap mode, and then move the cursor. As you do, the last segment of the polyline
curves and arcs to follow you. (The NEAr entity snap ensures the polyline ends precisely at the lot line.)
5.
Click along the lot line where you want the end of the polyline to move to. If you wish, feel free to interactively reshape the rest of the polyline, segment by segment.
6. When you are finished reshaping the polyline, press Esc twice to exit grips editing.
7.
Enter the Zoom Previous command to see the entire drawing again.
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 131
QUICK SUMMARY OF EDITING WITH GRIPS
Grips editing is interactive: you select an entity, select one of its grip, and then manipulate the grip to modify the entity.
Unselected object
Select object;
notice green grips
Select a grip;
notice it turns red
Most grips look the same, and so it can be hard to determine their function — until you start to drag one of them.Typically, an interior grip moves the entity, while grips on the periphery stretch or scale the entity.
Periphery grips
stretch (or scale)
objects
Center grips
move objects
GRIPS EDITING COMMANDS
During grips editing, BricsCAD makes available these editing commands: Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, Mirror, and Copy.
(The six operate identically to their non-grips equivalents.) To see the commands, you need to press the Spacebar, repeatedly. Each time you do, BricsCAD displays another set of prompts:
** STRETCH **
<Stretch to point>/Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit:
** MOVE **
<Move to point>/Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit:
** ROTATE **
<Rotation angle>/Base point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit:
** SCALE **
<Scale factor>/Base point/Copy/Undo/Reference/eXit:
** MIRROR **
<Second point>/Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit:
After ** MIRROR **, BricsCAD repeats the cycle. The other editing options are:
Base point — specifies a base point other than the hot grip.
Copy — copies the entity, using the current grip as the base point.
Reference — changes the reference point from the current hot grip.
Undo — undoes the last editing operation.
eXit — exits non-modal editing mode (or press ESC).
132
Inside BricsCAD V17
HATCHING THE LAWN
CommandHatch
Ribbon
Draw | Hatch | Hatch
Menu Bar
Draw | Hatch
Alias
H
You created the boundary between the lawn and garden, but how do you show the difference between the areas of grass and dirt? One way is to add symbols that identify areas. In BricsCAD, this
is done with the Hatch command, and in this tutorial you hatch the lawn with the symbol for grass.
1.
2.
First, turn off the grid, since its lines can interfere with seeing the hatch pattern. On the status bar, click GRID
so that the word turns gray.
Enter the Hatch command to start the Hatch command:
: hatch
Notice the Hatch and Gradient dialog box:
3.
To find the grass hatch pattern, click the
button to the right of “Name.”
4. BricsCAD displays the Hatch Pattern Palette dialog box. The patterns are listed alphabetically; look for the
pattern named “Grass1.”
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 133
5. Select Grass1, and then click OK to return to the Hatch dialog box. Notice that Name changes to “Grass1.”
6. Ensure the Scale is set to 1 for metric drawings. (For imperial drawings, change the Scale to 25.) If the scale
factor were too small, BricsCAD would refuse to draw the hatch pattern, and then complain,
7.
Hatch spacing too dense, or dash size too small.
Please increase pattern scale or MAXHATCH value.
BricsCAD has a useful feature that searches a contiguous area, no matter how many different borders the
area has. To employ this feature, click the Pick points in Boundaries
button.
8. The dialog box disappears and BricsCAD prompts to pick a point. Do so anywhere in the lawn area.
Select a point to define a boundary or hatch area: (Pick a point inside the lawn area)
Notice that BricsCAD immediately previews the hatch pattern for you. It shows that the scale factor is good
enough. Note how precisely the hatch pattern is applied, and how it is automatically clipped along boundaries. Try doing a hatch pattern that neatly and that quickly by hand!
The hatch preview lets you check for two important things:
ÐÐ
That the pattern floods the correct area. Look out for patterns that leak into unwanted areas, or don’t appear at all
ÐÐ
That the pattern is applied at a good scale factor. Look for one that are too large or too tightly spaced
Pattern scale
too small
Hatch leaked into
adjacent area
Boundaries
134
Inside BricsCAD V17
TIPS
When the scale is much too large, the hatch may seem invisible. When too small, the hatch pattern look like a solid and can takes a very time to display.
There is also a -Hatch command that operates at the command line. It is meant for use by macros and
programming routines.
9. Press Enter to return to the dialog box:
Select a point to define a boundary or hatch area: (Press Enter)
10. After you press Enter, the Hatch dialog box reappears. Click OK to exit it.
With all this hard work on your drawing, it’s a good idea to save the drawing to the computer’s hard
disk with the Save command... right now!
Once hatch patterns are in place, they are not cast in stone. You can change them in several ways:
ÐÐ
You can move entities that make up the boundary of the pattern, and the hatching automatically updates itself.
ÐÐ
The hatch does not need to stay in place.You can move it, copy, erase, and so on.
ÐÐ
Click the hatch entity and BricsCAD brings up the Properties palette, illustrated below.You can use it to change the color, pattern,
scale factor, rotation angle, and so on.
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 135
Creating Symbols
You’ve given the lawn area its grass. Now it’s time to add trees and shrubs to the garden area. Instead
of drawing complex things like trees, landscape architects typically draw simple representations,
such as a circle with radiating lines.
And instead of drawing the trees and shrubs over again, designers draw one, and the insert repeating copies of it. The most efficient method is to use the Block command to create one copy, and then
insert multiple copies with the Insert command.
DRAWING CIRCLES
CommandCircle
Ribbon
Draw | Draw | Circle
Menu Bar
Draw | Circle
Alias
C
In this tutorial, you learn how to draw trees as simplified symbols, and then turn them into blocks.
1.
2.
Before starting to draw first tree, make sure the working layer is set to Plants. From a Layer droplist, select
layer “Plants.”
Next, draw a 0.15-meter radius circle. Enter the Circle command, and then specify a radius of 0.15 units (in
imperial units, 6"):
: circle
2Point/3Point/RadTanTan/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>: (Pick a point anywhere in
garden area.)
Diameter/<Radius>: 0.15
When the radius is 0.15, the diameter is 0.3, so don’t be surprised when BricsCAD draws the circle larger than
you expect. (Recall that the radius is half the diameter.)
Zooming in Real Time
Command
Shortcut
Ribbon
Menu Bar
RtZoom
scroll the mouse wheel
View | Navigate | Real-time Zoom
View | Realtime | Realtime Zoom
CommandRegen
Menu Bar
View | Regen
The program lets you zoom in and out without needing to specify a zoom size or ratio. This is done
with the mouse and the RtZoom command:
3.
The 0.3m circle looks very small on the screen. The RtZoom command lets you see your work more clearly.
The command name is short for “real time zoom.”
: rtzoom
>>Press ENTER or Esc to complete, or right-click to display context menu....
a. The cursor changes to a magnifying glass. Drag the cursor over the circle.
b. As you move the mouse forward and backward, BricsCAD dynamically increases and decreases the
zoom. (As an alternative, if you have a mouse with a wheel, roll the wheel forward to zoom in.)
136
Inside BricsCAD V17
NOTETo drag means to (a) hold down the left mouse button, (b) move the mouse, and then (c) let go
of the mouse button.
4. If you find the tree going off the edge of the screen, right-click the drawing, and then choose Realtime Pan
from the shortcut menu. This pans (shifts) the drawing in real time: as you drag the cursor, the tree-circle is
moved back to the center of the drawing area.
5.
When the tree-circle is at a satisfactory size, press Esc to get out of real-time pan-and-zoom mode:
>>Press ENTER or Esc to complete, or right-click to display context menu....(Press ESC.)
If the circle looks like an octagon or diamond, select View | Regen to clean it up, as follows:
: _regen
Now that the circle looks rounder and larger, it is easier to work with.
QUICK SUMMARY OF DRAWING CIRCLES
BricsCAD provides several methods for drawing circles. Use the one that suits your need the best.
: circle
2Point/3Point/TanTanRad/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>:
Circumference
(C = 2 x R x pi)
Center
Radius
(R = D / 2)
Center-Radius — pick the center point, and then specify the radius.
Center-Diameter — pick the center point, and then specify the diameter.
2-Points — pick two points to define the diameter.
3-Points — pick three points to define the circumference.
3 Points on circle
Radius-Tangent (RadTanTan) — pick two points of tangency to other entities, and then specify radius.
Convert Arc to a Circle — closes an arc to form a circle.
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 137
CREATING ARRAYS
CommandArray
Ribbon
Change | Arrange | 2D Array
Menu Bar
Modify | 2D Array
Alias
AR
The tree branches are represented by an array of lines. To create the array, use the Array command
to create the radiating lines. This command can creates several types of arrays: linear, rectangular,
and polar (circular). They are illustrated below.
Left to right: Linear, rectangular, and polar arrays.
For this tutorial, you draw one line and then array it to create ... more.
1.
Enter the Line command:
: line
Specify first point: cen
of (Pick center of circle)
Specify next point or [Undo]: (Pick point anywhere outside of circle)
Specify next point or [Undo]: (Press ENTER to end the command)
TIP
To draw a perfectly horizontal or vertical line, hold down the Shift key. This action turns on
ortho mode temporarily, for as long as you hold down the Shift key.
The CENter entity snap begins the line precisely at the center of the circle. The other end of the line extends
beyond the edge of the circle.
2.
Select the line you just drew. Notice that it is highlighted.
3. Enter the Array command:
: array
138
Inside BricsCAD V17
Notice the Array dialog box.
4. Entering array parameters in this dialog box is like filling out a form:
Array ParameterValue
Array Type
Polar
Select Entities
Click
Select Entities, and then choose the line
CenterClick
Pick Center Point, and then choose the center of the circle like this:
Base/Center of polar array: cen
Snap to center of: (Choose the circle)
Number of items
Rotate items as copied
5.
15
Yes
Ignore the other settings (leave them at their default values); see figure above. Click OK.
Later in this chapter, you turn this symbol into a block. But first, a detour to interactive arrays.
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 139
Making Blocks
CommandBlock
Ribbon
Insert | Blocks | Create Block
Menu Bar
Tools | Create Block
Alias
B
CAD draws symbols more quickly and accurately than you could by hand. The key is to turn the
symbols into blocks, and then insert the blocks into drawings. In this section, you do this by adding
trees to the garden area.
1.
To turn the tree symbol into a block, use the Block command:
: block
Notice that BricsCAD displays the Block Definition dialog box.
2.
Enter the following parameters:
Block Option
ValueNotes
Name Base point
Entities
Convert to block
Scale uniformly
a.
Tree On
On
You can give the block any name you like, up to 255 characters long
Click Pick Point button, and then choose the center of the circle
Click Select Entities, and then choose all 16)
Converts the entities to a block when you click OK
Forces the circle to remain round
The base point is used later by the Insert command; this point is also called the “insertion point” — the
point where the block is inserted in the drawing. The center of the tree symbol is a logical spot base
point, so use CENter entity snap:
Insertion point for new block: cen
Snap to centerpoint of: (Pick the circle)
b. You need to tell BricsCAD which entities to turn into a block. BricsCAD lets you select entities by several
different ways. So far, you have picked them one at a time with your mouse or with the L (last) option.
Just as you windowed the zoomed-in view, you can window the entities you want to select with the W
option (short for “Window”).
c.
You pick the two corners of a rectangle that encompasses the circle and lines making up the tree symbol:
140
Select entities for block: w
First corner of crossing window: (Pick point 1, shown in figure below)
Opposite Corner: (Pick point 2, shown in figure)
Inside BricsCAD V17
Entities in set: 30
Select entities for block: (Press Enter to end entity selection)
#1: First corner of
crossing window
Base point
#2: Opposite corner
3.
Click OK. BricsCAD records the tree symbol as a block in the drawing file. In the next section, you place many
trees as blocks.
4. Use the Zoom Extents command to see the entire yard.
ADDING MANY MORE TREES
CommandInsert
Ribbon
Insert | Blocks | Insert Block
Menu Bar
Insert | Block
Alias
I
With the bigger view in place, insert tree blocks in the drawing.
1. Start the Insert command:
: insert
Notice that BricsCAD displays the Insert dialog box.
2. The Tree block name should be shown in the Name field.
You can ignore most of the dialog box, other than to ensure that the options are set as follows:
Insert Options
Value
Insertion Point Scale Rotation Angle: 0
3.
Specify On-screen (on)
Specify On-screen (on)
Specify On-screen (off)
Click OK. BricsCAD now prompts you in the command bar, because of the Specify On-Screen options that
were turned on in the dialog box.
The first item of business is to pick a spot for the block, a suitable spot in the garden area.
Insertion point for block: (Pick a point anywhere in the garden area.)
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6 Adding Details to Drawings 141
4. The other item is the scale, which draws the block larger or smaller than the symbol original size:
Corner/XYZ/X scale factor <1.000000>: 2
The x scale factor of 2 draws the block twice as large as the original. Because you drew the original symbol
one meter in diameter, the newly inserted tree has a diameter of two meters. If you had entered a scale factor smaller than 1, such as 0.5, then the block would have been drawn half-size.
From this exercise, you can see that it makes sense to draw a symbol to unit size (to the nearest meter or
foot), because that makes it easy to scale the block during insertion.
Left: Two trees inserted at different scale factors
Right: Many more tree blocks inserted into the drawing
5.
Try a different way of repeating the Insert command. This time, right-click the drawing. Notice that the Insert
command repeats, again displays the dialog box and prompts of the Insert command.
6. Add several more trees around the garden area using the Insert command and different scale factors, such as
2, 1.2, 0.6, and 0.4 (or 6.0, 4.0, 2.0, and 1.5 in imperial units).
Use the Mirror command to double the number of trees.
Drawing the Pond
CommandEllipse
Ribbon
Draw | Draw | Ellipse
Menu Bar
Draw | Ellipse
Alias
EL
CommandOffset
Ribbon
Change | Modify | Offset
Menu Bar
Modify | Offset
Alias
O
Drawing the garden pond illustrates another pair of useful commands: Ellipse draws oval shapes
and Offset adds parallel copies. The oval will be the pond, the parallel offset the pond’s edging.
1.
2.
Switch to the Pond layer via one of the layer droplists.
The pond is to be an oval 4.5m tall by 1.5m wide (15 by 5 feet in imperial units). To draw the pond with the
Ellipse command, follow these steps:
: ellipse
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Inside BricsCAD V17
Pick the starting point of the ellipse anywhere in the garden area.
Arc/Center/<First end of ellipse axis>: c
Center of ellipse: (Pick a point)
First end of ellipse axis
Second end of axis
Other axis
3.
The other end of the pond is 4.5m away. Use direct distance entry by moving the cursor down and right:
Endpoint of axis: (Move the cursor) 4.5
4. And the pond is five feet wide:
5.
Rotation/<Other axis>: 1.5
The pond is edged with rock. You could draw the edging of by repeating this command to draw a second,
larger ellipse. The easier alternative is to use the Offset command, which creates parallel copies, precisely.
Here, you use it to create a concentric ellipse:
: offset
a.
The offset distance is 0.3m (or one foot in imperial units):
Parallel: ENTER for Through point/<Distance>: 0.3
b. Choose the ellipse; notice that only one entity can be offset at a time:
Select entity: (Pick the ellipse)
c.
Place the offset copy on the outside of the ellipse:
Both sides/<Side for parallel copy>: (Pick outside the ellipse)
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6 Adding Details to Drawings 143
d. The command repeats itself to offset other entities. But to exit the command, press Enter.
Select entity: (Press ENTER)
The Offset command also creates parallel lines, parallel polylines, and concentric circles and arcs.
QUICK SUMMARY OF DRAWING ELLIPSES
BricsCAD provides three methods for drawing ellipses (ovals):
: ellipse
Arc/Center/<First end of ellipse axis>: (Enter an option.)
Point 1: Center
Point 3: Other end of
minor axis
Point 2: Other end of
major axis
Center — specifies the ellipse’s center point, and then the endpoints of the major and minor axes.
Axis, End — specifies the endpoints of the ellipse’s major axis, and then the minor one.
Center
Minor (short) axis
Major (long) axis
Arc — draws elliptical arcs.
This command also draws isocircles, which are isometric circles. This option is available only when isometric drawing
mode is turned on through the Snap or Settings commands.
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Inside BricsCAD V17
If you wish, add the Gravel hatch pattern to the pond edging.
ARRAY PATHS
Another type of array lines objects along a path. This is called a “path array” appropriately enough.
You use this construction technique to lay a path of paving stones across the lawn, from the house
to near the pond.
A path array needs a guide path, an entity along which to place the arrayed entities. In this part
of the tutorial, you draw the guide path with a spline (Spline command), then array (PathArray
command) the paving stones made of polygons (Polygon command), and finally edit the array
(ArrayEdit command).
Drawing Splines
CommandSpline
Ribbon
Draw | Polylines | Spline
Menu Bar
Draw | Spline
Alias
spl
To draw a spline with the Spline command, follow along with these steps:
1.
First though, change the layer to “Road” using one of the methods you learned earlier. (My preferences is to
use the “clayer road” shortcut shown below.) This means the paving stones are placed on the same layer as
the driveway.
: clayer
New current value for CLAYER: road
2.
Draw the guide path using a spline. Splines were first used in ship building for making hulls from smooth flowing strips of wood. If you ignore the options, then drawing a spline is as easy as drawing lines:
: spline
First point for spline: (Pick a point on the house outline, as show below.)
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6 Adding Details to Drawings 145
3.
Second point (Pick a point along the lawn)
Close/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: (Pick another point along the lawn)
Close/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: (Pick a point at the edge of the lawn near the pond, as
shown below)
To end the command, press Enter three times, once for each prompt:
Close/Fit tolerance/<Next point>: (Press Enter)
Starting point tangent point: (Press Enter)
Enter tangent for ending point: (Press Enter)
QUICK SUMMARY OF SPLINE
: spline
First point for spline:
Second point:
Close/Fit tolerance/<Next point>:
Select starting tangent point:
Enter tangent for ending point:
Vertex
Starting tangency
Spline
Ending tangency
Fit tolerance
First point for spline — specifies the start of the spline’s tangency
Second point — locates the first vertex of the spline
Close — closes the spline, joining the start and points
Fit tolerance — specifies how closely the spline matches its vertices (also known as “fit points”); a value of 0 forces the
spline to pass through the points you pick, and then the higher the number the further the spline is from those points.
Select starting tangent point — locates a tangency for the starting point; press Enter to ignore the option
Enter tangent for ending point — locates a tangency for the ending point; press Enter to ignore the option
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Inside BricsCAD V17
TIP
Another way to draw splines is with polylines. Use the PLine command to draw the polyline, and
then use the PEdit command’s Spline command to convert it to a spline. This can be an easier approach
than using the Spine command directly.
Zooming to Objects
The Zoom command has a handy option that lets you zoom into a single entity. Here is how it works:
4. To zoom into the spline, use the OBject option of the Zoom command, as follows:
: zoom
Zoom: In/Out/.../OBject/<Scale (nX/nXP)>: ob
Select an entity: l
5.
By entering ‘ L ’ at the select prompt, you ask the program to select the last-drawn entity, the spline. Using
OBject with Last makes it easy for you to pick the spline out of the grass pattern.
Notice that the program zooms into the spline, so that it fills the screen. Zoom back out by 10% (i.e., 0.9x) so
that you have some working space (see figure below):
:
zoom .9x
Paving Stones from Polygons
CommandPolygon
Ribbon
Draw | Polygons
Menu Bar
Draw | Polygon
Alias
pol
6. The paving stones are hexagonal (six-sided) in shape, and so you draw them best with the Polygon command. This command, unfortunately, is an unintuitive one and so tricky to execute; follow along:
: polygon
a.
Polygon: Multiple/Width of line/<Number of sides>: <4>: 6
b. Then you pick a center point for the polygon. For this tutorial, pick one end of the spline using ENDpoint
entity snap:
Specify by: Edge/<Center of polygon>: end
Snap to endpoint of: (Pick end of the spline near the house)
c.
The first thing you do is specify the number of sides. For a hexagon, you specify six sides:
Now you specify the size of the hexagon, which is sometimes not easy to do. For this tutorial, just drag
the cursor away from the center point, as shown by the figure.
Specify by: Vertex/<Midpoint of side>: (Move cursor away from center of polygon)
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6 Adding Details to Drawings 147
Arraying Along a Path
CommandArrayPath
Ribbon
Change | Array | Path Array
Menu Bar
Modify | Array | Path Array
Alias
...
With one paving stone (polygon) in place, you use the ArrayPath command to add all of the others
along the path (spline). But first, a word of explanation.
ArrayPath is one of a trio of commands that create associative arrays; the other two are ArrayRect
(for associative rectangular arrays) and ArrayPolar for polar ones. Associative means that all the
elements of the array act as a single entity, yet can be individually edited — like an associative
dimension (see chapter 7). When you change the path, the array changes to suit.
1. Start the ArrayPath command, and then select the polygon, as follows:
: arraypath
Select entities to array: (Pick the polygon)
2.
Press Enter to exit the selection process, and then pick the spline:
Entities in set: 1
Select entities to array: (Press Enter)
Type = Path, Associative = Yes
Select the path curve: (Pick the spline)
QUICK SUMMARY OF POLYGON
This command draws regular polygons, which means that every side has the same length. (To draw irregular ones, use
another command such as Rectang or PLine.) The minimum and maximum sides is 3 and 1024.
: polygon
Polygon: Multiple/Width of line/<Number of sides> <4>:
Specify by: Edge/<Center of polygon>:
Specify by: Vertex/<Midpoint of side>:
1: Number of sides
Edge
2: Center
Vertex
3. Midpoint of side
Multiple — repeats the command to draw additional polygons
Width of line — specifies the width of the lines, because polygons are made of polylines
Number of sides — specifies the number of sides between 3 and 1024
Edge — specifies the length of one side
Center of polygon — specifies the center point of the polygon
Vertex — specifies the location of a vertex (corner of the polygon)
Midpoint of side — specifies the midpoint of one of the sides
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Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
Now you see many paving stones along the path. Press Enter to exit the command.
4. Use the Erase command to remove the spline from the drawing.
QUICK SUMMARY OF ARRAYPATH
: arraypath
Select entities to array:
Select path curve: (ASsociative/Method/Base point/Tangent direction/Items/Rows/Levels/
Align items/Z direction/<eXit>:
Select path curve — you can use any linear (open) entity for the path, such as a line, polyline, arc, circle, ellipse, elliptical arc, spline, helix, or 3D polyline.
ASsociative — toggles the array between associative and non-associative
Method — determines how the entity is arrayed along the path:
Measure
Divide
Places entities at a specified distance apart
Places a specified number of entities along the path
Base point — specifies a new base point from which the entity is arrayed; useful for when you don’t want the array
on top of the path
Tangent direction — determines how the entity is aligned along the path in 3D, tangent or normal.
Items — specifies the (Measure mode) distance between items, or (Divide mode) number of items to place along the
path; a maximum number of items can be specified to make the array shorter than the path.
Rows — specifies the number of rows for stacked arrays
Levels — specifies the number of levels and their spacing for 3D arrays
Align items — determines whether the entity is aligned along the path
Z direction — toggles the z orientation between upright or banked along path
eXit — ends the command
chapter
6 Adding Details to Drawings 149
To count the number of paving stones you need to order from the lumber store, select the array
and then look at the Items field in the Properties pane: 19. Your number may differ, depending on
how you drew the spline and the polygon stepping stones.
To see the progress you are making in learning BricsCAD, plot your drawing with the Print command. At this point, your drawing should look similar to the following:
Remember to save your work with the Save command.
Summary
You’ve added a number of details to the drawing. In the next lesson, you learn how to make changes
to them — how to edit entities.
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Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 6
Making Changes to
Drawings
Previously, you added details to the drawing, such as the lawn, trees, and a pond. Here, you learn
how to change parts of the drawing and how to extract information. This when CAD software shows itself
to be powerful: effortlessly making changes and finding out the data held by drawings.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Modifying properties of entities
•
Applying linetypes
•
Changing the length of open and closed entities
•
Finding information about entities in drawings
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Extend — extends open entities to boundaries that are defined by other entities
Filter — creates specified subsets of entities based on their properties
Linetype — displays line patterns made of dashes, dots, gaps, and symbols
Properties — lists all the characteristics of an entity
Trim — cuts entities at cutting edges that are defined by other entities
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
ISO
International Organization for Standardization
.lin Linetype definition file
NEW COMMANDS
CommandAliasesMenu SelectionRibbon Tab
Dist
di
Tools | Inquiry | Distance
Tools | Inquiry | Distance
LengthenlenModify | Lengthen...
LinetypeltSettings | Linetypes...
List
li
Tools | Inquiry | List Entity Info
Tools | Inquiry | List
PropertiesprModify | Properties...
Stretch
s
Modify | Stretch
Change | Modify | Stretch
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
By the end of this lesson, your drawing will look like this one:
MText in a
bounding
box
House
Text
Tutorial-06 drawing file
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Inside BricsCAD V17
Changing the Look of Lines
When you drew the lot lines in an earlier lesson, they showed on the screen as solid lines. Lot lines,
however, are usually shown by a dashed pattern. Just as BricsCAD comes with several hatch patterns, it also includes a number of line patterns called “linetypes.” Here is what linetypes look like:
To change a line from looking solid (called “Continuous” by BricsCAD) to looking dashed, you load
the linetype definition into the drawing, and then change the line(s) to the new type.
LOADING LINETYPES
CommandLinetype
Menu Bar
Tools | Linetypes
Status BarLinetype
Alias
LT
Start BricsCAD, and then open your copy of yard.dwg. (If necessary, open the tutorial-05.dwg file or
Imp-tutorial-05.dwg in imperial units. You can access them from my public Dropbox folder: https://
dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCAD-Tutorial-Files.zip.)
1.
If necessary, use the Zoom command’s All option so that you see the entire drawing on the screen”
: zoom
Zoom: In/Out/... <Scale (nX/nXP)>: all
Follow this by an 80% zoom that adds breathing space around the drawing:
: zoom
Zoom: In/Out/... <Scale (nX/nXP)>: 0.8x
2.
Before you can apply linetypes, you must load their definitions from a file into the drawing. Linetype definitions are stored in files separately from BricsCAD and drawings. You recognize the file by the .lin found at the
end of its name. Here is how to load linetypes into the drawing.
a. Enter the linetype command:
: linetype
Notice that BricsCAD displays the Drawing Explorer:
All new drawings initially contain some linetypes, and here is what they mean:
ÐÐ
ByLayer — entities take the linetype assigned to the layer
ÐÐ
ByBlock — entities take the linetype of their block
ÐÐ
Continuous — lines are solid, with no gaps
ÐÐ
DYN_DIM — lines have dashes; used by dynamic dimensions
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6 Making Changes to Drawings 153
TIP Although BricsCAD uses terms like linetypes and line weights, these apply to nearly any kind of
entity, such as circles and arcs — not just to lines. They do not apply to text or 3D entities, however.
3.
To add a linetype to this drawing, click the
New button. BricsCAD doesn’t actually create new linetypes,
as the name of this button suggests. Instead, this button leads to the dialog box from which you load predefined linetypes. Notice the Load Linetypes dialog box.
The dialog box lists in alphabetical order the names of all linetype definitions available to you. (They are
stored in the default.lin file.) Scroll through the list to see what is available. The names of linetypes use codes
to identify some of them:
ÐÐ
Linetype names postfixed with X2 are double scale
ÐÐ
Linetype names postfixed with 2 or 4 or 8 are half or quarter or eighth-size (0.5x, 0.25x, 0.125x scale)
ÐÐ
Linetype names prefixed with ISO match the ISO (International Standards Organization) standard
4. Load the Border linetype like this:
a. Select BORDER.
b. Click OK to close the dialog box.
5.
You are back in the Drawing Explorer dialog box. Set the Border linetype as current, like this:
a. Click BORDER to select it.
b. Under the Current column, click the blank square so that the
blue dot appears.
c. Click X to dismiss the dialog box.
If the Properties panel or Entity Properties toolbar are open, notice that the default linetype changes
to Border.
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Inside BricsCAD V17
CHANGING PROPERTIES
CommandProperties
Menu Bar
Modify | Properties
Ribbon
...
Alias
PR
The Properties panel (or bar or palette) is handy for changing several properties of one or more
entities. It provides three kinds of information:
ÐÐ
No Selection — Properties panel describes the way an entity will look when drawn next, with the color, layer, linetype, and
so on that are shown. The figure below shows that entities will be drawn with color ByLayer (red), on layer “Road,” and so on.
ÐÐ
Entity selected — properties describes the properties of a single entity that is selected. The General section is common to all
entities. ,The Geometry section changes depending on the type of entity selected. In the figure at left below, you see that a line is
selected and that the Properties panel shows the properties of the line.
Left: Properties panel when one line is selected; right: More than one line selected
ÐÐ
Multiple entities — when two or more entities are selected, the Properties panel reports only those properties that are in
common; when properties differ between entities, the panel reports “*Varies*”, as shown above at right.
Use the Properties panel to change the lot lines from ‘Continuous’ to ‘Border’, like this:
1.
If the Properties panel is not displayed, enter the Properties command to open it now:
: properties
Notice that the Properties panel opens.
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 155
2.
In the drawing, pick the five blue lot lines directly. As you pick them, notice that BricsCAD highlights them:
they are shown as dashed lines, with green grip squares appearing on each line.
At the top of the Properties panel, notice that the list box reports Line (5). It tells you that five lines were
selected, and that the properties listed belong to the five. Because more than one line is selected, many
properties are reported as *Varies*, because properties (such as the x coordinate) differs for each line.
QUICK SUMMARY OF PROPERTIES PANEL
Properties describe entities, such as their color, linetype, starting and ending coordinates, and thickness. When two or
more entities are selected, then the Properties panel (bar or palette) can displays a subset of entities. Click the droplist,
and then choose a subset, such as two arcs. (new in V17) BricsCAD changed the name from “bar” to “panel.”
The Properties palette does more than display properties; it also lets you to change values of properties — usually.
Properties marked *Varies* can also be changed; in this case, all selected entities take on the same property. If you do
this by accident, use the U command to undo the change.
There are three ways to change property values:
ÐÐ
Enter new values by typing them in
ÐÐ
Select preset values from droplists (when available)
ÐÐ
Click buttons (when available) to select values from drawings or dialog boxes
156
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
Next to Linetype in the Properties panel, click Bylayer. Notice that BricsCAD lists the names of the linetypes
in the drawing, ByLayer, ByBlock, Continuous, Dyn_Dim, and Border.
4. Select the Border linetype by clicking its name.
5.Press Esc to clear the grips.
Notice that the lines change their look and take on the dashed linetype. If, however, you see no
change to the lines, then read the next section to learn how to fix this problem.
CHANGING THE LINETYPE SCALE
CommandLtScale
Menu Bar...
Ribbon
...
Alias
LTS
The reason linetypes sometimes look continuous is that they are sensitive to scale, just like hatch
patterns. When the lines should show gaps, but don’t, then the solution is to change the scale (size)
of the linetype.
Top: Incorrect linetype scale; above: Correct linetype scale.
All linetypes start with a scale factor of 1.0, which usually is too small to display the pattern of dots
and dashes correctly.
Warning! Setting linetype scale is one of the trickiest aspects of BricsCAD. Linetypes look continuous
when the scale is too large — and when too small!
One method to change the scale of linetypes is to use LtScale; another is to use the Properties panel
and its Linetype Scale field, as follows:
1.
Continuing in the Properties panel, click the field next to Linetype Scale.
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 157
2.
Change 1.0 to something like 10.
3.
Check whether the linetype pattern becomes visible. If not, try another scale value, such as 0.01.
4. It may be necessary for you to use the Regen command to clean up the display.
SELECTING ENTITIES BY OTHER METHODS
I find that it can be tricky trying to select entities in crowded drawings. No matter how tiny the
pick box, sometimes I repeatedly pick the wrong entity. The program provides two workarounds
that are useful to know.
Selecting Entities by Their Properties
In the previous tutorial I had you pick the five lot lines one by one. I did that on purpose so that I
could show you easier ways! You can select entities instead by their properties, as follows:
1.Press Esc to ensure no entities are selected.
2. In the Properties pane, click the
Quick Select button. Notice that the pane changes its look:
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Inside BricsCAD V17
Notice the following about the new look:
ÐÐ
All entities are selected, as shown by “All (25)”
ÐÐ
Thee buttons populate the toolbar
ÐÐ
Basic properties show ‘ * ’ (asterisk), which means that all properties are selected.
Toggle between
Properties and
Quick Select
All entities selected
in drawing
Add to to selection set
Remove from selection set
Start a new selection set
Apply filters to current selection set
When using Quick Select, you are modifying filters that apply to the current selection set, which starts off
as all entities in the drawing. A filter changes the selection set by properties. For instance, when you select
“Red” as the Color, you filter out all entities that are not red.
3. In the Layer droplist, choose “Lot.”
4. Click the
Add to Selection Set button. Notice that only the lot lines are highlighted. You can now change
other properties of the lot lines, such as the linetype or color.
TIP
The * is not the only wildcard used by Quick Select. To see the full list, click the asterisk to uncover this shortcut menu. (That’s left click, not right click.)
This lets you, for example, select all lines that have a Length property of less than 10m.
Selecting an Entity by Tabbing
When two or more entities overlap, you can press the Tab key to force the program to cycle through
them. This trick works only when the SelectionPreview variable is turned on.
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6 Making Changes to Drawings 159
CHANGING LINE LENGTHS
CommandLengthen
Menu Bar
Modify | Lengthen
Once you’ve drawn stuff in a drawing, they aren’t static; you can change their size and position.
When it comes to changing size, it matters if the entities are open or closed. Open entities are like
like lines, arcs, and open polylines; closed ones are like circles, ellipses, and polygons. Some commands work only with open ones, some with only closed, and some with both kinds.
One way to change lengths is using grips, as described earlier. A more precise method is with the
Lengthen command. To see how it works, in this tutorial you extend the edge of the street line to
the bottom of the screen. If necessary, first zoom in on the area around the pond with the Zoom
Window command.
1.
Start the Lengthen command:
: lengthen
2.
At the ‘Select entity to list length’ prompt, pick the lower road line:
Edit length:
the line.)
