Chapter 4 - tools and features that make your work easier

Drawing Aids


This section covers tools and features of TurboCAD that make your work easier and more organized, such as grid, snaps, layers, and construction geometry.



Coordinate Systems

Menu: Modes / Coord System
There are several types of coordinate systems you can use, and you can switch between them at any time.

For example, when drawing the outer wall of a house, you may want to start the first wall at an absolute location. Each successive wall, however, will be defined by its length and angle relative to the first wall, so you would use polar coordinates for these points. To place walls at an X, Y distance from any other point, you could use relative coordinates.

You can display the Coord System toolbar by right-clicking in any toolbar area and selecting Coord System.
Image

Coordinates, when entered manually, are entered in the Coordinate Fields, at the lower right corner of the screen. See Coordinate Fields. You can press Shift+Tab to jump to the first field in the Coordinate Fields, then press Tab to scroll through the remaining fields.

TIP: If you precede a coordinate with a $ sign, it will be interpreted as an absolute coordinate; if you precede it with an @ sign it will be interpreted as a relative coordinate; if you precede it with a > sign it will be interpreted as a polar coordinate.


Coordinate systems behave the same way in 2D and in 3D, but in 3D you need to be familiar with the concept of workplanes as well. See 3D Coordinate Systems and Workplanes.


WCS and UCS

The WCS (World Coordinate System) is an internal, absolute coordinate system. WCS axes can be displayed by selecting Workspace / World Coordinate System, and they appear at the lower left corner of the screen. The WCS indicator does not represent the origin; it indicates orientation.

The UCS (User Coordinate System) is the system in which you are working. By default, it is located to coincide with the WCS, but it can be moved. UCS axes can be displayed by selecting Workspace / User Coordinate System, and they appear wherever the origin is located.

When using the 3D Selector, the selection shell local menu and Inspector Bar provide two options that relate selected objects to the UCS (see 2D / 3D Selector?).
  • Set UCS by Selector: Moves the UCS origin to the selection reference point.
    Image
     
  • Set Selector by UCS: Moves the selection to the UCS origin (similar to the Format / Place on WorkPlane option for 2D objects).
    Image

NOTE: The 2D Selector always moves the UCS (Workplane) to the selection.



Absolute Coordinates

Icon: Image Image
Menu: Modes / Coord System / Absolute Coords
Hotkey: A, Shift+ A
Alias: coorda

Cartesian (X, Y) coordinates relative to the fixed, absolute (WCS) origin.
Image

You can enter absolute X and Y values in the Coordinate Fields.
Image


Relative Coordinates

Icon: Image Image
Menu: Modes / Coord System / Relative Coords
Hotkey: R, Shift+ R
Alias: coordr

Cartesian (X, Y) coordinates relative to a specified origin.

TIP: If you precede a coordinate with an @ sign it will be interpreted as a relative coordinate.


The relative origin can move as you work, relocating to each selected point, or it can remain fixed. The relative origin is controlled by the Fixed relative origin box on the Preference page of the Program Setup (Options / Preference).
The relative origin is marked by a red square. You can use Relocate Origin (Shift+L) at any time to move it.
Image
Relative Origin not fixed


Image
Relative Origin fixed


You can enter relative X and Y values in the Coordinate Fields. Note the +/- symbols, indicating that the distance is not absolute.
Image


Polar Coordinates

Icon: Image Image
Menu: Modes / Coord System / Polar Coords
Hotkey: P, Shift+ P
Alias: coordp

Polar (length and angle) coordinates relative to a specified origin. The relative origin (moving or fixed) behaves the same way as for Relative coordinates.

TIP: If you precede a coordinate with a > sign it will be interpreted as a polar coordinate.


You can enter the distance and angle to the selected point in the Coordinate Fields.
Image


Relocate Origin

Icon: Image Image
Menu: Modes / Coord System / Relocate Origin
Hotkey: L, Shift+ L
Alias: relocateorigin, relo

For Relative and Polar coordinates, moves the relative origin.
Image

If you want to fix the relative origin in place, open the Preference page (Options / Preference) and check Fixed relative origin.


Locking Coordinates

By default, when you move the mouse around the screen, the values in the Coordinate Fields update dynamically. However, you can enter a value and lock it so that it will not change.
Locking coordinates comes in handy when you need to only lock one field. For example, you can lock an X value and constrain all future points to be placed on the vertical line that passes through the X point.

WARNING: Be sure to unlock coordinates when you are finished. As long as a coordinate is locked, you are not free to select the usual range of points.


To lock a value, check the lock box for the relevant field.
img/wiki_up//UI-21.png
You can also use the Lock options in the Modes menu, or use the Hotkeys: X, Y, or Z.







Homepage
TurboCAD Tools



Contributors to this page: jrsollman .
Page last modified on Saturday 20 of July, 2013 17:19:34 PDT by jrsollman.