1 you printed out your project using 'model space'.
This lesson will show you the preferred way of plotting
your drawings. In AutoCAD there are two different workspaces:
model space and Layout / Paper Space. For now think
of model space where you make your model, or draw. Think
of the Layout Tabs as where you print your drawing from,
or layout the final drawing complete with dimensions, notes, title block, etc. Look at the images below to see
a visual explanation of the concept.
Note about the terminology in this
After AutoCAD R14, the term "Paper Space" was
replaced by "Layout". These terms are interchangeable.
The release of AutoCAD 2000 brought other enhancements
to this functionality. You can now have multiple layouts,
you can name them, you can re-sequence them and more. I'm going to use the term paper space as I feel it explains the process better. And I'm old.
What is a Layout?
A layout is a page that allows you to set up a plot or printout of your drawing.
Below is a sample of what a layout looks like (a really simple one).
The floor plan and dimensions (above)
were created in MODEL SPACE at a 1:1 scale. The walls were
drawn to be 30' or more long.
The title block and viewport were created
in a LAYOUT TAB / PAPER SPACE at a 1:1 scale. The title
block is 8-1/2 x 11 inches.
The viewport is a window into "model
space". In the image below, the the viewport is the
black rectangle and the contents of the viewport are displayed
inside it. The contents of the viewport are scaled to either
fit the viewport or (preferably) to conform to a specific
drafting scale (i.e.: 1"=1')
Below is a visual representation of a layout for a
print to be plotted from a Layout tab.
This conceptual image shows the relationship
between model space and a Layout.
Think of paper space as being 'above'
model space. To see through 'into' model space, you have
to create a viewport (Make Viewport MV command). Think of a viewport as a window.
As soon as you create the viewport, the
window is closed and the extents of your drawing are displayed.
You can see through it, but you can not 'touch' anything
in model space.
To have access to your objects in model
space from paper space, you have to enter the viewport
by typing MS <ENTER>. This
'opens the window' for access. Type in PS <ENTER> to
'close the window'.
You may be wondering why you shouldn't
just plot from model space. You can and many people do, but the advantage of plotting from paper space is that
you can have many layouts from one drawing. You can even
add detail views without having to copy and scale your
geometry. This feature was radically changed in AutoCAD
2000 and is much more versatile. You now have multiple
tabs to organize your plots (or 'sheets'). As a rule, unless
you're working for a behind-the-times company with a confused CAD Manager, use Layouts.
To toggle between the two spaces, you
can pick on one of the layout tabs and back to the Model
tab. You can also enter the command TILEMODE and
set it to 0 for paper space
and 1 for model space. When
you do this, you will notice that the UCS icon in the bottom
left corner changed to a triangular icon. This new icon
confirms that you are paper space.
Model Space (UCS) >>
Layout Tab (Paper Space) >>
When you are in paper space you can draw
or insert a title block. In paper space you are still drawing
at a 1:1 scale.
Start this exercise by drawing a simple
title block like the one above
in the tab called Layout 1. Make sure you draw it at 1:1
scale. Start with an 8-1/2"x11" rectangle and make sure it overlaps the edge of the 'virtual' sheet you see. Offset it 1/4" inside (erase the outer one). Make a couple of small rectangles for the text and add some text as shown in the sample above. This ensures that all of your title block will be printed as many printers do not print to the edge of the paper.
Once your title block is drawn, you can create a floating viewport .
This is a 'window' into your model space. To create a viewport, type
in MV (for Make Viewport) and then pick two points just
as if you are drawing a rectangle. Use as much of your title block as possible.
As soon as your viewport is created, you
will see all that you have drawn in model space appear
to the extents of the viewport. The next thing you need to do is to scale
your viewport for accurate plotting.
To do this, you have to 'enter' your viewport.
Do this by either typing MS (for
model space) or clicking on the square labeled PAPER (it
will switch to Model) on the status bar. In newer versions
of AutoCAD like 2005 you can also double-click in the viewport.
You will notice that the familiar WCS icon appears in the
bottom left corner of the viewport. If you have more than
one viewport on the screen, left-click in the one that
you want to scale or type CTRL+R to toggle
through them to the one you want. To scale a viewport,
you just use the ZOOM command.
Type in Z <ENTER>
At the command prompt, you must tell AutoCAD
what scale you want the viewport to be. This coincides
with the scale that you will plot at.
¼" = 1'
¾" = 1'
½" = 1'
The table above gives you some sample
scales. Take ¼" = 1' for example. First remember
that 1'=12". If you cross-multiply the 12 by the
4, you get 48. Therefore this scale will be at a 1:48
scale (ratio), or in other terms, your model will be
1/48th the size of real life on paper. To
get AutoCAD to scale the viewport, you must type in Z <ENTER>, 1/48XP <ENTER>. This
means 1/48th times (X) in relation to paper
Figuring out what scale you require takes
some calculation (unless you are told which scale to use). You can see what your extents in model
space are and then see what your viewport size is. You
can also use trial and error to see what fits in your viewport.