DYnamic/Increment/Percent/Total/<Select entity to list length>: (Pick
QUICK SUMMARY OF THE LENGTHEN COMMAND
The Lengthen command provides you with the following options for changing the length (longer or shorter) of open
entities, such as lines, arcs, and polylines:
: lengthen
Edit length:
DYnamic/Increment/Percent/Total/<Select entity to list length>:
DElta — changes the length to an absolute amount,; you show the delta by picking a point the required distance from
the endpoint; default = 0. (Delta is the Greek word used by mathematicians to indicate change.)
DYnamic — changes the length by interactive dragging.
Percent — changes the length relative to 100%, as follows:
ÐÐ
Less than 100%, such as 50%, shortens the entity.
ÐÐ
More than 100%, such as 200%, lengthens the entity.
Total — changes the length to an absolute amount; default = 1 unit.
Undo — undoes the last change.
As is common in BricsCAD, there is more than one way to change the length of lines and other open entities. You can
also use grips and these commands:
Change command — changes the length of a group of lines to a common endpoint.
Extend command — extends a line to a boundary entity.
Trim command — cuts back a line to a cutting edge entity.
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Inside BricsCAD V17
Notice that BricsCAD reports its length in the command bar:
3.
Current length: 11.00
This means that the line is 11m long (about 37', imperial units).
Lengthen the road to 12m by specify the Total option, and then entering 12 as the new length, as follows:
Edit length: DYnamic/Increment/Percent/Total/<Select entity to list length>: t
Angle/<Enter total length (11.00)>: 12
4. Curiously, BricsCAD asks you a second time to select the entity; for some reason, it does not automatically
change the length of the line you choose first:
5.
Mode/<Select entity to change>: (Pick the same line)
Notice that the line lengthens. Press Enter to end the command.
Mode/Undo/<Select entity to change>: (Press ENTER)
Stretching the Pond
CommandStretch
Ribbon
Change | Modify | Stretch
Menu Bar
Modify | Stretch
Alias S
You’ve used several editing commands to change entities, such as PEdit to modify polylines, grips
editing, Properties to change linetype and scale, and Lengthen to alter the length of lines.
One of BricsCAD’s most powerful editing commands is Stretch. This command lets you take parts
of entities and stretch them wider and thinner, longer and shorter.
Here you apply it to change the shape of the pond. You may find it helpful to first zoom in to the
area around the pond.
1.
Start the Stretch command.
: stretch
Select entities to stretch by crossing-window or crossing-polygon: C
The Stretch command has an odd limitation, in that entities are initially selected only by two methods, both
of them crossing selection modes. You can specify either Crossing (which forms a rectangular selection window) or CPolygon, which forms a polygonal selection window. The reason for the limitation is that it allows
Stretch to know which entities to stretch — those crossing the selection window — and which to not stretch
(those outside the selection window). Entities fully inside the selection window are moved.
TIP
Some entities cannot be stretched, like text and 3D solids. When they cross the selection window, the Stretch command moves them.
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 161
QUICK SUMMARY OF SELECTION SET OPTIONS
Selection has many options for selecting entities, as shown in the following table. I find that I typically use just some of them,
such as pick, W, C, L, P and Enter. To see the full list in BricsCAD, enter the Select command, and then press ?, like this:
: select
Select entities to include in set: ?
Select entities: ALL/Add/+/Remove/-/Previous/Last/Window/Crossing/Outside/WPolygon/CPolygon/OPolygon/WCircle/CCircle/OCircle/Box/POint/Fence/AUto/Multiple/Single/PROperties/Dialog/Undo:
Mode
Abbreviation
Selects
Entity
All
Previous
Last
Window
Crossing
[pick]
ALL
P
L
W
C
A single entity
All non-frozen entities; can also press Ctrl+A
Most recently selected entity
Most-recently created entity visible on the screen
All entities inside a rectangular window
All entities crossing and within a rectangular window
Outside
O
Window Polygon WP
Crossing Polygon CP
Outside Polygon OP
Window Circle WC
Crossing Circle CC
Outside Circle
OC
Box
B
Fence
Auto
Single
F
AU
S
All entities outside the rectangular window
All entities within a polygonal window
All entities crossing and within a polygon
All entities outside a polygonal window
All entities inside a circular window
All entities crossing and inside a circular window
All entities outside a circular window
All entities depending on how direction selection window is drawn:
ÐÐ
Right to left: selects by Crossing mode
ÐÐ
Left to right: selects by Window mode
All entities along a fence polyline
Single pick selects one entity; otherwise acts like Box option
Selects the first entity encountered, and ends the command
SELECTION MODIFICATIONS
Add or +
Remove or -
Multiple
Undo
Dialog
End A or +
R or -
M
U
D
press [Enter]
Enters add-entities mode
Enters remove-entities mode
Select entities without highlighting them; faster in complex drawings
Removes most recent selection group
Displays the Entity Selection section of the Settings dialog box
Ends entity selection
Cancel
press [Esc]
Cancels entity selection
SELECTION BY PROPERTIES
The PROperties option selects entities by common properties:
Properties
Abbreviation
Selects
Color
Layer
Ltype
Name
Thickness
Type
Value
Width
Location
162
C
LA
LT
N
TH
TY
V
W
LO
Inside BricsCAD V17
All entities of the same color name or number such as “red” or “122”
All entities with the same layer name
All entities of the same linetype
All entities of the same name
All entities of the same thickness
All entities of the same entity type, such as “circle”
All entities of the specified handle
All entities of the specified width
Switches back to original select prompt
2.
3.
Select entities by picking two points to specify a crossing window, as follows:
First corner of crossing window: (Pick a point)
Opposite Corner: (Pick another point)
C is short for “crossing,” an entity selection mode similar to the window mode you used earlier with the
Zoom command. In this case, BricsCAD selects all entities within the selection rectangle and all entities crossing or touching the rectangle.
After picking two corners of a rectangle that covers part of the pond, press Enter:
Select entities to stretch by crossing-window or crossing-polygon: (Press ENTER to
end entity selection)
TIP
If the pond were entirely inside the entity selection rectangle, the Stretch command would
move the pond, not stretch it. If you accidentally select entities other than the pond, type the R option
(short for “remove from selection set”), and then select the entities to remove.
4. To tell BricsCAD how much you want the pond stretched, pick two points that indicate the distance:
5.
Base point of displacement: (Pick a point near the pond)
Second point of displacement: (Pick a point away from the pond)
You have now created a whole new look to your pond! (Your pond will probably look different from the one
illustrated in this book.) Note that you cannot create this effect using grips editing.
If you don’t like it, you can undo the stretch with the U command, as follows:
: u
U: STRETCH
... and try stretching the pond again.
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 163
MOVING ENTITIES
CommandMove
Ribbon
Change | Modify | Move
Menu Bar
Modify | Move
Alias
M
If the pond isn’t exactly where you want it, you can relocate it with the Move command.
1.
Start the Move command by entering the letter ‘m’, as follows:
: m
2.
Here you used another of BricsCAD’s shortcuts. M is the alias (abbreviation) for the Move command. (Appendix A lists all command aliases that you can use in BricsCAD.)
Continue the Move command by specifying Crossing selection mode to capture all three parts of the pond:
two ellipses and hatch pattern.
Select entities to move: c
First corner of crossing window: (Pick a point near the pond)
Opposite Corner: (Pick another point to encompass the pond)
Select entities: (Press ENTER to end entity selection)
3.
Just as with the Stretch command, you need to specify two points. They indicate the direction and distance
to move the entities:
Vector/<Base point>: (Pick edge of pond.)
Displacement point: (Pick new location for pond.)
4. Notice that the pond has moved. If necessary, clean up the screen with the Redraw command, using its alias,
as follows:
: r
5.
Save your work.
TIP BricsCAD lets you specify commands by typing just one or two letters at the ‘ : ’ prompt. Shortcut keystrokes are listed at the start of each chapter. The complete list of command name abbreviations
(called “aliases”) is stored in the default.pgp and is provided in Appendix A.
Adding the Fence
Say you’ve decided to add a fence to the backyard. You can use BricsCAD to help plan the materials
needed: after drawing the fence (as a polyline), you can find out from the drawing the length of
the fence.
The fence is drawn as a polyline, 0.1m-wide (4”-wide). Along the way, you’ll use a variety of entity
snap modes and tracking mode.
1.
2.
First, switch the working layer to House by selecting its name from the toolbar.
Use the Zoom Previous command to see the full drawing.
If you turned off the INTersection entity snap, turn it back on using this method: at the command prompt,
enter Intersection like a command.
: intersection
3.
Begin by entering the PLine command:
: pline
4. Start the polyline at the middle of the upper house line. This point is shown as #1 in the figure below). Use the
MIDdle entity snap to precisely locate the polyline’s starting point at the middle of the house line. “Mid” is
164
Inside BricsCAD V17
the abbreviation for MIDdle entity snap.
5.
: _pline
Start of polyline: Arc/Distance/Halfwidth/Width/<Next point>: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick upper house line.)
Current line-width is 0
To change the width of the polyline from zero to 10cm (4"), use the PLine command’s w (Width) option, as follows:
Start of polyline: Arc/Distance/Halfwidth/Width/<Next point>: w
Starting width <0>: 0.1
Ending width <0.1>: (Press Enter to accept the new default)
#4
(INTesection)
#5
(INTesection)
#3
(INTesection)
#6
(.X filter, MIDpoint)
#2
(PERpendicular)
#1
(MIDpoint)
#7
(PERpendicular)
Note that you can specify different starting and ending widths, which would produce tapered polylines.
6. Now that the starting point and width are set, continue drawing the fence. Follow the path shown by numbers 2 through 5 in the figure above.
7. Pause the picking action at point #5. When you get to the bottom of the house, you get into a bit of tricky geometry. You want the fence to end at the same relative location as its starting point. You’re not sure of the x
coordinate, which is located somewhere along the bottom line of the lot. Fortunately, you can find that point
with point filters.
Normally, when you pick a point, you are providing BricsCAD with the x and y coordinate. Point filters capture
a single coordinate, such as just the x or the y.
a. Here is how to get just the x coordinate:
Arc/Distance/Follow/Halfwidth/Width/<Next point>: .x
b. BricsCAD asks you to pick a point (‘Select X of’ prompt), from which it obtains that x coordinate. Tell it
that you want the middleof the line:
Select X of: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick the lower line of the house at #6)
Notice that you can combine point filters and entity snaps to get very specific coordinates!
c. And then BricsCAD asks you for the y coordinate. When it asks ‘Still need YX,’ BricsCAD is asking for the y
and z coordinates. Well, the z you don’t care about, but here is how to get the y with the perpendicular entity
snap:
Still need YZ of: per
Snap to perpendicular of: (Pick the property line at #7)
You completed the fence by drawing the last polyline segment using PERpendicular entity snap at #7.
8. Exit the PLine command:
...<Next point>: (Press ENTER to exit the command)
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 165
LISTING DATA
CommandList
Ribbon
Tools | Inquiry | List
Menu Bar
Tools | Inquiry | List Entity Info
Alias
LI
CommandDist
Ribbon
Tools | Inquiry | Distance
Menu Bar
Tools | Inquiry | Distance
Alias
DI
Now that you’ve drawn the fence, you can use the List command to tell you its length.
1.
Enter the List command:
: list
SOrt/Tracking/<Select entities to list>: (Pick the fence’s polyline)
SOrt/Tracking/<Select entities to list>: (Press Enter to end entity selection)
BricsCAD flips to the Prompt History and lists lines of information. The List command tells you every piece of
information about the polyline (technically known as a “lwpolyline”) that BricsCAD has stored in its database.
Most of the information is about its vertices (“at point”).
The total length of the polyline is shown in the middle of the listing:
2.
166
Perimeter
77.0
So, 77 meters (roughly 260 feet). Now you know how much fencing you would need.
Press function key F2 to flip back to the graphics window. The Properties panel also reports area and length
information:
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
You can measure distances directly on the drawing with the Dist command (short for “distance”). To find
the shortest distance from the house to the pond with the Dist command, from the Tools menu bar, select
Inquiry | Distance:
: _dist
Starting point for distance: nea
Snap to nearest of: (Pick inside edge of pond.)
End point: per
Snap to perpendicular of: (Pick house wall.)
The beeline distance from house to pond is 13m (around 43 feet). The value on your drawing may
differ, depending on where you located the pond.
Summary
You’ve done a lot of editing, so remember to save the work you have done on the drawing. You may
also want to plot out the drawing.
Next, you learn how to add text and dimensions to the drawing.
chapter
6 Making Changes to Drawings 167
Notes
168
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 7
Adding Notes and
Dimensions
With the yard plan nearly finished, now is the time to add callouts (or text) to describe the parts of
the yard. Here you learn how to add these finishing touches to the drawing.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Understanding drawing scales
•
Placing text in drawings
•
Defining styles and justification modes for text
•
Learning about annotative scaling
•
Editing text
•
Toggling text and quick text
•
Attaching a variety of dimensions to entities in the drawing
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Anotative — refers to entities that scale themselves to match the layout’s scale factor
Associative — refers to entities, such as dimensions and hatches, that update automatically when associated entities
are updated
Bounding box — describes the invisible rectangle that determines the word wrap of paragraph text
Callouts — describes the text attached to lines that describe significant parts of drawings
Dimension — indicates a measured distance, usually consisting of lines, arrowheads, and text
Justification — determines the relative positioning of text, such as right, left, and centered
Layout — presents editable print previews
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
dims
Dimensions
dimvars
Dimension variables
dimstyle
Dimension style
NEW COMMANDS
CommandShortcutsMenu BarRibbon Tab
DdEdited...Draw | Dimensions | Edit
DimAligned
dal, dimali
Dimension | Aligned
Draw | Dimensions | Aligned
DimBaseline
dba, dimbase
Dimension | Baseline
Draw | Dimensions | Baseline
DimContinue
dco, dimcont
Dimension | Continue
Draw | Dimensions | Continue
DimEdit
ded, dimed
Modify | Edit Dimension Text
...
DimLinear
dli, dimlin
Dimension | Linear
Draw | Dimensions | Linear
DimRadius
dra, dimrad
Dimension | Radius
Draw | Dimensions | Circle
MText
t
Draw | Multiline Text
Draw | Text | Multiline Text
QTextqt…...
Rotate
ro
Modify | Rotate
Change | Arrange | 2D Rotate
Style
st
Settings | Text Style
Home | Drawing Explorer
Text
tx
Draw | Text
Draw | Text | Text
170
Inside BricsCAD V17
Before starting the exercise, take these steps:
1.
Start BricsCAD, and then open the yard.dwg file. (If you were unable to complete the exercises of previous
lessons, open the tutorial-06.dwg file; for imperial units, open the Imp-tutorial-06.dwg file. You can access
them from my public Dropbox folder: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCAD-Tutorial-Files.zip.)
2.
Do a Zoom All
to make the full drawing visible.
3.
With the Layer
command, create a new
layer, and then name it Text.
4. Assign color “White” to the layer, and then make the layer current by clicking in the Current column, so that
the blue dot appears next to the name, “Text.”
You are now ready to tackle text in drawings.
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
By the end of this lesson, your drawing will look like this one:
15.00
12.00
23.00
5.00
House
R1.00
24.00
15.00
Pond
13.00
Donlyn Avenue
6.00
35.00
4486 Donlyn Avenue
Anytown BC
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 171
Adding Notes to Drawings
CommandMText
Ribbon
Draw | Text | Multiline Text
Menu Bar
Draw | Multiline Text
Alias
T
You add callouts with the MText command, short for “multiple-line text” and also known as paragraph text.
Mtext constrains text within a rectangular block. The top and two sides of paragraphs are constrained, but not the bottom; as you add text, it flows down. You can, however, drag the sides to make
the block wider and thinner (see figure below); this is handy for ensuring the text fits a particular
spot, such as notes or in tables. You can move the block of mtext to any location in the drawing.
Top of text block (fixed)
Drag to make
this side
wider and
narrower
Side of
text block
(fixed)
Bottom changes
automatically as text is
added or removed
You can format individual words and letters of the text with a variety of fonts and colors, as well
as effects such as boldfacing and italics. Special symbols can be included, such as the center line
symbol and the degree symbols. You can define how far in margins are indented and where tabs
are set. All these features make mtext very flexible, but somewhat complex. (Later you meet the
simpler but less capable, Text command.)
Place some mtext in the drawing now, like this:
1.
Start the MTtext command:
: mtext
2.
The first thing it wants is a starting point; pick it inside the house, as shown below:
Multiline Text: First corner for block of text: (Pick a point within the house
outline)
a. Specify first corner:
Text begins here
Bounding box
172
Inside BricsCAD V17
b. Specify opposite corner:
3.
Drag the cursor, and as you do notice that a rectangle is being formed. Pick a second point to define the
width of the text:
Specify opposite corner or [Height/Justify/Line spacing/Rotation/Style/Width]: (Pick
a second point)
The rectangle forms a boundary box that constrains the text. The box is visible only when the MText
command is active; otherwise, it is neither displayed nor printed.
BricsCAD will start the first line of text at the top of the box. The right edge of the box determines
where the text wraps — flows onto the following lines. (For right-to-left text like Hebraic, the left
edge determines the word wrap location.) This is just like setting margins with word processing
software.
The bottom of the boundary is ignored. When there is too much text for the box, BricsCAD auto-
matically extends it downwards. The bottom line is used only when the direction of the text flows
upwards.
DETERMINING THE SIZE OF TEXT
Now you need to pause to do some multiplication and division, because you have to work out the
height of the text. The drawing standard for text height is 10mm (or 3/8" in imperial units). But
if text were placed at that size, it would be nearly invisible; after all, a few millimeters is tiny next
to a 15-meter house! You need the text to be big enough to be legible, and so it has to be larger,
much larger.
To figure out how tall to make the text, read the text box, Quick Summary on Calculating Text Heights.
Based on the size of this drawing, the text height needs to of 400mm tall (or 18" in imperial units).
Continue with the MText command to specify the text height and other font parameters:
4. After picking the second point, BricsCAD displays the Text Formatting dialog box, in which you specify font
settings and enter the text. First, change the height, as follows:
a. In the Font droplist, ensure “Arial” is specified.
b. In the Height droplist, highlight 0.2, and then enter 0.4.
c.Press Enter.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 173
QUICK SUMMARY ON CALCULATING TEXT HEIGHTS
Here are the steps to calculating the height of text appropriate for any size of drawing.
IN METRIC UNITS
Step 1: Work out the related drawing and paper widths, which will specify the scale factor:
Width of drawing
————————————————
Width of paper
40m
——————
0.297m
=
Step 2: Determine the scale factor by dividing the two values:
40
—————
0.297
=
134
The scale factor is 134. That means text in the drawing should be about 140 times taller to plot big enough to be
legible on the page. The standard for text heights in drawing is 3mm (0.003m), and for title text is 10mm.
Step 3: Multiply the standard text size by the scale factor:
0.003m
x
132
=
0.4m
In BricsCAD’s MText and Text commands, specify a text height of 0.4m.
IN IMPERIAL UNITS
Step 1: Work out the related drawing and paper widths, which will specify the scale factor:
Width of drawing
————————————————
Width of paper
130 ft.
———————
11 in.
=
Step 2: To make the units consistent, convert the feet to inches:
130 ft x 12 in/ft
————————————————— =
11 in.
1,560 in.
—————————
11 in.
Step 3: Determine the scale factor by dividing:
1,560 in.
—————————
11 in.
=
142
The scale factor is 142. That means text in the drawing should be about 140 times taller to plot big enough to be
legible on the page. The standard for text heights in drawing is 1/8" (0.125"), and for title text 3/8" (0.375").
Step 4: Multiply the standard text size by the scale factor:
0.125"
x
142
=
18"
In BricsCAD’s MText and Text commands, specify a text height of 18".
———
The reason for the difference between the metric scale factor of 134 and the imperial scale factor of 142 is that metric
A4 paper is 18mm (0.7") wider than imperial A-size paper. See http://www.papersizes.org/a-paper-sizes.htm.
174
Inside BricsCAD V17
5.Type House, and then press Enter. Notice that the text appears in the drawing.
6. Click OK to exit the MText command.
TIP
You can change the width of the mtext boundary box using grips. Here is how to do this:
1. Select the text. Notice the two handles (green grips) , one at each corner of the top of the
boundary box.
2. Select a grip; notice it turns red.
3. Drag a grip wider and narrower. Notice that the word wrap (paragraph lengths) change.
CREATING TEXT STYLES
CommandStyle
Ribbon
Home | Drawing Explorer | Text Styles
Menu Bar
Settings | Text Styles
Alias ST
You can change the font used with text, but in CAD this is done indirectly with styles. “Styles” determine the look of the text, including which font should be used — just like in a word processor.
The difference is that in CAD, styles must be used, where as in word processors they are optional.
Just as linetypes must be loaded into BricsCAD drawings, text fonts must be loaded before they can
be assigned to styles. This is done through the Style command.
1.
Enter the Style command. Notice that the Drawing Explorer dialog box appears on the screen.
: style
2.
Make the following changes to the Standard style:
Property
Old Value
New Value
Font Name
Height
Arial
0
Times New Roman
.75
(For imperial drawings, enter 26 as the height.) Ignore the other settings, as you don’t need the text to be
backwards, upside-down, or vertical — at least for now.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 175
TIP
The height of 0 has a special meaning: it means that the text height is not predefined and so
must be specified during the Text command.
Text
height
Text insertion point
3.
Click X to close the dialog box. Notice that the House text changes immediately to the new font:
From now on, all text you place uses the Times New Roman font and is 0.75m tall (imperial units:
26 inches tall) — text that is half as tall as before.
SIMPLE TEXT
CommandText
Menu Bar
Draw | Text
Ribbon
...
Alias
TX
BricsCAD has a second command for placing text: Text places single lines of text. In some ways, it
is easier than MText. To try it out, first zoom in on the pond.
1.
2.
Now that you see the pond area more clearly, start the Text command with Draw | Text | Text.
: _text
Select the Align justification mode, which places the text fitted between two points that you pick:
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>:
Text start point: (Pick one end of the pond.)
Text end point: (Pick other end of the pond.)
a
Align between two points
176
Because the Align option’s pick points define the width and angle of the text, Text doesn’t ask for the rotation angle, as it normally would.
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
The Text command goes straight to the prompt:
Text: Pool
Notice that the word “Pool” is drawn with the Times New Roman text font specified by the Standard style.
QUICK SUMMARY OF TEXT JUSTIFICATION MODES
BricsCAD can specify justification (alignment) for text in many different ways:
Middle Center (MC)
also, Middle
Top Left (TL)
Middle Left (ML)
Baseline Left (BL)
also, Start Point
Baseline Center (BC)
also, Center
Align and
Fit
(fitted
between
two
points)
Baseline Right (BR)
also, Right
Justification
Meaning Start point
Baseline left
Align
Fitted between two points
Fit
Fitted with constant text height
CenterBaseline center
Middle
Exact center of text
RightBaseline right
TLTop left
TCTop center
TRTop right
MLMiddle left
MC
Middle center (equivalent to Middle)
MRMiddle right
BL
Baseline left (equivalent to Start point)
BC
Baseline center (equivalent to Center)
BR
Baseline right (equivalent to Right)
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 177
4.Press Enter at the ‘Text:’ prompt to exit the command.
Text: (Press ENTER)
Changing Text
CommandDdEdit
Shortcut
double-click text
Alias
ED
Oops! “Pool” should read “Pond.”
To change the wording, use the DdEdit command. You could enter the command name at the :
prompt, but there is another way:
1.
Double-click the word Pool. This action activates the DdEdit command (short for “dynamic dialog editor”).
Notice the Edit Text dialog box.
2.
Replace Pool with Pond.
3.
Click OK. Notice that the word is corrected in the drawing.
PLACING ROTATED TEXT
Now we’ll add some more text. This time you place the text sideways to see that BricsCAD can place
rotated text. First, though, perform a Zoom All to see the entire drawing.
Restart the Text command, and then follow these steps:
1.
Enter Text:
: text
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: (Pick a point on
street)
178
Inside BricsCAD V17
2.
Specify a rotation angle of 90 degrees, and then enter the text:
Rotation angle of text <0>: 90
Text: Donlyn Avenue
Text: (Press Enter)
By specifying a rotation angle of 90 degrees, BricsCAD draws the text sideways. You can, of course, place
text at any angle — from 0 degrees to 359 degrees.
3. If you picked the wrong rotation angle, you can rotate the text after the fact. Use the Zoom OBject command
to take a closer look.
4. Pick the text...
: (Pick text)
..and then right-click the text. From the shortcut menu, choose Properties.
5.
In the Properties palette:
a. Look for Rotation in the Text section.
b. Change 90 to 270, and then press Tab.
6. Notice that BricsCAD rotates the text by 180 degrees. Press Esc to exit grips editing.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 179
PLACING MULTIPLE LINES OF TEXT
Place more callouts throughout the drawing. First, though, use Zoom All to see the entire drawing,
and then follow these steps:
1.
Use the Text command to add multiple callouts to the drawing.
: text
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: (Pick near the bottom
of the drawing)
2.
3.
Remember to change the rotation angle back to 0 degrees.
Rotation angle of text <90>: 0
Enter two lines of text, as follows:
Text: 4486 Donlyn Avenue (Press Enter)
Text: Anytown BC (Press Enter)
Text: (Press Enter)
Notice how BricsCAD places the second line of text precisely below the first.
4. Repeat the command to add labels to trees, such as Birch, Aspen, Yellow Pine, or Western Red Cedar.
At this point, it is a good idea to save your work using the Save command.
SEARCHING AND REPLACING TEXT
CommandFind
Ribbon
Draw | Text | Find
Menu Bar
Edit | Find
To find text in drawings and/or replace it with different text, use the Find command (Edit | Find).
This displays the following dialog box. In the Find Text String field, enter the text for which you
are looking, and then click Find Next:
By clicking the Options button, you can narrow the search by BricsCAD to certain kinds of text:
180
Inside BricsCAD V17
ÐÐ
Block Attribute Value — attribute text found in blocks
ÐÐ
Dimension Annotation Text — text in dimensions, including leaders
ÐÐ
Text (MTert, DText,Text) — all other kinds of text, including field text
ÐÐ
Table Text — text found in the cells of tables
ÐÐ
Hyperlink — text in URLs (links)
ÐÐ
Hyperlink Description — text found in the descriptions of hyperlinks
And then there are these additional options for narrowing down the search further:
ÐÐ
Match Case — the text must match the pattern of upper and lower case
ÐÐ
Whole Words — the text must have spaces on either side, and so not be part of a larger word
ÐÐ
Use Wildcard — the text contains characters wildcards, such as * (any number of characters) and ? (any single character)
Placing Dimensions in Drawings
With callouts firmly placed in the drawing, let’s turn to dimensioning the lot with commands that start
with Dim (short for “dimensioning”). Some of the elements of linear dimensions are illustrated below.
Dimension line
Dimension text
Extension line
Arrowhead
Definition point
The bad news is that there are dozens and dozens, and dozens of settings for dimensions to adhere
to the drafting standards used by various countries; the good news is that BricsCAD comes preconfigured with most settings at reasonable values, for both metric and imperial units.
The settings are known as dimensioning variables, or “dimvars” for short. You can change dimvars
in two ways: with the Dimension Styles node (in the Drawing Explorer dialog box), or by directly
entering their names at the ‘ : ’ prompt. In the following tutorials, you use both methods.
PREPARING THE DRAWING FOR DIMENSIONING
System VariableDimScale
Like text, hatch patterns, and linetypes, the scale of dimensions is relative to the printed size. Oth-
erwise, the arrowheads and text will be too small to read. Before drawing dimensions, you should
set the scale, as follows:
1.
To set the dimension scale, enter the DimScale dimvar as a command:
: dimscale
2.
The same scale factor that you calculated for text works here: 4 for metric units (or 142 for imperial units).
Enter new value for DIMSCALE <1>: 4
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7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 181
TIP The height of dimension text is controlled by Style, and is unaffected by the DimStyle scale factor.
3. Create a new layer called Dims (black color, continuous linetype), and then make it current.
4. If you wish, freeze unnecessary layers, such as Text, Lawn, Plants, and Pond. This keeps them from getting in
the way. (I left some of these layers on for the illustrations below so that it is easier for you to see the locations in the drawing where the dimensions are being applied.)
5. Close the Drawing Explorer dialog box.
6. Because dimensioning often takes place at intersections, turn on INTersection entity snap mode, as follows:
: intersection
DIMENSIONING THE YARD
CommandDimLinear
Ribbon
Draw | Dimensions | Linear
Menu Bar
Dimension | Linear
Alias
dimlin
CommandDimContinue
Ribbon
Draw | Dimensions | Continuous
Menu Bar
Dimension | Continuous
Alias
dimcont
Begin dimensioning with the most used dimensioning command, DimLinear. It draws horizontal,
vertical, and rotated linear dimensions — depending on how you move the cursor. By tradition,
most dimensions are either horizontal or vertical. In rare cases they are placed at an angle (“rotated”). BricsCAD determines how to construct the dimension from the relative positions of your
pick points in the drawing.
ÐÐ
For horizontal dimensions — pick two points roughly horizontal, and BricsCAD draws the dimension perfectly horizontal
ÐÐ
For vertical dimensions — pick two points roughly vertical, and BricsCAD draws the dimension exactly vertical.
ÐÐ
For rotated dimensions — at the prompt, enter R to force the dimension to be placed at an angle. BricsCAD prompts you to
specify the angle. A more useful command, however, is DimAligned, which determines the angle automatically.
1.
2.
To begin, select Linear from the Dimensions menu.
: _dimlinear
Dimension the lower lot line horizontally, as follows:
ENTER to select entity/<Origin of first extension line>: (Pick intersection near #1)
Origin of second extension line: (Pick other intersection at #2)
Angle/Text/Horizontal/Vertical/Rotated: (Locate dimension line by picking a spot below
the lot line, near #3 in the figure below)
1: Pick one end
2: Pick other end
3: Locate dimension line
182
BricsCAD determines the length of the line from your pick points, and then places all the elements of the
Inside BricsCAD V17
dimension for you, including determining the length between the two extension lines.
TIP BricsCAD automatically draws all of the components of a dimension: both extension lines, the
dimension line, both arrowheads, and the dimension text.
3.
Try another horizontal dimension of the top lot line. This time, use BricsCAD’s entity dimensioning, in which
you pick the entity and BricsCAD dimensions it. The method uses just two picks, instead of three.
Press the Spacebar to repeat the DimLinear command:
: (Press Spacebar to repeat command) _dimlinear
ENTER to select entity/<Origin of first extension line>: (Press Enter to select entities)
Select entity to dimension: (Pick property line at #4.)
Angle/Text/Orientation of dimension line: Horizontal/Vertical/Rotated: (Pick #5)
5: Locate dimension line
4: Select property line
4. You can continue drawing horizontal dimensions with the DimContinue command. This also is a way to
dimension with fewer picks. When there is a lot of dimensioning to do, you want to minimize the amount of
picking you have to do! From the Dimension menu, select Continue:
: _dimcontinue
Continue: ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Pick #6)
TIP The DimLinear command has several options
Angle/Text/Orientation of dimension line: Horizontal/Vertical/Rotated:
5.
Angle — rotates the dimension text.
Text — lets you modify or replace the dimension text.
Orientation — forces the dimension line to be horizontal, vertical, or rotated.
To end the command, it is important that you press Esc, because pressing Enter makes BricsCAD prompt you
to choose the starting dimension.
Continue: ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Press ESC
to end the command)
Because BricsCAD knows where the last extension line was, all it now needs to know the location
of the next extension line to draw in the second dimension.
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7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 183
VERTICAL AND BASELINE DIMENSIONS
As noted earlier, the DimLinear command draws vertical dimensions in addition to horizontal
dimensions. When you move the cursor in a vertical direction, BricsCAD knows to draw the dimension vertically.
1.
To draw vertical dimensions, select Dimension | Linear, and then follow the numbered pick point from the
illustration below.
: _dimlinear
ENTER to select entity/<Origin of first extension line>: (Pick #7)
Origin of second extension line: (Pick #8)
Angle/Text/Orientation of dimension line:
Horizontal/Vertical/Rotated: (Pick #9)
#7
#8
#9
#10
#11
2.
Use DimContinue to continue the vertical dimensions along the right side of the lot at points 10 and 11.
: dimcont
Continue:
Continue:
Continue:
ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Pick #10)
ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Pick #11)
ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Press Esc)
Baseline Dimensioning
CommandDimBaseline
Ribbon
Draw | Dimensions | Baseline
Menu Bar
Dimensions | Baseline
Alias
dimbase
A variation on the DimContinue command is DimBaseline. Rather than continuing a dimension
from the previous extension line, DimBaseline dimensions from the original extension line (a.k.a.
“the base line”). To see how it works, first place a vertical dimension:
3.
With the DimLinear command, place the first extension line at #12. Place the second extension line at #13, and
then the dimension line at #14.
4. Now try out the DimBaseline command. From the Dimension menu, select Baseline.
184
: _dimbaseline
Baseline: ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Pick #15)
Baseline: ENTER to select starting dimension/<Origin of next extension line>: (Press Esc)
Inside BricsCAD V17
Pressing Esc exits the command.
#15
#13
#14
#12
The DimBaseline and DimContinue commands also work with other linear and angular dimensions.
ALIGNED AND RADIAL DIMENSIONS
CommandDimAligned
Ribbon
Draw | Dimensions | Aligned
Menu Bar
Dimensions | Aligned
Alias
dimali
So far, you have dimensioned the straight and angled portions of the lot line with horizontal and
vertical dimension commands. To dimension an angled line, you use the DimAligned command.
1.
Enter the DimAligned command:
: dimaligned
ENTER to select entity/<Origin of first extension line>:
Origin of second extension line: (Pick #17.)
Angle/Text/<Location of dimension line>: (Pick #18.)
(Pick #16.)
#17
#18
#16
The dimension you draw may look different, depending on how the angled line was drawn.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 185
Radial Dimensions
CommandDimRadius
Ribbon
Draw | Dimensions | Radius
Menu Bar
Dimensions | Radius
Alias
dimrad
So far, all dimensioning commands have presented pretty much the same prompts. Now try one
that’s a bit different. The DimRadius command dimensions arcs and circles. The related DimDiameter command places dimensions across diameters of circular entities.
2.
(Zoom in for a closer look, if necessary.) Enter the DimRadius command, and then follow the prompts:
: dimradius
Select arc or circle: (Pick #19)
Dimension text = 1
Angle/Text/<Location of dimension line>: (Pick #20)
The DimRadius command gives you some flexibility as to where you want to place the dimension text. As you
move the cursor, BricsCAD ghosts in the leader and text.
