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Michael’s Corner

Michael BeallMichael's Corner is a monthly publication written by Michael E. Beall, Autodesk Authorized Author and peripatetic AutoCAD trainer. Michael travels all over the USA, bringing his fantastic experience and great understanding of AutoCAD to his clients. Michael's Corner brings together many of the tips, tricks and methods developed during these training sessions for the benefit of all users.

Michael's Corner provides something for every AutoCAD user. Every month, a number of articles cover a wide range of topics, suitable for users at all levels, including "The Basics" for those just starting out. Essentially, the aim of Michael's Corner is to help all AutoCAD users work smarter and faster.


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This month…

October - One-derful!!!

It's a God-thing.

I had no idea that 14 years ago I would be given the opportunity to make an impact on the professional lives of so many. Only God knew what was ahead, and hopefully, the contributions I have made through Michael's Corner have equipped many of you to be more productive and a bit more savvy using AutoCAD. And apart from all the AutoCAD bashing that is going on, I'm sure it has a long life ahead.

So, in an effort to keep the AutoCAD fires burning, here's what I have for my final installment…

…A reminder on how to customize your hot keys
…Three Power Tools — one for Zoom, one for editing, and one for Layers
…Two Odd Spots — one for Layers and one for Hatching
…Buried text treasure
…And how to Search 14 years of the Archives

As for what's ahead for me, I will continue to present a variety of AutoCAD sessions — Fundamentals, Intermediate, Customizing, Updates, and 2D & 3D. I will also keep training CAP Designer, 20-20 Worksheet, Visual Impression (those three from 20-20 Technologies, Inc.), and some Revit Fundamentals. Next year I'm looking forward to being very involved in training CET (from Configura, Inc.) when Herman Miller joins the growing number of manufacturers embracing this software that is being touted as the ‘Future of Space Planning’. Personally, I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with Donna, my lovely bride of 30 years. When this posts, we'll probably be within days of going on our 30th Anniversary vacation to the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson; Ee-Hah! We had such a good time when we went for our 20th, we figured we'd do it again!

Ah, and I'm hoping to have The AutoCAD Workbench, Final Edition out before snow flies.

And with that, Mike drop! …so to speak.

The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

This month's articles

Change F1 to ESC
Smoother Zoom
Stretch with Extension
Lock Layers with a Crossing Window
Layer Columns & Hatch Background Color
Text Frame on Mtext

From the Vault

Originally published June 2014

Sweeping a 3D Shape around a Pline

One of my new customers builds custom kitchens, so here's something I'll be showing them that harkens back to my early days of 3D; the Sweep command. I'm also incorporating similar content for rotating objects in 3D that I covered a couple years ago in Michael's Corner, July 2012.


How to Use Sweep to Create a 3D Solid

  1. SE Isometric viewCreate the shape shown in the first figure. Add any fillets or chamfers on the corners to embellish the shape.

  2. Draw a rectangle that's at least 10″ wide and 12″ high. This will be the path around which we will sweep the shape.

  3. Using the Viewport controls in the top left corner, set the view to SE Isometric.

  4. Using the Viewport controls in the top left corner, set the Visual Style to Shades of Gray.

  5. Click on the object to rotate, and the Move gizmo will be displayed with the arrows for the 3 axes.

  6. Using the Rotate GizmoFor the Rotation gizmo, right-click on one of the axes, then click Rotate to display the Rotate gizmo (three "hoolahoops" around the geometric centroid of the selected object).

  7. Click on the circle that addresses your rotation requirements—the red one for this exercise. It turns yellow and you see a red line defining the axis of rotation.

  8. Turn on Ortho or Polar if needed, then rotate your object to its final position. As you rotate the object, the arc of rotation is shaded if you're able to see it. It's yellow in this final illustration.

  9. Use the Move command and place the lower left corner of the shape in the middle of the left line of the rectangle.

  10. The Sweep toolChange to the 3D Basics workspace, then click Sweep on the Home tabCreate panel.

  11. Select the shape as the object to sweep, then press [Enter].

  12. Select the rectangle as the sweep path.

  13. Now set the Visual Style to Sketchy, just for fun.

    The finished 3D form


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