I was doing some planning work for a new pond in my backyard and thought I would share a cool AutoCAD tip.
When drawing a 2D layout drawing of my yard’s landscaping I was presented with the problem of duplicating the flowerbeds border with the grass regions. Instead of copying and drawing outlines which could cause problems with the splines I used for the curved shapes, I used the trick of creating a new boundary polyline with a Hatch. Below is a tutorial on how you can do the same trick and as a bonus showed my design styled in Autodesk Impression.
So in this image you see the 6 regions I want defined for a polyline on a separate layer, but the boundaries of these objects is not drawn yet.
What I did was hatched the 6 regions I wanted to create a boundary for using the AutoCAD command BHATCH.
I then double-clicked on the new Hatch which brings up the Hatch Edit dialog. I then selected the option to “Recreate Boundary” then accepted the default option to create a Polyline and boundary not Reassociate the Hatch to the new boundary.
Now delete the Hatch object and you are left with a polyline boundary of the regions you hatched. This is much faster than other methods to create the new boundary layer. I could also just keep the Hatch objects on a separate layer and even use AutoCAD Fields to display the square footage of my grass covered areas. In a past popular blog post “StarBacks BBQ Floor Space Planning with AutoCAD FIELDS” I showed how to show a hatch objects area and even use that area value for an AutoCAD or Excel table and calculations. As Matt Murphy would say “ That’s Wicked Cool”.
To make the design nice and visually pleasing instead of just a collection of lines, I styled my design using Autodesk Impression. Below are the hand rendering styled images created with Autodesk Impression 3 in less than five minutes.
The best part is the rendering is vector based drawing and if I update the DWG file I can simply update the rendering in Impression instead of starting back from scratch in a raster editing program or using traditional pens, markers or watercolor. In less than five minutes I imported the DWG and styled it in a colored pencil then changed my mind and in less than one minute changed to an overlapping marker style.
Tom Kelly pointed out another excellent method to create the outline of a region in the comments to this post. Use the Boundary command “BO”. So many commands, so little time. Thanks Tom.