#19
#20
3.
Save your work, and then print out a copy.
Annotatively-Scaled Text and Dimensions
In this and the previous chapter, you needed to work out the scale factor for annotative entities, such
as text, dimensions, hatch patterns, and linetypes. The scale of these entities takes into account the
size of paper on which the drawing will be printed. If the paper size never changes, then all is fine.
If the paper size will change, such as printing sometimes on A- (A4) and then on D-size (A1) paper,
then you need a handy way to change the size of annotative entities easily. BricsCAD fortunately
provides this through annotative scaling.
When you turn on the annotative scaling option, BricsCAD determines the correct height to use for
text, the correct scale factor for hatch patterns, and so on. Indeed, it can store several annotative
scales per entity, hiding those scale(s) that are currently unneeded.
Think of annotative scaling as a “master scale factor” that affects only annotative entities, and only
in three areas of drawings: with annotative entities, in viewports, and on plots. To understand this,
I have put together this rule:
Annotative scale = Viewport scale = Plot scale
The scale at which you plot the drawing determines the scale factor of annotative entities. (If your
drawing uses viewports, the same scale applies.)
186
Inside BricsCAD V17
To use annotative scaling, you turn it on in styles controlled by the Drawing Explorer. You click the
Annotative check box in styles for text, multilines, dimensions, multilines, and blocks. Below, I show
that creating an annotative text style is as easy as clicking the Annotative property; I happened to
name the text style “Annotative.”
For entities that have no styles, their dialog box has the Annotative check box, such as for hatches
and attributes. See the Annotative option in the fragment of the Hatch and Gradient dialog box
illustrated below.
Linetypes are a bit different, in that they use the MsLtScale variable to match the current annotative
scale factor. (Annotative scales are applied to entities, not to layers.)
You can’t just type one in an annotative scale factor; you are limited to the ones provided by BricsCAD. You can, however, edit the list with the ScaleListEdit command to add and remove scale factors.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 187
USING ANNOTATIVE SCALING
So far, I’ve been doing a lot of talking. Let’s see how annotative scaling works for real. I’ll have you
switch back and forth between model and layout modes. Layout mode shows you what the drawing looks like on the paper you’ll be printing it on; it is like an interactive print preview mode. (I’ve
frozen the Dims layer so that the dimensions do not clutter the drawing.)
You find tabs for switching between the model and layout modes at the bottom of the drawing area.
1.
2.
Open the Imp-Tutorial-06.dwg file.
Switch to layout mode by clicking the Layout1 tab.
In the figure below:
ÐÐ
White area represents the paper
ÐÐ
Black rectangle is the viewport, in which you see the model; the viewport has green grips and dashed lines, because I have selected it
ÐÐ
Dashed rectangle is the margin, the area at the edge of the paper on which the printer cannot print
3.
When the drawing is first opened in a viewport, it is most likely displayed at a non-standard scale. BricsCAD
fits the model’s extents inside the area of the viewport, and so this drawing has an initial scale of 0.00462733
(or 1:216.1073, expressed as a scale factor). To see the model’s scale, select the viewport border, and then
check the Custom Scale value in the Properties panel.
Because 1:216.1073 is a non-standard scale factor, you have to change it to meet these two criteria:
ÐÐ
The entire drawing must fit the viewport (usually somewhat smaller than the viewport)
ÐÐ
The drawing must be at a standard scale
TIP
To convert the scale into the scale factor, divide 1 by the scale. In this case
0.00462733 = 1 / 0.00462733 = 1:216.1073
188
Inside BricsCAD V17
4. You change the oddball scale to a standard one through a button on the status bar or the Properties panel.
On the status bar, the annotative scale button appears near the right end next to DUCS, and probably looks
like 1:1 right now. (If you do not see it, click the arrow at the right end of the status bar, and then turn on the
Annotative Scale button.)
The annotation scale button does double-duty of setting the scale for the viewport and for annotative objects.
5. Enter the model area by double-clicking inside the viewport border (the black rectangle), because annotative
scaling works only in model space.
6. Use the Zoom Extents command to ensure that the drawing fits the viewport snugly. This gives you the largest scale permissible.
7. For the scale factor, pick the next largest whole number to 1:216.1073, because standard scale factors are
always whole numbers, such as 1:250. Choosing the next largest number makes the drawing slightly smaller
in the viewport. You don’t want some of the drawing hidden by the edge of the viewport! (If the scale factor
were something like 1:7.25, then pick 1:8.)
There is, however, no scale factor listed at 1:250, so you need to add it with the ScaleListEdit command, as
follows:
a. Enter the ScaleListEdit command. Notice the Edit Scale List dialog box.
: scalelistedit
b. In the Edit Scale List dialog box, click Add.
c. For the ‘Name appearing in scale list’ you can type anything. For this tutorial, enter 1:250.
d. For ‘Drawing Units’ enter 250. Leave the Paper Units set to 1.
e. Click OK.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 189
8. To pick the annotative scale factor, right-click the Annotation Scale button (1:1), and then select 1:250.
You know that you have picked the correct scale when the drawing becomes slightly smaller, but not too
much smaller. (See figure below.) Notice also that the reported scale matches the annotation factor you
selected. From now on, the viewport scale is locked to the annotation scale. This means that any change you
make to the annotation scale changes the viewport scale automatically.
TIP
If the drawing does not change its size in the viewport automatically, you will need to make the
change manually. In the Properties panel, change the value of Viewport Scale to match Annotation Scale,
or 1:4 for this tutorial.
9. With the annotative scale factor set up, test the annotation scaling feature by placing two kinds of text in
Model tab, standard and annotative. First the standard text:
a. Click the Model tab.
190
Inside BricsCAD V17
TIP
Why place the annotative text in model tab? (Why not in the layout tab?) My CAD-expert friend
Bill Fane explains, “If you zoom and pan while entering annotative text in a layout tab, you mess up the
viewport’s scale; when you go back into model space, the annotations are missing, because their scale no
longer matches the scale of the viewport. For this reason, it is best to enter annotative text in Model tab.”
b. Enter the Text command to place regular text with the “Standard” style (which is non-annotative) at a
height of 1/8" (0.125"):
: text
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: (Pick a point)
Height of text <0.2000>: 0.125
Rotation angle of text <0>: (Press Enter)
Text: Driveway
Text: (Press Enter)
Notice that the text looks very tiny. It is so tiny that I needed to highlight it with a blue selection rectangle; look for the short dash in the center. It is so tiny because it is placed at the size we normally use
for text in drawings, 1/8". Recall from earlier in the chapter that we would normally scale it up by 250x
and so draw it 31.25" high!
10. Now place the annotative text:
a. Restart the Text command, and then use the Style option to change the text style to an annotative one.
: text
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: s
Text style to use (or ‘?’): Annotative
Text: Style/Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/Justify/<Start point>: (Pick a point)
b. Again place text with a height of 1/8".
Height of text <0.2000>: 0.125
Rotation angle of text <0>: (Press Enter)
Text: Driveway
Text: (Press Enter)
Notice that the text looks a reasonable size. BricsCAD did the scale calculation for us and determined
that the text should be 31.25" tall.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 191
TIP
If the drawing does not contain an annotative text style, then you can create one like this:
1. Enter the Style command.
2. Make a copy of an existing style by clicking the New button.
3. Click the Annotative option. It’s that simple!
4. Give the style a clever name, such as “Annotative,” and then exit the Drawing Explorer.
A FEW EXTRA THINGS ABOUT ANNOTATIVE SCALING
Annotative scaling is tricky enough that some users avoid applying it to their drawings. Here are some things to watch
out for.
WHAT TO DO WHEN ANNOTATIVELY-SCALED ENTITIES GO MISSING
Annotative scaling can cause objects to disappear. The problem occurs when the viewport scale no longer matches the
entities’ annotative scale.This, however, makes sense: BricsCAD drawings can have multiple layouts, each with a different
scale factor so that drawings can be printed on a variety of paper sizes. (This is why all drawings have just one Model tab
but many Layout tabs: each Layout tab is normally assigned a different plot scale and/or a different view of the drawing.)
Annotatively-scaled entities only appear when the correct scale is set in model space.
VIEWING ALL ANNOTATIVE SCALES IN DRAWINGS
There is one exception to disappearing entities, and that’s when multiple copies appear in the drawing.This occurs when
more than one annotative scale is applies to entities.When the AnnoAllVisible system variable is turned on (= 1), then
all variations appear, as illustrated below.
This can lead to some confusion as multiple-sized versions of text and other entities appear. The variable is meant for
debugging: it’s handy when you need to see all scales assigned to an annotative entity. To keep from seeing in double or
triple vision, BricsCAD leaves AnnoAllVisible turned off by default.
HOW TO SPOT ANNOTATIVELY SCALED ENTITIES
An entity affected by annotative scaling shows the
icon when you pass the cursor over it. When the entity has been
assigned more than one annotative scale, then the double version
of the icon is displayed. The icon represents the
end view of an engineer’s scale ruler, which allows engineers to work with multiple scales.
192
Inside BricsCAD V17
11. Any text you place now in Model tab will be scaled appropriately for the viewport and the scale factor. To see
that the text appears at the correct size in the viewport, switch to Layout1. The text placed with the Standard
style is effectively invisible, but the annotative text "Driveway" is correctly visible.
12. Select the annotative text, and notice that the Properties panel reports two scales:
ÐÐ
Paper text height
1/4"
ÐÐ
Model text height
2'7-1/4" (same as 31.25")
TIP
Should you need to plot the drawing at a second scale, then I recommend you set up a second
layout tab, set the new annotation scale, and then go back to model tab. Select the text and other annotations needing scaling, and then apply the new annotation scale factor.
Summary
This lesson showed how to add text and dimensions to drawings.
This tutorial is now complete. The following lessons describe other 2D CAD topics in greater detail,
such as working with attribute data,and constructing 2D regions.
chapter
7 Adding Notes and Dimensions 193
Notes
194
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 8
Bills of Material
One of the most powerful aspect of CAD is its ability to generate information from drawings. You
saw a hint of this in an earlier lesson when you used the Dist and List commands to find distances, lengths,
areas, and totals.
Here you learn how to extract information stored by attributes in blocks, and then how to create a bill of
materials (BOM) in the BricsCAD drawing and externally in a spreadsheet.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Defining attributes (data)
•
Attaching attributes to blocks
•
Creating templates for formatting attribute and block data
•
Exporting attributes and block data from drawings
•
Importing the data into spreadsheets for analysis
•
Importing spreadsheets into drawings
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Attribute — consists of text data attached to blocks
Attribute extraction — describes a process that exports attribute and block data to files
Block — describes BricsCAD’s term for a symbol. (Other CAD software packages call blocks “components,” “cells,”
“shapes,” “symbols,” or “parts.”)
Block
Insertion point
Attributes
Donut — consists of a solid-filled circle
Insertion point — specifies the place at which blocks are inserted in drawings
Prompt — refers to the text displayed by BricsCAD during block insertions
Tag — identifies attributes by name
Template file — defines the format of data in export files
Value — specifies the default values of attribute data
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
CDF
Comma-delimited format
DXF
Drawing interchange format
ODF
Open Document file
SDF
Space-delimited format
TXT
Extension for an ASCII text file
XLS
Excel spreadsheet file
NEW COMMANDS
CommandAliasesMenu BarRibbon Tab
AttDef
AttDisp
AttExt
Donut
Table
196
at
ad
ax
do, doughnut
...
Inside BricsCAD V17
Tools | Attributes | Define Attributes
Tools | Attributes | Attribute Display
Tools | Attributes | Extract Attributes
Draw | Donut
Draw | Table
Insert | Block | Define Attribute
Insert | Block | Attribute Display
Insert | Block | Extract Attributes
Draw | Draw | Polygons | Donut
Draw | Tables | Table
About Attribute Data
CAD can be used for many different kinds of drawings, such as floor plans, building construction,
mechanical design, and electrical layouts. Drawings are usually made using standard parts, such
as desks, windows, screws, and switches. When the parts contain attribute data, then the drawings
become truly useful.
In this chapter, you create the schematic drawing for an automobile electrical system. The draw-
ing contains numerous components, such as a battery and a fuse, several kinds of light bulbs, and
quite a few ground and solder connections. You could count these components by hand, but I’d
wager that you would miss a few and end up with a wrong total. (Well, you might not miscount,
but I know I would.)
It’s faster and 100% accurate to let BricsCAD do the counting. Part of the counting process is called
“attribute extraction,” because BricsCAD extracts attribute data from the drawing and then stores it
in a data file. The data file can be imported into a spreadsheet to count the components, determine
component costs, and so on. The parts count can be placed in drawings as tables.
This is very powerful stuff, and is known in many disciplines as BOM (short for “bill of materials”)
or in architecture as FM (short for “facilities management”).
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
During this lesson, you work with the following drawing file, electric.dwg.
Electric.dwg can be downloaded from http://www.upfrontezine.com/lb8
chapter
8 Bills of Material 197
The attribute extraction process progresses through these steps:
Step 1: Template — define an attribute extraction template file
Step 2: Extract — use the AttExt command to extract attributes to a data file
Step 3: Import — import the data file into a spreadsheet program
AttExt is the name of the command that extracts attributes from drawings. It is a very old command,
one that goes back to 1985 in some CAD packages — which explains why it is somewhat ornery.
Over the decades it has remained essentially unchanged, except for the addition of the dialog box
front-end. While other programs may boast “coaches” and “wizards” to step you through complicated procedures, BricsCAD does not assist you in this area. And so this lesson exists to guide you.
In the first tutorial, you create a headlamp block, and then attach attribute data to it. In the following tutorials, you open a copy of the completed electric.dwg file, and then extract the attribute
data from it. Later, you open the attribute data file in a spreadsheet program to count the parts,
and finally you bring that data back into BricsCAD as a table.
Creating Blocks with Attributes
The example drawing for this lesson is part of the electrical schematic of an antique automobile. See
the next page. (Wondering which auto? It’s adapted from the electrical system that helped power my
first car, a bright-orange 1965 Volkswagen Beetle.) If you have repair manuals or other schematic
drawings laying around, you can use them to reproduce your own schematic with BricsCAD. If not,
then follow along with the schematic sketch I provide with this ebook.
To begin with, you create one block and attach attributes to it. Working with attributes is kind of
tedious, which is why I won’t get you create all of the blocks. I’ve got them all in a drawing that
you can download.
1.
Start BricsCAD with a new drawing using the 2D Drawing workspace (in metric units) or the Default-cm.dwt
template file.
2.
Because you will be drawing the block to an accuracy of 0.1 unit, it makes sense to change the snap spacing
to this value and to turn on the grid. Follow these steps:
a. On the status bar, right-click SNAP, and then choose Settings from the shortcut menu.
b. In the Settings dialog box, make these changes:
198
Grid
Grid
Grid
Grid
Mode
Unit
Major
Display
Snap Mode
Snap Unit Inside BricsCAD V17
 Grid on
0.1,0.1
1
Turn off Display beyond LIMITS area
 Snap on
0.1,0.1
The result should be like the bold-faced entries in the Settings dialog box illustrated below.
c.
3.
Click X when done to close the dialog box. Notice that the screen fills with a fine grid of lines. (Recall
that the the extents of the grid display are determined by the limits.)
A couple more steps, and you are ready to draw:
a. There is no need for the UCS icon, so turn it off with the UcsIcon command:
: ucsicon
ON/OFF/All/ORigin/Corner/<ON>: off
b. Perform a Zoom All to center the drawing on the screen.
Notice that there are some light gray grid lines and some that are dark gray. The dark gray lines
are called “major grid lines” and are spaced 100 units apart; the light gray ones are called “minor
grid lines” and are spaced 10 units apart.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 199
DRAWING BLOCKS
CommandDonut
Ribbon
Draw | Draw | Polygons | Donut
Menu Bar
Draw | Donut
Alias
doughnut
The symbol used for solder connections is one that’s really easy to draw. It is just a fat dot, and it
is best drawn with the Donut command. This command creates solid looking circles out of wide
polyline arcs, and are specified with outer and inner diameters.
1.
Start the Donut command.
: donut
2.
3.
The solder connection is 0.1 units in diameter. To make a solid-filled donut, specify an inside diameter of zero.
Enter the following sizes at the prompts:
2Point/3Point/RadTanTan/<Inside diameter of donut> <0.5000>: 0
Outside diameter of donut <1.0000>: 0.1
BricsCAD prompts you to place the donut, as follows:
Center of donut: (Pick anywhere in the screen)
Center of donut: (Press ENTER to exit the command)
The Donut command repeats itself until you exit it by pressing Enter.
4. That 0.1-unit donut sure is tiny. Enlarge the drawing area with the Zoom Extents command:
: zoom
Zoom: In/Out/All/Center/.../<Scale (nX/nXP)>: e
(If the donut looks like it has straight sides, then use the Regen command to smooth its edges.)
: regen
DEFINING ATTRIBUTES
CommandAttDef
Ribbon
Insert | Blocks | Define Attributes
Menu Bar
Tools | Attributes | Define Attributes
With the solder connection drawn as a donut, you can now create the attribute data. The process
takes these steps:
Step 1: AttDef — define attribute definitions with the AttDef command (as described in this tutorial)
Step 2: Block — attach attribute definitions to blocks with the Block command (in tutorials later)
Step 3: Insert — define attribute data during the Insert command; optionally, edit data with AttEdit
Attributes are customized data that store information, such as part numbers and prices. Drawings
are useful to showing you how to assemble the electrical system, but the bill of materials (derived
from the attributes) tells you how many parts are needed for the assembly.
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Inside BricsCAD V17
TIP
Attributes attach only to blocks. It is possible to add data to other kinds of entities, but the
process is more technical, because it involves xdata (short for “extended entity data”). Nevertheless,
BricsCAD can export all data (such as properties) from all entities to CSV files for further processing.
A single block can contain one or more attributes. Just as blocks are graphical descriptions, attributes
are textual descriptions. And only text or numbers can be used; graphical data, such as images and
other entities, cannot be included in attributes.
Attributes can describe the block’s part number, manufacturer, price, and any other text-based
information you want to include. These attributes can have descriptive labels, such as “Product
name,” “Manufacturer,” “Model number,” “Stock number,” “Serial number,” and “Material.”
You could include “Price” as an attribute field; but since prices tend to change, it is better to deal
with the price later in the spreadsheet program. Instead, I suggest that if you need prices in attributes that you use a code instead, which is later substituted with the latest price.
Attributes are created with the AttDef command (short for “attribute definition”).
1.
Start the AttDef command. Notice the Define Attribute dialog box.
: attdef
2.
In the Attribute section, enter the following text:
Attribute Field
3.
Value
Tag Product
Prompt Product
Default Solder Connection
In the Text section of the dialog box, set the Height (of the text) to a tiny, unobtrusive value, such as 0.01.
You don’t actually want to see these attributes in drawings; you work with them through dialog boxes.
4. The Insert Coordinates section defines the point in the drawing at which the attribute text starts. A logical
location would be on or near the block. To obtain the value of the Insert Coordinates, follow these steps:
a. In the Insert Coordinates section, click the
button. The dialog box disappears temporarily.
b. In the command bar, notice that BricsCAD prompts you for the location of the insertion point.
Specify insertion point: (Pick a point to the right of the donut)
c. Pick a point to the right of the connection block:
chapter
8 Bills of Material 201
5.
As soon as you do, the dialog box returns. Its fields should now be filled out with values that look similar
to the following:
Click OK. Notice that BricsCAD shows the tag next to the donut.
TIP
Although blocks can contain multiple attributes, the AttDef command creates just one attribute
at a time. You have to repeat the command to define additional attributes, up to a maximum of 245.
ADDING MORE ATTRIBUTES
For the Stock Number, add a second attribute directly below the first:
1.
Press the spacebar to repeat the AttDef command:
: (Press spacebar)
_attdef
And notice that the Define Attribute dialog box reappears.
2.
Fill in the following data in the Attribute section:
Attribute Field
Value
Tag
Prompt
Value
Stockno
Stock No.
000-0000
Ensure the tag name “Stockno” is a single word, with no spaces.\
3.
Click the
button, and then pick a point below the previous tag. (You find this easier to do if you turn off
snap mode for now.)
4. Back in the dialog box, click OK. Notice that BricsCAD adds the second attribute below the first.
The two attributes are identified by their tags, “PRODUCT” and “STOCKNO.” The text will change
202
when the attributes are later combined with the donut to create a block, as you see in the next tutorial.
Inside BricsCAD V17
COMBINING ENTITIES AND ATTRIBUTES INTO BLOCKS
CommandBlock
Ribbon
Insert | Blocks | Create Block
Menu Bar
Tools | Create Block
Alias
b
You now have a donut with two attributes. The next step is to combine the donut and attributes
into a single entity. This is done with the Block command.
1.
Start the Block command.
: block
Notice the Block Definition dialog box.
2.
The first thing to do is enter a name for the block. In this case, enter “Connect” in the Name field:
Name: Connect
You can ignore the Description field.
3.
The most important aspect to blocks is their base point. The base point is the spot where the block will be
inserted in drawings — either with coordinates or a cursor pick. The default is at the origin of the drawing at
0,0,0. However, other points might be more convenient, as described in the boxed text on the next page.
For this block, change the base point to the center of the donut:
a. In the Base Point section, click the
Pick Point button. The dialog box disappears temporarily.
b. In the command bar, notice that BricsCAD prompts you for the location of the insertion point. Pick a
point to the right of the connection block.
Insertion point for new block: (Pick the center of the donut)
As soon as you pick the point, the dialog box returns.
4. BricsCAD needs to know which entities will be part of the block:
a. In the Entities section, click the Select Entities
button. The dialog box disappears temporarily.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 203
b. In the command bar, notice that BricsCAD prompts you to select the entities that you want to be part of
the block. Select the donut and the text.
Select entities for block: (Select donut and two attribute entities)
You can press Ctrl+A (or Cmd+A on Macs) to select all entities in the drawing, or else use windowing, like
I did in the figure above.
c.Press Enter to end entity selection and then return to the dialog box.
5.
Select entities for block: (Press ENTER)
Choose the Retain option. This determines what happens to the entities after you click OK.
OptionMeaning
Retain
Convert to Block
Delete
Retains the entities after defining them as a block
Creates a block from the entities, and then inserts them in the drawing;
this option combines two steps: erases the entities and inserts the block
Erases the entities after defining them as a block;
this option saves using the Erase command to later remove the entities
6. Click OK. The drawing looks no different, but behind the scenes BricsCAD has converted the three entities
into a block definition. Block definitions are stored in the .dwg file, and are used to insert them into the drawings, making them visible. See the next tutorial.)
7.
204
Save the drawing with Ctrl+S, giving it the name “Symbols.”
Inside BricsCAD V17
Inserting Blocks with Attributes
CommandInsert
Ribbon
Insert | Blocks | Insert Block
Menu Bar
Insert | Insert Block
Alias
i
In an earlier lesson, you placed blocks with the Insert command. To see how attributes work, you
will use the same command with the Connect block.
1.
Enter the Insert command:
: insert
2.
Notice the Insert Block dialog box. Check that Name field contains “Connect.” If not, select it from the droplist.
3.
Change the following options:
Attribute Field
Value
Insertion Point
 Specify On-screen
Scale X (off; scale = 1)
Rotation (off; angle = 0)
4. Click OK.
Notice that the cursor is located at the block’s center. This is the base point you defined earlier with the Block
command; now it is known as the “insertion point.”
5.
In the command bar, BricsCAD asks for the location of the block:
Insertion point for block: (Pick a point)
Notice that BricsCAD does not prompt you for the scale or rotation angle, because you specified these parameters in the dialog box (scale = 1, rotation = 0).
6. BricsCAD does, however, prompt you to enter the attribute values. You can press Enter to accept the defaults:
Product <Solder Connection>: (Press Enter)
Stock No. <000-0000>: (Press Enter)
Notice that the attribute values appear next to the connection block, in exactly the same location where you
placed the tags.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 205
ALTERNATIVES TO THE INSERT COMMAND
In addition to the Insert command, BricsCAD has several other methods for placing blocks in
drawings:
ÐÐ
Drawing Explorer accesses blocks stored in other drawings and inserts them into drawings
ÐÐ
-Insert command displays insertion options in the command bar, and is meant for use in scripts and macros
ÐÐ
Drag’n drop to drag .dwg files from the operating system’s file manager right into the drawing
When you use drag’n to drop .dwg files from the file manager into the drawing, BricsCAD reacts
differently depending on which mouse button you hold down during the action:
ÐÐ
Hold down the left mouse button — file opened as a drawing, like using the Open command
ÐÐ
Hold down the right mouse button — BricsCAD gives you options through this shortcut menu:
The functions of these options are as follows:
Default by File Extension — places known file types with appropriate commands:
File ExtensionCommand ActivatedResult
Drawing .dwg Raster images Unknown file types Open command ImageAttach command
InsertObj command
Inserted as a block
Attached as a raster image
Inserted as an OLE entity (Windows only)
Insert Here — places the file as a block through the -Insert command
Open — opens the file as a drawing in a new window through the Open command
Create XRef Attachment — places the file as an externally-referenced drawing through the -XRef Attach
command
Create XRef Overlay — places the file as an overlain xref through the -XRef Overlay command
Create Hyperlink Here — prompts you to select one or more entities, and then attaches a URL to them that
points to the file through the -HyperLink command
Cancel — cancels the operation
206
Inside BricsCAD V17
Exporting Data from Drawings
Adding attributes to blocks is tedious work, and so to save you time and trouble, I have prepared
for you the drawing used by the next set of tutorials. It already contains all the needed blocks
and attributes. Get your copy of the electric.dwg file from my public Dropbox folder: https://
dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCAD-Tutorial-Files.zip.
DATA EXTRACTION
CommandDataExtraction
Ribbon
...
Menu Bar
Tools | Attributes | Extract Data
To export data from drawings, you use the DataExtraction command. It saves the data in a CSV
file, short for “comma delimited values,” which can then be read into spreadsheet and database
programs for further processing. (This command is a more convenient replacement to the AttExt
command, because it does not need template files.)
To extract the attribute data from the drawing, follow these steps:
1.
Launch BricsCAD, and then open the electric.dwg file.
2.
To see all of the attributes, including invisible ones, use the AttDisp command. This step is not necessary for
extracting attributes, because BricsCAD extracts both visible and invisible attributes. But turning them on
makes it easier for you to monitor the task.
: attdisp
Attribute display mode: ON/OFF/Normal <Normal>: ON
TIP The AttDisp command changes the way BricsCAD displays attribute text:
Normal — displays attributes, except for those set to Invisible mode.
On — displays all attributes, including invisible ones.
Off — hides all attributes.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 207
3.
Start the attribute extraction entering the DataExtraction command.
: dataextraction
Notice the Data Extraction dialog box.
4. Click the
Select button, and then select all of the entities in the drawing like this:
Select entities: all
Entities in set: 124
Select entities: (Press Enter to return to dialog box)
The number of entities found may differ in your drawing from mine, depending on how you drew it.
5.
Back in the dialog box, notice the first set of options:
You are only interested in extracting attribute data from blocks, so turn off all options. The section now looks
like this:
6. The second set of options specify files that are needed. Let’s go through them one by one:
208
Create Data Extraction Definition — I recommend turning this option on.
When this option is on, BricsCAD saves the options you chose to a DXD file (short for “data extraction
definition”). The next time you run this data extraction command, you use the following option (“Based
on an existing data extraction definition”) to reuse the options, saving you from setting things up all
over again. You see the benefit of this when you get to the next dialog box!
Based on an Existing Data Extraction Definition — Reuse the DXD file from a previous session; this option does not apply the first time you run this command.
Extract Delimiter-separated Format — Specify the file name and folder location for the extracted data.
Data is saved in CSV format, which separates data values with commas: one record per row, with fields
separated by commas. You have to fill out this option, as BricsCAD prevents you from moving further
without it by keeping the Next button deactivated.
Inside BricsCAD V17
For ease of reference, specify the following names for each file:
Create Data Extraction Definition Based on an Existing Data Extraction Definition Extract Delimiter-separated Format
electric.dxd
(ignore this time around)
electric.csv
For two of the options, click the
the ‘electric’ file names.
Browse button, and then choose a convenient folder location. Specify
7.
(new to v17) Click the Delimited droplist, and change it to ‘Comma.” A delimiter is punctuation that separates
data values in the CSV file. It can be a semi-colon, a comma, a space, or a tab. I recommend using the comma.
When you are done, the dialog box should look something like this.
8. Click Next. Notice that the Page 2 dialog box lists the blocks and line entities. You want data about all of them
extracted, so leave everything as it is. Even the line entities, from which you can get the length of each; the
total length tells you the amount of wiring needed. Here is the meaning of the options:
ÐÐ
Check boxes — to exclude an item, click the check box
ÐÐ
Select all — selects all items in the list (turns on all check boxes)
ÐÐ
Select blocks — selects just blocks, and avoids non-block entities (like the lines)
chapter
8 Bills of Material 209
9. Click Next to carry on. When the Page 3 dialog box appears, it looks scarey as it lists every property of every
entity, as well as attributes.
The options in this dialog box have the following meaning:
ÐÐ
Checkbox — selects an item to be exported to the CSV file
ÐÐ
Select Attributes — selects only attributes in the list, and excludes other items
ÐÐ
Show Checked Only — shows only the items that are selected, and hides the rest from the list
ÐÐ
Show All — shows all items, checked and unchecked
ÐÐ
(new to V17) Move Selected Up / Down — moves the selected item(s) up and down the list; this affects the order in
which items appear in the CSV file
TIPS
To turn off (or on) all properties at once, select the first property in the list, hold down the Shift
key, select the last property, and then click the checkbox.
To sort the columns alphabetically, click the header of each one. When you click the invisible header of the
checkboxes column, it sorts by which boxes are and are not checked.
210
Your big job now is to turn off all properties, except for the following ones:
Length
Product
StockNo
To do this, follow these steps:
Inside BricsCAD V17
a.
Click the Select Attributes button. This highlights the attributes in the list.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Click one of the checkboxes in front of an attribute name. This action selects both of them.
Click the Property header. This sorts the items alphabetically by property name.
Go through the list until you find Length, and then click its checkbox.
Click Show Checked Only to ensure that you have the correct ones.
10. The dialog box has a column labeled Additional Format column. Its purpose is for specifying different formats for values. You don’t want too much formatting, because that might confuse the spreadsheet program.
Nevertheless, here is how to use it:
a. Next to “Length,” click the blank area under Additional Format. Notice the dialog box.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 211
The Length field shows you what the format looks like, either the default or else after you make changes. In the figure shown, I changed the “Format” to Decimal and the “Precision” to 0.0. I was tempted to
specify mm for “Suffix,” but then I realized that would make the spreadsheet unhappy — it would think
the number was text.
b. The Product and StockNo attributes are text, and I changed the “Format” to First capital.
c.
Click OK to exit the Format dialog box.
TIP
text.
The formatting codes used by the DataExtraction command are the same ones used for field
11. Click Finish. After a second or two, the results are deposited in the electric.csv file.
12. To see the result, open the electric.csv file with a text editor. The content should look something similar to
that illustrated below.
212
Inside BricsCAD V17
For each block and line in the Electric drawing, BricsCAD lists the following pieces of data:
FieldMeaningExample Value
Count
Name
Length
Product
StockNo
Number of occurrences in the drawing
Name of the block or entity
Length of line (does not apply to attributes)
Block’s attribute value (does not apply to lines)
Block’s attribute value (does not apply to lines)
12 (light bulbs)
LBULB
5.1
Single light bulb
400-0001
You’ve created a rudimentary bill of material, which can be printed out on your printer or imported
to a spreadsheet — as described next. Later you learn how to bring the spreadsheet into the drawing as a bill of materials.
IMPORTING DATA FILES INTO SPREADSHEETS
To format the raw data and perform calculations, you can import the exported data into a spreadsheet. Shown in this tutorial is LibreOffice Calc, part of a free software package available from
https://www.libreoffice.org/discover/calc/. Other spreadsheet programs, such as Excel, may have
analogous steps.
1.
2.
Launch the spreadsheet program.
To open the data file correctly, please follow these steps:
a. From the spreadsheet’s File menu, select Open to display the Open dialog box.
b. Navigate to the folder holding the electric.csv file.
c.
3.
Select the electric.csv file, and then click Open.
Notice that LibreOffice displays the Text Import dialog box, which allows you to specify the format of files
being imported.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 213
All the default options are sufficient, but make sure the following ones are set:
Import
From row:
1
Tab Comma Semicolon
Separator Options
Separated by: 4. Click OK. Notice that Excel loads the electric.csv file, and then displays each field in its own column.
If it is necessary to adjust the column widths, select the four columns, then choose from the menu bar Format | Column | Optimal Width.
5.
If you wish, add price and extension fields, a totals row, and format the text for lovely output. For example, I
used the SUM() function to find the total length of wires (lines).
6. Remember to save the spreadsheet file.
214
Inside BricsCAD V17
Placing Data in Drawings as Tables
CommandTable
Ribbon
Draw | Tables | Table
Menu Bar
Draw | Table
Data that you export as CSV files can be placed in drawings as tables. This creates a bill of materials right in the drawing. BricsCAD’s Table command imports data in two formats, CSV and XML.
ÐÐ
CSV — output from BircsCAD DataExtraction command, as well as other programs
ÐÐ
XML — non-product specific spreadsheet format using XML codes (extended markup language), and can be exported by LibreOffice Calc and Excel
(Don’t confuse XML with XLS, the latter being Excel’s native format.) You place files, such as CSV
and XLV, in drawings with the Table command as follows:
1.
Start the Table command. Notice the Insert Table dialog box.
2. In the Table Options section, choose the From Data option.
3.
Click the
Browse button to access the electric.csv file. In the Open dialog box, navigate to the folder in
which the CSV file is stored. Choose it, and then click Open.
4. (new to V17) If necessary, change the Separator field to Command or which ever character is used to
separate fields in the file. If you specify the wrong separator character, BricsCAD will later complain “Invalid
format.”
5.
Click OK. Notice that BricsCAD prompts you to pick the insertion point:
Specify insertion point or [Style/Width/Height]: (Pick a point)
6. The table is placed in the drawing, and BricsCAD immediately goes into formatting mode, should you wish to
further change the look of the table.
chapter
8 Bills of Material 215
Summary
You learned how to export attribute data to spreadsheets, and then bring formatted spreadsheet
data back into BricsCAD. You also learned about creating, populating, and editing tables.