This can sometimes be quicker than calculating.
To sum this up, here are the basic steps
required for using paper space layouts:
Finish your drawing (with dimensions) in model
Change to paper space. TILEMODE to 0 or
click on the Layout tab
Add a title block.
Create a viewport using the MVIEW (MV)
Enter your viewport by typing MS (or
double-click in the viewport)
Zoom in using a specific ratio by typing in Z <ENTER> ___/___XP <ENTER>
Leave your viewport by typing PS and
return to paper space.
One thing that is very important to remember
is that you should use paper space only for plotting. Do
not modify your model in paper space. One reason for this is that you could have layers turned off in your viewport that are related to the objects you are modifying in the viewport. Return to true
model space for any editing that you need to do. Also,
do not draw objects on the Layout screen that are part
of the drawing.
To practice this concept, open up one of the drawings
you did in Lesson 2-1.
Change to paper space. Draw or insert a title block. If
you do not have one, you can find a good 11x17 (B size)
title block in your AutoCAD support folder (filename: ANSI_B.DWG).
Maybe you drew one in this tutorial? Insert this and then create a viewport. Enter your viewport
and scale as explained above. Return to paper space and
print using the settings, EXTENTS / SCALE: 1=1.
Alternately, when you have a viewport active, you will see a list of scale options at the bottom of the screen to define the scale. Select the viewport, and then select the scale from menu:
Rotating your view in a Layout
There are sometimes when the view that you need in a layout is not orientated the way that you want it. for example, elevation drawings are often drawn in place and projected from the original drawing like this:
This is fine for model space, but it's not how you want to present it in your printouts. Luckily for you, AutoCAD has an easy way of fixing this.
Download the file Floorplan-with-elevation.dwg and open it up in AutoCAD. It should look just like the image above.
Go into a Layout tab and create a new viewport or use the one that is there. Double-click to enter the viewport and type in DVIEW. This will give you the prompt to select the objects. You can select all of the elevation objects, (or just select a few if you have a slower computer.)
Command: DVIEW <ENTER>
Select objects or <use DVIEWBLOCK>: <SELECT THE ELEVATION OBJECTS> Specify opposite corner: 5 found
Select objects or <use DVIEWBLOCK>:<ENTER>
Now that you have your objects selected, you will see quite few options, but we're only interested in one right now. Type TW for TWist.
Now now enter the 'twist' angle that you need (think of this as the rotation angle).
Specify view twist angle <0.00>: 90 <ENTER>
Now that you have completed the DVIEW command, your elevation should be at the correct viewing angle. If you have other drawings, you will need to enter different angles depending upon their original rotation. Now you can freeze the unneeded layers in the viewport. Also check in model to space to find that you have not changed anything there.
The DVIEW command is also a lot in 3D work to obtain perspective and natural views.
Top 10 Viewport Tips:
You can create new layout tabs by right-clicking on an existing
tabs and choosing New Layout.
You can rename a tab by right-clicking and choosing rename.
You can create viewports of various shapes by creating
the object and then using the MV command with the Object
You can also choose to dimension
in the Layout. This can be very convenient in AutoCAD 2005.
Your dimscale is 1 and all your dimensions are consistent.
Try this out on a sample drawing. AutoCAD will scale the
dimension to size of the object in the viewport. But you will need to change the DIMLFAC variable first. For example, if your viewport is 3/16 - change it (16/3)X12 - or 64 if you are using imperial measurements.
You can resize viewports with regular modifying commands
Put viewports on the layer called DEFPOINTS (created
by dimensions) and they won't plot or put them on a separate layer with the plot option turned off.
To quickly find the zoom factor of your viewport, use
the LIST command on it.
You can lock and unlock viewports by using the MV > L option.
You can freeze (turn off) layers in any viewport. (See below)
You can now have your viewports plot for 3D drawings
as wireframe, hidden line and rendered views when you plot
- this is great! (See below)
To turn layers off in a viewport, you need to be on a Layout Tab and in Model Space of a viewport. In the viewport, then move your cursor to the layer droplist and select the layer you want off and hit the "Freeze in Viewport" icon (in red box) for that layer, then click on the drawing area. You can also do this directly from the Layers Dialog.
To reverse this, use the same process which will "Thaw" the layer in that viewport.
View the video about using Layout tabs in AutoCAD.
Extra Practice: If you are feeling ambitious, check out this PDF file that shows a complete plan for a shed. See if you can reproduce the plan and details into a set of drawings. Save the drawing when you are done to use in the next level, so that you can make a 3D model of the shed.
Review: The ability to use viewports successfully leads to well organized drawings and print sets. From there, you can put together sheet sets for distributing to other people. When it comes to plotting 3D drawings, Layouts are essential to capture the views you need and put them on paper. It may take some time to master the concept and procedures, but the results will be well worth it.
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