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AutoCAD Tutorial #3 - Laying The Foundations


Where We Left Off


If you can't remember where we left off you can have a look at CAD Corner's AutoCAD Tutorial #2 - Opening The Door To AutoCAD. You can see the Image that you were left with below.

Previous Tutprial


Now the next step. In the second tutorial you learned about the tracking command, how to draw a circle, the offset command and how to draw a fillet. In this next tutorial you will learn more functions that AutoCAD provides.


Step #1

Now that we know how to draw a door let's take the commands that we used to draw the door to draw a foundation to a house that this door belongs to. To start you're going to need a new fresh AutoCAD drawing. Make sure that your units are set to architectural, you can do this the same way that you did in the first tutorial. Not that you have a blank canvas let's begin the art of drafting with AutoCAD. Let's start by drawing the outside of the foundation walls. Let's go 40'-0" up, then say 20'-0" to the left, 10'-0" down, 30'-0" to the left 35'-0" down, 30'-0" to the right 5'-0" up and finally close it by ending the line at the endpoint of the original line. You should have something like what's in the image below.

Step 1-1

Now, when we draw a house, or any kind of a building for that matter, we like to make sure that everything is lined up. The best way to make sure of this is by laying everything overtop of one another, as if you were actually building the house in AutoCAD. To do this we have to learn about layers. When using layers think of them as a clear piece of paper that you're drawing the first floor on and then laying it overtop of another clear piece of paper that the foundation was drawn on. In doing this we're making sure that everything lines up properly. To create a layer simply type "layer" into the command prompt and hit enter. This will spawn the layer manager like what you see below.

Layer Manager

To start a new layer right click on the only layer that is existing (Layer 0). Once you have a number of layers you can right click on any of them and just select "New Layer" (fourth from the top). Now you have to specify a name for your new layer. Since we're drawing a foundation let's name is "F-Wall". "F" specifying that it is a foundation component and "Wall" specifying that it is a wall. Now lets give it a color so that you can see the difference between this layer and other layers. Let's make this color 116. To change the color simply click on the swatch under the color heading for the layer that you're dealing with. Now you have the choice of selecting a swatch from the database there or you can type in the number of the color Once you select the color 116 click "Ok" button to finish the color selection and then click "Ok" to finish the new layer creation.

Now that we have a new layer set up let's put the existing lines that we've drawn onto the layer "F-Wall". Select all of the lines that you have on the screen and click on the arrow on the layer selection box. This will drop the list of layers down as shown below.

Layer Drop Down

Now select the layer "F-Wall" and it will change all of the lines that you've just selected to the proper color Now you have the perimeter of your house's foundation wall.


Step #2

When dealing with house foundations generally they are 8" thick. So let's give the foundation walls a thickness by using the offset command. Make sure that when you're offsetting the lines, offset them to the inside of the perimeter. Once you have offset the lines to the inside of the perimeter you'll have the lines crossing each other or not quite reaching each other. Use the fillet command with a radius of 0", that you learned in the last tutorial. You should end up with something that looks like this.

Foundation Walls


Step #3

Now that we have the foundation walls drawn let's draw the footings. Let's create another layer and call it "F-Footing". Give it the color 53. This time we're going to change the line type as well. To change this under the line type heading pick the line type for the layer that you're creating. This will spawn the linetype window which will look like the image below.

Linetype Window

Now click on the "Load..." button and select the "HIDDEN" Linetype as you can see below.

Linetype Selection

Click "Ok" then select the hidden line type in the next window and click "Ok" Then finish the creation of your layer by clicking "Ok" in the layer manager. Now, since a typical footing is 16" wide you are going to have to offset the foundation walls 4" on each side. Fillet the lines with a 0" radius again all the way around. Now select one of the lines that have been offset and change the layer to "F-Footing". Now you're going to learn how to match properties from one object to another. Type in "MA" to start the match properties command. Now select an object that you want to use as the object that you're matching properties from. In this case you want to use the line that you just put on the "F-Footing" layer. Now select all of the lines that you just created for the footings. You will notice that they all change from the green color that they were to the brown color that they original line was. What you should finish with is something like the image below.

Finishin Image


This tutorial has given you an idea of how you should properly draw using layers. Check back next week for a continuation of this tutorial.


If you have any questions about this tutorial please feel free to email me and I will answer any questions that you may have. If you found this tutorial useful let us know, show your support and join our CAD Corner Forum where you can get more and more information for experience AutoCAD users.