Next, you learn about a more sophisticated 2D entity known as the region.
216
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 9
Modeling 2D Regions
and Booleans
Here, you learn how to increase your CAD efficiency by working with regions and Boolean operations.
These two BricsCAD features let you construct complex 2D shapes, and then analyze them — and BricsCAD
does this far faster than if you were to perform the calculations by hand.
(The Region command is available in the Pro and Platinum editions of BricsCAD only.)
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Converting collections of entities into regions
•
Using point filters to find coordinates
•
Applying Boolean operations to regions
•
Finding the mass properties of regions
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Boolean — refers to logical operations, such as AND, OR, and NOT
Mass property — reports the properties of a mass, such as area, centroid, and radius of gyration
Point filter — returns a single coordinate
Region — consists of a closed 2D area
NEW COMMANDS
Command Shortcut
Menu BarRibbon
DelObj…
…...
Intersect
in
Modify | Solid Editing| Intersect
Solid | Edit | Intersect
MassProp
...
Tools | Inquiry | Region/Mass Properties
Tools | Inquiry | Mass Properties
Regionreg
Draw | Region...
Subtract
Union
su
uni
Modify | Solid Editing | Subtract
Modify | Solid Editing| Union
Solid | Edit | Subtract
Solid | Edit | Union
THIS CHAPTER’S DRAWING
By the end of this lesson, your drawing will look like this one:
RegionTutorial drawing
218
Inside BricsCAD V17
About Regions
BricsCAD works with regions. These are closed 2D areas of almost any shape. Regions are interesting, because two or more can be combined using Boolean operations. These operations join,
intersect, and subtract one region from the other. This lets you create a single entity with holes in
it, and analyze its physical properties.
Technically, regions are made of ACIS entities, the same technology used for 3D solid models. The
outer boundary of the region goes by the name of a “loop.” The holes inside of regions are called
“islands.” The boundaries and islands can have any kind of shape, from a as simple as triangle to
flowing curves.
Loop (outer boundary)
Region
Island (inner boundary)
HOW TO CREATE REGIONS
In a curious twist of fate, BricsCAD cannot create regions from scratch, such as like using the PLine
command to directly draw polylines. Rather, BricsCAD converts existing closed areas into regions.
To do this, BricsCAD provides you with two commands, Boundary and Region. They are subtly
different:
ÐÐ
Boundary command prompts you to pick a point inside a closed area, and then generates a region or a polyline; it is a subset of
the Hatch command and displays a dialog box
ÐÐ
Region command prompts you to select entities and/or boundaries that make up a closed area, and then generates a region
entity; it operates at the command line
In the end, both create a region entity out of a closed area (made of one or more entities). So it
takes two steps to create a region:
Step 1: Draw the shape using drawing commands such as PLine, Arc, and Circle. To create a region successfully, the shape must be closed. Self-intersecting curves are made into multiple regions. See figure below for
examples. Left to right, you end up with one region, no region, and three regions.
Left: Closed non-self-intersecting shape; center: Not-closed shape cannot become a region; right: Self-intersecting curve becomes multiple regions
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 219
Step 2: Convert the shape into a region with the Boundary or Region commands. The result of the two commands differs for the shapes in the figure shown below:
Command
Closed Entity
Boundary:
1 region
Region:
1 region
Open Entity Self-intersecting Entity
o or 1 regions * 1 region per pick
0 regions 3 regions with 1 pick
The Boundary command can make a region from an open area if the gap tolerance is sufficiently large.
The two commands do not combine non-overlapping entities into a single region entity. For instance,
select three circles, each an inch apart, and they become three regions. (This behavior may change
in a future release of the software.)
Both commands leave the source entities in place. Use the DelObj (short for “delete objects”)
variable to change this behavior in the Region command. Set it to -2 or 2 to have Region erase the
source entities automatically:
DelObjMeaning
-2
Prompts if all entities should be erased
-1
Prompts if profile entities should be erased during commands like Extrude, Revolve, and Sweep
0
Leaves source entities in place
1 (default value) Erases entities only during commands like Extrude, Revolve, and Sweep
2
Erases source entities with other commands, such as Region
TIPS
The U command can be used to change region entities back to their original components.
Regions are always closed; there are no open regions.
After entities are converted to regions, they look no different, but they do have different properties,
of which you learn about later. In the following tutorials, you first use the Boundary command and
then the Region command to see how they work. Later, you apply boolean operations.
TUTORIAL: CREATING BOUNDARIES
Available in all versions of BricsCAD
CommandBoundary
Ribbon
Draw | hatch | Boundary
Menu Bar
Draw | Boundary Polyline
Alias
BO
The Boundary command draws a boundary around the inside of selected areas and/or entities.
It draws them as polylines or regions — your choice, although in this tutorial you want regions.
(This command is a subset of the Hatch command. To place hatch patterns correctly, the Hatch
command first draws invisible boundaries around the areas to be hatched; the hatching is applied
inside the boundary, and then the boundary is optionally erased. The Boundary command draws
220
the same kind of outline, but keeps it.)
Inside BricsCAD V17
QUICK SUMMARY OF BOUNDARY OPTIONS
The Boundary dialog box contains options that control how boundaries are created.
BOUNDARIES
The Pick Points button dismisses the dialog box temporarily, and the prompts you to pick a point in the drawing: ‘Select
a point to define a boundary or hatch area.’ You can pick inside more than one boundary.
BOUNDARY SET
The Boundary Set section determines where BricsCAD should look for entities from which to create boundaries.
The default is the entire current viewport, but you can change this with the New
button to smaller areas, such as
the existing selection set or the current viewport. For instance, after you click the New button and choose a number
of entities, the boundary seeking algorithm limits its work to the entities you selected.
BOUNDARY RETENTION
The Boundary Retention option makes the boundary from a polyline or region. ISLANDS
When entities contains other entities (a.k.a. “islands”), then you can tell the boundary-seeking algorithm to include or
ignore them.
The circles shown below illustrate the difference between the Nested, Outer, and Ignore options. Notice the location
of the cursor, and that the pick point is the same in each case.
TIP
Entities created by Boundary can look invisible, because they are created on the current layer. To see them, create a new layer with a different color.
Continued...
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 221
...continued.
Nested — all entities (the circles) form boundaries, as shown in red at the right.
Left: Original circles
Right: All circles turned into boundaries
Outer — the outermost circles form boundaries (shown in red below); the innermost circles are ignored.
Left: Original circles
Right: Circles nearest to pick point turned into boundaries
Ignore — only the outermost circle is used to form the boundary; the others are ignored.
Left: Original circles
Right: Only outermost circle turned into a boundary; other circles ignored
BOUNDARY TOLERANCE
The Boundary Tolerance option specifies the acceptable size of gaps. For example, when you set the tolerance to 0.1", then
gaps as large as 0.1" will be ignored (or bridged) by the boundary-seeking algorithm.
222
Inside BricsCAD V17
The Boundary command displays a dialog box that looks like a simplified version of the Hatch and
Gradient dialog box — the hatching components are missing.
To create boundaries as regions, follow these steps:
1.
2.
Start BricsCAD with a new drawing. The workspace or template does not matter.
Use the Circle command to draw two overlapping circles, as illustrated below. The size does not matter.
3.
Start the Boundary command. Notice the Boundary dialog box; the boxed text on a nearby page explains its
functions.
4. Click the Pick Points in Boundaries
button. It lets you pick a point inside the circles; BricsCAD then determines the boundary(ies) automatically, based on your pick point.
5.
Notice that the dialog box disappears (temporarily), and that you are prompted at the command bar.
Pick a point to define a boundary or hatch area or [Select entities/Undo]: (Pick inside
one of the circles)
Pick a point inside one of the circles, as illustrated below. It doesn’t matter which one, just don’t select a
circle itself.
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 223
6.Press Enter to return to the dialog box:
7.
Pick a point to define a boundary or hatch area or [Select entities/Undo]: (Press ENTER)
In the Boundary Retention area, change the boundary type from Polyline to “Regions”:
8. And then click OK to exit the dialog box.
9. The circles look no different, yet BricsCAD has drawn an entity inside one of them. To see it, drag it away from
the circles, like this:
a. Click the circle that surrounds your pick point made during the Boundary command. Notice that when
BricsCAD highlights it, the highlight looks like a crescent moon. This moon is the region entity.
b. Drag the region away from the two circles. Notice that it is an independent entity; the two original
circles remain in place.
10. Use the Properties panel to determine that the entity is in fact a region. Notice that the Properties panel also
reports the area and perimeter of the region, a very useful side effect!
As you can see from the result of this tutorial, regions are a handy way to create unusual shapes as
a single entity. In the next tutorial, you use the Region command.
TIPS
After the boundary (region or polyline) is created, the Boundary command does delete source
entities, even when the DelObj variable (short for “delete entity”) is set to 2 to force deletion.
The command line version is -Boundary, and is meant for use by scripts and programming routines.
Yes, you can use Boundary on regions, and Region on polylines made by the Boundary command, and
Region on regions. In all cases, an identical copy is made of the region or polyline.
224
Inside BricsCAD V17
Boolean Operations
Available only in the Pro and Platinum versions of BricsCAD
When drawings contain two or more regions or 3D solids, you can perform boolean operations on
them. These operations allow you to combine separate regions and 3D solids and make them one
— or to separate one into many. “Boolean” is a term from mathematics that describes the logical
operations that you may have learned in school, such as AND, OR, and NOT.
BricsCAD provides three boolean commands to combine and separate regions and solids. See the
details in the text box on a nearby page. Here are the commands and what they do:
ÐÐ
Union command combines two or more regions into one region (AND operation)
ÐÐ
Intersect command finds the area common to two or more overlapping regions (OR operation)
ÐÐ
Subtract command removes the area of one or more regions from other overlapping ones (NOT operation)
Technically, these commands employ ACIS modeling to perform their work, which is why they are
unfortunately not available in BricsCAD Classic.
Together with Boundary and Regions commands, these boolean commands are be employed to
construct complex shapes with BricsCAD. Indeed, boolean operations work only with region entities and 3D solids. They do not work with regular 2D and 3D entities like lines and 3D meshes; if
you want to, you need to first convert these regular entities into regions or 3D solids.
The trickiest of the boolean operations is subtraction, which is why get to employ it in the following tutorial.
TUTORIAL: CREATING A WAFFLE SHAPE
Commands
Ribbon
Menu Bar
Aliases
Array and -Array
Change | Array
Modify | 2D Array
AR and -AR
CommandRegion
Ribbon
Model | Solids | Region
Menu Bar
Draw | Region
Alias
REG
CommandSubtract
Ribbon
Model | SOlid Editing | Subtract
Menu Bar
Modify | Solids | Subtract
Alias
SU
In this tutorial, you create a waffle shape as illustrated below. After drawing some intersecting rectangles, you will apply the Subtract command
to form the waffle shape. To determine the net area, you find the mass
properties of the shape; this would be very difficult to do without
regions.
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 225
QUICK SUMMARY OF BOOLEAN OPERATIONS
UNION COMMAND
Union joins two or more regions into one. This allows you to create complex entities from simple ones.
Left: Original objects (two regions); right: square unioned with circle as a single object
In boolean terms, the union operation returns everything in region #1 OR in #2.
INTERSECT COMMAND
Intersect removes all but the overlapping portions of two or more regions. This allows you to find the areas in common between entities.
Left: Original objects (two regions); right: circle intersected with square
In boolean terms, the intersection operation returns everything that’s in region #1 AND in region #2.
SUBTRACT COMMAND
Subtract subtracts one set of regions from another. This allows you to remove parts of entities.
There are two outcomes possible from subtraction.The outcome depends on the order in which you select the regions,
as shown by the figure below. In the center result, the circle was removed from the square; in the right result, the opposite occurred: the square was removed from the circle. (Selection order does not matter for the union and intersect
operations.)
Left: Original objects (two regions); center: circle subtracted from square; right: square subtracted from circle
In boolean terms, the subtraction operation returns everything that’s in region #1 but NOT in region #2.
226
Inside BricsCAD V17
1.
Start BricsCAD with a new drawing.
2.
Using the Circle command, draw a circle with a radius of 2.875 units at the origin (0,0), as follows:
: circle
2Point/3Point/RadTanTan/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>: 0,0
Diameter/<Radius>: 2.875
(If necessary, use the Zoom Extents command to see the entire circle, and then employ Zoom 0.5x to get
some space around it.)
Circle of radius at 2.875
(diameter = 5.75)
@10, .5
Start rectangle to the
lower-left of the circle
3.
Now draw a rectangle with the Rectang command:
: rectang
The rectangle’s first corner is not crucial, except that it should be to the lower-left of the circle. See the figure
above.
Chamfer/Elevation/Fillet/Rotated/Square/Thickness/Width/<Select first corner of
rectangle>: qua
Snap to quadrant of: (Pick a point to the lower-left of the circle.)
Enter relative coordinates to position the other corner. The width (x) does not matter, but the height (y)
should be 0.5 units. I’m going to use a width of 10 units. I’ll specify the other corner using relative coordinates, as follows:
Other corner of rectangle:
@10,.5
4. The next step is to convert the circle and rectangle to region entities using the Region command:
: region
Select entities: all
Select entities: (Press ENTER to end entity selection.)
2 regions(s) created
After the entities are converted to regions, they look no different. The circle and rectangle are, however, now
region entities that are circular and rectangular in shape. The Boolean operations that you carry out later in
this tutorial would not work on actual circles and rectangles, and so they had to be converted to regions.
If necessary, use the Properties panel to convince yourself the entities are now regions!
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 227
5.
Create copies of the rectangle region to cover the circle.
Now, you could use the Copy command for this task, but it is much faster to deploy the -Array command. In
this tutorial, you array the rectangle twice. The first time you array the rectangle vertically; the second time,
you rotate one by 90 degrees (with the Mirror command) and then array it horizontally.
To start the -Array command, enter the -ar alias:
: -ar
6. Choose the rectangle:
Select entities to array: (Pick the rectangle)
Select entities to array: (Press Enter to end entity selection)
This command can make arrays that are polar (circular) or rectangular, but you want rectangular:
Type of array: Polar/<Rectangular>: (Press Enter to accept default, Rectangular)
The number of rows in the first array is somewhat arbitrary, because you want to cover the entire circle with
rectangles. If there are too many, you can just erase the extras; if too few, then it’s a pain to restart the Array
command, so draw too many in the first place!
Number of rows in the array <1>: 10
Number of columns <1>: (Press Enter to accept default, 1)
The distance between rows is 1 unit:
Vertical distance between rows, or spacing rectangle: 1
Notice that BricsCAD instantly creates ten copies of the rectangle.
Vertical
distance
between
rows = 1.0
7.
228
Number of rows = 10
Entity to array
(The reason I use command-line oriented -Array command instead of the dialog box-toting Array is because it
can be faster to enter values at the command line than hunting through a dialog box.)
Use the Erase command to remove superfluous rows, in other words, those that don’t cover the circle.
Inside BricsCAD V17
8. Now you want a second set of rectangles at 90 degrees. Create the first one by mirroring an existing rectangle with the Mirror command:
: mirror
Select the lowest rectangle, like this:
Select entities to mirror: (Pick the rectangle, indicated by the figure below)
Select entities to mirror: (Press ENTER to end entity selection)
BricsCAD needs an imaginary line called the “mirror line” about which to mirror the rectangle. The placement
of the mirror line is not crucial, as long as it is at 45 degrees to the rectangle. The easy way to do this is to
employ the following relative polar coordinates: @1<45 as the mirror line’s end point:
Start of mirror line: 0,0
End of mirror line: @1<45
Delete the original entities? <N> (Press ENTER to accept default, N)
9. With the vertical rectangle in place, start the Array command. This is the dialog box version of the command.
a.
For Array Type, ensure Rectangular is chosen:
b. Click
Select Entities and then enter ‘L’ to select the last-chosen entity:
Select entities to array: l
Entities in set: 1
Select entities to array: (Press Enter to return to the dialog box)
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 229
c.
Specify the number of copies to make:
Rows Count:
1
Columns Count
10
Column Offset:
1
Notice that the preview window shows several columns, one row high.
d. Click OK, and BricsCAD instantly creates ten copies of the vertical rectangle.
10. Erase the rectangles that don’t lie on the circle.
11. Now you finally get to use a Boolean. With the Subtract command, remove the rectangular regions from the
circular region, as follows:
230
Inside BricsCAD V17
: subtract
Select ACIS entity to subtract from: (Pick circle.)
Select ACIS entity to subtract from: (Press ENTER to end “From” entity selection.)
To pick all of the rectangles more quickly, follow these steps:
a. First, use All selection mode to select everything in the drawing.
Select ACIS entities to subtract: all
b. Second, use the R (remove) option to remove just the circle from the selection set.
Select ACIS entities to subtract: r
Subtract entities from selection set: (Pick circle.)
Subtract entities from selection set: (Press ENTER to end the command.)
That’s just two selections, instead of 12!
Notice the result: the Subtract command removes the overlapping regions, producing the waffle
effect — yet those 32 parts are in reality a single entity. This again shows you one benefit of working with regions.
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 231
Measuring Regions
CommandMassProp
Menu Bar
Tools | Inquiry | Mass Properties
You’ve seen in the first two tutorials how region entities are unique in BricsCAD, by consisting of
unusual shapes and even a series of seemingly disconnected shapes. Another benefit we get from
regions is that we can easily determine their physical properties — especially easy for ones made
of many separate parts, like the waffle shape. If the waffle were instead made of 32 regular 2D
entities, then we would have to add up the areas of all individual parts, and then find the total. In
contrast, the waffle region is a single entity, and so easy to measure.
1.
To find the total area of the waffle pattern, use the MassProp command, as follows:
: massprop
Select entities: (Pick waffle shape)
Select entities: (Press ENTER)
2.
BricsCAD displays the results of the analysis in the text window. If necessary, press F2:
So now you know: The area of the waffle pattern is 6.8044 square units, precisely. The value you
see for your region may differ due to the way you placed the rectangles.
ABOUT MASS PROPERTIES
The MassProp command uses terms that have the following meaning:
Bounding box
Area
Perimeter
232
Inside BricsCAD V17
Cendroid
ÐÐ
Area — cumulative area of all 24 waffles.
ÐÐ
Perimeter — cumulate perimeters of all 24 waffles.
ÐÐ
Bounding Box: Lower Bound and Upper Bound — rectangular limits of the region; the coordinates describe the lower-left
and upper-right corners of the corners of an imaginary rectangle that tightly encloses the region.
ÐÐ
Centroid — center of mass of the region’s 24 waffles, excluding the open areas.
ÐÐ
Moments of inertia — measure of the region’s resistance to angular acceleration.
ÐÐ
Product of Inertia: XY — measures the region’s resistance to change in rotation.
ÐÐ
Radius of Gyration — distance from the axis that the entire region can be concentrated to obtain the same mass moment of inertia.
ÐÐ
Principle moments and X-Y directions about centroid — equivalent to torque.
Summary
This lesson introduced you to regions and Boolean operations. These concepts extend to working
with 3D models in BricsCAD Professional and other 3D software packages.
chapter
9 Modeling 2D Regions and Booleans 233
Notes
234
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 10
Direct 3D Modeling
& Editing
Here, you learn how to create 3D models using traditional and modern editing techniques. Tradi-
tional techniques use commands to create and manipulate 3D models; modern ones manipulate 2D and
3D entities directly. Direct modeling and editing is available in the Pro and Platinum editions of BricsCAD.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Learning about 3D solid models
•
Extruding profiles (2D entities) into bodies
•
Rotating 3D viewpoints
•
Subtracting 3D entities from one another
•
Modeling with direct editing
•
Aligning UCSes
•
Adding fillets to 3D edges
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Direct modeling and editing — creates and edits 3D parts directly, without entering commands
Profiles — describes 2D entities that define 3D parts.
Quad — multi-tiled cursor with common commands
Shell — refers to a hollowed out 3D solid model
Sub entities — describes entities that make up 3D solid models, such as faces and edges
Union — joins two or more solid models into a single body
USEFUL ABBREVIATIONS
QUAD Quad cursor
SUB
Sub-entity selection
NEW COMMANDS
Command
ShortcutMenu BarRibbon Tab
DelObj.........
Extrude
Ext
Model | 3D Solids | Extrude
Solid | Create
QuadDisplay
F12......
SolidEdit
...
Model | 3D Solid Editing | Shell
Solid | Edit
UCS.........)
THIS CHAPTER’S MODEL
By the end of this lesson, your 3D model will look like this one:
Focus-bracket drawing 3d-part.dwg
236
Inside BricsCAD V17
About 3D Solid Models
BricsCAD Pro and Platinum allow you to create 3D models from solids. Solids are 3D entities that
are solid on the inside, which distinguishes them from other 3D entities that are not solid, such as
surfaces and polyface meshes. Because they are solid through and through, models made from 3D
solids accurately mimic real world entities. For instance, using third-party tools like FEA (finite
element analysis) and CFD (computational fluid dynamic), they can be tested on the computer to
ensure they work properly once manufactured.
BricsCAD has several methods for creating 3D models from solids, and here you learn about two
of them: using traditional commands and direct modeling.
In these tutorials, you model the focus ring mount for a small webcam. The 2D plans are illustrated
below and finished 3D model is shown on the facing page. The 2D drawings illustrate a further
benefit to 3D: it is easier for non-experts to visualize products in 3D than in 2D. (The 2D drawing
is Tutorial-10-2D.dwg and the completed 3D model is 3d-part.dwg, and both are available through
my public Dropbox folder: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCADTutorial-Files.zip.)
PLANNING AHEAD
There are several differences between 2D drafting and 3D modeling. One difference is that 3D has
a limited number of ways to create the parts that make up a 3D model, whereas there are many
way to draw in 2D. For instance, to create a box shape in 3D, you can use the Box command or else
extrude a rectangle, and that’s pretty much it; in 2D, by contrast, you can draw a rectangle with
lines, polylines, or traces, or with the Rectangle or Polygon commands, and so on.
Another difference is that in 3D modeling you must plan ahead how to construct the 3D model;
this differs from 2D, where you can simply start drawing. Now, there is a bit of a Catch-22 here:
you can only become effective in planning ahead after you gain experience with 3D modeling. So
this chapter shows you some of the tricks in putting together 3D models.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 237
ELEMENTS OF 3D MODELS
Three-dimensional modeling employs a jargon of its own. Here is a visual reference to some common terms. PARTS OF A 3D MODEL
Curve or contour
Vertex
Edge
Face
Primitive (basic) 3D parts are made with (left to right) Box, Sphere, Cylinder, Pyramid, Wedge, and Torus commands.
CREATING 3D MODELS FROM 2D
Applying the Extrude command to 2D entities:
Extrusion with
taper angle
Circle extruded
into a cylinder
Height of
extrusion
Left: Extrude command applied to a 2D circle; right: Extrude with 5-degree taper
Applying the Revolve command to 2D entities:
Revolved object
Axis
Angle of revolution
Revolve command extrudes circle by 45 degrees
238
Inside BricsCAD V17
Planning Ahead by Deconstructing 3D
The way to plan ahead is to deconstruct the model. Here are some tips:
ÐÐ Look at it to see what kinds of sub-parts exist. “Sub-parts” are portions of the model that
look like boxes and cylinders; holes are formed from cylinders.
ÐÐ Figure out which common operations can be applied. For instance, parts can be repeated
(made once then copied), mirrored (made once then copy-mirrored), or are unique (made once).
ÐÐ There are some rounded edges that could be made with the Fillet command.
ÐÐ Use 2D drawings to determine the dimensions of the part.
For example, look at the photograph and identify sub-parts (a.k.a
“primitives”) that could be modeled first. Notice that there are some
are square ones and some round ones. How would these be modeled?
(With the Box and Cylinder commands.)
Because the sides are parallel, much of this part could be constructed
from extrusions. An “extrusion” takes a 2D outline and then thickens
to make it 3D.
Traditional Solid Modeling Commands
In this set of tutorials, you use variations on commands to model the focus ring holder of a webcam.
For instance, in the first tutorial you use the traditional Extrude command, which in CAD dates back
to the late 1980s; in a later tutorial, you use a newer approach to do the same thing. It is known
as “direct modeling.”
To create an extrusion, you first draw the outline of the part in 2D (on the x,y-plane), and then
use the Extrude command to thicken it in the z-direction. See the figure below for how this works.
Extrusions always have straight or slanted sides. (If you want a part to have curved sides, then you
would revolve the 2D entity with the Revolve command.)
2D object defines
base shape
Extrusion thickens the 2D
object to make it a 3D
model with straight sides
Extrusion
height
Left: 2D circle defining the diameter of the cylinder; right: Circle extruded to become a 3D cylinder
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 239
TRADITIONAL EXTRUSION METHOD
CommandExtrude
Ribbon
Solid | Create | Extrude
Menu
Models | 3D Solids | Extrude
Alias EXT
CommandSolidEdit
Ribbon
Solid | Edit | Shell
Menu Model | 3D Solid Editing | Shell
Alias ...
Preparing the Drawings
Here are the steps you need to take to prepare the drawing for 3D modeling.
1.
2.
Start BricsCAD.
Notice the Get Started dialog box. Click Profile Presets.
3.
Change the Units to “Metric.”
4. Click 3D Modeling.
5.
240
When the Create/Reinitialize Profile dialog box appears, click OK.
Inside BricsCAD V17
6. Notice that BricsCAD opens in the 3D Modeling workspace. On the ribbon, click the Model tab.
7.
Prepare this drawing by changing the following settings in the status bar:
SettingToggle Comments
SNAP
Off
You use entity snaps and dynamic dimensions in place of snap spacing
GRID
Off
The grid is not useful for this project
ESNAPOnTurn on INTersection snap; turn off all others
To turn on Intersection entity snap, right-click ESNAP on the status bar, as shown below. Ensure all other
ensaps are turned off, as shown below.
8. Use the Units command to change the display precision of decimal places (linear units) to 1. You will be working with dimensions to the nearest 0.5mm.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 241
9. Close the Settings dialog box by clicking the X.
10. Change the visual style to “Shades of Gray,” which I find I like the best for 3D modeling. You can do this
through the Properties panel.
a. If it is not open, enter the Properties command.
b. In the View section, click the Visual Style droplist
c. Choose “Shades of Gray.” (By the way, there are 256 shades of gray, not just 50.)
11. Also, change the value of DelObj to 0. Recall from a previous lesson that this system variable determines
what happens to 2D entities after you convert them to 3D models. (When set to 1 or 2, the program erases
them; I find it useful to keep them around.)
Modeling a Box
The top of the parts is a square open box. It is shown in gray in the figure below.
To make it, you’ll work through three commands, in this order:
242
ÐÐ
Rectangle command defines the size and base of the square
ÐÐ
Extrude command changes the 2D square into a solid 3D box
ÐÐ
SolidEdit command hollows the 3D box by shelling it
Inside BricsCAD V17
1.
First, use the Rectangle command’s Dimension option to draw a 2D square sized 13x13mm:
: rectangle
Chamfer/Elevation/Fillet/Rotated/Square/Thickness/Width/Area/Dimensions/<Select first
corner of rectangle>: d
Length to use for rectangles <13.0>: 13
Width to use for rectangles <13.0>: 13
Chamfer/Elevation/Fillet/Rotated/Square/Thickness/Width/Area/Dimensions/<Select first
corner of rectangle>: 0,0
Other corner of rectangle: (Pick a point.)
2.
3.
If necessary, use the Zoom Extents to see it better.
Now use the Extrude command to convert the square into a short 3D box. Specify a height of 3.5mm, as follows:
: extrude
Select entities: (Pick the square.)
Select entities: (Press ENTER to end entity selection.)
Specify height of extrusion or [Direction/Path/Taper angle] <1.0>: 3.5
QUICK SUMMARY OF EXTRUDE COMMAND
BricsCAD Pro and Platinum include the Extrude command:
: extrude
Select entities: (Choose one or more 3D solids or 2D regions.)
Select entities: (Press ENTER to end entity selection.)
Specify height of extrusion or [Direction/Path/Taper angle] <1.0>: (Enter an option.)
Height — specifies the height of the extruded entities; positive values extrude in the positive z
direction, negative values go “downwards”
Direction — controls the direction of the extrusion, up or down along the z axis
Path — allows curved extrusions by specifying an entity that determines the path
Taper angle — gives sloping sides to the extrusion; positive angle slope inwards, negative angles outwards
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 243
4. Follow these steps to make the box hollow:
a. From the ribbon’s Model tab, look in the Solid Editing panel, and then click Shell. (It’s a bit hard to find
it, but Shell is the last icon in the middle row.) “Shell” is an option of the SolidEdit command that turns
solid entities into “walls” — it uniformly removes the insides. Because the SolidEdit command has many
options, it is faster to get to the Shell option via the ribbon.:
: _solidedit
Enter a solids editing option Face/Edge/Body/Undo/eXit: _body
Enter a body editing option Imprint/seParate/Shell/cLean/Check/Undo/eXit: _shell
b. As prompted, select the extruded box:
Select 3d solid: (Pick the box)
c. Pick the top face to remove it entirely. It is shown in blue in the figure below. BricsCAD does not give any
indication when you choose the face, and so you work somewhat blindly here.
Select face to remove or Add/Undo/ALL: (Pick the face on top of the box)
Select face to remove or Add/Undo/ALL: (Press Enter to exit entity selection)
d. Specify the thickness of the walls, 0.5mm, for the remaining sides:
e.
Enter the shell offset distance: .5
And finally press Enter twice to exit the command:
Enter a body editing option Imprint/seParate/Shell/cLean/Check/Undo/eXit: (Press Enter)
Enter a solids editing option Face/Edge/Body/Undo/eXit: (Press Enter)
244
Notice that the result: a hollow box with no top.
Inside BricsCAD V17
3D View Rotation
The next step is to add the round part underneath the box, shown in gray below.
But to do this, you need to spin the model so that you can see the bottom of the box. To do so, there
are several methods you could employ, but the easiest is the most direct way: real-time rotation.
1.
2.
3.
Position the cursor in the center of the box. The location of the cursor determines the center point about
which the model will rotate. This means it is important for you to locate the cursor at roughly the right point.
Hold down the Shift key. (If you don’t hold down Shift, then the model will pan instead of rotate.)
Hold down the middle mouse button, and then move the mouse. Notice the real-time rotation
cursor.
4. As you drag the cursor, notice that the entire model rotates. Once you see the bottom of the box, let go of
the mouse button and Shift key.
5.Press ESC to exit the command.
6. If necessary, use the Zoom Extents command to see the entire model.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 245
EXTRUSION BY DIRECT MODELING
The bottom of the part has a hollow cylinder. In this part of the tutorial, you draw two circles and
then extrude them using direct modeling — this means you employ no 3D commands to do the work.
But first, this word of explanation of how to draw in 3D space...
Applying Dynamic UCS
A crucial aspect to direct modeling is working with the correct plane. No matter which 3D CAD
package you use, they all fall back to working on the x,y-plane. In 3D, a box has six planes, one for
each side. CAD, however, can only draw on one side at a time: the side that is in the current x,y-plane.
Fortunately, CAD systems make it easy to rotate the x,-y-plane so that it matches the area on which
you are working. In BricsCAD, this is called dynamic UCS. Here is how it works.
1.
On the status bar, ensure DUCS is turned on. The letters should look black, not gray.
2.
To draw the circle on the bottom of the box, start the Circle command with the 2P option, as follows:
: circle
2Point/3Point/TanTanRad/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>: 2p
3.
Now you get to see the effect of dynamic UCS: move the cursor around the visible faces of the box. Notice
that two things are happening: the face turns blue, and the UCS icon jumps to a corner of the face. This is
dynamic UCS at work: BricsCAD is automatically relocating the x,y drawing plane to the face that you pick.
Left to right: As the cursor passes over a face (in blue), BricsCAD dynamically relocates the UCS (tri-color icon)
to the corner of the face, making the face a temporary x,y drawing plane; the UCS icon is positioned at the origin
In summary: As the cursor passes over a face during DUCS, the face turns blue to tell you that it is the current, temporary x,y drawing plane. The UCS icon is positioned at the current, temporary origin (0,0,0). DUCS
is available only during drawing and editing commands, because most of them operate only on an x,y plane.
TIPS DUCS works only during drawing and editing commands.
If you want to see a more dramatic effect of dynamic UCS at work, turn on the grid display. (Click GRID on
the status bar.) As you move the cursor from face to face, the grid reorients itself to match the face.
246
Inside BricsCAD V17
4. To locate the circle, pick two points on the edges of the box, right at the middle of two facing edges. Use the
MIDpoint ensap to assist you.
a. Position the cursor over the bottom face of the box. Notice that it turns blue.
b. Move the cursor close to the edge illustrated below, but do not go beyond the edge! (Were you to go
beyond the edge, then the DUCS would jump to the adjacent face, telling BricsCAD in effect that you
want to draw the circle on a different face.)
The crosshair cursor is hard to see in this figure, but it is near the edge while still on the bottom (blue) face
c.
Enter the MIDpoint entity snap mode:
First point on diameter: mid
d. Pick a point near the edge:
e.
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick near point 1.)
Repeat the MID ensap mode, and pick a point near the opposite edge:
Second point on diameter: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick near point 2)
Pick point #1 near the
midpoint of this edge
Pick point #2 near the
midpoint of the opposite edge
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 247
5.
A second circle is needed to define the thickness of the 0.5mm wall. Instead of drawing it, you will make a
copy using the Offset command. The offset distance of 0.5mm.
Offset this circle...
...by 0.5mm to the inside
: offset
Offset: Through point/Erase/<Distance> <0.5>: .5
ENTER to stop/<Select entity>: (Select the black circle)
Both sides/<Side for parallel copy>: (Pick a point inside the circle)
ENTER to stop/<Select entity>: (Press Enter to end the command)
Extruding Directly with the Quad Cursor
With the pair of 2D circles in place, you extrude them to create a 5mm-tall hollow cylinder. This
time, you use the Quad to extrude. The Quad is unique to BricsCAD, and gives you fast access to
commands right at the cursor. In many cases, commands suitable to the highlighted element are
presented to you. (See the boxed text for more on using the Quad.)
Cylinders are extruded from circles. Making a hollow cylinder takes these steps:
ÐÐ
a.
Extrude the inside circle into a cylinder that is more than 5mm in height
ÐÐ
b.
