Dec 31, 2007

The X,Y co-ordinate system

Everything that you draw in AutoCAD is exact. It will be more accurate than you will ever need it to be. All objects drawn on the screen are placed there based on a simple X,Y co-ordinate system. In AutoCAD this is known as the World Co-ordinate System (WCS). You must understand this to know how to put things where you want them. (3-D work has an added axis, the Z-axis, but this is not covered in this lesson.) Below is a diagram showing you how this system works (place your mouse on the diagram for more info).

Everything that you draw in AutoCAD is exact. It will be more accurate than you will ever need it to be. All objects drawn on the screen are placed there based on a simple X,Y co-ordinate system. In AutoCAD this is known as the World Co-ordinate System (WCS). You must understand this to know how to put things where you want them. (3-D work has an added axis, the Z-axis, but this is not covered in this lesson.) Below is a diagram showing you how this system works (place your mouse on the diagram for more info).

In order to work effectively with AutoCAD, you have to work with this system. Until you are comfortable and familiar with it, learning AutoCAD will be more of a chore. My experience in teaching is that the better a student is with co-ordinates, the better CAD draftsperson they will become..

Here is how it works:
AutoCAD uses points to determine where an object is located. There is an origin where it begins counting from. This point is (0,0). Every object is located in relation to the origin. If you were to draw a line straight out to the right from the origin, this would be considered the positive X-axis. If you were to draw a line straight up, this would be the positive Y-axis. The picture above shows a point located at (9,6). This means that the point is 9 units over in the X-axis and 6 units up in the Y-axis. When you are working with points, X always comes first. The other point shown is (-10,-4). This means that the point is 10 units in the negative X-axis (left) and 4 units in the negative Y-axis (down).

A line has two points, a start point and an end point. AutoCAD works with the points to display the line on the screen. Move your cursor over the picture above and you will see line drawn from the absolute points of (-10,-4) to (9,6).

Most of the time you will not have an indication of where the origin is. You may need to draw a line from the endpoint of an existing line. To do this you use relative points. These work the same way, but you have to add the @ symbol (shift+2) to tell AutoCAD that this next point is relative from the last point entered.

To review: ABSOLUTE POINTS are exact points on the drawing drawing space. RELATIVE POINTS are relative to an OBJECT on the drawing space.

Its a simple system, but mastering it is the key to working with AutoCAD and is explained in more detail further below.


Angular Measurement

AutoCAD measures angles in a particular way also. Look at the diagram below and then place your mouse on it to see how this is done.

When drawing lines at an angle, you have to begin measuring the angle from 0 degrees, which is at the 3 o'clock position. If you drew a line at 90 degrees, it would go straight up. The example above (when you move your mouse over it) shows a line drawn at +300 degrees (270+30), or -60 degrees.

You might not always have an obvious reference point for 0 degrees. Look at the example below and place your mouse on the image to find out angle in question.

In this example, you are given information about the lines, but not the angle AutoCAD needs to draw the line from the start point. What you are given though, is (a) the knowledge that 0° is at the 3 o'clock position (b) the knowledge that 180° is at the 9 o'clock position and (c) the angle between 180° and the line you want to draw is 150°. With this information, you can figure out what angle you need. Here is a fool-proof way of getting the angle you need:

1.) Start at the 0° position and measure counter-clockwise (+) to 180°.

2.) From 180°, measure clockwise 150°.

3.) Consider that you just went +180-150 and use that as an equation: +180-150=30

4.) Now you can draw your line using polar co-ordinates (discussed below)


Entering Points in AutoCAD

You can enter points directly on the command line using three different systems. The one you use will depend on which is more applicable for the situation. The first assignment will get you used to this. The three systems are as follows:More Info

ABSOLUTE CO-ORDINATES - Using this method, you enter the points as they relate to the origin of the WCS. To enter a point just enter in the exact point as X,Y.

