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What Will You Learn from This Book?
Learning AutoCAD, like learning any complex computer program, requires a significant commitment of time and attention and, to some extent, a tolerance for repetition. You must understand new concepts to operate the program and to appreciate its potential as a drafting and design tool. However, to become proficient at AutoCAD, you must also use the commands enough times to gain an intuitive sense of how they work and how parts of a drawing are constructed.
At the end of most chapters, you’ll find one or more additional exercises and a checklist of the tools you have learned (or should have learned). The steps in the tutorial have a degree of repetition built into them that allows you to work through new commands several times and build up confidence before you move on to the next chapter. Progressing through the book, the chapters fall into five general areas of study:
- Chapters 1 through 3 familiarize you with the organization of the AutoCAD user interface, cover a few of the basic commands, and equip you with the tools necessary to set up a new drawing, including the use of a standard, such as the National CAD Standard (NCS), to organize your files.
- Chapters 4 and 5 introduce the basic drawing commands and develop drawing strategies that will help you use these commands efficiently.
- Chapters 6 through 11 work with the major features of AutoCAD, such as blocks, hatches, and annotation. You’ll also learn about using layers to organize the various components of a drawing by applying the NCS.
- Chapters 12 through 15 examine intermediate and advanced AutoCAD features, including managing and creating document sets by using Sheet Set Manager.
- Chapters 16 and 17 cover the 3D modeling tools by exploring 3D solids and 3D surfaces. You’ll also learn how to apply materials to 3D objects, allowing you to produce eye-catching 3D visualizations. In the process of exploring these elements, you’ll follow the steps involved in laying out the floor plan of a small cabin. You’ll then learn how to generate elevations from the floor plan, and eventually you’ll learn how to set up a title block and layouts to print your drawing.