Extrude the outside circle by exactly 5mm
ÐÐ
c.
Subtract the taller cylinder from the shorter to make the hole.
You extrude the inside circle by a distance longer than 5mm, because its height as a cylinder does
not matter; indeed, in a later step, you “erase” it to make the hole. Follow these steps:
248
1.
On the status bar, ensure that QUAD is turned on.
2.
Move the cursor over the smaller circle. Notice that it turns blue, and that a second cursor appears. This is the
Quad cursor, sporting a single icon (for now).
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
The icon
on the cursor indicates the Extrude command. To confirm, pass the cursor over the icon. Notice
that the Quad cursor expands to show more commands; after a moment the tooltip appears explaining the
name and purpose of the button.
4. Click the Extrude
button, and then move the cursor. As you do, notice that the circle extrudes into a
cylinder (i.e., thickens in 3D). The direction you move the cursor determines the direction the circle extrudes,
upwards or down.
5.
Notice the dynamic dimension next to the cylinder: a pair of arrowheads and text with blue background. It
allows you to enter precise distances; in this case, however, you don’t care about the precise height of this
cylinder, because its only purpose is to be cut out of the larger one to form a hole. But it is useful to ensure
the cylinder ends up longer than 5mm.
Watching the dynamic dimension, drag the extrusion so that it is longer than 5mm — like 7 or 8mm.
6. Then click. The cylinder is formed — without entering commands.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 249
7.
Repeat the direct modeling procedure for the larger circle. This time, however, enter 5 in the direct dimension.
Left: Extruding the outer circle into a 5mm cylinder; right: Two cylinders in place
8. Save your work with Ctrl+S, naming it “Focus-Bracket.dwg.”
Subtracting Solids To Make Holes
Command:Subtract
Ribbon:
Solid | Edit | Subtract
Menu:
Model | 3D Solids Editing | Subtract
Alias:
SU
You learned about Boolean operations in a previous lesson, where it was applied to 2D regions.
The same operations can be applied to 3D solids: union, subtract, and intersect. In this tutorial,
you create a hole by subtracting one cylinder from another.
The Subtract command is sensitive to the order in which entities are selected. Make
sure you pick the correct ones in the correct order: first the one that stays, and then the one
that will be removed (subtracted).
TIP
1.
With the two cylinders looking somewhat like a wedding cake, it is time to subtract the smaller one from the
larger one. Start the Subtract command, and then choose the cylinders in correct order:
: subtract
Select ACIS entity to subtract from: (Select the fatter, shorter cylinder)
Select ACIS entity to subtract from: (Press Enter to end entity selection)
1. Select the outer
cylinder first...
2. Select the inner
cylinder last...
250
Inside BricsCAD V17
2.
Now pick the cylinder to be removed (erased):
Select ACIS entities to subtract: (Select the smaller, longer cylinder)
Select ACIS entities to subtract: (Press Enter to end the command)
After you press Enter, the Subtract command ends and hollows out the cylinder successfully.
PushPull Modeling
A hole needs to be punched through the wall between the cylinder and the box. While developing
this tutorial, I tried a number of approaches to make the opening, and found the only good way
was to again draw a circle and use PushPull to turn it into a hole.
1.
The easiest way to draw a circle (and other 2D entities) is in plan view. The quick way to switch between
static viewpoints — such as the plan and isometric viewpoints — is to use the Look From widget. To use it,
follow these steps:
a. Locate the Look From widget. Usually, it is in the upper right corner of the drawing area.
TIP
If the Look From widget is turned off, you can turn it on with the LookFrom command:
: lookfrom
LookFrom [ON/OFF/Settings] <ON>: on
b. Move the cursor into the center of the widget. Notice that the icon changes to show the top view of a
chair.
c. Click in the center of the widget. Notice that the viewpoint changes.
d. You may need to do a Zoom Extents to see the entire model.
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10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 251
2.
To draw the circle, use the same technique as before: employ the Circle command with the 2P option and
MIDpoint esnaps:
: c
2Point/3Point/TanTanRad/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>: 2p
First point on diameter: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick one edge)
Second point on diameter: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick the opposite edge)
3.
Using the Quad cursor, punch out the circle using direct modeling. You may find it easier to control the extrusion by clicking the Top Front Left position on the Look From widget.
QUICK SUMMARY OF LOOKFROM COMMAND
: lookfrom
LookFrom [ON/OFF/Settings] <ON>: on
ON — turns on the Look From widget
OFF — turns off the Look From widget
Settings — displays the Settings dialog box at the Look From Control section
252
Inside BricsCAD V17
a.
Pass the cursor over the newly added circle. Notice that it turns blue.
b. Move the crosshair cursor into the Quad cursor. Notice that it expands to show more commands.
Choose the PushPull
button.
c. Drag the cursor down so that a hole appears. The distance you drag does not matter; all you need is for
the hole to appear.
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10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 253
d. Click to finish the hole. This was quicker and easier than using the Extrude command!
Aligning the UCS
Command
Alias
UCS Face
...
The next step is to draw the rectangle needed for the arms that hold the two screw holes, one of
which is shown in gray in the figure below. This time you use PushPull to create an entity, instead
of a hole.
In this case, the 2D entity is a rectangle. Before drawing the rectangle, however, you align the UCS
on the face by another method: align UCS. This permanently reorients the UCS plane to a face —
permanent until you change it again. This is different from the temporary, dynamic UCS alignment
you used in the earlier part of this tutorial.
1.
254
Ensure QUAD is turned on in the status bar, and then move the crosshair cursor over a rectangular face.
Notice that it is highlighted in blue, and that the Quad cursor appears.
Inside BricsCAD V17
2. Move the crosshair cursor into the Quad cursor. The crosshair turns into an arrow cursor.
3.
Move the arrow cursor into the blue Direct Modeling title bar. Notice that the Quad cursor expands to show
more icons.
4. Choose the Align UCS
button, and then press Enter. The UCS plane is now fixed on the face.
TIP If BricsCAD does not highlight the feature in which you are interested, then press the Tab key. Each
time you press Tab, a different feature laying under the cursor is highlighted. Press Tab enough times, and
the selection cycles around to the first one highlighted. See figure below.
Pulling, Instead of Pushing
CommanddmPushPull
Ribbon
Solid | Edit | Push/Pull
Menu
Model | Direct Modeling | Push/Pull
Draw a rectangle on the face, then pull it out with the direct PushPull operation. When it comes to
the screw holes, I want you to make a mistake so that I can show you that Bricsys also performs
direct editing — in this case, changing the diameter of a 3D hole without using commands.
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10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 255
1.
The arm has a rectangular cross-section of 2.5mm wide (length) by 2.0mm high (width). Draw its profile with
the Rectang command. I’ll give you the dimensions:
: rectang
Chamfer/Elevation/Fillet/Rotated/Square/Thickness/Width/Area/Dimensions/
<Select first corner of rectangle>: 5.25,0
Other corner of rectangle: 7.75,2
7.75,2
5.25,0
2.
Use direct modeling to pull the profile to a length of 4.5mm.
Left to right: Choose the rectangle (a.k.a “profile”); select PushPull command and specify extrusion distance of 4.5mm; done!
3.
The screw hole hangs on the wing. It is made of a pair of cylinders, which (again) are made from a pair circles.
First, though, align the UCS to the bottom face of the wing, as illustrated below:
Remember to press Tab, if you find you have difficulty selecting the bottom face.
4. Drawing 2D entities in 3D can be tricky when the viewpoint is the plan view. By default, Bricsys will snap to
the nearest geometric feature; in 3D, this can too easily be the one you don’t want. To solve the problem,
turn on the OsnapZ system variable:
: osnapz
New current value for OSNAPZ (Off or On) <Off>: on
256
Inside BricsCAD V17
When on, all entity snaps set z = 0, so that the snapping takes place on the x,y-plane — and not at some
other higher or lower location.
OsnapZMeaning
Off
On
5.
Snaps to the nearest z coordinate
Snaps to the elevation setting (usually 0; z = elevation)
Using the Isometric Views toolbar, change the viewpoint to the top (or plan) view.
6. Use the Circle command to draw the round profile:
: c
2Point/3Point/TanTanRad/Arc/Multiple/<Center of circle>: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick the midpoint of the edge.)
Diameter/<Radius> <1.3>: end
Snap to endpoint of: (Pick the end of the edge)
1. MIDpoint of edge
2. ENDpoint of edge
When you rotate the view back to isometric, you see the circle placed on the bottom face — thanks to OsnapZ.
7.
Use the Offset command to place a second circle, offset by 0.75mm. (This value is deliberately incorrect, and
you correct it later with direct editing.)
Source circle
Offset circle
(offset by 0.75mm)
8. As in the earlier tutorials, use direct modeling to extrude the two circles into cylinders:
a. Use Extrude to turn the outer circle in a cylinder with a height of precisely 3.5mm.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 257
b. Use PushPulll to turn the inner one to any height taller than 3.5mm; notice that it creates the hole automatically — no need to use the Subtract command!
9. The diameter of the hole is too large. It should be 1mm, but is currently 0.5mm. BricsCAD can edit solid models using direct editing. Here is how to correct the diameter of the hole:
a. Move the cursor over the edge of the hole. If the hole does not highlight in blue, then press the Tab key
until it does.
b. In the Quad cursor, choose the PushPull
258
Inside BricsCAD V17
button.
c.
The hole must be changed to a diameter of 1.0mm. Drag the hole dynamically, or enter 1.0 in the dynamic dimension.
The hole is the correct size. Press Ctrl+S to save your work.
TIP To change the UCS back to “normal,” enter the UCS command, and then choose the World option:
: ucs
Specify origin of UCS or Face/NAmed/Entity/Previous/View/X/Y/Z/ZAxis/Move<World>: w
Filleting 3D Solids
The outer edge of the screw hole has a small fillet around the edge. With direct editing, you can
apply fillets interactively. Here’s how:
1.
Move the cursor over the edge of the cylinder. Remember: if you cannot select the outer edge, then press
Tab until BricsCAD highlights it. See the figure below.
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10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 259
2.
Choose the
Fillet button on the Quad cursor, and then enter 0.1 as the fillet radius.
...and then press Enter.
3.
Mirror the two new parts to place them on the other side, like this:
: mirror
Select entities to mirror: (Select the wing part and screw hole)
Select entities to mirror: (Press Enter to continue)
260
Start of mirror line: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick middle of rectangular part, as illustrated below)
End of mirror line: mid
End of mirror line: mid
Snap to midpoint of: (Pick a point on the other side)
Delete the original entities? <N> n
Inside BricsCAD V17
Joining Parts with Union
The 3D model consists of six solids. You can leave them as individuals, or join them into a single
body with the Union command.
1.
Use the Union command to merge all solids into one:
: union
Select ACIS entities to union: all
Select ACIS entities to union: (Press Enter to end the command)
TIP You can continue to directly edit the model, even after all its parts are joined by the Union command.
2.
Now that the model is one unified part, you can apply commands like MassProp and Properties to find out
the properties of this focusing bracket.
: massprop
Select entities: all
Select entities: (Press Enter to continue)
Write analysis to a file? Yes/<No>: y
The report you see in the text window can be saved to a .mpr (mass properties report) file.
3.
Save the drawing.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 261
Generating 2D Drawings
Command
Ribbon
Menu
ViewBase
Model | Views | Generate Drawing Views
View | Generated Views | Generate Drawing Views
With the 3D model completed, it is time to generate engineering drawings from it. These are 2D
plans that are used to check dimensions and give instructions to the manufacturer. BricsCAD generates these drawings semi-automatically. Let’s see how it works.
1.
Switch your focus to the Views panel of the ribbon’s Model tab. It contains the commands you need for this
tutorial.
Click the
Generate Drawing Views button. (It runs the ViewBase command). This command automatically generates 2D views of the 3D model — front, side, top, isometric — in a new layout; all you need to do is
pick the points where you want the views placed.
Press Enter to make drawings from the entire model:
2.
3.
: _viewbase
Preset: “None”, View scale: “Adapt to paper size”
Select objects or [Entire model/preseTs] <Entire model>: (Press Enter)
At the next prompt, press Enter to use Layout1 for the drawings:
Enter new or existing layout name to make current <Layout1>: (Press Enter)
4. Notice that BricsCAD switches to Layout1 automatically, and then previews the 2D drawing being generated
from the 3D model.
(If it does not switch automatically, then click the Layout1 tab at the bottom of the drawing area.)
As you move the cursor, the 2D preview moves and changes its projection to match the location.
262
In this step of the the tutorial, position the cursor in the upper left quadrant, and then click.
Select position for base view [Scale/Tangent edges/Orientation/Projection type/Isometric
style/sElect] <Cancel>: (Move the cursor to upper left, and then click)
Inside BricsCAD V17
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWBASE OPTIONS
: viewbase
Select objects or [Entire model/preseTs] <Entire model>:
Enter new or existing layout name to make current <LayoutName>:
Select position for base view [Scale/Tangent edges/Orientation/Projection type/Isometric
style]<Cancel>:
Select position for projected view <Done>:
PRESETS OPTION
Displays the Drawing View Presets dialog box:
Preset droplist offers these options:
ÐÐ
None
ÐÐ
Architectural Views — generates Front, Right, Back, Left (elevations) and Top views; three section views (two horizontal section
plans); and one vertical section.
ÐÐ
Mechanical Views — generates standard Front,Top and Left (first-angle projection) or Right (third-angle projection) views.The
projection type: first or third angle. The projection type held by the ProjectionType variable.
View Scale droplist offers automatic scaling or one of the scales presided over by the ScaleListEdit command.
SCALE OPTION
Sets the scale of all views to fit the following arrangements:
ÐÐ
fit 4 views — adjusts scale to fit four orthographic views: Front, Top, Left, and Right. The Front view (base view) is defined by
the Orientation option.
ÐÐ
9 views — adjusts scale to fit five orthographic views and four isometric views.
ÐÐ
5 views — adjusts scale to fit five orthographic views: Front (*), Top, Left, Right, and Back.
ÐÐ
10 views — adjusts scale to fit six orthographic views and four isometric views.
ÐÐ
Standard scales — displays the scales lorded over by the ScaleListEdit command.
ÐÐ
Custom — prompts for any scale factor.
TANGENT EDGES OPTION
Determines whether tangent edges between tangent faces are displayed or not; tangent edges are always displayed in
isometric views:
ORIENTATION OPTION
After you specifies the main view, BricsCAD rotates the 3D model so that the main view is projected on the vertical
projection plane. Choose from Front, Back, left, right, top, or bottom views.
Continued...
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 263
Continued...
PROJECTION TYPE OPTION
Determines the projection type: first angle (or European projection) or third angle (American projection).
ISOMETRIC STYLE OPTION
Determines the style for isometric views: rendered using Conceptual visual style, wireframe, or any other visual style.
The quadrant of the layout in which you click determines the viewpoint generated by BricsCAD:
5.
Quadrant
2D View Generated
Upper left
Lower left
Top view
Front view
Upper right
Lower right
Side view
Isometric view
The command repeats its prompt. Repeat the process: move the cursor to a quadrant of the layout, and then
click to position the view.
Select position for projected view [Done] <Done> (Move the cursor to lower left quadrant,
and then click to place the front view)
Select position for projected view [Done] <Done> (Move the cursor to upper right quadrant,
and then click to place the side view)
Select position for projected view [Done] <Done> (Move cursor to lower right quadrant,
and then click to place the isometric view)
The result should look like the figure below. BricsCAD automatically adjust the scale factor so that
the resulting viewports nicely fit the page.
6. When you are finished placing view, press Enter to end the command. Don’t press Esc, because all your carefully placed views are removed!
264
Select position for projected view [Done] <Done>: (Press Enter)
Inside BricsCAD V17
SLICING SECTIONS AND ADDING DETAILED VIEWS
Command
Ribbon
Menu
ViewSection
Model | Views | Generate Section View
View | Generated Views | Generate Section View
Command
Ribbon
Menu
ViewDetail
Model | Views | Detail View
View | Generated Views | Detail View
With the 2D drawings in place, it is common to add sections that show the insides of models, which
are used to indicate its materials with hatch patterns. When necessary, detail views are also added
to show complex areas greatly enlarged.
Resizing Views
Before you can add a cross-section view, you have to adjust the existing views, because the page is
full — no room for another view. One solution is to make the existing views smaller. Here is how
to do this:
1. Select a viewport border.
2. In the Properties panel, click Custom Scale.
3. Enter a new value, such as .1.
4. Notice that the viewport is smaller. Move the viewport by dragging it (with its center grip) or through the
Move command.
Another options is to erase unwanted views. To erase a view, select the viewport border, and then
press the Del key on the keyboard.
Making Section Views
Okay, with space freed up, you can go ahead to make the section view:
1.
From the ribbon’s Model > Views panel, click the
ViewSection command).
Generate Section View button (or else enter the
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 265
2.
BricsCAD prompts you to choose a drawing view. The section view will be generated from the view you pick,
so choose carefully! For this tutorial, move the cursor to the upper left quadrant, and then click inside the
view (side view).
: _viewsection
Select drawing view: (Pick inside a viewport)
Notice that BricsCAD highlights the selected viewport with dashed lines.
TIP
When selecting the view, don’t select the viewport’s rectangle, as BricsCAD will just repeat the
prompt. Click inside the viewport, as shown by the crosshair cursor above.
3.
With the drawing view selected, it’s time to show BricsCAD through which part of the drawing that you want
the section to cut. At the next prompt, pick two points outside the viewport, shown by the arrowheads in the
figure below:
Specify start point of section line or [Type] <Type>: (Pick a point outside the viewport)
Specify end point of section line: (Pick a second point on the other side of the viewport)
I recommend holding down the Shift key to enforce ortho mode. This results in a section line that’s precisely horizontal.
TIP
4. The final step is to position the section view:
266
Select position for section view: (Pick a point in the drawing)
Inside BricsCAD V17
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWSECTION OPTIONS
: viewsection
Select drawing view:
Specify start point of section line or [Type] <Type>:
Specify end point of section line:
Select position for section view:
Select option [Scale/Hidden lines/Tangent lines/anChor/Isometric style/Annotation/Depth/
Projection] <Cancel>:
TYPE OPTION
Prompts for one of these options:
ÐÐ
Full — draws a section of the entire viewport
ÐÐ
Half — draws a section of half the viewport
ÐÐ
Offset — draws a section specified by points that you pick
ÐÐ
Aligned — draws a section per perpendicular to the section line
SCALE OPTION
Sets the scale of the section view; choose from the standard scale factors,specify a custom scale, or inherent the scale
of the parent view:
HIDDEN LINES OPTION
Toggles hidden line display of the section view on and off, or inherited from the parent view.
TANGENT LINES OPTION
Toggles display of tangent lines, on or off.
ANCHOR OPTION
Determines what happens to the section view when it is updated after the 3D model changes:
ÐÐ
Yes — anchors the center of the viewport so that the viewport grows and shrinks around that point.
ÐÐ
No — fixes the position of the geometry; the AutoVpFitting variable specifies whether the viewport size is adjusted to fit the
extents of the 3D model automatically (default = on).
ISOMETRIC STYLE OPTION
Determines the style for isometric views: rendered using Conceptual visual style, wireframe, or any other visual style.
ANNOTATION OPTION
Prompts you to override that automatic annotations of section view: .
ÐÐ
Identifier — specifies the view identifier, such as A.
ÐÐ
Label — toggles the display of the view label.
DEPTH OPTION
Specifies clipping of the section view, full or limited.You can define the depth with your mouse.
PROJECTION OPTION
Toggles between normal and orthographic projection of the view.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 267
BricsCAD automatically labels the section using the standard method of “A-A.” Engineers use the
A-A to see what is referenced elsewhere in the drawing. It indicates the scale factor of the section,
1:5 — also automatically determined. Hatching is applied automatically to the cross section.
Hatching reports two types of information:
ÐÐ
Presence of hatching shows areas that are solid. Areas without hatching are empty air.
ÐÐ
Style of hatching indicates the type of material. Here you see “ANSI31” hatching, because it is the default pattern and it represents iron.
Here is the meaning of the ANSI hatch patterns included with BricsCAD:
Pattern Name
Example
Pattern Meaning
ANSI31 Iron, general purpose hatch
ANSI32 Steel
ANSI33 Bronze, brass, copper, composites
ANSI34 Rubber, plastic, electrical insulation
ANSI35 Defined by the legend
ANSI36 Defined by the legend
ANSI37
White metal, zinc, lead, babbit, and alloys of them
ANSI38
Magnesium, aluminum, and alloys of them
Creating Detail Views
A detail view is an enlargement of one part of a drawing. It makes it easier to see what is going on
with complex parts. Details are placed a larger scale factor by the ViewDetail command. Here you
make a detail of one of the small round parts:
1.
Enter the enter the ViewDetail command:
: viewdetail
2.
268
BricsCAD prompts you to choose a drawing view. This is the drawing view from which the detail will be taken.
For this tutorial, click inside the lower left quadrant’s viewport.
Select drawing view: (Pick inside a viewport)
Inside BricsCAD V17
3.
Pick the center of the detail, as BricsCAD will use a circle as the view’s boundary:
Specify detail center on source view:(Pick the center of what will be detailed)
4. Now size the circle to indicate the extent of the detail. You can see the circle in the figure above, it has the
“B” reference attached.
5.
Select radius of detail view: (Drag the circle to size the detail area)
Position the detail view somewhere in the drawing:
Select position for detail view [Scale/Exit] <Exit>: (Pick a point)
BricsCAD automatically labels the detail using the standard method of “B,” which is used to referenced the source of the detail drawing. It also indicates the scale factor of the section, 4:1. You can
use the Scale option to make the detail larger or smaller.
TIPS You can make sections of details, and details of sections, and details of details...
To hide the rectangles that make up the viewports, freeze the “Drafting Viewports” layer. You can use the
Layer command (shown below) or the Layers droplist in the Properties panel.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 269
QUICK SUMMARY OF VIEWDETAIL OPTIONS
: viewdetail
Select drawing view:
Specify detail center on source view:
Select radius of detail view:
Select position for detail view [Scale] <Cancel>:
Select option [Scale/Hidden lines/Tangent lines/anChor/Annotation/Boundary/model Edge]
<Cancel>:
SCALE OPTION
Sets the scale of the detail view; choose from the standard scale factors,specify a custom scale, or inherent the scale of
the parent view:
HIDDEN LINES OPTION
Toggles hidden line display of the detail view on and off, or inherited from the parent view.
TANGENT LINES OPTION
Toggles display of tangent lines, on or off.
ANCHOR OPTION
Determines what happens to the detail view when it is updated after the 3D model changes:
ÐÐ
Yes — anchors the center of the viewport so that the viewport grows and shrinks around that point.
ÐÐ
No — fixes the position of the geometry; the AutoVpFitting variable specifies whether the viewport size is adjusted to fit the
extents of the 3D model automatically (default = on).
ANNOTATION OPTION
Prompts you to override automatic annotations of detail views:
ÐÐ
Identifier — specifies the view identifier, such as A.
ÐÐ
Label — toggles the display of the view label.
BOUNDARY OPTION
Determines if the boundary of the detail view is a circle or a rectangule.
MODEL EDGE OPTION
Specifies how the connection line is drawn between the two views (detail and in the parent view), smooth with the
border or with the connection line.
270
Inside BricsCAD V17
Here is how the final 2D plan could look. The viewports are turned off and some viewports are
moved (with the Move command) and resized (with the Custom Scale property). The next stop
would be to dimension the parts.
Summary
You learned how to construct 3D models using traditional and modern commands for creating and
editing bodies. You also saw how to generate 2D drawings from the model, semi-automatically.
Next, you learn how to control the size and positioning of entities through constraints and parameters.
chapter
10 Direct 3D Modeling & Editing 271
Notes
272
Inside BricsCAD V17
CHAPTER 11
Dimensional & Geometric
Constraints
Here you learn how to create drawings that are constrained, where dimensions determine the sizes
of entities, and where geometry is locked, thereby determining the locations of entities relative to each
other. Together with constraints, parameters determine the positions of entities through formulae. This
chapter is for users of BricsCAD Pro and Platinum editions.
IN THIS CHAPTER
•
Applying dimensional constraints
•
Using 2D geometric constraints
•
Controlling constraints through parameters
KEY TERMS IN THIS CHAPTER
Constraint bar — describes the small tooltips that report the constraints applied to entities
Dimensional constraint — specifies the size of entities in a dimension-like manner
Geometric constraint — determines the geometric relationship between entities, much like a semi-permanent entity snap
Parameter — specifies a formula that determines relationships between constraints
NEW COMMANDS
CommandMenu BarRibbon
bmBrowser
ConstraintBar
Mechanical | Mechanical Browser Parametric | 2D Constraints Bar ...
2D Constraints Bar
DimConstraint
GeomConstraint
Parametric | 2D Constraints
Parametric | 2D Constraints
2D Constraints panel
2D Constraints panel
THIS CHAPTER’S MODEL
By the end of this lesson, your parametric drawing will look like this one:
Drawing files bracket-ragged.dwg and bracket-constrainted.dwg
274
Inside BricsCAD V17
Working with Constraints
BricsCAD allows you to control the size of entities in drawings through constraints. There are two
types of constraints: one of the types determines the size of entities, the other determines position.
ÐÐ
Dimensional constraints regulate the sizes of entities, and the distances between them
ÐÐ
Geometric constraints determine the position of entities relative to others
BricsCAD Classic and Pro provide 2D constraints. BricsCAD Platinum adds 3D constraints, which
are applied to faces and edges of 3D bodies but do not work with 2D entities. (Three-dimensional
constraints are not covered by this book.)
There are a number of commands for applying and removing constraints, but I find it easiest to
just use the 2D Constraints toolbar or the Parametric tab on the ribbon.
To see the 2D Constraints toolbar, right-click any toolbar or ribbon, and then choose BRICSCAD |
2D Constraints:
Center group of 12 red buttons: geometric constraints; right group of 8 yellow buttons: dimensional constraints
To see the tab on the ribbon, switch to the “3D Modeling” workspace, and then choose the ribbon’s
Parametric tab:
Left side of ribbon: 2D constraints; right side: 3D constraints and design intent (Platinum edition only)
ABOUT DIMENSIONAL CONSTRAINTS
The great thing about dimensional constraints is that you use them to control the size of entities.
For instance, apply a diameter dimensional constraint to a circle. Increase the value of the constraint, and BricsCAD forces the circle to become larger. To edit the value, you just double-click the
dimension text.
Left: Circle with diameter of 2000 units; center: Editing the value of the dimensional constraint;
right: New 4000-value of parameter forces circle to grow larger
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11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 275
QUICK SUMMARY OF DIMENSIONAL CONSTRAINTS
There are two sets of commands for applying constraints. One is the all-purpose DimConstraint command, which is
useful for seeing a list of all modes,The other set consists of the individual commands, one for each dimensional constraint:
DIMCONSTRAINT COMMAND
: dimconstraint
Select associative dimension to convert or [LInear/Horizontal/Vertical/Aligned/ANgular/
Radial/Diameter] <LInear>: (Enter an option.)
DIMENSIONAL CONSTRAINT COMMANDS
The other set of commands consists of ones specific to each constraint mode, as listed in the table below.
Icon
Type of
Constraint
Command
LInear
DcLinear
Horizontal
DcHorizontal
Vertical
DcVertical
Aligned
DcAligned
ANgular DcAngular
Radial
DcRadius
Diameter
DcDiameter
...
DimConvert
Constraining Action
Horizontal or vertical distance
Horizontal (X) distance between two points
Vertical (Y) distance between two points
Distance between two points at any angle
Angle between two lines or linear polyline segments;
angle of an arc or polyline arc;
angle between three points on an entity
Radius of a circle, arc, or polyline arc
Diameter of a circle, arc, or polyline arc
Converts associative dimensions to dimensional constraints
Dimensional constraints are applied in the current UCS. Icons for dimensional constraints are found at the right end of
the 2D Constraints toolbar or ribbon tab:
Above: 2D constraints on right half of the toolbar; below: 2D constraints on ribbon
CONVERTING DIMENSIONS TO CONSTRAINTS
Dimensional constraints are very much like associative dimensions and, in fact, existing associative dimensions can be
converted to constraints with the DimConstraint command’s Select Associative Dimension to Convert option —
or the DimConvert command.
The command converts like to like. For instance, linear dimensions become linear constraints, radial dimensions become
radial constraints, and so on.
276
Inside BricsCAD V17
You can place linear dimensional constraints between entities to control how far apart they are.
Decrease the value of the constraint, and BricsCAD moves them closer together; increase it, and
they are moved further apart. Again, to edit the value, just double-click the dimension text.
Left: Two circles separated by 5000 units; center: Distance being edited; right: Circles now separated by 2500 units
Better yet, the values of constraints can be determined by other constraints, and even by formulas.
For instance, you can make the diameter of a circle equal to the linear distance between two entities. When you change one dimension, the linked ones follow suit. For example, the figure below
shows that I made the value of dia1 (diameter of one circle) equal to d1 (distance between circles)
using a simple formula, dia1=d1.
Left: Diameter of first circle = distance between circles; right: Changing the distance to 2500 units makes the second circle smaller
To change the values of dimensional constraints, open the Mechanical Browser with the bmBrowser
command. To remove a dimensional constraint, simply select it and then press Del (or else use the
Erase command). A concise reference to all dimensional constraints is found in the boxed text on
the facing page.
Using Dimensional Constraints
Using dimensional constraints in drawings is very much like placing regular dimensions. Except
for the text, they look exactly like each other; you can apply dimension styles to them. The only
visual difference between the two is the ‘d1=’ text that prefixes the constraint value; this is how
you identify dimensions that are constraints.
Left: Associative dimension (top) and dimensional constraint (bottom) applied to the same line; right: Editing options for dimensional constraints are the same
as for associative dimensions
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 277
The difference between the two types of dimensions is this: whereas associative dimensions are
controlled by the entity, dimensional constraints do the controlling. They specify the sizes of entities, overruling what ever you may have drawn. Here is a tutorial to illustrate the differences.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Start BricsCAD with a new drawing.
Draw a line with the Line command. The length is not critical.
Dimension the line with the DimLinear command.
Use the dcLinear command to apply a dimensional constraint to the same line. (‘dc’ is short for dimensional
constraint.)
: dclinear
Specify first constraint point or [Entity] <Entity>: (Press Enter)
Select an entity: (Choose the line.)
Specify dimension line location: (Move the cursor, and then click)
Dimension text <3730>: (Press Enter)
In the figure above, the two linear dimensions look identical — other than the ‘d1=’ name. The ‘d’ is
short for “distance,” and the ‘1’ indicates this is the first distance constraint placed in the drawing.
You can change this name through the Properties panel.
Continuing with the tutorial, you now edit the line and the dimensions to see how one affects the
other.
5.
278
Edit the line by stretching one of its end grips; see figure below. Notice that you cannot. This is because the
length of the line is “locked” by the dimensional constraint.
Inside BricsCAD V17
6. You can, however, use the center grip to move the line and its dimension as a unit. As well, you can stretch
the line vertically and it will change its angle, because the position and the height are not locked — only the
horizontal length is locked by dcLinear.
7.
Now change the value of the constraint to see what happens to the line:
a. Enter the DdEdit command, and then select the constraint value.
b. Enter a new value, such as 2500, and then twice press Enter to exit the dialog box.
Notice that the line changes its length to match the new value of the constraint, as does the distance measured by the associative dimension.
With it comes to dimensional constraints, their values control the entities’ sizes, and so the entities
cannot be edited directly.
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 279
QUICK SUMMARY OF 2D GEOMETRIC CONSTRAINTS
As with dimensional constraints, there are two sets of commands for applying geometric ones. One is the all-purpose
GeomConstraint command, which is useful for seeing a list of all modes:
: geomconstraint
Enter constraint type [Horizontal/Vertical/Perpendicular/PArallel/Tangent/SMooth/Coincident/CONcentric/COLlinear/Symmetric/Equal/Fix] <CONcentric>:
The other set of commands consists of ones specific to each constraint mode, as listed in the table below.
Type of
Icon
ConstraintCommandConstraining Action
Horizontal
GcHorizontal
Keeps entities horizontal (parallel to the x-axis)
Vertical GcVertical
Keeps entities vertical (parallel to the y-axis)
Perpendicular GcPerpendicular
Keeps entities perpendicular to one other
PArallel GcParallel
Keeps entities parallel to one another
Tangent GcTangent
keeps circular and straight entities tangent
SMooth GcSmooth
Keep splines smooth with splines, lines, arcs, polylines
Coincident GcCoincident
Keeps end points attached, such as of two lines
CONcentric GcConcentric
Keeps circles, arcs, ellipses, and elliptical arcs centered
COLlinear GcCollinear
Makes linear entities to lie in the same line
Symmetric GcSymmetric
Keeps entities or points symmetric about mirror lines
Equal GcEqual
Gives curved entities the same radius; open entities the same length
Fix GcFix
Keeps entities fixed in-place in the drawing
Note that some geometric constraints, such as Horizontal, are applied relative to the current UCS. Geometric constraints on the left half of the toolbar
ACCEPTABLE GEOMETRY
You can apply constraints to the following entities: lines, segments of polylines, circles, arcs, ellipses, elliptical arcs, and
splines. Constraint points can be applied to the following geometric features:
Entity
Constraint Points
Arcs
Endpoints, center points, and midpoints
Block insertions
Insertion point
CirclesCenter points
EllipsesCenter points
Elliptical arcs
Endpoints, center points, and midpoints
LinesEndpoints and midpoints
Polyline line and arc segments
Endpoints, midpoints, center points of arc segments
SplinesEndpoints
TablesInsertion point
Text, mtext, and attributes
Insertion point
Xref attachments
Insertion point
280
Inside BricsCAD V17
ABOUT GEOMETRIC CONSTRAINTS
Whereas dimensional constraint control the size of entities and distances between them, geometric constraints control their positions in the drawings. They act like semi-permanent entity snaps.
Whereas esnaps are in effect only at the time that you create or edit an entity, geometric constraints
remain in effect forever — until you remove them.
For instance, horizontal constraints force entities to be horizontal. Draw a line at any angle, and
then apply the horizontal constraint: it snaps flat; see figure below.
Left: Line drawn at an arbitrary angle; right: Line snapped flat by horizontal constraint
When you try to rotate the entity, you can’t. It can be moved, shortened (or lengthened), but not
rotated, because it is constrained. When you copy a constrained entity, the copy takes on the same
constraint(s).
