Up and Running with AutoCAD 2017: 2D and 3D Drawing and Modeling
WHAT IS AUTOCAD?
AutoCAD is a drafting and design software package developed and marketed by Autodesk, Inc. As of 2016, it has been around for approximately 34 years—several lifetimes in the software industry. It has grown from modest beginnings to an industry standard, often imitated, sometimes exceeded, but never equaled. The basic premise of its design is simple and is the main reason for AutoCAD’s success. Anything you can think of, you can draw quickly and easily. For many years, AutoCAD remained a superb 2D electronic drafting board, replacing the pencil and paper for an entire generation of technical professionals. In recent releases, its 3D capabilities finally matured, and AutoCAD is now also considered an excellent 3D visualization tool, especially for architecture and interior design.
The software has a rather steep learning curve to become an expert but a surprisingly easy one to just get started. Most important, it is well worth learning. This is truly global software that has been adopted by millions of architects, designers, and engineers worldwide. Over the years, Autodesk expanded this reach by introducing add-on packages that customize AutoCAD for industry-specific tasks, such as electrical, civil, and mechanical engineering. However, underneath all these add-ons is still plain AutoCAD. This software remains hugely popular. Learn it well, as it is still one of the best skills you can add to your resume.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book is not like most on the market. While many authors certainly view their particular text as unique and novel in its approach, I rarely reviewed one that was clear to a beginner student and distilled AutoCAD concepts down to basic, easy to understand explanations. The problem may be that many of the available books are written by either industry technical experts or teachers but rarely by someone who is actively both. One really needs to interact with the industry and the students, in equal measure, to bridge the gap between reality and the classroom.
After years of AutoCAD design work in the daytime and teaching nights and weekends, I set out to create a set of classroom notes that outlined, in an easy to understand manner, exactly how AutoCAD is used and applied, not theoretical musings or clinical descriptions of the commands. These notes eventually were expanded into this book that you now hold. The rationale was simple: I need this person to be up and running as soon as possible to do a job. How do we make this happen?
My teaching approach has its roots in a certain philosophy I developed while attending engineering school many years ago. While there, I had sometimes been frustrated with the complex presentation of what in retrospect amounted to rather simple topics. My favorite quote was, “Most ideas in engineering are not that hard to understand but often become so upon explanation.” The moral of that quote was that concepts can usually be distilled to their essence and explained in an easy and straightforward manner. That is the job of a teacher: Not to blow away students with technical expertise but to use experience and top-level knowledge to sort out what is important and what is secondary and to explain the essentials in plain language.
Such is the approach to this AutoCAD book. I want everything here to be highly practical and easy to understand. There are few descriptions of procedures or commands that are rarely used in practice. If we talk about it, you will likely need it.
The first thing you must learn is how to draw a line. You see this command on the first few pages of Chapter 1, AutoCAD Fundamentals—Part I. It is essential to present the “core” of AutoCAD, essential knowledge common to just about any drafting situation, all of it meant to get you up and running quickly. This stripped down approach proved effective in the classroom and was carefully incorporated into this text.
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|December 26, 2016|
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