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6. Click color 5 (blue) in the single, separate row to the left of the ByLayer and ByBlock buttons and click OK.
The Standard Colors dialog box closes, and AutoCAD changes the color of the Column layer to blue.
7. Repeat Steps 3 through 6 to create a new layer named Plate, and set its color to 4 (cyan).
8. With layer Plate still highlighted, click the Set Current button (the green check mark).
Plate becomes the current layer — that is, the layer on which AutoCAD places objects that you draw from this point forward.
9. Click OK to close the Layer Properties Manager dialog box.
The Layer drop-down list on the Layers toolbar displays Plate as the current layer.
Now you can draw a rectangular plate on the Plate layer.
10. Click the Rectangle button on the Draw toolbar.
The RECTANG command starts, and AutoCAD prompts you to specify the first corner point. The command line shows:
Specify first corner point or
11. Click in the drawing area at the point 20,20.
By watching the coordinate display on the dynamic input tooltip, you can see the coordinates of the current crosshairs location. Because snap is set to 0.5 units, you can land right on the point 20,20. Picking the point 20,20 gives you enough room to work.
54 Part I: AutoCAD 101
AutoCAD prompts you to specify the other corner point. The down-arrow icon in the dynamic input tooltip indicates this command has options you can set, and they appear at the command line:
Specify other corner point or
12. Type @36,36 (without any spaces) and press Enter.
The @ sign indicates that you’re using a relative coordinate — that is, 36 units to the right and 36 units above the point that you picked in the previous step. See Chapter 5 for more information about typing absolute and relative coordinates.
AutoCAD draws the 36 x 36 rectangle, as shown in Figure 3-5. It’s on the Plate layer and inherits that layer’s cyan color.
You draw the column next, but first you have to change layers.
13. Click the Layer drop-down list on the Layers toolbar to display the list of layers. Click Column to set it as the current layer.
Using the Layer drop-down list saves your having to open the dialog box, select the layer, click the Set Current button, and click OK. Becoming an AutoCAD master is all about efficiency!
14. Press Enter to repeat the RECTANG command.
You can repeat the last command at any time by pressing Enter.
In the next steps, you create a hollow steel column.
15. At the Specify first corner point prompt, type 32,29 and press Enter.
16. At the Specify other corner point prompt, type @12,18 and press Enter.
A second rectangle is drawn in the middle of the base plate. Next, you round the corners of the column with the FILLET command and then use OFFSET to give it some thickness.
17. Click the Fillet button on the Modify toolbar.
The FILLET command starts, and AutoCAD prompts you to select the first object. The dynamic input tooltip down-arrow icon is a reminder to look at the command line to see the options for this command. Apply a 2-inch radius fillet to all four corners as follows.
18. Type R and press Enter to set a new fillet radius. Type 2 and press Enter.
AutoCAD next prompts you to select the first object. You could pick each of the eight lines that need to be filleted, but because the column is a continuous polyline, a more efficient method, in this case, is to use the FILLET command’s Polyline option to fillet both ends of all four segments.
Chapter 3: A Lap Around the CAD Track 55
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19. Type P to choose the Polyline option.
AutoCAD prompts you to select a 2D polyline.
20. Select the last rectangle.
All four corners of the column are rounded with a 2-inch radius fillet. Next, offset the polyline to create a 34-inch thick steel column.
21. Click the Offset button on the Modify toolbar.
22. At the Specify offset distance prompt, type .75 and press Enter.
23. At the Select object to offset prompt, click the rounded rectangle. At the Specify point on side to offset prompt, click anywhere inside the rounded rectangle. Press Enter to complete the command.
AutoCAD offsets the selected object toward the side where you picked.
24. Press Ctrl+S to save the drawing.