Identifying Geometric Constraints
Geometric constraints are identified by the small icon that floats near the associated entity. Pass
the cursor over the icon and three things appear:
ÐÐ
Tooltip identifies the name of the constraint, “Horizontal”
ÐÐ
X appears next to the tooltip; clicking the X makes the icon disappear (the constraint remains in effect)
ÐÐ
The associated entity is highlighted
Here is another for-instance: concentric constraints force circles to be concentric. Move one, and
the other moves with it.
Left: Two circles placed arbitrarily in the drawing; right: Larger circle made concentric to the first one
The gcConcentric command is order-dependent: the first entity you select is the master, meaning
that the second entity you select follows it. (Unlike dimensional constraints, geometric constrains
do not take formulae.)
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 281
To remove a geometric constraint, you have to use the DelConstraint command; you cannot simply
“erase” geometric constraints.
All the kinds of dimensional constraints found in BricsCAD are listed in the boxed text on the facing page.
Using Geometric Constraints
The easiest way to understand geometric constraints is to work through a tutorial. Below, I
drew a rough sketch of a bracket. I drew it badly deliberately to show off the beneficial effect of
constraints. You can access the bracket-ragged.dwg file from my public Dropbox folder: https://
dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28941239/Inside-BricsCAD-Tutorial-Files.zip.)
1.
2.
3.
Start BricsCAD with a new drawing.
Draw a shape similar to the one illustrated above with the Line, Arc, and Circle commands. The exact size and
exact placement of entities is not critical.
The 2D Constraints toolbar assists you in assigning geometric constraints to entities. Open it, as follows:
a. Right-click any toolbar.
b. From the shortcut menu, choose BRICSCAD, and then choose 2D Constraints.
4. The first step, usually, is to connect all lines with the gcCoincident command. This particular constraint mode
forces the endpoints of lines and arcs to stick together. The good news is that you don’t need to pick entities
individually:
a. From the 2D Constraints toolbar, choose the
Coincident button.
: _gccoincident
b. Use the command’s Autoconstrain option to connect all lines in one fell swoop:
Select first point or [Entity/Autoconstrain] <Entity>: a
Select entities: all
c.Press Enter to end the command:
282
Select entities: (Press Enter)
Inside BricsCAD V17
5.
Notice that tooltip-like
tags appear all over the drawing. They are known as “constraint bars,” and report
the types of geometric constraints applied to entities. In this case, the tags are all the same, because of the
coincident constraint.
6. Me, I find these bars annoying, because they clutter the drawing, and so I close them. You can, too:
ÐÐ
To turn off bars individually, click the x
ÐÐ
To turn them off all at the same time, use the ConstraintBar command’s Hide option, as follows:
7.
that appears in the upper right corner of each bar
: constraintbar
Select entities: all
Select entities: (Press Enter to continue)
Select option to [Show/Hide/Reset] constraints: h
To see the effect of the Coincident constraint, drag a line. Notice the other lines that are connected to it. This
shows that Coincident is like a sticky bit of glue, making lines act like polylines.
8. Enter the U command to return the drawing as it was before.
9. To straighten out lines that are supposed to be horizontal, use the gcHorizontal command on the nearly
horizontal ones, as follows:
a. In the 2D Constraints toolbar, click the
Horizontal button, and then follow the prompts in the command bar:
: _gchorizontal
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 283
b. Select a nearly-horizontal line:
Select an entity or [2Points] <2Points>: (Choose a line)
Notice that it immediately goes precisely horizontal. The line changes its length as needed, so that it
remains attached to its neighbors.
c.
Repeat the command to make other lines horizontal.
Now you need to straighten out the vertical lines. Here you have some options. You could apply
any of these constraints:
ÐÐ
Two vertical constraints to make all the near-vertical lines truly vertical
ÐÐ
Two perpendicular constraints to make vertical lines perpendicular to the horizontal ones
ÐÐ
One perpendicular and one parallel constraint to make one vertical line perpendicular to one horizontal one, and then
to make the remaining vertical one parallel to the first
Which approach you choose depends on your intent for the design: how do you want the lines
to relate to each other?
10. I consider approach #2 is best, because I want vertical lines to all be perpendicular to the horizontals.
Here is how to do this:
a. Click the
Perpendicular button to start the gcPerpendicular command.
: _gcperpendicular
b. For this type of constraint, the selection order matters. Essentially, the second entity selected is
made perpendicular to the first one. (The first is the master, the second is the slave.) Select a horizontal line:
c.
And then select an attached nearly-vertical one:
284
Select first entity: (Choose a horizontal line)
Select second entity: (Choose the vertical one)
Notice that the vertical line straightens out, because it is forced to be perpendicular to the horizontal
one.
Inside BricsCAD V17
11. Repeat for the other nearly-vertical lines. The result should look similar to the figure below.
QUICK SUMMARY OF 3D CONSTRAINTS
The Platinum Edition of BricsCAD provides dimensional and geometric constraints work in three dimensions, as illustrated
by the 3D Constraints toolbar and the 3D Parametric ribbon tab:
Above: 3D Constraints toolbar; below: 3D Constraints on the ribbon
The 3D constraints are applied with the dmConstraint3d command. (‘dm’ is short for direct modeling.)
: dmconstraint3d
Select type of 3D constraint [Fix/Coincident/CONcentric/Parallel/PErpendicular/Tangent/
RIgidSet/Distance/Radius/Angle]:
Type of
Icon
ConstraintCommandConstraining Action
3D Geometric Constraints
Fix
DmFix3d
Fixes solids, or edges or faces of solids
Coincident
DmCoincident3d
Fixes edges, faces, or an edge and a face of different solids
Concentric
DmConcentric3d
Fixes two cylindrical, spherical or conical surfaces
Parallel
DmParallel3d
Fixes two faces of a solid, or of different solids
Perpendicular
DmPerpendicular3d Fixes two faces of a solid, or of different solids
Tangent
DmTangent3d
Fixes a face and a curved surface of different solids
Rigid Set
DmRigidSet3d
Define a set of entities or sub-entities as a rigid body
3D Dimensional Constraints
Distance
DmDistance3d
Distance between two sub-entities of a solid or different solids
Radius
DmRadius3d
Radius of cylindrical surfaces or circular edges
Angle DmAngle3d Angle between the faces of a solid or of different solids
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 285
12. The circle needs a geometric constraint to fix its location. Use
the circle to that of the arc, as follows:
gcConcentric to match the center point of
: _gcconcentric
Select first entity: (Pick the circle)
Select second entity: (Pick the arc)
Normally, selection order matters with Concentric constraint: the second entity shifts its position to be concentric with the first one selected. In this particular case, however, selection order did not matter, because
the arc is fixed in place (through the earlier Coincident constraint), and so BricsCAD forced the circle to move.
13. Notice that the connection between the arc and the two tangent lines is not smooth. To force the arc’s two
ends smoothly meet the lines, use the gcTangent constraint, as follows:
: _gctangent
Select first entity: (Pick the arc)
Select second entity: (Pick a line)
Repeat for the second arc-line connection.
In the figure below, I overlapped the constrained drawing (shown in black) with the original rough
sketch (shown in gray). It is easy to see how constraints fixed it up!
Original sketch
Drawing cleaned up with
constraints
14. If you wish to see all the constraint bars again, turn them on like this:
: constraintbar
Select option to [Show/Hide/Reset] constraints: S
Select entities or ENTER to select all: (Press Enter)
15. With all the geometry fixed in place relative to one another, you can use dimensional constraints to size the
bracket. The drawing illustrated below provides the values of the dimensions.
As you enter the values, notice that parts stretch their sizes to accommodate.
ÐÐ
Use
286
dcHorizontal for horizontal dimensional constraints
: _dchorizontal
Specify first constraint point or [Entity] <Entity>: (Press Enter)
Select an entity: (Pick a line)
Specify dimension line location: (Pick a point)
Dimension text <17.993713>: 19
Inside BricsCAD V17
ÐÐ
Use
dcVertical for vertical dimensional constraints
ÐÐ
Use
dcDiameter for diameter dimensional constraints
Summary
This concludes the tutorials on using constraints with BricsCAD. You learned how constraints can
be used to clean up drawings, as well as to quickly change the sizes of them.
chapter
11 Dimensional & Geometric Constraints 287
Notes
288
Inside BricsCAD V17
APPENDIX A
Concise Summary of
Command Aliases
The fastest way to operate BricsCAD commands is through aliases — if you can remember
them, because BricsCAD has aliases for nearly three hundred of its commands! Aliases are shortcuts
for command names. For instance, l is the alias for Line, while la is for Layer.
On the following pages, aliases are twice listed alphabetically: first, in order of alias name, and then
by command name.
While most aliases are true abbreviations, others provide continuity from history. For instance,
the Color command has these aliases: Colour, because AutoCAD includes the British spelling for
this command; DdColor and DdColour as the names for the first dialog box version; and SetColor
as the IntelliCAD name for this command.
One-Letter Aliases
Even if you can learn just a few of them, then your drafting will proceed faster. The table below
summarizes all of the one-letter aliases, and so could be considered to also be a list of some of the
most important commands.
CommandAlias
CommandAlias
arca
blockb
circlec
dimstyled
erasee
explodex
fillet
f
gridg
hatchh
inserti
joinj
linel
movem
mtextt
newn
offset
o
panp
redrawr
stretchs
uu (not an alias)
viewv
wblockw
zoomz
BRICSCAD ALIASES SORTED BY ALIAS NAME
AliasCommand Name
A Aliases
aArc
aaArea
adAttDisp
alAlign
apAperture
arArray
array3d3dArray
atAttDef
-at-AttDef
-ateAttEdit
ateEAttEdit
axAttExt
-ax-AttEext
B Aliases
bBlock
-b-Block
baBase
backgroundsBackground
bhHatch
-bh-Hatch
bmBlipmode
boBoundary
-bo-Boundary
bpolyBoundary
brBreak
C Aliases
cCircle
cfgOptions
-chChange
chProperties
chaChamfer
clCopyLink
clipXClip
closeallWCloseAll
coCopy
colColor
-col-Color
colourColor
-colour-Color
config
Options
cpCopy
cuiCustomize
cylCylinder
290
Inside BricsCAD V17
AliasCommand Name
D Aliases
ddattdefAttDef
ddattextAttExt
ddchpropProperties
ddcolorColor
ddcolourColor
ddesnapOSnap
ddinsertInsert
ddlmodesLayer
ddltypeLinetype
ddmodifyProperties
ddnewNewWiz
ddosnapOSnap
ddrenameRename
ddrmodesDSettings
ddstyleStyle
dducsExpUcs
dducspSetUcs
ddunitsUnits
ddviewView
deleteErase
diDist
divDivide
doDonut
doughnutDonut
drDraworder
dvDView
dwfoutExport
dxDxfOut
Dimension Aliases
dDimStyle
dalDimAligned
danDimAngular
dbaDimBaseline
dceDimCenter
dcoDimContinue
ddiDimDiameter
ddimDimStyle
dedDimEdit
dimaliDimAligned
dimangDimAngular
dimbaseDimBaseline
dimcontDimContinue
dimdiaDimDiameter
dimedDimEdit
dimensionDim
dimhorizontalDimLinear
dimlinDimlinear
AliasCommand Name
dimordDimOrdinate
dimoverDimOverride
dimradDimRadius
dimrotatedDimLinear
dimstyDimStyle
dimtedDimTEdit
dimverticalDimLinear
dliDimLinear
dorDimOrdinate
dovDimOverride
draDimRadius
dsDimStyle
dstDimStyle
-dst-DimStyle
expdimstylesDimStyle
setdimDimStyle
E Aliases
eErase
edDdEdit
editlenLengthen
editplinePEdit
elEllipse
esnap-OSnap
exExtend
exitQuit
expExport
expfontsStyle
expimagesImage
explayersLayer
expltypesLinetype
expstyleStyle
expstylesStyle
expviewsView
expxrefsXRef
extExtrude
F Aliases
fFillet
face3dFace
fi
Filter
finish
Materials
fogRenderEnvironment
font-Style
freehandSketch
G Aliases
gGrid
geoGeographicLocation
grDdGrips
AliasCommand Name
H Aliases
hHatch
-h-Hatch
heHatchEdit
hiHide
I Aliases
iInsert
-i-Insert
iadImageAdjust
iatImageAttach
iclImageClip
idpointId
imImage
impImport
inIntersect
infInterfere
infline
Xline
insalInsertAligned
ioInsertObj
isIsoplane
isolateIsolateObjects
L Aliases
lLine
laLayer
-la-Layer
lasLayerState
leLeader
leadLeader
lenLengthen
liList
lightingLight
llLightlist
lsList
ltLinetype
-lt-Linetype
ltsLtScale
M Aliases
mMove
maMatchProp
matMaterials
matbMatBrowserOpen
mesh3dMesh
miMirror
mlMline
moProperties
msMSpace
msnapshotMSlide
mtMText
mvMView
appendix
A Concise Summary of Command Aliases 291
AliasCommand Name
N Aliases
nQNew
navvcubeLookFrom
O Aliases
oOffset
opOpen
orOrthogonal
orthoOrthogonal
osOSnap
-os-OSnap
P Aliases
pPan
-p-Pan
paPasteSpec
pePEdit
plPLine
planeSolid
planviewintApparent
poPoint
polPolygon
polylinePLine
ppreviewPreview
prProperties
prcPropertiesClose
prePreview
preferencesOptions
prefsOptions
propsProperties
psPSpace
psoPolySolid
puPurge
-pu-Purge
pyrPyramid
Q Aliases
qtQText
R Aliases
rRedraw
raRedrawAll
reRegen
reaRegenAll
recRectang
rectRectang
rectangleRectang
regRegion
renRename
-ren-Rename
rendscrRenderWin
292
Inside BricsCAD V17
AliasCommand Name
revRevolve
riReinit
rmDSettings
rmatMaterials
roRotate
roptionsRenderPresets
rrRender
S Aliases
sStretch
saSave
scScale
scrScript
seDdSelect
secSection
selgripSelGrips
setSetVar
setcolorColor
setesnapOSnap
setlayerLayMCur
setrenderRpPref
setuvMaterialMap
setvpointDdVpoint
shaShade
slSlice
snSnap
soSolid
spSpell
speSplinEdit
splSpline
ssmSheetSet
stStyle
suSubtract
sunSunProperties
T Aliases
tMText
-t-Text
taTablet
thThickness
tiTime
tolTolerance
torTorus
trTrim
txText
U
ucExpUcs
ucpSetUcs
unUnits
-un-Units
undeleteOops
uneraseOops
AliasCommand Name
unhideobjectsUnisolateObjects
unhideUnisolateObjects
unisolateUnisolateObjects
uniUnion
V Aliases
vView
-v-View
vbaVbaIde
viewctlDdVpoint
viewpointVPoint
-viewpointVPoint
viewportsVPorts
vlVpLayer
vpDdVpoint
-vpVPoint
-vpointVPoint
vportVPorts
vsVSlide
vscurrentShadeMode
vsnapshotVSlide
vwVPorts
AliasCommand Name
X Aliases
xExplode
xaXAttach
xbExpBlocks
-xbXBind
xlXLine
xrXRef
-xr-XRef
Z Alias
zZoom
3 Aliases
3a3dArray
3dlineLine
3dmirrorMirror3d
3drotateRotate3d
3f3dFace
3mMirror3d
3p3dPoly
3rRotate3d
W Aliases
wWBlock
weWedge
wiWmfIn
woWmfOut
appendix
A Concise Summary of Command Aliases 293
BRICSCAD ALIASES SORTED BY COMMAND NAME
Command Name
Alias(es)
A Commands
Alignal
Apertureap
Apparentplanviewint
Arca
Areaaa
Arrayar
AttDef
at, ddattdef
-AttDef-at
AttDispad
AttEdit-ate
-AttEext-ax
AttExt
ax, ddattext
B Commands
Backgroundbackgrounds
Baseba
Blipmodebm
Blockb
-Block-b
Boundary
bo, bpoly
-Boundary-bo
Breakbr
C Commands
Chamfercha
Change-ch
Circlec
Color
col, colour, ddcolor, ddcolour, setcolor
-Color-colour,-col
Copy
co, cp
CopyLinkcl
Customizecui
Cylindercyl
D Commands
DdEdited
DdGripsgr
DdSelectse
DdVpoint
setvpoint, viewctl, vp
Distdi
Dividediv
Donutdo
Donutdoughnut
Draworderdr
DSettings
ddrmodes, rm
DViewdv
DxfOutdx
294
Inside BricsCAD V17
Command Name
Alias(es)
Dimension Commands
Dimdimension
DimAngular
dimang, dan
DimAligned
dal, dimali
DimBaseline
dba, dimbase
DimCenterdce
DimContinue
dco, dimcont
DimDiameter
ddi, dimdia
DimEdit
ded, dimed
DimLinear
dimhorizontal, dimlin, dimrotated,
dimvertical, dli
DimOrdinate
dimord, dor
DimOverride
dimover, dov
DimRadius
dimrad, dra
DimStyle
expdimstyles, d, ddim, dimsty, ds, dst,
setdim
-DimStyle-dst
DimTEditdimted
E Commands
EAttEditate
Ellipseel
Erase
delete, e
ExpBlocksxb
Explodex
Export
dwfout, exp
ExpUcs
dducs, uc
Extendex
Extrudeext
F Commands
Filletf
Filter
fi
G Commands
GeographicLocationgeo
Gridg
H Commands
Hatch
bh, h
-Hatch-bh,-h
HatchEdithe
Hidehi
I Commands
Ididpoint
Image
expimages, im
AliasCommand Name
AliasCommand Name
ImageAttachiat
ImageAdjustiad
ImageClipicl
Importimp
Insert
ddinsert, i
-Insert-i
InsertAlignedinsal
InsertObjio
Interfereinf
Intersectin
IsolateObjectsisolate
Isoplaneis
OSnap
ddesnap, ddosnap, os, setesnap
-OSnapesnap,-os
L Commands
Layer
ddlmodes, explayers, la
-Layer-la
LayerStatelas
LayMCursetlayer
Leader
le, lead
Lengthen
editlen, len
Lightlighting
Lightlistll
Line
3dline, l
Linetype
ddltype, expltypes, lt
-Linetype-lt
List
li, ls
LookFrom navvcube
LtScalelts
M Commands
MatBrowserOpenmatb
MatchPropma
MaterialMapsetuv
Materials
finish, mat, rmat
Mirrormi
Mirror3d
3dmirror, 3m
Mlineml
Movem
MSlidemsnapshot
MSpacems
MText
mt, t
MViewmv
N Command
NewWizddnew
O Commands
Offseto
Oops
undelete, unerase
Openop
Options
cfg, config, preferences, prefs
Orthogonal
or, ortho
P Commands
Panp
-Pan-p
PasteSpecpa
PEdit
editpline, pe
PLine
pl, polyline
Pointpo
Polygonpol
PolySolid pso
Preview
ppreview, pre
Properties
ch, ddchprop, ddmodify, mo, pr, props
PropertiesCloseprc
PSpaceps
Purgepu
-Purge-pu
Pyramidpyr
Q Commands
QNewn
QTextqt
Quitexit
R Commands
Rectang
rec, rect, rectangle
Redrawr
RedrawAllra
Regenre
RegenAllrea
Regionreg
Reinitri
Rename
ddrename, ren
-Rename-ren
Renderrr
RenderEnvironmentfog
RenderPresetsroptions
RenderWinrendscr
Revolverev
Rotatero
Rotate3d
3drotate, 3r
RpPrefsetrender
S Commands
Savesa
Scalesc
Scriptscr
Sectionsec
SelGripsselgrip
SetUcs
dducsp, ucp
SetVarset
appendix
A Concise Summary of Command Aliases 295
AliasCommand Name
Shadesha
ShadeModevscurrent
SheetSetssm
Sketchfreehand
Slicesl
Snapsn
Solid
plane, so
Spellsp
Splinespl
SplinEditspe
Stretchs
Style
ddstyle, expfonts, expstyle, expstyles, st
-Stylefont
Subtractsu
SunPropertiessun
T Commands
Tabletta
-Text-t
Texttx
Thicknessth
Timeti
Tolerancetol
Torustor
Trimtr
AliasCommand Name
W Commands
WBlockw
WCloseAllcloseall
Wedgewe
WmfInwi
WmfOutwo
X Commands
XAttachxa
XBind-xb
XClipclip
Xline
infline
XLinexl
XRef
expxrefs, xr
-XRef-xr
Z Command
Zoomz
3 Commands
3dArray
3a, array3d
3dFace
3f, face
3dMeshmesh
3dPoly3p
U Commands
Unionuni
UnisolateObjects unhideobjects, unhide, unisolate
Units
ddunits, un
-Units-un
V Commands
VbaIdevba
View
ddview, expviews, v
-View-v
VpLayervl
VPointviewpoint,-viewpoint,-vp,-vpoint
VPorts
viewports, vport, vw
VSlide
vs, vsnapshot
TIP
Some editing actions require no commands or aliases at all. Click an entity to move it, or its
grip points; double-click to change its properties.
296
Inside BricsCAD V17
APPENDIX B
Concise Summary of System
Variables and Settings
BricsCAD uses variables to store and report settings affecting the program and drawings.
There are two types of variables: system variables that mimic the names and values from AutoCAD,
and preference variables unique to BricsCAD. You access and change variables through a dialog box
(Settings command) or directly on the command line (SetVar command).
This appendix lists in alphabetical order all 875 variable names found in V17.1.02.
UPPERCASE text indicates the name is also found in AutoCAD as a system variable
MixedCase text means the variable is a preference, and so is unique to BricsCAD
Blue text indicates that the variable is new since the last edition of this book
StrikeThrough text indicates the variable was removed from BricsCAD
userid refers to your computer login name
When you see R/O (read-only), it means that you cannot change the variable's value. The Format
column reports the format in which values are saved:
ÐÐ
bool Boolean (true or false, yes or no, 1 or 0)
ÐÐ
int or short
Integer number (a number without decimal point with a maximum value of 32768)
ÐÐ
long Long integer (integers larger than 32,768)
ÐÐ
pt2d 2D point (x,y)
ÐÐ
pt3d 3D point (x,y,z)
ÐÐ
real Real number (a number with decimal point)
ÐÐ
str String (text)
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
A Variables
ACADLSPASDOCbool
0
ACADPREFIXstr
read-only "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support\;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Support\,;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Fonts\;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Help\en_US\"
ACADVERstr
read-only "20.0 BricsCAD"
AcisHlrResolution
real
-1
ACISOUTVER
int 70
AcisSaveAsMode
int 0
AFLAGS
int 0
AllowTabExternalMove bool
1
AllowTabMove
bool
1
AllowTabSplit
bool
1
ANGBASE
real
0
ANGDIR
bool
0
ANNOALLVISIBLE
int 1
ANNOAUTOSCALE short
-4
AnnoSelectedint
read-only0
ANNOTATIVEDWG
bool
0
AntiAliasRender
short
2
AntiAliasScreen
short 1
APBOX
bool
0
APERTURE
int 10
AREAreal
read-only0
AREAPREC short
-1
AREAUNITS string
"in ft mi µm mm cm m km"
ARRAYASSOCIATIVITY bool
1
ARRAYEDITSTATE bool
read-only0
ATTDIA
bool
0
ATTMODE
int 1
AttractionDistance
int 3
ATTREQ
bool
1
AUDITCTL
bool
0
AuditErrorCountint
read-only0
AUNITS
int 0
AUPREC
int 0
AUTOCOMPLETEDELAY real
0.3
AUTOCOMPLETEMODE int 47
AUTOMENULOAD
bool
1
AutoResetScales
short
0
AutosaveChecksOnlyFirstBitDBMODbool
1
AUTOSNAP
int 119
AutoTrackingVecColor int 171
AutoVpFitting
bool
1
AXISMODE
bool
0
AXISUNIT
pt3d
X= 0 Y= 0 Z= 0
B Variables
BACKGROUNDPLOT int 2
BACKZreal
read-only0
BASEFILE
str "Default-mm.dwt"
BINDTYPE
bool
0
298
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
BKGCOLOR
BKGCOLORPS
BLIPMODE
BLOCKEDITLOCK
BLOCKEDITOR
BlocksPath
bmAutoUpdate
bmForceUpdateMode
bmReportPanel BndLimit
BVMODE
int
int
bool
bool
bool
str
int
int
bool
long
long
7
7
0
0
0
"C:\Users\userid\Documents\"
1
0
0
1000
0
bool
bool
real
string
1
0
0
"1:1"
C Variables
CACHELAYOUT
CAMERADISPLAY
CAMERAHEIGHT
CANNOSCALE
CANNOSCALEVALUEreal
read-only1
CDATEreal
read-only20160211.15522
CECOLOR
str "ByLayer"
CELTSCALE
real
1
CELTYPE
str "ByLayer"
CELWEIGHT
int -1
CETRANSPARECNY
str "ByLayer"
CGEOCS str
read-only""
CHAMFERA
real
0
CHAMFERB
real
0
CHAMFERC
real
0
CHAMFERD
real
0
CHAMMODE
int 0
ChapooLog
int 0
ChapooLogVerbose
boolean
0
ChapooOnModified
int
1
ChapooServer
str "https://my.chapoo.com/"
ChapooTempFolder
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Temp\Chapoo\"
ChapooUploadDependenciesshort
1
ChapooWebsite
str "http://www.chapoo.com/"
CheckDwlPresence
long
0
CIRCLERAD
real
0
CLAYER
str "0"
ClipBoardFormat
int 1
CLIPBOARDFORMATS
long
127
CLISTATEint
read-only1
CloseChecksOnlyFirstBitDBMODbool
0
CMATERIAL
str "ByLayer"
CMDACTIVEint
read-only1
CMDDIA
bool
1
CMDECHO
bool
1
CmdLineEditBgColor str "#fefefe"
CmdLineEditFgColor str "#202020"
CmdLineFontName
str "Consolas"
CmdLineFontSize
int 10
CmdLineListBgColor str "#ecf1ff"
CmdLineListFgColor
str "#000000"
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 299
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
CMDLNTEXT
str ":"
CMDNAMESstr
read-only"SETTINGS"
CMLEADERSTYLE
str "Standard"
CMLJUST
int 0
CMLSCALE
real
1
CMLSTYLE
str "Standard"
COLORX
int 11
COLORY
int 112
COLORZ
int 150
COMAcadCompatibility bool
0
COMPASS
bool
0
CONSTRAINTBARDISPLAY short
3
ContinuousMotion
bool
0
COORDS
int 1
COPYMODE
int 0
CPLOTSTYLE
str "ByColor"
CPROFILEstr
read-only"Default"
CREATEVIEWPORTS
bool
CROSSINGAREACOLOR int
CTAB
str
CTABLESTYLE
str
Ctrl3DMouse
short
CTRLMOUSE
int
CURSORSIZE
int
CVPORT
int
1
91
"Model"
"Standard"
1
1
3
2
D Variables
DATEreal
read-only2456335.6613464
DBCSTATEbool
read-only0
DBLCLKEDIT
bool
1
DBMODint
read-only0
DCTCUST
str ""
DCTMAIN
str "en_US.dic"
ddBetweenKnots
int 2
ddFastMode
bool
0
ddGridAspectRatio
real
0
ddMaxFacetEdgeLength real
0
ddMaxNumGridLines
long
10000
ddNormalTol
real
15
ddPointsPerEdge
long
0
ddSurfaceTol
real
0
ddUseFacetRES
bool
1
DEFAULTLIGHTING bool
0
DefaultLightShadowBlur short
8
DefaultNewSheetTemplatestr
""
DEFLPLSTYLE
str "Normal"
DEFPLSTYLE
str "ByColor"
DeleteTool
bool
1
DELOBJ
int 1
DEMANDLOAD
int 3
DGNFRAME
int 2
DGNOSNAP
bool
1
DIASTATbool
read-only0
DisplaySnapMarkerInAllViewsbool
0
300
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
DisplayTooltips
bool
1
DISPPAPERBKG
bool
1
DISPPAPERMARGINS
bool
1
DISPSILH
bool
0
DISTANCEreal
read-only0
DMAUTOUPDATE
bool
1
DmExtrudeMode
short
0
DMRECOGNIZE
int 0
DockPriority
int 1
DocTabPosition
short
0
DONUTID
real
0.5
DONUTOD
real
1
DRAGMODE
int 2
DragModeHide
short
0
DRAGMODEINTERRUPT short
1
DRAGOPEN
int 1
DRAGP1
int 10
DRAGP2
int 25
DRAGSNAP
bool
0
DrawingPath
str "C:\Users\userid\Documents\"
DrawingViewPreset
str "none"
DrawingViewPresetScalestr ""
DRAWORDERCTL
int 3
DWFFRAME
int 2
DWFOSNAP
bool
1
DwfVersion
int 2
DWGCHECK
int 0
DWGCODEPAGEstr
read-only"ANSI_1252"
DWGNAMEstr
read-only"Drawing1.dwg"
DWGPREFIXstr
read-only "C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\"
DWGTITLEDbool
read-only0
DXEVAL
int 12
DxfTextAdjustAlignment bool
0
DYNCONSTRAINTMODE bool
1
DYNDIGRIP
int 31
DynDimColorHot
int 142
DynDimColorHover
int 142
DynDimDistance
real
1
DynDimLineType
int 1
DYNDIVIS
int 1
DynInputTransparency int 65
DYNMODE
int 3
Dimensions Variables
DIMADEC
DIMALT
DIMALTD
DIMALTF
DIMALTRND
DIMALTTD
DIMALTTZ
DIMALTU
DIMALTZ
DIMANNO int
bool
int
real
real
int
bool
int
int
bool
read-only
0
0
2
25.4
0
2
0
2
0
0
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 301
Variable Name
Format
R/O
DIMAPOST
DIMARCSYM
DIMASO
DIMASSOC
DIMASZ
DIMATFIT
DIMAUNIT
DIMAZIN
DIMBLK
DIMBLK1
DIMBLK2
DIMCEN
DIMCLRD
DIMCLRE
DIMCLRT
DIMDEC
DIMDLE
str
int
bool
int
real
int
int
int
str
str
str
real
int
int
int
int
real
Default Value
""
0
1
2
0.18
3
0
0
""
""
""
0.09
0
0
0
4
0
DIMDLI
real
0.38
DIMDSEP
str "0"
DIMEXE
real
0.18
DIMEXO
real
0.0625
DIMFIT
int 3
DIMFRAC
int 0
DIMFXL
real
1
DIMFXLON
bool
0
DIMGAP
real
0.09
DIMJOGANG
real
0.7853981634
DIMJUST
int 0
DIMLDRBLK
str ""
DIMLFAC
real
1
DIMLIM
bool
0
DIMLTEX1
str ""
DIMLTEX2
str ""
DIMLTYPE
str ""
DIMLUNIT
int 2
DIMLWD
int -2
DIMLWE
int -2
DIMPOST
str ""
DIMRND
real
0
DIMSAH
bool
0
DIMSCALE
real
1
DIMSD1
bool
0
DIMSD2
bool
0
DIMSE1
bool
0
DIMSE2
bool
0
DIMSHO
bool
1
DIMSOXD
bool
0
DIMSTYLEstr
read-only"Standard"
DIMTAD
int 0
DIMTDEC
int 4
DIMTFAC
real
1
DIMTFILL
int 0
DIMTFILLCLR
str "BYBLOCK"
DIMTIH
bool
1
302
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
DIMTIX
DIMTM
DIMTMOVE
DIMTOFL
DIMTOH
DIMTOL
DIMTOLJ
DIMTP
DIMTSZ
DIMTVP
DIMTXSTY
DIMTXT
DIMTXTDIRECTION
DIMTZIN
DIMUNIT
DIMUPT
DIMZIN
bool
real
int
bool
bool
bool
int
real
real
real
str
real
bool
int
int
bool
int
Default Value
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
"Standard"
0.18
0
0
2
0
0
E Variables
EDGEMODE
bool
0
ELEVATION
real
0
EnableAttraction
bool
1
EnableHyperlinkMenu
bool
1
EnableHyperlinkTooltip bool
0
ERRNO
int 0
EXPERT
int 0
ExpInsAlign
bool
0
ExpInsAngle
real
0
ExpInsFixAngle
bool
1
ExpInsFixScale
bool
1
ExpInsScale
real
1
EXPLMODE
bool
1
EXPORTMODELSPACE int 0
EXPORTPAGESETUP
int 0
EXPORTPAPERSPACE int 0
EXTMAXpt3d
read-only-1.0000E+20,-1.0000E+20,-1.0000E+20
EXTMINpt3d
read-only1.0000E+20,1.0000E+20,1.0000E+20
EXTNAMES
bool
1
F Variables
FACETRATIO
int 0
FACETRES
real
0.5
FEATURECOLORS bool
1
FIELDDISPLAY
bool
1
FIELDEVAL
int 31
FILEDIA
bool
1
FILLETRAD
real
0.5
FILLMODE
bool
1
FLATLAND
bool
Off
FONTALT
str "simplex.shx"
FONTMAP
str "default.fmp"
FRAME
int 3
FRONTZreal
read-only0
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 303
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
FULLOPENint
read-only1
G Variables
GDIOBJECTSlong
read-only3768
GENERATEASSOCVIEWS bool
0
GEOLATLONGFORMAT int 1
GEOMARKERVISIBILITY bool
1
GetStarted
bool
1
GLSWAPMODE
int 2
GradientColorBottom str "#d2d2d2"
GradientColorMiddle str "#fafafa"
GradientColorTop
str "#ffffff"
GradientMode
str "0"
GRIDAXISCOLOR
int 252
GRIDDISPLAY
int 3
GRIDMAJOR
int 5
GRIDMAJORCOLOR
int 253
GRIDMINORCOLOR
int 254
GRIDMODE
bool
0
GRIDSTYLE
int 0
GRIDUNIT
pt2d
1/2",1/2"
GRIDXYZTINT
int 1
GRIPBLOCK
bool
0
GRIPCOLOR
int 72
GRIPDYNCOLOR
int 140
GRIPHOT
int 240
GRIPHOVER
int 150
GRIPOBJLIMIT
int 100
GRIPS
bool
1
GRIPSIZE
int 4
GRIPTIPS
bool
1
GsDeviceType
int 0
GsDeviceType2D 0
GsDeviceType3D 1
H Variables
HALOGAP
int 0
HANDLESbool
read-only1
HANDSEED
str "64"
HIDEPRECISION
int 0
HIDETEXT
int 1
HIDEXREFSCALES
bool
1
HIGHLIGHT
bool
1
HIGHLIGHTCOLOR
int 142
HIGHLIGHTEFFECT
int 0
HomeGradientColorButtomshort
210,210,210
HomeGradientColorMiddleshort
250,250,250
HomeGradientColorTop short
White
HomeGradientMode str "0"
HorizonBkg_Enable
bool
1
HorizonBkg_GroundHorizonstr
"#878787"
HorizonBkg_GroundOriginstr
"#5F5F5F"
HorizonBkg_SkyHigh str "#239BFF"
304
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
HorizonBkg_SkyHorizonstr
HorizonBkg_SkyLow str
HPANG
real
HPANNOTATIVE
bool
HPASSOC
bool
HPBOUND
int
HPBOUNDRETAIN short
HPDOUBLE
bool
HPDRAWORDER
int
HPGAPTOL
real
HPLAYER str
HPLINETYPE bool
HPNAME
str
HPOBJWARNING
long
HPORIGIN
pt2d
HPSCALE
real
HPSEPARATE
bool
"#FFFFFF"
"#FAFAFF"
0
0
1
1
0
0
3
0
"."
