How to Calculate the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

AutoCAD is primarily a drawing software, however, there are more, much more uses of the program than just the simple drawing.
One very useful feature is that with the help of AutoCAD we can calculate the second area moment of inertia of a complex section with ease!
Manual calculation of the moment of inertia of any section could be time-consuming. Can you imagine, being on a tight schedule and calculating multiple complex moments of inertia?

Moment of Inertia in a Simple Section

We will start with a simple section and then move on to a more complex one. I hope it would be easier to follow this way.
Now, to make the calculation, we will go through the following steps:

  1. First, draw the section, in the example, we will use a simple rectangle with sides of 5 and 2 units.
  2. Secondly, we type on the command line REGION to define a Region object.
  3. Then, we select all the lines/arcs/polylines that define the section and hit Enter (or Right-Click the mouse)
  4. After the creation of a Region object from our section, we type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  5. AutoCAD will automatically provide us some properties of the Section, like Area, Perimeter, coordinates of the Center of the Mass, etc. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid)
  6. Lastly, after moving the Coordinate system to the Center of the mass of the section, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia.

Note: The REGION command deletes the original objects after converting them to regions. To prevent it from deleting those set the DELOBJ system variable to 0.

Moment of Inertia in a Hollow Section

Next, we will take a look at how to find the Moment of Inertia in a Complex Section (Hollow asymmetrical section). The steps are pretty much the same with one small exception, excluding the hollow part.

  1. First, we again draw the Section.
  2. Then, we start REGION Command.
  3. Next, we select all objects that define the section, both inner and outer limits. This time we will end up with 2 separate Region objects.
  4. Now, to combine those objects we will type on the command line SUBTRACT.
  5. AutoCAD will ask us to Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract from, here we select the outer limits of the section and hit Enter
  6. Then, AutoCAD will ask us to Select objects: Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract, here we select the inner object to subtract and hit Enter.
  7. We’ve ended up with one complex Region Object that represents our section. Now we have to repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 from the previous example.
    We type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  8. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid coordinates)
  9. Lastly, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

How to perform AutoCAD Spell Check the Easy Way!

As a non-native English speaker, I tend to make quite many spelling mistakes. This, in an everyday speech or writing, could not be a problem, however, the Drawings we create are a significant part of our portfolio and they should be flawless in every way.

It would be very unproductive for us to spend lots of time, making sure all the text objects are visible (How to Bring all Text to Front in AutoCAD! (With 1 Command!)) and properly aligned (Rotate multiple Text objects in AutoCAD), looking good, and then having spelling mistakes all across the drawings.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy and free way to spellcheck all your text in AutoCAD?

AutoCAD Check Spelling

Fortunately for us, AutoCAD has a free built-in Spell Checking function. And even better is that there are several different English dictionaries (American English, British English, and Canadian English) depending on where your drawings would be reviewed.
For a better understanding of how to use Spell Check in AutoCAD follow the steps below:

  1. First, to launch the checking function type on the command line SPELL
  2. A window will popup, there on the very top is a drop-down menu called Where to check: and the options are as follows
    • Entire Drawing
    • Current Space/layout – Checking all the objects in the layout/model space
    • Selected Objects – Spell checking only selected objects
  3. To change the language, click on the Main Dictionary: drop-down menu and the one you need.
  4. Hit Start
  5. Complete the task by doing one of the following options:
    • Correct the misspelled word by selecting one of the Suggestions list or type in a new word in the Suggestions box.
    • Leave a word unchanged by clicking Ignore.
    • Or Leave a word unchanged and add it to the dictionary by clicking Add to Dictionary.
  6. Repeat the previous step for all misspelled words, or click Change all/ Ignore all.

How to additionally set up the Spell Check function.

To include block attributes, dimension text, and/or external references, when you trigger the SPELL Command, Click on Settings.

There, under Include, you can mark the additional objects you want to be Spell Checked by AutoCAD. The options are Dimension Text, Block Attributes, and External References.

Under Options, you can choose if the spell-checker should ignore one of the following:

  • Ignore capitalized words (Autodesk)
  • Ignore Words with mixed Cases (TrueType)
  • Ignore words in uppercase (DWG)
  • Ignore words with numbers (ISO9000)
  • Ignore words containing punctuation (A/3)

How to add new Words or Custom Dictionaries

To add a custom dictionary or additional words to the existing one, trigger the SPELL Command and then click on Dictionaries.

A new window will pop up, there under Current Main Dictionary, you can choose the main Language to use.
From the Current Custom dictionary drop-down menu, choose Manage Custom Dictionaries to add a new dictionary.
To add additional words to the existing Custom Dictionary, either type in the new words under Content:, or click on Import to import a new list of words (custom dictionary).

