Using Polar Tracking and Snap as Your Scale, T-Square, and Triangle AutoCad Help

Now you will draw the first item in the bathroom: the toilet. It is composed of a rectangle representing the tank, and a truncated ellipse representing the seat. To construct the toilet, you’ll use the Polar Tracking and Polar Snap tools. Polar Tracking helps you align your cursor to exact horizontal and vertical angles, much like a T-square and triangle. Polar Snap is similar to Grid Snap in that it forces the cursor to move in exact increments. The main difference is that Polar Snap only works in conjunction with Polar Tracking.

Start by setting up Polar Snap.

1. Open the Drafting Settings dialog box again.
2. Make sure the Snap and Grid tab is selected, then click the Polar Snap radio button in the Snap Type & Style button group.
3. Double-click the Polar Distance setting, and type .5 for a I/2-inch Snap setting. Metric users should type 1 for a J-cm Polar Snap setting.
4. Click OK to dismiss the Drafting Settings dialog box.

You’ve just set the Polar Snap setting to .s or one-half (from for metric users)., As you move the cursor over the drawing area, notice that the Snap mode seems to be off. When Polar Snap is active, you’ll only have the snap in effect when you are actually drawing an object. You can, however, switch between Grid Snap and Polar Snap on the fly. In the next exercise, you’ll see how this is done.

1. Click the Line tool on the Draw toolbar, or type L.J. You-could also select Draw> Line from the pull-down menu.
2. “Right-click the SNAP button in the status bar.
3. Select Grid Snap On from the popup menu. This places you in the Grid Snap mode.
4. Press F6 until you see the x,y coordinates dynamically update as you move the cursor. You can also click directly on the coordinate readout to cycle through the static, dynamic, and polar readout. Notice that as you move your cursor, the coordinate readout shows the cursor moving in increments that you set for the Grid Snap.
S. Using your coordinate readout for guidance, start your line at the coordinate 5′-7′,6′-3”. Metric users should use 171,189 as the starting coordinate.
6: Right-click the SNAP button again, then select Polar Snap in the popup menu. Move the cursor directly to the right. The Polar Tracking cursor appears, along with the Polar Tracking readout. Notice that the readout shows distances in 1/2″ increments (or l-unit increments for metric users). It also shows you the angle in the standard AutoCAD distance and angle format. Even though the Grid Snap is set to 1 (or 3 for metric users), when Polar Tracking is active and Polar Snap is on, the snap distance changes to the value you set for Polar Snap.


8. Move the cursor until the Polar Snap readout lists 1′-10″< 0, 0′-0″, and pick this point. Metric users should use a Polar Tracking readout of 56.0000<0. As in Chapter 2, when you move the cursor around, the rubber-banding line follows it at any angle.
9. Move the cursor downward until the coordinate readout lists 0′- 9;< 270 and click this point. Metric users should use a readout of 23.0000<270.
10. Continue drawing the other two sides of the rectangle by using the Polar Tracking readout. You should have a drawing that looks like.


As you can see from the exercise, you can use Polar Tracking to restrain your cursor to horizontal and vertical positions, just like a T-square- and triangle. Later, you’ll learn how you can set up Polar Tracking to set the angle to any value you wish in a way similar to an adjustable triangle.

In some situations, you may find that you do not want Polar Tracking on. You can turn it off by clicking the POLAR button in the status bar. In fact, this is exactly what you did. You can also use the FIG function key to turn Polar Tracking on or off.

While this exercise tells you to use the Line tool to draw the tank, you can also use the Rectangle tool. The Rectangle tool creates what is known as a poly line, which is a set of line or arc segments that acts like a single but, you’ll learn more about poly lines.

By using the Snap modes in conjunction with the coordinate readout and Polar Tracking, you can locate coordinates and measure distances as you draw lines. This is similar to the way you would draw using a scale, Be aware that the smallest distance the coordinate readout and Polar Tracking readout register depends on the area you have displayed in your drawing area, For example, if you are displaying an area the size of a football field, the smallest distance you can indicate with your cursor may be 6″ or 15 cm. On the other hand, if your view shows an area of only one square inch or centimeter, you can indicate distances as small as 1/1000 of an inch or centimeter using your cursor.

Posted on November 7, 2015 in Learning the Tools of the Trade

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