RELATIVE CO-ORDINATES - This allows you to enter points in relation to the first point you have entered. After you've entered one point, the next would be entered as @X,Y. This means that AutoCAD will draw a line from the first point to another point X units over and Y units up relative to the previous point.

POLAR CO-ORDINATES - You would use this system if you know that you want to draw a line a certain distance at a particular angle. You would enter this as @D<90>


Icons, Keystrokes and Menus

There are many ways to do things in most Windows programs. AutoCAD is no exception. Everyone will develop a way that works best for him or her. In this course, we will primarily be working with the keystroke commands. The reason for this is because they will work in most AutoCAD versions (including DOS versions), and in some other CAD programs. The icons work well, but as you will see, icons can be placed anywhere on the screen and can be difficult to find quickly. You may be working on another employee's computer that is set up differently than than what you're used to. The pull-down menus will access almost all commands, but are a slower way of doing things.

Example: If you want to draw a line, you can do it a few ways:

* At the command line type: LINE (or) L and press the ENTER key.

* Select the line icon Line Icon from the DRAW toolbar.

* Select Draw > Line from the pull-down menu

All three approaches will do the same thing: prepare AutoCAD to draw a line where you tell it.

AutoCAD is a popular program because it can be customized to suit an individual's needs. The toolbars are a good example of this. You can have the toolbars you use most often on the screen all the time. You can easily make them go away so that you have more drawing space. You can also customize them so you have the most common commands on one toolbar. For example, the dimensioning toolbar is one that you will not want taking up space on your screen while drawing, but is very handy when you're dimensioning your drawing.


The AutoCAD Screen

Move your cursor around the image above to find the names of various areas of the screen.

*Title Bar
This will show you what program you are running and what the current filename is.

*Pull-down menus
These are the standard pull-down menus through which you can access almost all commands.

*Main toolbar
This has most of the standard Windows icons, as well as the most common AutoCAD commands.

*Property toolbar
This toolbar gives a way to quickly modify an object's properties, such as layer and linetype.

* Floating toolbar
This is a toolbar that can be moved around the screen, or 'docked' as the main toolbar is.

*Drawing space
This is where you draw. You have an almost infinite area to draw and this is just a 'section' of the entire space.

These work like in other windows programs. You can also use the PAN command to move around your drawing.

*WCS Icon
This is here to show you which direction positive X and positive Y go. The W means you're in the World Co-ordinate System. (It can be changed to a User Co-ordinate System.)

*Status Bar Tray Icons
These icons give you updates on items like reference files program updates and print status.

*Command line
When you type a command, you will see it here. AutoCAD uses this space to 'prompt' you for information. It will give you a lot of information and tell you where you are in the command. Watch this line while learning.

* Status bar
This allows to see and change different modes of drawing such as Ortho, Osnaps, Grid, Otrack, etc.

*Tool Palette
Collection of tools in one area that can be organized into common catagories.

Dec 29, 2007

AutoCAD Shortcut Keys

CTRL+A - Selects ALL objects in drawing
CTRL+B - Toggles Snap
CTRL+C - Copies objects to Clipboard
CTRL+D - Toggles coordinate display
CTRL+E - Cycles through isometric planes
CTRL+F - Toggles running object snaps
CTRL+G - Toggles Grid
CTRL+H - Toggles PICKSTYLE on/off
CTRL+J - Executes last command
CTRL+L - Toggles Ortho mode
CTRL+N - Creates a new drawing
CTRL+O - Opens existing drawing
CTRL+P - Prints current drawing
CTRL+R - Cycles layout viewports
CTRL+S - Saves current drawing
CTRL+T - Toggles Tablet mode
CTRL+V - Pastes data from Clipboard
CTRL+X - Cuts objects to Clipboard
CTRL+Y - Repeats last action
CTRL+Z - Reverses last action
CTRL+[ - Cancels current command - forget this - use escape key
CTRL+\ - Cancels current command - forget this - use escape key
F1 - Displays Help
F2 - Toggles text window on/off
F3 - Toggles OSNAP
F4 - Toggles TABMODE
F5 - Toggles ISOPLANE
F6 - Toggles COORDS
F7 - Toggles GRIDMODE
F8 - Toggles ORTHOMODE
F9 - Toggles SNAPMODE
CTRL+0 - Clean Screen
CTRL+1 - Properties
CTRL+2 - Design Center
CTRL+3 - Tool Palettes Window
CTRL+4 - Sheet Set Manager
CTRL+5 - Info Palette
CTRL+6 - dbConnect
CTRL+7 - Markup Set Manager
CTRL+8 - QuickCalc
CTRL+9 - Command Line
Acad2004/2005/2006 default Combo Short-cuts