Turn On/Off the AutoCAD Spell Check while typing

To make AutoCAD Check words directly while you are typing when you start editing/adding text in an MText object, on the Text Editor ribbon tab, click on the Spell Check icon. That way AutoCAD will continuously underline the misspelled words while typing.

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How to Link Tables in AutoCAD

AutoCAD Tables are very powerful and useful objects that can save us lots of time. There are so many uses of AutoCAD Tables, as we already saw in previous posts like How to Copy Excel Table in AutoCAD or How to copy AutoCAD Text to Microsoft Excel.

The Table objects in AutoCAD could be almost as useful as the tables of Microsoft Excel. Most likely you already know how to link Cell data between cells of a single AutoCAD table, just type in a formula and the Cell ID as in Microsoft Excel “=B1+B2”.
However, in Excel we know how to combine data between different tables, but do you know How to link cell data from different tables in AutoCAD? Don’t worry, with our 3 simple steps you will be able to link data from different AutoCAD Tables with ease!

Link cells from different AutoCAD Tables

To create a data link between different tables in AutoCAD, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Cell in the receiving AutoCAD Table.
  2. Right-click and from the menu select Insert > Formula > Cell
  3. Select the cell to link to and hit Enter.

That was it! The two tables are now Linked and the data will be automatically updated when the master table changes.

The formula in the receiving Cell will look something like this “=Table(2208892340912).D9”, where (2208892340912) is the identification of the master table object and D9 is the ID of the Cell in the master table.

When you save and close the drawing, when opened again you could notice that the value of the Table value (Table(2208892340912)) is changed, this is because the Object ID is just a file session valid value.

The Linked cell formula can be changed to your needs for example to =Table(2208892340912).D9+B6. Where we have added to the value of the link cell, the value of cell “B6”.

Note: Only numeric values can be cross-linked this way. If you select a cell with text in it, you will only see #### in the receiving table cell.

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How to Create Hatch From Block in AutoCAD?

In this article, you will learn how to create your own Hatch pattern from a Block object. Instead of using the standard hatches preset in AutoCAD or importing custom hatch .PAT files from the internet.

Keep in mind, that we are going to use the AutoCAD Express Tools that are only available in the full AutoCAD software and not in the AutoCAD LT version.

How to create Hatch from Block in AutoCAD

For better understanding, we are going to separate the process of creating a hatch from a block into several easy-to-follow steps you can find below.

  1. The first and most obvious step is to either create or choose a block for the new Hatch pattern. It is important to have well defined insertion point of the block.
  2. Go to Express Tools ribbon tab and click on the Super Hatch Icon.
  3. A new window will pop-up, there, click on the second option Block…
  4. On the next screen, select the Block you would like to use for the hatch by name. Then you can choose to either Specify parameters on Screen, or directly fill them in here.

    For the example we will choose to Specify on screen.
    • After clicking on OK, AutoCAD will prompt for Insertion point on the screen for the Block. You can also select one of the following options: Basepoint/Scale/X/Y/Z/Rotate.
    • When Inserction point is specified, AutoCAD will then prompt to enter the X scale factor.
    • Next, enter the Y scale factor.
    • Lastly, specify the rotation of the block on the screen.
    • When finished, the software will show you the block as you have specified it and ask you to confirm the placement.
  5. When the block is placed on the screen, AutoCAD will ask you to specify the block boundary. This is important if you would like to have a gaps around the block see the example below.
  6. The final step is to pick inside of an enclosed area to add the Hatch. Or click on Advanced options to select the Boundary set/Island detection.

This was the fastest and easiest way to create a custom Hatch from Block in AutoCAD!

Note: The Super Hatch is now a “group” of objects and not a true hatch. This is why if you decide to modify the boundary, it will not be “associative”.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

How to Import new Hatch Patterns in AutoCAD (for Windows)

The Hatch object in AutoCAD is used to fill a pattern inside an enclosed area. (How to Hatch non-closed Area in AutoCAD) There are several hatch patterns already preset in AutoCAD. You can choose the desired pattern from a list of preset hatches according to the requirements.

Oftentimes, we need to use different, hatches than the ones included in AutoCAD by default. So today, we will go check How to Import new Hatch patterns in AutoCAD using PAT files.

Import Hatch in AutoCAD

Files with .PAT extensions can be used to get information about the texture/filling of an area. The patterns contained in those files give information about the appearance of material to drawn objects in AutoCAD.

