No discussion of polylines would be complete without mentioning the Sketch command. Though AutoCAD isn’t a sketch program, you can draw “freehand” using the Sketch command. With Sketch, you can rough in ideas in a free-form way.,and later overlay a more formal drawing using the usual lines, arcs, and cirdes. You can use Sketch with a mouse, but it makes more sense to use this command
with a digitizing tablet that has a stylus. The stylus affords ,amore natural way of sketching.
Freehand Sketching with AutoCAD
Here’s a step-by-step description of how to use Sketch.
1. Make sure the Ortho and Snap modes are turned off. Then type Skpoly.J 1 This sets the Sketch command to draw using polylines.
2. Type Sketch.J at the command prompt.
3. At the Record inc rement <0.1000>: prompt, enter a value that representsthe smallest line segment you will want Sketch to draw. This command approximates a sketch line by drawing a series of short line segments. So the value you enter here determines the length of those line segments.
4. At the Sketch. PeneX; Record Erase Connect . prompt, press the pick button and then start your sketch line. Notice that the message <Pen down>appears, telling you that AutoCAD is recording your cursor’s motion .
5. Press the pick button to stop drawing. The message <Pen up> tells you Auto- CAD has stopped recording your cursor motion. As you draw, notice that the line is green. This indicates that you have drawn a temporary sketch line and have not committed the line to the drawing.
6. A line drawn with Sketch is temporary until you use Record to save it, so turn the sketch line into a polyline now by typing R.
7. Type X.J to exit the Sketch command. Here are sor-e of the other Sketch options:
Connect Allows you to continue a line from the end of the last temporary line drawn. Type C and then ,move the cursor to the endpoint of the temporary line. AutoCAD automatically starts the line, and you just continue to draw. This only works in the <Pen up> mode. F zriod (.) Allows you to draw a single straight-line segment by moving the cursor to the desired position and then pressing the period key. This only works in the <Pen up> mode.
Record, Erase, Quit, and Exit Control the recording of lines and exiting from the Sketch command. Record is used tn save a temporary sketched line; once a line has been recorded, you must edit it as you would any other line. With Erase, you can erase temporary lines before you record them. Quit ends the Sketch command without saving unrecorded lines. On the other hand, the Exit option on the Sketch menu automatically saves all lines you have drawn, and then exits the Sketch command.
Filling In Solid Areas
You have learned how to create a solid area by increasing the width of a polyline segment. But suppos you want to create a simple solid shape or a very thick line. AutoCAD provides the Solid, Trace; and Donut commands to help you draw simple filled areas. The Trace command acts just like the Line command (with the added feature of drawing wide line segments), so only the Solid and Donut commands are discussed here
Drawing Solid Filled Areas
If you’ve ever played with a paint program, you know how to do a solid fill. It’s usually accomplished with a paint bucket tool. This is a tool that always looks like a paint bucket and it seems to be a universal tool among paint programs. In Auto- CAD, doing solid fills is not quite so obvious. It’s actually one Of many hatch patterns offered with the Boundary Hatch tool. Here is a short exercise to demonstrate how to use the Boundary Hatch tool to do a solid fill.
1. Open the file 13a-htch. dwg from the companion CD-ROM.
2. Click the Hatch tool on the Draw toolbar. .
3. In the Boundary Hatch dialog box, dick the Pick Points button.
4. Click the area bounded by the border and contour line in the upper-right corner of the drawing, as shown in the top image of Figure 13.26. Then press .1. You have the option here to click more areas if you so desire.
5. Back in the Boundary Hatch dialog box, click the Pattern button.
6. In the Hatch Pattern Palette dialog box, click the Ellipses button and select the solid box under the Other Predefined ‘tab.
7. Click OK, and then click Apply. A solid fill is applied to the selected area, as shown in the bottom image of Figure 13.26