Dec 26, 2007

Shah Rukh Khan's residence

Lamp Shades

How To Choose The Right Lamp Shades That Will Compliment Your Decor Perfectly

The right lighting can change a room from bright and cheery to warm and subtle simply by a turn of the knob or switch of a button. So choosing the right lamps and lighting fixtures is something you will want to spend some time and money doing. If you are remodeling your home there are some key accessorizing details you should consider such as window treatments whether they are blinds, shades or shutters, decorative pillows which can add some color and design to the space as well as floor lamps, table lamps and their lamp shades. The lighting in the room can change the mood and atmosphere in mere seconds but you need the right lampshades to create this effect. Most interior designers will recommend a lamp shade that is not white or off white. With the right lamp shades, you can create a visually stimulating effect with the space. So if you want to make an impact with your room’s decor, picking out the right lamps and shades would be a great place to start.

If you are trying to add warmth and color to a room, colored and patterned lamp shades are perfect. Many people tend to gravitate towards white or cream colored shades where a colored lamp shade is more appropriate. The warmth is created by the way the shade can disburse the light. But not only is color an important aspect of the perfect lampshades, the shape of the shades is also critical. Having a lamp shade that is either too big or too small for the light fixture can look odd and out of place. It is important that you match shape of the shade with the shape of the floor lamp or table lamp. Don’t try and use the same shape on all your lighting fixtures. Pick each one out individually and don’t panic if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for.

There are some interior decorating rules when selecting the right size of lamp shades for your lighting fixtures. Here are some tips when shopping for your lampshades. First, the shade must be no smaller than one-third of the height of the light fixture. Most people tend to buy a lamp shades that are too large for the base thinking bigger is better. Just keep tip number one in mind when you are shopping. Second, the lamp shade must cover the fixture’s hardware and should come just up to the top of the lamp base. The best part about buying new lamps is that you can coordinate them throughout your home or you can choose different lamps to create a different look and feel in every room. The selection of floor lamps, table lamps, chandeliers, antique lamps, Tiffany style lamps is simply amazing. Remember to have fun when picking out the perfect fixtures for your home because home decorating should be fun and adventuresome.

Floor Lamps

How to Creatively Decorate Using Floor Lamps

When it comes to setting the mood or atmosphere in a room, not only does proper illumination add to the allure of your personal space, but also the sources of light. While table lamps and ceiling lights serve a functional purpose, floor lamps are expansive in the many different ways one may decorate their space and showcase their creativity. Whether you choose an antique selection to brighten your den or side with a traditional Victorian fringe design for the bedroom, the never-ending possibilities of a floor lamp shine through in the mind-boggling variety in choices.

Antique Lamps

There is a certain elegance and intrigue associated with displaying an antique floor lamp. In home design, the mystery and unknown past of such an item is enough to spark the imagination, as well as provide a delightful conversation topic when family and friends visit. Today, there are manufacturers that strive to recreate this very look by emulating flowery, ornamental approaches towards antique furniture, which allows homeowners to match their lighting sources with other elements of their decor.
A few common features of antique lamps include the stained-glass lampshade, brass finishes, and intricate designs. When one is interested in truly decorating their home with antique floor lamps, genuine specimens may cost quite a bit, such as French antique lamps carrying a price tag of more than thousands of dollars. Usually, an antique or antique-styled floor lamp is selected because of its look and fit within a setting, rather than bringing light into the room.