To import the new Hatch in AutoCAD, you need to paste the. PAT file to the support folder of your PC. the Added .PAT files will list under the User Defined or Custom hatch menu within AutoCAD.

  • C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD version\enu\Support

If you can’t see the AppData folder make sure to make hidden files and folders visible.

Insert new Hatch in custom Folder

If you would like to keep all new custom Hatches in a separate folder, away from the support files in AutoCAD, there is a way to achieve that too. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Right click on the AutoCAD draft screen and click on Options (you can also, open the Options tab by clicking on the application menu and choosing Options)
  2. In the Options window, go to Files tab, there select and expand the Support File Search Path.
  3. Now, click on Add at the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. A new line will appear, here, either paste the path to the new Hatch folder, or click on Browse…
    1. A new Window will pop-up, here browse to the folder to add and hit OK.
  5. Finally, hit OK in the Options window tab.

Hope you find this information useful. Don’t forget to share with friends and colleagues.
For more great AutoCAD Related posts check our Page AutoCAD Tips.

How to Add a Break-Line in Dimensions? AutoCAD Tips!

Oftentimes, when drawing Details or Sections we need to show only a part of the whole drawing. To illustrate the continuation of the part usually we use Breaklines or Jog lines. These line breaks could be easily drawn by hand or by using the Break-line Symbol tool from the Express Tools. It gets more challenging though when drawing a Dimension break line.
As we’ve already discussed, Dimensions are some of the most important and often used objects in AutoCAD. This is why we should be able to quickly add a Dimension line break / Dimension line jog to illustrate that the object is bigger than depicted in the drawing.

Add Dimension Break symbol in AutoCAD

To add a Dimension break in AutoCAD we will use the DIMJOGLINE command, or more particularly follow the steps below:

  1. First, draw in the linear dimensions as normal.
  2. Then, type in the command line DIMJOGLINE and hit enter.
  3. AutoCAD will ask you to Select dimension to add jog or [Remove]: Select the dimension you want to add the breakline into.
  4. Lastly, specify the location of the Break/Jog symbol on the Dimension line.

Repeat the procedure for all the dimensions you need.

To Remove the break symbol from dimension, repeat the command. This time before selection of the dimension type in R for Remove, and then select the Dimension, to remove the jog.

Edit Dimension Jog Size

The editing of the Dimension Jog symbol is done from the Dimension Style Manager, as are all other dimension style settings.

  1. To Open Dimension Style Manager go to the Annotate Ribbon tab, under Dimensions, at the lower right corner, click on the small arrow.
  2. Select the Dimension Style you are using and hit Modify…
  3. Then, under Symbols and Arrows tab, at the lower right corner is located the Jog Height factor relative to the Text Height.

    Jog height is determined by the distance between the two verticles of the angles that make up the Jog.

This is the best and easiest way to add a Dimension Break symbol in AutoCAD. There are lots of other AutoCAD Tricks that you could learn with us!
Don’t forget to check them out and share this post with your friends and colleagues!

How to create Area Table for Hatch objects in AutoCAD?

In today’s post, we will look at How to Create Area Table from Hatch in AutoCAD. Similar to our previous post on How to Create Automatic Area Label (4 Step Solution!), we will again look at Automatic ways to display the area of objects. This time, however, we will create a Table that displays the areas of different Hatch Objects separated by layer and color.

For better understanding, we will use an example containing 3 shapes with different areas hatched using different layers.

We already know how to easily get the Total Length, Area, and Volume of Multiple Objects instead of this to get the separate area we shall go through several steps:

  1. Type in the command line DATAEXTRACTION.
  2. A window will pop out, select Create a new data extraction and click Next.
  3. AutoCAD will ask you to specify destination of the new data extraction, then on the second screen, mark Select objects in the current drawing and click on the Select button. After selecting the hatches, click Next.
  4. On the next page, you can see the objects selected, in the example you can see i’ve selected the hatches together with a Polyline and Circle. I would unmark the polyline and the circle as they are not needed at the moment and hit Next.
  5. On the 4th page we have to select the necessary data we will extract. In order to create a Area table from Hatches, select General and Geometry filters and then select Area, Color and Layer Properties, then hit Next.
  6. Next page we can reorder, sort columns, add formula columns etc. In the example we have excluded the column count and name, you can edit the table as you see fit. After that click Next.
  7. Page 6 contains the output options, we select the desired output and hit again Next.
  8. On the 7th page, you can select the table style from an existing one or create a new one. Here, you can also structure the area by adding table Title and revising the cell styles. When you are ready with the style hit Next.
  9. The last page gives us instructions on inserting the table to the drawing and the creation of external files after finishing the extraction, here just click on Finish.
  10. The final step is to place the newly created Hatch Area Table somewhere on the Screen!

