How to create an array – part 1 – AutoCAD tutorials for beginners

The Basics on Arrays in AutoCAD – AutoCAD tutorials for Beginners

In this series of AutoCAD tutorials, well learn about arrays. An array is essentially a collection of objects. In 3D CAD software, we call this patterns, and you can create linear or circular pattern tools. In this tutorial, we’ll learn about polar arrays. Let’s begin by creating some geometry; that’s how you start an array.

I’m going to drop a circle about here. Now I’ll create a second circle, but smaller. Let’s activate snap to quadrant first so we can make the circles concentric. Create a second circle. Now let’s activate the polar array tool. First thing we have to do is select an object, and in AutoCAD you right-click to finish the selection.

Next job we have is to specify the center point of the array. We’ll use the center of our first circle. Let’s awaken the centre of the big circle by gliding the mouse over it until you see the glyph; then we’ll select it.

At this point you can see the preview of the array. We have got a lot of options in the ribbon. For example, we can adjust the angle between the array elements.  Once you make your selection, you can make your adjustments right in the graphic area by selecting the arrow-handle and dragging as you move the mouse.  Now the distance between the circles changes. As I left click to place the handle back down, the value in the angle field updates accordingly.

Another option for editing the array at this point: we can specify the number of the items, in the array or pattern. Before I accept, I want to mention a few words about associative and non-associative arrays. An associative array behaves as a single entity, like a block, if you will. A non-associative array is ungrouped, so you can modify each element individually.

If you create an associative array, as I have done, click accept.  Now my arrow-handle behaves as a single entity, like a block.  If I create a non-associative array, each member of the array behaves as a separate entity.

Ok, let’s see how to edit the array.  First we can specify a number of items.  Clcik tab to move between the editing fields in the ribbon, and make your entries numerically, right in the ribbon. The array updates in the graphic area immediately.

Once you’ve entered the number of items, you can adjust the angle between the items, and also set the total angular value. So, let’s say I make the angle between 30 degrees, and then make the total angle 270 degrees. So, my array (pattern of objects) takes up 3/4 of a circle.

We can also specify the row spacing in units as well as the number of rows. By the way, press TAB on the keyboard to get between the fields on the Array editor, in the command manager.

This concludes the first of our AutoCAD tutorials about creating and editing arrays in AutoCAD. If you’re interested in working with AutoCAD, please try our AutoCAD tutorials; you can see several sample AutoCAD tutorials at our youtube channel, videotutorials2.

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