0
""
10000
0",0"
1
0
HPSPACE
HPSTYLE
HPTRANSPARENCY HYPERLINKBASE
real
int
str
str
1
0
"."
""
str
short
bool
int
bool
bool
short
bool
int
str
pt3d
str
int
int
int
str
str
str
int
bool
bool
int
int
"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Temp\ImageCache\"
160
1
1
0
0
0
1
0
"http://www.bricsys.com"
0",0",0"
""
1
0
0
"BYLAYER"
""
""
257
0
1
50
4
I Variables
ImageCacheFolder
ImageCacheMaxMemory
ImageDiskCache IMAGEFRAME
IMAGEHLT
ImageNotify
ImportCuiFileExists
IncludePlotStamp
INDEXCTL
INETLOCATION
INSBASE
INSNAME
INSUNITS
INSUNITSDEFSOURCE
INSUNITSDEFTARGET
INTERFERECOLOR
INTERFEREOBJVS
INTERFEREVPVS
INTERSECTIONCOLOR
INTERSECTIONDISPLAY
ISAVEBAK
ISAVEPERCENT
ISOLINES
L Variables
LASTANGLE
real
0
LASTPOINT
pt3d
0",0",0"
LASTPROMPTstr
read-only ": SETTINGS"
LATITUDE
real
37.795
LAYERPMODE
bool
1
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 305
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
LAYLOCKFADECTL
LAYOUTREGENCTL
LENGTHUNITS LENSLENGTH
LicExpDays
LICFLAGS
LICKEY LightGlyphColor
LIGHTGLYPHDISPLAY
LIGHTINGUNITS
LightWebGlyphColor
LIMCHECK
LIMMAX
LIMMIN
LINEARBRIGHTNESS LINEARCONTRAST LISPINIT
short
50
int 2
stre
""
real
50
short
31
int 7
str
read-only"7897-9999-0000-99999-0000"
int 30
bool
1
int 0
int 1
bool
0
pt2d
1',9"
pt2d
0",0"
short
0
short
0
int 1
LOCALE
str "en_US"
LocalRootFolder str
"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\"
LOCALROOTPREFIXstr
read-only"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\"
LOFTANG1
real
1.5707963268
LOFTANG2
real
1.5707963268
LOFTMAG1
real
0
LOFTMAG2
real
0
LOFTNORMALS
int 1
LOFTPARAM
int 7
LOGFILEMODE
bool
0
LOGFILENAMEstr
read-only""
LOGFILEPATHstr
read-only"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\"
LOGINNAMEstr
read-only"userid"
LONGITUDE
real
-122.394
LookFromDirectionMode short
1
LookFromFeedback
short
1
LookFromZoomExtents bool
1
LTSCALE
real
1
LUNITS
int 4
LUPREC
int 4
LWDEFAULT
int 25
LWDISPLAY
bool
0
LWDISPSCALE
real
0.55
LWUNITS
int 1
M
MACROREC
MACROTRACE MassPropAccuracy
MASSUNITS
MAXACTVP
MAXHATCH
MAXSORT
MAXTHREADS
MBUTTONPAN
MEASUREINIT
MEASUREMENT
306
bool
bool
real
str
int
int
int
int
int
int
int
Inside BricsCAD V17
0
0
0.01
"oz lbs stone mg g kg tonne"
64
100000
200
0
1
0
0
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
MENUBAR bool
1
MENUCTL
bool
1
MENUECHO
int 0
MENUNAMEstr
read-only "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\Bricscad\V17x64\en_US\Support\default.cui"
MESHTYPE
int 1
MiddleClickClose
bool
1
MILLISECSlong
read-only 436750804
MIRRTEXT
bool
1
MLEADERSCALE real
1
MODEMACRO
str ""
MSLTSCALE
short
1
MSOLESCALE
real
1
MTEXTCOLUMN short
0
MTEXTED
str ""
MTEXTFIXED
int 2
MTFLAGS
int 0
N Variables
NAVVCUBEDISPLAY
NAVVCUBELOCATION
NAVVCUBEOPACITY
NAVVCUBEORIENT
NavVCubeSize
NFILELIST
NOMUTT
NORTHDIRECTION
bool
int
int
int
short
int
bool
real
3
0
50
1
4
10
0
0
O Variables
OBJECTISOLATIONMODE short
0
OBSCUREDCOLOR
int 257
OBSCUREDLTYPE
int 0
OFFSETDIST
real
-1
OFFSETERASE
bool
0
OFFSETGAPTYPE
int 0
OLEFRAME
int 2
OLEHIDE
int 0
OLEQUALITY
int 0
OLESTARTUP
bool
0
OPMSTATEint
read-only1
ORTHOMODE
bool
0
OSMODE
int 4133
OSNAPCOORD
int 2
OSNAPZ
bool
0
OSOPTIONS
short
1
P Variables
PanBuffer
PAPERUPDATE
PARAMETERCOPYMODE
PdfEmbeddedTtf
PdfExportSolidHatchType
PDFFRAME
PdfHatchToBmpDpi
bool
bool
short
bool
short
int
short
1
0
1
1
2
1
300
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 307
Variable Name
Format
R/O
PdfImageAntiAlias bool
PdfImageCompression short
PdfImageDPI
short
PdfLayersSetting
int
PdfLayoutsToExport
int
PdfMergeControl
long
PdfNotify
bool
PDFOSNAP
bool
PdfPaperHeight
int
PdfPaperSizeOverride
bool
PdfPaperWidth
int
PdfRenderDPI
short
PdfShxTextAsGeometry bool
PdfSimpleGeomOptimizationbool
PdfTextIsSearchable bool
PdfTtfTextAsGeometry bool
PdfUsePlotStyles
bool
Default Value
1
1
300
1
0
0
0
1
297
0
210
300
0
1
0
0
1
PdfZoomToExtentsMode bool
1
PDMODE
int 0
PDSIZE
real
0
PEDITACCEPT
bool
0
PELLIPSE
bool
0
PERIMETER
real
0
PERSPECTIVE
bool
0
PFACEVMAX
int 4
PICKADD
bool
1
PICKAUTO
bool
3
PICKBOX
int 4
PICKDRAG
bool
0
PICKFIRST
bool
1
PICKSTYLE
int 1
PictureExportScale
real
1
_PKSER str
read-only""
PlacesBarFolder1
int 0
PlacesBarFolder2
int 1
PlacesBarFolder3
int 3
PlacesBarFolder4
int 5
PLATFORMstr
read-only "Microsoft Windows NT Version 6.2"
PLINECACHE
bool
0
PLINECONVERTMODE
short
0
PLINEGEN
bool
0
PLINETYPE
int 2
PLINEWID
real
0
PlotCfgPath
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\PlotConfig\"
PLOTID
str ""
PlotOutputPath
str ""
PLOTROTMODE 2
PlotStylePath
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\PlotStyles\"
PLOTTER
int 0
PLOTTRANSPARENCYOVERRIDE short
1
PLQUIET
bool
0
POLARADDANG
str ""
POLARANG
real
90
POLARDIST
real
0
308
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
POLARMODE
int 0
POLYSIDES
int 4
POPUPSbool
read-only1
PreviewDelay
int 30
PREVIEWEFFECT
int 2
PREVIEWFILTER
int 5
PreviewTopdown
bool
0
PREVIEWTYPE
int 0
PreviewWndInOpenDlg bool
1
PrintFile
str "."
PRODUCTstr
read-only"Bricscad"
PROGBAR
bool
1
PROGRAMstr
read-only"BRICSCAD"
PROJECTIONTYPE short
0
PROJECTNAME
str ""
ProjectSearchPaths
str ""
PROJMODE
int 1
PROMPTMENU
int 3
PromptMenuFlags
int 1
PromptOptionFormat short
2
PromptOptionTranslateKeywordsbool
1
PROPUNITS short
103
PropUnitsVersion bool
1
PROXYGRAPHICS
bool
1
PROXYNOTICE
bool
1
PROXYSHOW
int 1
PROXYWEBSEARCH
int 1
PSLTSCALE
int 1
PSOLHEIGHT
real
4
PSOLWIDTH
real
0.25
PSTYLEMODEint
read-only1
PSTYLEPOLICY
int 1
PSVPSCALE
real
0
PUBLISHALLSHEETS
bool
1
PUCSBASE
str ""
Q
QAFLAGS
QTEXTMODE
QuadAperture
QuadCommandLaunch
QuadCommandSort
QuadDisplay
QuadExpandDelay
QuadExpandTabDelay
QuadExpandGroup
QuadGoTransparent
QuadHideDelay
QuadHideMargin
QuadIconSize
QuadIconSpace
QuadPopupCorner
QuadShowDelay
_QuadTabFlags int
bool
short
short
short
bool
short
long
short
bool
int
short
short
short
short
short
short
0
0
20
1
0
0
110
50
0
0
1000
40
32
1
1
150
12
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 309
Variable Name
Format
R/O
QuadToolipDelay
QuadWarpPointer
QuadWidth
short
short
short
Default Value
1200
4
5
R Variables
R12SaveAccuracy
int 8
R12SaveDeviation
real
0
RASTERPREVIEW
bool
1
RE_INITint
read-only0
RealTimeSpeedUp
int 5
REALWORLDSCALE
bool
1
RecentPath
str "C:\Users\userid\Documents\"
RedHiliteFull_Edge_Alphaint
100
RedHiliteFull_Edge_Colorstr
"#007AFF"
RedHiliteFull_Edge_ShowHiddenbool
0
RedHiliteFull_Edge_Smoothingbool
1
RedHiliteFull_Edge_Thicknessreal
2
RedHiliteFull_Face_Alphaint
10
RedHiliteFull_Face_Colorstr
"#007AFF"
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdgeGlow_Alphaint
75
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdgeGlow_Colorstr
"#FFFFFF"
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdgeGlow_Smoothingbool
1
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdgeGlow_Thicknessreal
3
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdge_Alphaint
100
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdge_Colorstr
"#007AFF"
RedHilitePartial_S electedEdge_ShowGlowbool
1
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdge_Smoothingbool
1
RedHilitePartial_SelectedEdge_Thicknessreal
2
RedHilitePartial_SelectedFace_Alphaint
10
RedHilitePartial_SelectedFace_Colorstr
"#007AFF"
RedHilitePartial_UnselectedEdge_Alphaint
20
RedHilitePartial_UnselectedEdge_Colorstr
"#007AFF"
RedHilitePartial_UnselectedEdge_ShowHiddenbool
1
RedHilitePartial_UnselectedEdge_Smoothingbool
1
RedHilitePartial_UnselectedEdge_Thicknessreal
1
RedHilite_HiddenEdge_Alphaint
50
RedHilite_HiddenEdge_Colorstr
"#FFFFFF"
RedHilite_HiddenEdge_Smoothingbool
1
RedHilite_HiddenEdge_Thicknessreal
1
RefeditLockNotInWorksetbool
0
REFEDITNAMEstr
read-only""
REGENMODE
bool
1
REMEMBERFOLDERS int 1
RenderMaterialPath
str "C:\ProgramData\..."
RenderMaterialStaticPath
str
"C:\Program Files\..."
RenderUsingHardware bool
1
RevCloudArcStyle
int 0
RevCloudMaxArcLength real
0.375
RevCloudMinArcLength real
0.375
RIBBONDOCKEDHEIGHT short
120
RIBBONSTATEbool
read-only0
RoamableRootFolder
str read-only"c:\users..."
ROAMABLEROOTPREFIXstr read-only"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\"
310
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
ROLLOVEROPACITY ROLLOVERTIPS RTDISPLAY
RTRotationSpeedFactor
RTWalkSpeedFactor
RunAsLevel short
short
int
real
real
short
Default Value
100
1
1
1
1
2
S Variables
SaveChangeToLayout
bool
1
SAVEFIDELITY
bool
1
SAVEFILEstr
read-only""
SAVEFILEPATH
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Temp\"
SaveFormat
int 1
SAVENAMEstr
read-only""
SAVEROUNDTRIP
bool
1
SAVETIME
int 60
SCREENBOXESint
read-only26
SCREENMODEint
read-only1
SCREENSIZEpt2d
read-only145'-8",73'-3"
SCRLHIST
int 256
SDI
int 0
SELECTIONANNODISPLAYbool
1
SELECTIONAREA
bool
1
SELECTIONAREAOPACITYint
25
SelectionModes
short
0
SELECTIONPREVIEW
int 3
SELECTSIMILARMODE int 130
SHADEDGE
int 3
SHADEDIF
int 70
SheetNumberLeadingZeroesint
1
SheetSetAutoBackup
bool
1
SheetSetTemplatePath str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Templates\Sheet Sets\"
SHORTCUTMENU
int 18
SHORTCUTMENUDURATION long
250
ShowDocTabs
bool
1
ShowFullPathInTitle
bool
0
SHOWLAYERUSAGE
bool
0
ShowScrollButtons
bool
1
ShowTabCloseButton
bool
0
ShowTabCloseButtonActivebool
0
ShowTabCloseButtonAll bool
1
ShowTabControls
bool
1
ShowWindowListButton bool
1
SHPNAME
str ""
SingletonMode
bool
0
SKETCHINC
real
0.1
SKPOLY
bool
0
SKYSTATUS
int 0
SMTARGETCAM str
""
SNAPANG
real
0
SNAPBASE
pt2d
0",0"
SNAPISOPAIR
int 0
SnapMarkerColor
int 20
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 311
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
SnapMarkerSize
int
SnapMarkerThickness int
SNAPMODE
bool
SNAPSTYL
int
SNAPTYPE
int
SNAPUNIT
pt2d
SOLIDCHECK
bool
SORTENTS
int
spaAdjustMode
int
spaGridAspectRatio
real
spaGridMode
int
spaMaxFacetEdgeLength real
spaMaxNumGridLines
long
spaMinUGridLines
long
spaMinVGridLines
long
spaNormalTol
real
spaSurfaceTol
real
6
2
0
0
0
1/2",1/2"
1
127
0
0
1
0
512
0
0
15
-1
spaTriangMode
int
spaUseFacetRES
bool
SPLFRAME
bool
SPLINESEGS
int
SPLINETYPE
int
SRCHPATH
str
SSFOUND
str
SSLOCATE
bool
SSMAUTOOPEN bool
SSMPOLLTIME short
SSMSHEETSTATUS short
SSMSTATE
int
StampFontSize
real
StampFontStyle
str
StampFooter
str
StampHeader
str
StampUnits
int
STARTUP
int
STEPSIZE
real
STEPSPERSEC
real
StructureTreeConfig
str
SURFTAB1
int
SURFTAB2
int
SURFTYPE
int
SURFU
int
SURFV
int
SvgBlendedGradients int
SvgDefaultImageExtensionstr
SvgGenericFontFamily int
SvgHiddenLineRemovingint
SvgImageBase
str
SvgImageUrl
str
SvgLineWeightScale
real
SvgOutputHeight
int
1
1
0
8
6
"C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support\;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Support\;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Fonts\;
C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Help\en_US\"
""
1
1
15
2
0
0.2
"Arial"
""
""
0
1
6
2
"mechanical.cst"
6
6
6
6
6
0
".png"
0
0
""
""
1
768
312
Inside BricsCAD V17
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
SvgOutputWidth
int 1024
SvgPrecision
int 6
SYSCODEPAGEstr
read-only"ANSI_1252"
T Variables
TabControlHeight
int 25
TABMODE
bool
0
TabsFixedWidth
bool
0
TARGET
pt3d
0",0",0"
TDCREATEreal
read-only2456335.5399919
TDINDWGreal
read-only0.121354456
TDUCREATEreal
read-only2456335.8733252
TDUPDATEreal
read-only2456335.5399919
TDUSRTIMERreal
read-only0.121354456
TDUUPDATEreal
read-only2456335.8733252
TemplatePath
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Templates\"
TEMPPREFIX
str ""
TestFlags0
TEXTANGLE
real
0
TEXTEVAL
int 0
TEXTFILL
int 1
TEXTQLTY
int 50
TEXTSIZE
real
0.2
TEXTSTYLE
str "Standard"
TextureMapPath
str
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Bricsys\BricsCAD V17x64\Textures\1\"
THICKNESS
real
0
THUMBSIZE
short
1
TILEMODE
int 1
TILEMODELIGHTSYNCH bool
1
TIMEZONE
int -8000
Tips
short
1
ToolbarIconSize
short
16
TOOLPALETTEPATH
str "C:\Users\userid\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support\ToolPalettes\"
TOOLTIPS 1
TPSTATEint
read-only0
TRACEWID
real
0.05
TRACKPATH
int 0
TRANSPARENCYDISPLAY bool
1
TREEDEPTH
int 3020
TREEMAX
long
10000000
TRIMMODE
bool
1
TSPACEFAC
real
1
TSPACETYPE
int 1
TSTACKALIGN
int 1
TSTACKSIZE
int 70
TTFASTEXT
int 3
U Variables
UCSAXISANG
UCSBASE
UCSDETECT
UCSFOLLOW
UCSICON
int
str
bool
bool
int
90
""
0
0
3
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 313
UCSICONPOS
int 0
UCSNAMEstr
read-only""
UCSORGpt3d
read-only0",0",0"
UCSORTHO
bool
1
UCSVIEW
bool
1
UCSVP
bool
1
UCSXDIRpt3d
read-only1",0",0"
UCSYDIRpt3d
read-only0",1",0"
UNDOCTLint
read-only5
UNDOMARKSint
read-only0
UNITMODE
bool
0
USERI1 thru USERI5
int
0
USERR1 thru USERR5
real
0
USERS1 thru USERS5
str
""
UseSheetMetal short
2
UseStandardOpenFileDialogbool
0
V Variables
VbaMacros
bool
1
VENDORNAMEstr
read-only"Bricsys"
_VERNUMstr
read-only "16.2.05 (UNICODE)"
VersionCustomizableFilesstr
"243"
VIEWCTR
pt3d read-only 10 7/16",4 1/2",0"
VIEWDIRpt3d
read-only0",0",1"
VIEWMODEint
read-only0
VIEWSIZEreal
read-only297
VIEWTWISTreal
read-only0
VIEWUPDATEAUTO
short
1
VISRETAIN
int 1
VOLUMEPREC short
-1
VOLUMEUNITS str
"in ft mi µm mm cm m km"
VPROTATEASSOC
bool
1
VSMAXpt3d
read-only-1.0000E+20,-1.0000E+20,-1.0000E+20
VSMINpt3d
read-only1.0000E+20,1.0000E+20,1.0000E+20
W Variables
WarningMessages
WHIPARC
WHIPTHREAD
WINDOWAREACOLOR
WIPEOUTFRAME WMFBKGND
WMFFOREGND
WNDLMAIN
WNDLSCRL
WNDLSTAT
WNDLTABS
WNDLTEXT
WNDPMAIN
WNDPTEXT
WNDSMAIN
WNDSTEXT
WorkspaceSecurity
WORLDUCS
int
int
int
int
short
bool
bool
int
bool
bool
bool
int
pt2d
pt2d
pt2d
pt2d
bool
bool
65535
1
0
150
1
0
0
2
0
1
1
1
0",0"
3'-4",3’-4"
101'-2",66'-11"
118'-4",86'
1
1
Variable Name
Format
R/O
Default Value
WORLDVIEW
int 1
WRITESTATbool
read-only1
WSAUTOSAVE
bool
1
WSCURRENT
str
"2D Drafting"
X Variables
XCLIPFRAME
XDwgFadeCtl
XEDIT
XFADECTL
XLOADCTL
XLOADPATH
XNotifyTime
XREFCTL
XRefNotify
XREFOVERRIDE
int
short
bool
int
int
str
short
bool
bool
bool
2
70
1
50
1
"C:\Users\userid\Documents\"
5
0
1
0
int
short
60
0
short
short
short
3
11
5
Z Variables
ZOOMFACTOR
ZOOMWHEEL # Variables
3DCOMPAREMODE
3DOSMODE 3dSnapMarkerColor
appendix
A Concise Summary of System Variables and Settings 315
Notes
APPENDIX C
Concise Summary of
Command Names
THIS APPENDIX LISTS THE NAMES OF COMMANDS FOUND IN BRICSCAD V17. THE LIST OF 700
commands is sorted alphabetically by name, as well as in groupings of common commands as follows:
AI Commands
page 318
BIM Commands
page 319
BM (BricsCAD Mechanical) Commands
page 320
Chapoo Commands
page 322
DIM (Dimension) Commands
page 323
DC (Dimensional Constraint) Commands page 324
DM (Direct Modeling) Commands
page 324
GC (Geometric Constraint) Commands
page 326
Layer Commands
page 328
SM (Sheet Metal) Commands
page 334
VBA Commands
page 336
ViewBase Commands
page 336
“Bim-” BIM and “Sm-” sheet metal commands are available through optional extra-cost add-on modules.
When a command has a hyphen prefix, such as -Color, the command runs at the command prompt.
Command names added since the initial V16 edition of this ebook are shown in blue. Command names
specific to the demo, Pro, and Platinum versions of BricsCAD are shown in boldface; these commands
are not available in the Standard version. Commands specific to Platinum version are noted as (platinum only) and those specific to Windows as (windows only).
A Commands
About displays information about the program.
AcisIn imports 3D solids in SAT format (SAT is short for “save as text”).
AcisOut exports 3D solids and surface entities in SAT format.
AddInMan displays the VBA COM Add-In Manager dialog box (windows only).
AddSelected creates a new entity of the same type as an existing entity.
Align aligns entities with other entities in 2D and 3D space.
AlignSpace adjusts viewport angle, zoom factor, and pan position based on alignment points specified in model space and paper
space; operates in paper space only.
AniPath makes movies from views generated by a camera moving through 3D scenes.
AnnReset resets all scale representations to the entity’s original positions
AnnUpdate updates annotative scale factors to match updates made with Style and DimStyle commands.
Aperture sets selection area for snapping to entities.
Apparent toggles Apparent intersection entity snap; snaps to the intersections of entities, even when they only appear to intersect
in 3D space.
AppLoad loads DRX, LISP, and SDS applications to run inside BricsCAD; Mac and Linux load only LISP and SDS.
Arc draws arcs.
Area determines the area and perimeter of closed 2D objects; the area and length of open polylines and splines as if they were
closed; the lengths only of lines, sketches, arcs, and elliptical arcs; and the areas of faces of 3D objects.
Array and -Array creates dynamic polar, path, and rectangular arrays of entities.
ArrayClassic runs the dialog box-based version of the Array command.
ArrayClose and -ArrayClose end the array editing session.
ArrayEdit edits entities and source entities of arrays.
ArrayEditExt edits entities in arrays.
ArrayPath distributes entity copies evenly along a path into multiple rows and levels.
ArrayPolar distributes entity copies evenly in a circular pattern about a center point or axis of rotation, using multiple rows and
levels.
ArrayRect distributes entity copies into any number of rows, columns, and levels.
AttDef and -AttDef defines attributes for blocks.
AttDisp toggles the display of attributes through all, none, or those normally visible.
AttEdit edits the values and properties of attributes.
AttExt and -AttExt exports data from attributes to text files.
AttRedef redefines blocks and updates associated attributes.
AttSync synchronizes attribute definitions in all references to a specified block definition.
Audit repairs open drawings in case of data corruption.
AutoComplete sets the options for autocomplete mode on the command line.
Ai Commands
Ai_Box draws 3D boxes as mesh surfaces.
Ai_CircTan draws a circle tangent to three entities.
318
Inside BricsCAD V17
Ai_Cone draws 3D cones as mesh surfaces.
Ai_Cylinder draws 3D cylinders as mesh surfaces.
Ai_DeSelect unselects all selected entities.
Ai_Dish draws 3D dishes as mesh surfaces.
Ai_Dome draws 3D domes (half-spheres) as mesh surfaces.
Ai_DrawOrder changes the display order of overlapping entities.
Ai_Fms switches to the first layout tab and enters model space of the first viewport.
Ai_Molc makes the layer current of the selected entity (short for “make object layer current”).
Ai_MSpace switches to model tab.
Ai_PSpace switches to the first layout tab.
Ai_Pyramid draws 3D pyramids as mesh surfaces.
Ai_SelAll selects all non-frozen entities in the current space, like Ctrl+A.
Ai_Sphere draws 3D spheres as mesh surfaces.
Ai_TileMode1 sets TileMode variable to 1 and then switches to model tab.
Ai_Torus draws 3D tori as mesh surfaces.
Ai_Wedge draws 3D wedges as mesh surfaces.
AiMleaderEditAdd adds leader lines to multi-leaders.
AiMleaderEditRemove removes leader lines from multi-leaders.
B Commands
Base changes the drawing’s insertion point when when it is inserted into other drawings.
BAttMan manages the attributes of block definitions (short for Block Attribute Manager).
BHatch and -BHatch fills closed areas with repeating patterns, solid colors, or gradients.
BlipMode enables and disables display of marker blips.
Block and -Block groups entities into blocks (symbols).
BmpOut exports the current viewport as a BMP (bitmap) file.
Boundary and -Boundary draws a polyline that forms a boundary around the inside closed areas.
Box draws three-dimensional solid boxes.
Break removes portions of entities.
Browser opens the default Web browser.
BIM Commands
(Available for Platinum edition only; bim = building information modeling)
bimAttachComposition attaches BIM compositions to solids.
bimAttachSpatialLocation locates the drawing in mapping references.
bimCheck checks the validity of the BIM model.
bimClassify classifies an entity as a building element with a name and an internal ‘guid’ (globally unique identifier).
bimConnect creates L-connections between faces of two solids.
bimDrag drags faces of solids; when dragging major faces, it preserves connections with minor faces; when dragging minor faces,
C Concise Summary of Command Names 319
it optionally connects minor faces to major faces of other solids.
bimExport exports the current BIM model to an IFC file.
bimFlip flips the starting face from which the layers of a composition are set out.
bimGetStatisticalData reports statistics data of BIM objects in the current drawing.
bimIfcImport imports IFC files; IFC is short for “industry foundation classes.”
bimInsert and -bimInsert insert windows and doors in solids.
bimList list names and properties of BIM entities in the current drawing.
bimPatch reserves an of a BIM model for editing with the RefEdit command.
bimReposition repositions inserts in face of solids.
bimRoom defines room areas with markers.
bimSection creates BIM section entities.
bimSectionOpen opens the drawing file related to a BIM section entity; or the 3D BIM model related to a BIM section drawing.
bimSectionUpdate updates and exports BIM sections.
bimSkpImport imports SKP files with optional stitching; SKP is short for SketchUp.
bimSplit splits segmented solids into separated solids automatically; splits solids using cutting faces.
bimUpdateRoom updates data about the selected room.
bimUpdateThickness re-applies the overall thickness of a composition to the solid.
bimWindowPrint prints a specified area of the BIM model.
bimWindowUpdate updates openings made by windows or doors in solids in case the opening did not updated correctly
automatically.
ClipDisplay toggles the clipped display property of a section plane or a BIM section entity.
BricsCAD Mechanical Commands
(Available in Platinum edition only; bm = BricsCAD mechanical)
bmBom inserts bill of material (BOM) tables in the current drawing.
bmBrowser toggles the visibility of the Mechanical Browser window.
bmDependencies lists all files, containing component definitions inserted in the assembly, in the command window.
bmDissolve dissolves a mechanical component inserted in the current drawing.
bmExternalize converts local components to external components.
bmForm creates a new mechanical component and inserts it into the current drawing; if necessary, run bmMech to initialize the
mechanical structure in the current drawing.
bmHardware and -bmHardware insert standard hardware parts as a mechanical component in the current drawing.
bmHide hides the visibility of mechanical components; hidden inserts are taken into account by commands such as bmBom and
bmMassProp.
bmInsert and -bmInsert insert an existing mechanical component as a virtual component into the current drawing.
bmLocalize converts external components to local components.
bmMassProp computes mass properties for the current model using densities assigned to the components (defined by the
Density property of the components and subcomponents).
bmMech converts the current drawing into a mechanical component.
bmNew creates a mechanical component as a new drawing file.
320
Inside BricsCAD V17
bmOpen opens the source drawing of external mechanical components.
bmOpenCopy opens a copy of a component insert as a new drawing.
-bmParameters lists and edits parameters of inserted components.
bmRecover recovers broken mechanical structures.
bmReplace replaces a component insert.
bmShow shows previously hidden mechanical components.
bmUnmech converts the current mechanical component into a plain drawing.
bmUpdate reloads all referenced components from external files and updates BOM tables.
bmVStyle applies visual styles to mechanical component inserts.
bmXConvert converts X-Hardware solids in the current drawing to mechanical components.
C Commands
Cal displays the operating system’s Calculator program.
Callout places callouts; can be used only from the SheetSet panel.
Camera changes the viewpoint to perspective.
Center toggles Center entity snap; snaps to the center of circles, arcs, and other circular entities.
Chamfer bevels entities.
Change changes the position and properties of entities: endpoint, color, elevation, layer, linetype, linetype scale, lineweight, and
thickness.
ChProp changes just the properties of entities.
ChSpace moves entities from paper space to model space and vice versa.
Circle draws circles.
CleanUnsedVariables clears unused variables from memory.
Close exits the current drawing, but not the program.
Color and -Color specifies the color for entities.
CommandLine and CommandLineHide open and close the command bar.
Commands reports the names of all commands supported by the program.
Cone draws three-dimensional solid cones.
ContentBrowserClose and ContentBrowserOpen close and open the Content Browser panel.
ConvertCtb converts older CBT (color-based plot tables) files to newer STB (style-based plot tables) files.
ConvertOldLights converts old light definitions to the current format.
ConvertOldMaterials converts old material definitions to the current format.
ConvertPoly converts lightweight polylines to classic polylines (2D polylines) and vice versa.
ConvertPStyles converts drawings to from CTB (color-based plotting) to STB (plot styles).
Copy duplicates entities.
CopyBase copies entities with a specified reference point to the Clipboard.
CopyClip copies entities to the Clipboard.
CopyEData Copies extended entity data from one entity to others.
CopyHist copies the command history to the Clipboard.
C Concise Summary of Command Names 321
CPageSetup edits the page setup of the current layout or model space.
CuiLoad and CuiUnload load and undload CUI and CUIX (user interface customization), MNU (menu), MNS (LISP code), and
ICM (IntelliCAD menu) files.
Customize customizes user interface elements, such as menus, toolbars, and shortcuts.
CutClip copies entities to the Clipboard and deletes the entities.
Cylinder draws three-dimensional solid cylinders.
Chapoo Commands
ChapooAccount reports the status of the Chapoo account at the command bar.
ChapooDownload downloads drawings from the Chapoo project to a local folder.
ChapooLogoff logs off from the Chapoo project.
ChapooLogon logs on to Chapoo.
ChapooOpen opens a drawing after downloading it from Chapoo.
ChapooProject opens the Chapoo project in the default browser.
ChapooUpload uploads the current drawing to Chapoo.
ChapooWeb connects to the Chapoo website.
D Commands
DataExtraction exports entity properties, block attributes and drawing information to CSV (comma separated values) file.
DbList lists information about all entities in the drawing (short for “database listing”).
DdAttE edits the values of attributes through a dialog box (short for “dynamic dialog attribute editor”).
DdEdit edits single-line text, multi-line text, attribute definitions, and attribute text (short for “dynamic dialog editor”).
DdEModes sets default values for creating entities (short for “dynamic dialog entity modes”).
DdFilter creates a selection set of the entities selected.
DdGrips specifies the properties of grips through the Settings dialog box.
DdPType specifies the look and size of point entities, through the Settings dialog box (short for “dynamic dialog point type”).
DdSelect specifies the properties for selecting entities, through the Settings dialog box.
DdSetVar displays the Settings dialog box to change the values of variables.
DdSTrack Sets the properties for snap tracking, through the Settings dialog box (short for “snap tracking”).
DdVPoint sets 3D viewpoints or plan view
Delay delays execution of the next command; for use with scripts only.
DelEData deletes extended entity data from the selected entity (short for “delete entity data”).
Dish draws dishes (bottom half-sphere) from polygon meshes.
Dist reports the distance and angle between two points.
Distantlight places distant lights.
Divide places points or blocks along entities.
Dome draws domes (top half-sphere) from polygon meshes.
Donut draws circular polylines with width.
DragMode controls the appearance of objects while being dragged.
DrawOrder changes the display order of overlapping entities.
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DrawOrderByLayer controls the draw order of overlapping objects through layer names.
DSettings displays the Settings dialog box for drafting settings (short for “drafting settings”).
DView changes the 3D viewpoint interactively, and turns on perspective mode (short for “dynamic view”).
DwgCodePage changes the code page for text in drawings.
DwgProps opens the Drawing Properties dialog box, showing the general information and user defined properties stored with
a drawing.
DxfIn and DxfOut imports DXF files (short for “drawing exchange format”) and exports drawings in ASCII or binary DXF format.
Dimension Commands
(Dim = dimension)
Ai_Dim_TextAbove moves text above the dimension line.
Ai_Dim_TextCenter centers text on the dimension line. Ai_Dim_TextHome moves text to its home position, as defined by the dimension style.
AiDimFlipArrow mirrors arrowheads on dimension lines.
AiDimPrec changes the precision of dimension text.
Dim places and edits dimensions at the ‘Dimensioning command:’ prompt.