This is the Fastest and Easiest way to create an Area table for your Hatch objects or in fact every object without the need for any additional software.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

When Moved the object Elevation Changes in AutoCAD?

Learn why when Move or Copy in AutoCAD, program changes object Elevations and How to Stop That!

Why, when I move polyline in AutoCAD it changes the polyline elevation? Why when moving COGO Points in Civil 3D they lose their elevations? When I copy objects in AutoCAD they change their elevations, why?
The answers to these and other questions related to Elevations and Move in AutoCAD will be answered here!

AutoCAD Elevation OSNAP

The system variable OSNAPZ was introduced back in AutoCAD 2006 version. It controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation. According to Autodesk’s site. Or in simpler words, OSNAPZ controls whether the objects/cursor will Snap and change the Z value (elevation) of the object.

To copy or move without changing the election, type on the command line OSNAPZ and enter 0.

OSNAPZ, 0 – Osnap uses the Z-value of the specified point

OSNAPZ, 1 – Osnap substitutes the Z-value of the specified point with the elevation (ELEV) set for the current UCS

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!

How to Create Angular Dimension larger than 180 Degrees in AutoCAD?

How to create an Angular Dimension for larger than 180-degree angles? This is the topic of today’s article and as I said in previous posts, Dimensions are one of the most important objects in our Drawings. Without Dimensions, a drawing will be closer to a painting. This is the reason why we have so many Dimension Related topics. So being able to dimension properly is of great importance to every professional.

By default, AutoCAD’s Angular Dimension

DIMANGULAR is limited to angles less than 180 degrees. Or it seems like that:

At the first glance, it seems like this is the case. However, it is possible to create an Angular Dimension Larger than 180 Degrees using DIMANGULAR, to do that, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Type on the command line DIMANGULAR and hit Enter. (or click on the icon)
  2. AutoCAD will prompt to Select arc, circle, line, or <specify vertex>: hit Enter again.
  3. Now, AutoCAD will ask to Specify angle vertex: pick the vertex (corner) of the desired angle.
  4. Next, on Specify first angle endpoint: pick one end of the lines.
  5. On Specify second angle endpoint: pick the end of the other line.
  6. Lastly, place the Dimension on the screen!

This is by far, the easiest way to create a dimension for larger than 180-degree angles!

I hope you find our way to dimension Reflex Angle in AutoCAD (angles larger than 180 degrees) useful. Find out more great tips and tricks with us AutoCAD Tips and Tricks!

Missing Layers in AutoCAD drop-down List. How to find them?

Today’s issue we are going to tackle is the missing Layers in the drop-down Layer list or in the AutoCAD Layer Manager.
If your AutoCAD doesn’t list all the layers you know there are in the current drawing, don’t worry, there are two highly likely reasons for this. And we are going to look at them both. So let’s start with the first one.

Layers Filter causing Missing Layers

The first thing we are going to check is the Layer Filters. If a filter is in use, then, only the layers that correspond to the said filter will be displayed.

As a whole Layer Filters can be extremely useful when working on drawings with lots of Layers. By using the Layer Filter, you can control which Layer names are listed in Layer Properties Manager. You can filter your layers automatically by the range of properties or manually.
To learn more about Layer Filters, check the post on Autodesk’s site: Using Layer Filters

To Turn On all the Missing Layers, open the Layer Properties Manager and make sure that on the left side, under Filters, the selected one is All.

If you are working on a drawing that someone else has sent you, they could select one of the other Layer filters or create their own. That way some of the layers won’t be listed.

System Variable MAXSORT

If even after selecting “All” for the Layer Filters, some of the layers are missing from the Layer Properties Manager or the Layer Tab drop-down menu, you can check if the MAXSORT system variable is turned on and is causing this issue.

MAXSORT variable sets the maximum number of listed layers names, block names, and file names that are sorted in drop-down lists and palettes. The initial value is 1000 and can go up to 32767 according to Autodesk.

If the MAXSORT is changed to less than the number of layers in the current drawing then, not all layers will be listed, so make sure it is not changed. Or if it is, set it back to 1000 it should be well enough for any drawing.

To check the value, on the command line type in MAXSORT. AutoCAD will prompt to Enter new value for MAXSORT <1000>: type in 1000 if the value is set to less.

Hope you find this information useful. Don’t forget to share with friends and colleagues.
For more great AutoCAD Related posts check our Page AutoCAD Tips.



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