Dim1 executes a single dimension command at the ‘Dimensioning command:’ prompt.
DimAligned draws dimensions parallel to (aligned with) selected entities; works with lines, polylines, arcs, and circles.
DimAngular dimensions angles.
DimArc places arc length dimensions.
DimBaseline places multiple linear or angular dimensions starting at the same base point; command can only be used when at
least one other dimension is already in the drawing.
DimCenter places center marks at the center points of circles and arcs.
DimContinue continues linear and angular dimensions from the endpoint of the previous dimension.
DimDiameter dimensions the diameter of circles and arcs, and places a center mark.
DimDisassociate removes associativity from selected dimension entities.
DimEdit changes wording and angle of dimension text; changes the angle of extension lines.
DimLeader draws leaders.
DimLinear places linear dimensions horizontally, vertically, or rotated.
DimOrdinate measures x and y ordinate distances from a common origin, specified by the current UCS origin.
DimOverride overrides the values of the current dimension style.
DimRadius dimensions the radii of arcs and circles.
DimReassociate reassociates or associates dimensions to entities or points on entities.
DimRegen updates associative dimensions (short for “dimension regeneration”).
DimStyle and -DimStyle creates and modifies dimension styles through the Drawing Explorer.
DimStyleSet reports the current dimension style in the command bar.
DimTEdit changes the position of dimension text.
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Dimensional Constraint Commands
(dc = dimensional constraint)
CleanUnusedVariables purges variables not used by constraint expressions and not linked to dimensions.
dcAligned constrains the distance between two defining points on entities.
dcAngular constrains the angle between three constraint points on entities; or between two lines; or between two polyline segments; or constrains the angles of arcs or polyline arcs.
dcConvert converts an associative dimension to a dimensional constraint.
dcDiameter constrains the diameters of circles, arc, or polyline arcs.
dcDisplay shows and hides dimensional constraints.
dcHorizontal constrains the horizontal distance between two defining points on entities.
dcLinear constrains horizontal or vertical distance between two defining points on entities.
dcRadial constrains the radius of circles, arcs, or polyline arcs.
dcVertical constrains the vertical distance between two defining points on entities.
DelConstraint removes all dimensional (and geometrical) constraints from an entity.
DimConstraint applies a dimensional constraint to an entity or between constraint points on entities; converts associative
dimensions to dynamic dimensions.
Direct Modeling Commands
(Available for Pro or Platinum editions only; dm = direct modeling)
dmAngle3D applies angle constraints between the faces of a solid or of different solids.
dmAudit checks and fixes 3D models.
dmChamfer creates an equal distance chamfer between adjacent faces.
dmCoincident3D applies coincident constraints between two edges, two faces, or an edge and a face of two different solids
(platinum only).
dmConcentric3D applies concentric constraints between two cylindrical, spherical, or conical surfaces (platinum only).
dmConstraint3D applies geometric relationships and dimensional constraints between sub-entities (such as faces, surfaces, and
edges) of 3D entities (platinum only).
dmDeformCurve deforms one or more connected faces of a 3D solid/surface by replacing their edges with given curves (platinum only).
dmDeformMove deforms one or more connected faces of a 3D solid/surface by moving and rotating their edges (platinum only).
dmDeformPoint deforms as smoothly as possible (using G1 or G2 continuity) a region, one or more connected faces of a 3D
solid or a surface by moving a point lying on one of them in arbitrary 3D direction. (platinum only)
dmDelete deletes faces and solids.
dmDistance3D applies a distance constraint between two sub-entities of a solid or of different solids (platinum only).
dmExtrude creates 3D solids by extruding closed 2D entities, regions or closed boundaries.
dmFillet creates a smooth fillet between adjacent faces sharing a sharp edge.
dmFix3D applies a fixed constraint to a solid or to an edge or a face of a solid (platinum only).
dmGroup creates new groups, edits them, and dissolves groups.
dmMove moves the selected solids, or faces or edges of a solid using a vector.
dmParallel3D applies a parallel constraint between two faces of a solid or of different solids (platinum only).
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dmPerpendicular3D applies a perpendicular constraint between two faces of a solid or of different solids (platinum only).
dmPushPull adds or removes volume from a solid by moving a face.
dmRadius3D applies a radius constraint to cylindrical surfaces or circular edges (platinum only).
dmRepair fixes inconsistencies in 3D geometry supported by ACIS kernel (3D solids, surfaces).
dmRevolve creates 3D solids by revolution of closed 2D entities or regions about an axis.
dmRigidSet3D defines a set of entities or sub-entities as a rigid body (platinum only).
dmRotate rotates faces of a solid around an axis.
dmSelect selects edges and faces of 3D solids or surfaces based on their geometric properties.
dmSelectEdges selects faces and edges of 3D solids.
dmSimplify simplifies the geometry and topology of 3D solid entities by removing unnecessary edges and vertices, merges seam
edges, and replaces the geometry of faces and edges by analytic surfaces and curves, if possible within the user-specified tolerance.
Run this command on imported 3D solid geometry.
dmStitch converts a set of region and surface entities that bound a watertight area to a 3D solid.
dmTangent3D applies a tangent constraint between a face and a curved surface of different solids (platinum only).
dmThicken creates 3D solids by thickening (i.e. adding thickness to) surfaces, their faces, and faces of 3D solids.
dmTwist twists 3D solids by an angle.
dmUpdate forces 3D constraints to update (platinum only).
E Commands
EAttEdit edits the value and most properties of attributes (short for “enhanced attribute editor”).
EdgeSurf creates a 3D Coons mesh surface patch between four lines, forming a closed shape (short for “edge surface”).
EditEData creates and edits extended entity data (short for “edit entity data”).
Elev changes the default elevation and thickness.
Ellipse draws ellipses and elliptical arcs.
Endpoint toggles endpoint entity snap; snaps to the ends of open entities, such as line, arcs, and open polylines.
Erase erases selected entities from drawings; alternatively, press the Del key.
eTransmit creates a package of a drawing file and all its dependencies, such as external references, images, font files, plot configuration files, plot style tables and font map files.
ExpBlocks opens the Blocks section of the Drawing Explorer dialog box (short for “explorer blocks”).
ExpFolders opens the Drawing Explorer on the Folders tab.
Explode breaks complex objects into their component entities.
Explorer opens the Drawing Explorer dialog box, which controls Layers, Layer States, Linetypes, Multiline Styles, Multileader
Styles, Text Styles, Dimension Styles, Table Styles, Coordinate Systems,Views,Visual Styles, Lights, Materials, Render Presets, Blocks,
External References, Images, PDF Underlays, Dependencies, Page Setups, and Section Planes.
Export saves entities in other file formats.
ExportLayout exports visible objects from the current layout to model space of new drawings.
ExportPDF exports the current layout to a PDF file.
ExpUcs creates, modifies, and deletes named UCSes through the Drawing Explorer (short for “explore user-defined coordinate
systems”).
Extend extends entities to bounding edges defined by other entities.
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Extension toggles extension entity snap, which snaps to the point where a line extended would intersect another entity.
Extrude extrudes closed entities as 3D solids and open ones as 3D surfaces.
F
Field inserts text that is updated automatically when system variables change.
FileOpen opens drawing (DWG), template (DWT), and interchange (DXF) files from the command line.
Files opens the operating system’s file manager, such as Windows Explorer or Finder.
Fill fills areas with a solid color or color gradient
Fillet rounds entities.
Find finds and replaces text in notes, annotations, and dimension text.
Flatshot creates a hidden line representation of all 3D solids in model space as a block or a new drawing.
Flatten flattens 2D objects with thickness and allows to convert splines to polylines.
G Commands
GCE snaps the the geometric center of entities.
GenerateBoundary creates closed polylines from faces of 3D solids, as well as from boundaries detected when the Enable
Boundary Detection of SelectionModes is activated.
GeographicLocation sets the geographic location of the drawing.
Gradient fills closed areas with gradient fills of one or two colors.
GradientBkgOff and GradientBkgOn turn off and on the gradient displayed in the working area. GraphScr switches from the text windows to the graphics windows (short for “graphics screen”).
Grid turns the grid display on or off and sets other grid options.
Group and -Group creates and modifies named groups of entities.
Geometric Constraint Commands
(For 3D constraints, see Direct Modeling Commands section; gc = geometric constraints)
ConstraintBar shows, hides, and resets the display of geometric constraint icons.
DelConstraint removes all geometrical (and dimensional) constraints from an entity.
gcCoincident constrains points on entities coincidently; or constrains a point on an entity to another entity.
gcCollinear constrains lines collinearly.
gcConcentric constrains the center points of arcs, circles, ellipses, and/or elliptical arcs to be coincident.
gcEqual constrains lines to have the same length, or arcs and circles to have the same radius.
gcFix constrains points on entities to fixed positions.
gcHorizontal constrains lines or linear polyline segments, or pairs of points on entities to be parallel to the x axis in the current
coordinate system.
gcParallel constrains two lines or linear polyLine segments to be parallel to each other.
gcPerpendicular constrains two lines or linear polyline segments to be perpendicular to each other.
gcSmooth constrains a spline to be fluidly continuous to another spline, or arc, or line, or polyline.
gcSymmetric constrains two entities, or two points on entities, to be symmetric about a line of symmetry.
gcTangent constrains one entity tangent to another.
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gcVertical constrains lines or linear polyline segments, or pairs of points on entities to be parallel to the y axis in the current
coordinate system.
GeomConstraint acts as a universal command that applies all available geometric constraint points.
H Commands
Hatch and -Hatch fills a selected boundary with a pattern.
HatchEdit and -HatchEdit edits hatch patterns and gradient fills.
HatchGenerateBoundary generates a boundary around a hatch or gradient fill.
HatchToBack sets the draw order of all hatch entities in the drawing to display behind all other entities.
Helix draws 2D spirals or 3D helixes.
Help displays online help.
HelpSearch prompts for searching through the help files at the command prompt.
Hide removes hidden lines from 3D entities until the UnisolateObjects command is used.
HideObjects temporarily hides selected entities.
Hyperlink and -Hyperlink adds hyperlinks to entities or modifies existing hyperlinks.
HyperlinkOptions controls the display of the hyperlink cursor, shortcut menu, and tooltips.
I Commands
Id reports the x,y,z coordinates of a picked point.
Image inserts raster images in drawings through the Drawing Explorer.
ImageAdjust adjusts the properties of images through the Properties palette.
ImageAttach and -ImageAttach attache raster images to the drawing like xrefs.
ImageClip clips images.
ImageFrame toggles the frame around images.
ImageQuality determines the display quality of images attached to the drawing.
Import displays a dialog box for importing files into the drawing: DWG, DXF, DWT, and DAE (Collada) files. Platinum edition also
imports IFC and SKP (SketchUp) files. Additional formats can be imported when the optional Communicator modules is purchased.
Imprint imprints 2D entities onto planar faces of 3D solids and surfaces; allows to create additional edges on
planar faces.
Insert and -Insert inserts blocks or another drawing into the current drawing.
InsertAligned inserts blocks repeatedly, and inserts mirrored blocks.
Insertion toggles Insertion entity snap; snaps to the insertion point of text and blocks.
InsertObj displays data from other programs in drawings, such as text documents, spreadsheets, and images (windows only).
Interfere checks interferences between solid models.
Intersect creates regions or 3D solids from the intersection of regions or 3D solids.
Intersection Toggles Intersection entity snap; snaps to the intersections of entities.
IsolateObjects hides all other entities from view.
Isoplane controls the isometric plane (left, right, or top) when isometric snap is used.
J Command
Join joins lines, lwpolylines, 2D polylines, 3D polylines, circular arcs, elliptical arcs, splines and helixes at common endpoints.
C Concise Summary of Command Names 327
L Commands
Layer: see Layer Commands below.
Layout creates, copies, renames, and deletes layouts.
Leader draws leader lines that connect annotations to drawing entities.
Lengthen changes the length of open objects, such as lines and arcs.
LicenseManager provides access to all Bricsys software licenses, as shown below.
LicEnterKey enters the license key number (short for “licence enter key”).
LicProperties reports the BricsCAD license information; modifies and deactivates single user and volume license keys.
LicPropertiesCommunicator reports license information for the optional extra-cost Communicator add-on.
Light places lights in drawings.
LightList displays the lighting palette.
Limits sets the extents of the drawing and the grid.
Line draws straight line segments.
LineType and -LineType creates, loads, and sets linestyles.
List lists the properties of selected entities at the command line.
LiveSection toggles the Live Section property of a section plane.
Load loads compiled SHX shape files into the drawing.
Loft creates 3D solids passing through two or more cross sections.
LogFileOff and LogFileOn turn off and on log file recording.
LWeight sets lineweight options.
Layer Commands
LayCur moves the selected entities to the current layer.
Layer and -Layer controls layers and layer properties.
LayerP undoes previously applied changes to layer settings when LayerPMode is on (short for “layer previous”).
LayerPMode controls the tracking of changes made to layer settings.
LayersPanelClose and LayersPanelOpen closes and open the Layers panel.
LayerState saves and restores the properties of layers.
LayFrz and LayThw freeze and thaw the layers associated with entities selected in the drawing.
LayIso and LayUnIso isolate and restore layers associated with entities selected in the drawing; locks or turns off all other layers
(short for “layer isolate”).
LayLck and LayUlk lock and unlock the layers of selected entities.
LayMCur changes the working layer to that of a selected entity (short for “layer make current”).
LayOff and LayOn turn off and on layers associated with entities selected in the drawing; off layers cannot be seen.
M Commands
Mail attaches the current drawing to a new message with your computer’s default email client.
MapConnect sets up a connection with a Web Map Service, after the GeographicLocation command defines the geographic
location in the drawing.
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MassProp reports the area, perimeter, and other mathematical properties of 3D solids and 2D regions (short for
“mass properties”).
MatBrowserClose and MatBrowserOpen close and open the materials browser.
MatchPerspective changes the viewpoint in perspective mode to match a background image.
MatchProp assigns the properties of one entity to one or more other entities (short for “match properties”).
MaterialMap maps material definitions onto the surfaces of objects, with presets for boxes, planes, spheres, and cylinders.
Materials creates materials and edits their properties through the Drawing Explorer.
MatLib displays the Rendering Materials panel.
Measure places points or blocks along entities.
Menu loads menu files to modify the user interface.
MenuLoad and MenuUnload load and unload CUIX and CUI (user interface customization), MNU (menu), MNS (LISP code),
and ICM (IntelliCAD menu) files.
Midpoint toggles Midpoint entity snap; snaps to the middle of lines, arcs, and other open entities.
MInsert inserts a block as a rectangular array; combines the -Insert and Array commands (short for “multiple insertion”).
Mirror draws mirror image copies of entities.
Mirror3D draws mirror images of entities about a plane in 3D space.
MLeader creates multileader entities using the current multileader style.
MLeaderEdit adds leader lines to and removes leader lines from a multileader entity.
MLeaderEditExt adds and removes leader lines, adds and removes vertices from a multileader entity.
MLeaderStyle creates and manages multileader styles through the Drawing Explorer.
MLine draws multilines.
MLStyle creates and edits multiline styles.
ModelerProperties and -ModelerProperties controls the various settings of the ACIS modeler through the Settings dialog box.
Move displaces entities a specified distance in a specified direction.
MoveEData moves extended entity data from one entity to another.
MSlide makes SLD (slide) files from the current view.
MSpace switches to model space inside a viewport of layout tab.
MText and -MText opens the multi-line text editor interface for placing paragraph text.
Multiple command prefix forces commands to repeat themselves automatically.
MView creates viewports in layout tab.
MvSetup prepares sets of paper space viewports; superseded by the ViewBase command.
MTP snaps to the midpoint between two points.
N Commands
Nearest toggles Nearest entity snap mode; snaps to the nearest geometry on entities.
NetLoad loads .NET applications.
New starts new drawing files.
NewSheetSet creates a new sheet set.
NewWiz starts new drawings with the New Drawing Wizard.
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Node toggles Node entity snap mode; snaps to point entities.
None turns off all entity snap modes.
O Commands
ObjectScale and -ObjectScale adds or removes supported scales for annotative entities.
Offset offsets linear entities in parallel orientation.
OleLinks adjusts links of OLE entities embedded in or linked to drawings (short for “object linking and embedding”). (windows only).
OleOpen opens OLE objects for modification (windows only).
OnWeb opens the Bricsys home page in your computer’s default Web browser.
Oops un-erases the last erased entity, including those erased by the Block command.
Open opens an existing drawing file.
OpenSheetSet and -OpenSheetSet open an existing sheet set.
Options configures program operating parameters.
Orthogonal constrains the pointer so it moves parallel to the axes of the current coordinate system.
OSnap and -OSnap sets entity snaps through the Settings dialog box or the command line (short for “object snap”).
Overkill and -Overkill deletes duplicate entities and overlapping lines, arcs or polylines and unifies partly overlapping or contiguous ones.
P Commands
PageSetup creates and edits page setups for plotting drawings in the Drawing Explorer.
Pan and -Pan moves the drawing display in the active view tile.
Parallel turns on parallel entity snap.
-Parameters create and edit constraint expressions and values.
PasteBlock inserts data from the Clipboard as block.
PasteClip inserts data from the Clipboard.
PasteOrig pastes entities from the clipboard at the coordinates from the source drawing.
PasteSpec pastes entities from the clipboard, after the user specifies the format.
PdfAdjust adjust the fade, contrast and monochrome settings of PDF underlays.
Pdfattach and -PdfAttach attaches PDF files as underlays into the drawing.
PdfClip clips PDF underlays.
PdfLayers controls the display of layers in PDF underlays.
PdfOptions controls the exporting of drawings in PDF format through the Settings dialog box.
PEdit edits polylines, 3D polylines, and 3D meshes (short for “polyline edit”).
PEditExt edits vertices and segments of a polyline.
Perpendicular toggles perpendicular entity snap mode.
PFace draws 3D multi-sided meshes; meant for use by programs (short for “polyface mesh”).
Plan sets plan view to construction plane.
PLine draws polyline lines, arcs, and splines with optional width (short for “polyline”).
Plot and -Plot both execute the plot command at the command line.
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PlotStyle sets the current plot style; works only when plot styles are enabled in drawings.
PlotterManager creates customized parameter PC3 files for printers and other output devices; executes the PlotConfig.exe
utility program.
Point draws point entities.
PointLight places point lights in drawings.
Polygon draws eqi-sided polygons from polylines of 3 to 1,024 sides.
PolySolid creates 3D wall-like solids.
Preview shows a preview before printing the drawing.
Print plots the drawing to a plotter, printer, or file.
ProfileManager sets current, create, copy, delete, import and export user profiles.
ProjectGeometry projects geometry like curves, and edges onto regions, surfaces, and 3D solids.
Properties displays the Properties palette to change drawing entity properties.
PropertiesClose closes the Properties palette.
PSetupIn and -PSetupIn imports page setup definitions from another drawing.
PSpace switches from model to paper space (short for “paper space”).
Publish and -Publish prints sheet lists of model space or paper space layouts; saves a sheet list to a file.
Purge and -Purge remove unused named entities from drawings, such as unused layers and linetypes.
Pyramid draws three-dimensional solid pyramids.
Q Commands
QLeader draws leaders; specifies properties through a dialog box.
QNew opens new drawings in BricsCAD (short for “quick new”).
QPrint prints the drawing with the default plot configuration, without displaying the Print dialog box (short for “quick print”).
QSave saves the drawing without displaying the Save dialog box (short for “quick save”).
QSelect composes a selection set using filters.
QText toggles the display of text as rectangles (short for “quick text”).
Quadrant toggles snaps to quadrant points of circles, arcs, and polyarcs.
Quick toggles snaps to the first entity geometry found; used together with at least one other entity snap mode.
Quit ends BricsCAD; optionally saves unsaved drawings.
R Commands
Ray draws semi-infinite construction lines
ReAssocApp associates extended entity data with applications (short for “reassociate application”).
Recover repairs damaged drawings.
RecScript records keystrokes to an SCR file for playback with the Script command (short for “record script”).
Rectang draws a rectangular polyline.
Redefine restores built-in commands that have been undefined using the Undefine command.
Redo reverses the effects of a previous U command.
Redraw refreshes the display of the active view tile.
RedrawAll refreshes the display of all currently-open view tiles.
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RedSdkInfo reports on rendering related hardware and driver specifications (short for “Red software development kit information”).
RefClose closes the in-situ block and xref editor.
RefEdit and -RefEdit edits blocks and externally-referenced drawings (short for “reference editor”).
RefSet adds and removes entities from the block or external reference being edited.
Regen regenerates the current viewport.
RegenAll regenerates all viewports.
RegenAuto determines when BricsCAD regenerates the drawing automatically.
Region converts an entity enclosing an area into a region.
ReInit reloads the PGP alias file (short for “re-initialize”).
Rename and -Rename changes the names of objects.
Render and -Render generates photorealistic renderings od 3D models using materials and lights.
RenderPresets creates and edits rendering presets, and to set the current render preset.
ResetBlock resets dynamic blocks to their default values.
Resume resumes an interrupted script.
RevCloud draws revision clouds commonly used for red-lining drawings.
Revolve draws 3D solids or surfaces by revolving 2D objects about an axis.
RevSurf creates 3D mesh surfaces by revolving open entities around a axis (usually a line).
Ribbon displays the ribbon user interface.
RibbonClose closes the ribbon.
Rotate rotates entities about a base point.
Rotate3D moves entities about a 3D axis.
RScript reruns the currently loaded SCR script file (short for “repeat script”).
RtLook moves the viewpoint through a 3D scene (short for “real time looking”).
RtPan pans the view in real time.
RtRot, RtRotCtr, or RtRotF rotate the viewpoint in real time.
RtRotX, RtRotY, or RtRotZ rotates the 3D viewpoint about the x, y, or z axis in real time.
RtUpDown tilts the viewpoint up, down, left, or right in real time.
RtWalk walk lefts, right, forward or backward through 3D scenes in real time.
RtZoom zooms into the drawing in real time.
RuleSurf draws ruled surfaces between two curves.
S Commands
Save saves the drawing under the current file name or a specified name.
SaveAll saves all open drawings.
SaveAs saves an unnamed drawing with a file name or renames the current drawing.
SaveAsR12 saves drawings in DWG R12 format.
Scale enlarges or reduces specified entities equally in the X,Y, and Z directions.
ScaleListEdit and -ScaleListEdit edits the list of scale factors used by annotative scaling, sheet scales, and plot scales.
Script loads and runs SCR script files.
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Scrollbar toggles the display of the horizontal and vertical scroll bars.
Section creates a cross section based on the intersection of a plane and 3D solids.
SectionPlane creates a section entity that creates sections of 3D solids.
SectionPlaneSettings defines the properties of section plane entities in the Drawing Explorer.
SectionPlaneToBlock saves the selected section plane as a 2D cross section / elevation block or a 3D cutaway
section block
Security determines whether VBA macros can run automatically; not available in the 64-bit version.
SecurityOptions sets a password to protect the drawing (windows only).
Select places selected entities in the ‘Previous’ selection set.
SelectAlignedFaces selects all faces in a model which are coplanar with a selected face.
SelectAlignedSolids Selects all solids in a model of which a face is coplanar with a selected face.
SelectConnectedFaces selects all faces in a model which are connected to a selected face.
SelectConnectedSolids selects all solids in a model which are connected to a selected face.
SelectSimilar selects entities of the same type and properties.
SelGrips prompts to selects entities and then displays grips.
Settings displays the Settings dialog box for changing the values of variables.
SettingsSearch opens the Settings dialog box at the specified category, variable name, or user preference.
SetUCS sets the UCS to a viewpoint specified through a dialog box.
SetVar displays and changes the values of system variables (short for “set variables”).
Sh and Shell open the Windows command prompt window; runs other applications (short for “shell”).
Shade shades the drawing mode.
ShadeMode sets the current visual style at the command line, such as Realistic, Conceptual, Edges, and X-ray.
-ShadeMode sets the old type of shade modes: 2D, 3D, Hidden, Flat, Flat with Edges, Gouraud, and Gouraud with edges.
Shape places shapes from SHX files in drawings.
SheetSet and SheetsetHide manage sheet sets, and closes the Sheet Set pane.
Singleton toggles whether multiple copies of BricsCAD can run at the same time.
Sketch draws freehand lines.
Slice slices 3D solids with a plane or surface.
Snap restricts pointer movements and pointing in the drawing to specified intervals.
Solid draws solid-filled 2D faces.
SolidEdit edits 3D solids and 2D regions.
SolProf creates hidden line representations of 3D solids in a layout viewport.
Spell checks the spelling of text in the drawing.
Sphere draws three-dimensional solid spheres.
Spline draws quadratic or cubic non-uniform rational Bezier spline (NURBS) curves.
SpotLight inserts spot lights into drawings.
Start runs operating system applications.
StatBar toggles the display of the status bar.
C Concise Summary of Command Names 333
Status reports status of the drawing’s settings in the Text window.
StlOut export 3D models in STL format for 3D printing (short for “stereolithography”).
StopScript stops recording of scripts begun with the RunScript command.
Stretch moves or stretches entities.
Style and -Style creates and edits text styles through the Drawing Explorer.
StylesManager creates and attaches plot style files.
Subtract creates a composite region or a 3D solid by subtraction.
SunProperties edits sun properties through the Drawing Explorer.
SupportFolder opens the C:\Users\<login>\AppData\Roaming\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Support folder.
SvgOptions controls the output as SVG files.
Sweep creates solid primitives or surfaces by sweeping two dimensional entities along a path.
SysWindows arranges windows.
Sheet Metal Commands
(Available for Platinum edition; requires an additional license; sm = sheet metal)
LicPropertiesSheetmetal reports the license state of the sheet metal module.
smBendCreate converts hard edges (sharp edges between flange faces) into bends.
smBendSwitch converts bends to lofted bends.
smConvert automatically recognizes flanges and bends in a 3D solid.
smDelete removes a bend or a junction by restoring the hard edge between two flanges; removes a flange with all the bends
adjacent to it.
smDissolve removes sheet metal data from the selected features.
smExport2D exports unfolded representations of sheet metal bodies as 2D profiles in DXF or DWG files.
smExportOSM exports sheet metal solids to OSM files (short for “Open Sheet Metal”) used by CADMAN-B CAM systems.
smFlangeBase creates base (initial) flanges of sheet metal parts from closed 2D entities.
smFlangeBend bends existing flanges along a line, taking into account the k-factor.
smFlangeConnect closes gaps between two arbitrarily oriented flanges.
smFlangeEdge creates one or more flanges to a sheet metal part by pulling one or more edges of an existing flange.
smFlangeRotate rotates a selected flange of a sheet metal part with automatic selection of the rotation axis depending on the
design intent.
smFlangeSplit splits a flange along a line drawn on its face.
smForm adds forms to sheet metal.
smJunctionCreate converts hard edges (sharp edges between flange faces) and bends into junctions.
smJunctionSwitch changes symmetrical junction features to overlapping faces.
smLoft creates sheet metal part with lofted bends and flanges from two non-coplanar curves.
smReliefCreate creates proper corner (three or more adjacent flanges) and bend reliefs (at the start and end of a flange edge).
smReliefSwitch converts corner reliefs a circular, rectangular or V-type relief.Allows to change the parameters of existing corner
reliefs.
smRepair restores the 3D solid model of a sheet metal part by thickening one of its sides: all thickness faces become perpendicular to flange faces.
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smReplace replacing form features with ones from libraries.
smRethicken restores the 3D solid model of a sheet metal part by thickening one of its sides (all thickness faces become perpendicular to flange faces).
smSelectHardEdges selects all hard edges on sheet metal parts.
smUnfold generates unfolded 2D or 3D representations of sheet metal parts.
T Commands
Table and -Table draws tables in drawings.
Tabledit edits text in table cells.
TableExport exports the contents of a table entity to CSV (command separated values) files.
TableMod modifies the properties of table cells.
TableStyle creates and manages table styles through the Drawing Explorer.
Tablet configures and calibrates tablets, and toggles tablet mode (windows mode).
TabSurf draws tabulated surfaces from a path curve and a direction vector.
Tangent toggles tangent entity snap; snaps to the tangency of circles, arcs, ellipses and elliptical arcs.
TemplateFolder opens the C:\Users\<login>\AppData\Local\Bricsys\BricsCAD\V17x64\en_US\Templates folder.
Text and -Text places lines of text in the drawing.
TextScr displays the text window showing command history (short for “text screen”).
TextToFront sets the draw order of all texts and dimensions in the drawing to display in front of all other entities.
Time reports on the time spent in the drawing.
Tolerance draws tolerances (datum indicators and basic dimension notation).
Toolbar and -Toolbar displays and hides toolbars.
ToolPalettes opens the Tool Palettes bar.
ToolPalettesClose Closes the Tool Palettes bar.
-ToolPanel opens tool panels by name at the command bar.
Torus draws three-dimensional torrid solids.
TpNavigate opens tool palettes or group at the command bar.
Trace draws traces.
Transparency toggles the transparency of monotone images; has nothing do with the transparency property
Trim trims entities at a cutting edge defined by other entities.
TxtExp explodes text into polyline segments.
U Commands
U reverses the most recent command.
Ucs creates and displays named UCSes through the command bar (short for “user-defined coordinate system”).
UcsIcon toggles the display of the UCS icon.
Undefine disables built-in commands.
Undo restores deleted entities.
Union creates composite regions or solids by addition.
UnisolateObjects makes entities visible again following the IsolateObjects and HideObjects commands
C Concise Summary of Command Names 335
Units and -Units sets coordinate and angle display formats and precision.
UpdateField forces the values of field text to update.
Url opens the default Web browser (short for “uniform resource locator”).
V Commands
View and -View saves, restores, and manages user-defined model and sheet views, and presets views.
ViewLabel adds labels to views; available through the Sheet Set manager only.
ViewRes sets the view resolution and toggles fast-zoom mode (short for “view resolution”).
VisualStyles and -VisualStyles creates and edits visual style definitions in the Drawing Explorer or at the command line.
VmlOut exports drawings in VML format embedded in Web pages (short for “vector markup language”).
VpClip clips viewports in layouts (short for “view port clipping”).
VpLayer changes the properties of layers in the current paper space viewport (short for “view port layer”).
VPoint Changes the 3D viewpoint through a dialog box.
VPorts and -VPorts create one or more viewports in model space (short for “viewports”).
VSlide displays images saved as SLD or WMF files (short for “view slide”).
Vba Commands
(Available in Pro and Platinum editions only; requires a separate download as of V17; vba = Visual Basic for Applications)
VbaIde opens the VBA editing window; short for “integrated development environment” (windows only).
VbaLoad and -VbaLoad loads VBA projects (windows only).
VbaMan manages VBA projects; short for “manager” (windows only).
VbaRun and -VbaRun runs, creates, edits, and deletes VBA macros (windows only).
VbaSecurity sets the security level for running VBA macros.
VbaUnload unloads VBA projects (windows only).
ViewBase Commands
(Available in Pro and Platinum editions only)
ViewBase generates associative orthographic and standard isometric views of a 3D solid model in a paper space layout.
ViewDetail creates a detail view of a portion of a standard generated drawing at a larger scale.
ViewDetailStyle specifies the visual format of detail views and detail symbols.
ViewEdit changes the scale and hidden line visibility of drawing views; works in paper space only.
ViewExport exports the content of drawing views to Model space or to a new drawing; operates in paper space only.
ViewProj generates additional projected views from an existing drawing view.
ViewSection creates cross section views based on standard drawing views generated by the ViewBase command in a paper space
layout.
ViewSectionStyle specifies the visual format of section views and section lines.
ViewUpdate updates drawing views.
336
Inside BricsCAD V17
W Commands
WBlock and -WBLock export blocks, selected entities, or the entire drawing as a DWG file.
WCascade, WClose, WCloseAll, WNext, and WPrev cascade the windows, close the current window, close all windows,
and switch to the next or previous windows.
Weblight places Web lights.
Wedge draws three-dimensional solids with a sloped face tapering along the X axis.
WhoHas reports the ownership of a drawing file.
WhTile, WiArrange, and WvTile tiles windows horizontally, arranges tiled windows in an overlapping manner, or tiles them
vertically.
WipeOut creates blank areas in drawings.
WmfOut exports the drawing in WMF (WIndows meta file), EMF (enhanced meta file), or SLD (slide) format.
WorkSets creates and loads named sets of drawing files.
Workspace sets the current workspace; creates, modifies, and saves workspaces.
WsSaves saves the current user interface by name.
WsSettings opens the Customize dialog box at the Workspace tab.
X Commands
XAttach attaches externally-referenced drawings.
XClip clips externally-referenced drawings.
XEdges extracts edges from 3D solids as lines.
XLine draws infinitely long lines.
XOpen opens externally-referenced drawings in a new window.
Xplode explodes entities, and provides control over the resulting entities.
XRef and -XRef attaches DWG files to the current drawing through the Drawing Explorer or the command line.
Z Commands
Zcenter toggles the 3D center entity snap; snaps to the center of planar or curved 3D faces.
Zknot toggles the 3D knot entity snap; snaps to a knot on a spline.
Zmidpoint toggles the 3D midpoint snap; snaps to the midpoint of a face edge.
Znearest toggles the 3D nearest entity snap; snaps to a point on the face of a 3D entity that is nearest to the cursor.
Znone disables all 3D snap modes.
Zoom increases or decreases the visible part of the drawing.
Zperpendicular toggles the 3D perpendicular entity snap; snaps to a point perpendicular to a face.
Zvertex toggles the 3D vertex entity snap; snaps to the closest vertex of a 3D entity.
# Commands
? displays the Help window.
2dIntersection toggles apparent intersection entity snap; snaps to the intersections of entities, even when they only appear to
intersect in 3D space.
3D draws 3D polygon mesh objects: boxes, cones, cylinders, dishes, domes, pyramids, spheres, tori, wedges, or meshes.
C Concise Summary of Command Names 337
3DArray constructs 3D rectangular arrays and rotated polar arrays.
3DCompare compares the 3D content of two drawing files.
3DConvert converts 3D solids to polyface meshes.
3DFace draws 3D 4-edged faces with optional invisible edges.
3DIntersection toggles Intersection entity snap; snaps to the intersections of entities.
3DMesh draws 3D surface meshes.
3DOsnap and -3DOsnap sets the entity snap modes for 3D entities through the Settings dialog box.
3DPoly draws 3D polylines.
338
Inside BricsCAD V17
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