One of a Kind Pieces

Floor lamps are also known to serve as a work of art, as some artists fashion one-of-a-kind pieces that sometimes depict odd, creative, or unusual displays. Some of the unique possibilities of artsy floor lamps include planetary designs, sculpted wooden figures, wild animals, and abstract images. Artistic floor lamps may also use unusual objects to construct the base of the lamp, such as animal antlers, petrified wood, branches, or heat-treated metal. They may rise in the air like an ivory torch or bring the look and feel of fantasy with fairies decorating their base.
Some floor lamps are fashioned with a specific art movement in mind, such as colorful Art Deco pieces. Artists may also hand craft their samples and hand paint customized detailing on the outside of the shade to add characteristic touches for home and/or office use.

Regional Flair

Floor lamps are sometimes used to represent or pay homage to regional pride, as seen in Southwestern selections showcasing characteristic elements added to a lamp, such as images of cacti and rattlesnakes. A New York City-themed floor lamp may showcase a silhouette of the Empire State Building. Cozy wilderness scenes of Colorado and other rustic locations may utilize the image of wild critters, such as the grizzly bear or bald eagle.

Create a Mood

Floor lamps allow individuals to create a mood within their home or office that becomes the focus of the space when one enters the room. A gateway to the past may come alive with a Victorian-style street lamp displaying the soft, burnt orange glow of a custom crafted glass lampshade. Perhaps, the theme of your living room is Oriental – a solid hardwood floor lamp with a Chinese raw lacquer finish with mother of pearl and metal chrome accents will fit into the d├ęcor. Color also helps create a mood, such as the vibrant shades of red in Asian-style floor lamps.

Mix and Match Color Bulbs to Match Lampshades

The unique part of purchasing a floor lamp is that you may change lampshades to the base of your favorite lamp, just as you can match different colored light bulbs to create varying effects within a room. Depending on the time of day and other outside factors, various lampshade colors transform light into an array of shades, but red, blue, green, and even yellow lights can establish the atmosphere into a controlled setting, such as a romantic environment to a room set aside for contemplation, withdrawal, or reflection.

Dec 20, 2007

Desk Lamps

Desk lamps are perhaps, the most popular kind of lamps. These are widely used all over the world in homes, offices and anywhere else where a lot of desk work is to be done, such as libraries. The kind of desk lamps differs as per the purpose and place for which they are intended. For example, generally, student lamps are small and compact in nature, whereas lamps meant for executive usage are larger and made of materials such as brass and copper. There is a wide variety of desk lamps available to the customer. The various desk lamps are usually differentiated by their unique style, finish and brand.

There are many different styles of desk lamps to choose from. Among the many styles, there are traditional lamps, casual lamps, transitional, contemporary, craftsman, Tiffany, Wrought iron, crystal, Victorian, Art Deco, Old world, children's lamps, Asian Lamps and Nautical lamps.

Desk lamps are also distinguished by their finish. Desk lamps can have brass finish, gold finish, black finish, copper finish, pewter finish, bronze finish, iron finish, nickel finish and chrome finish, among others.

There list of available brands is also endless. Prominent among these are House of Troy, Access Lighting, George Kovacs, Metropolitan, Forte Lighting, Lite Source and Quoizel Lighting.

The price range of desk lamps is huge. One can get a desk lamp for as low as $12 and for as high as $1000. The lamps which are priced lower are the ones which are more functional and are used mostly by students and teenagers. These are very popular as not only are they economical for students, but they are also of great use. The desk lamps which are priced higher, say the ones which are available for $300 or $400 are used mostly for decorative purposes. These are usually made of materials such as brass, and have a fine and expensive finish.

Lamps don't really have a fixed price range, which is why they appeal to and are popular in all economic and social sections of society.

Dec 8, 2007

How To Quickly And Easily Create A Living Room Furniture Layout

If you planning to buy new furniture for your living room, then most probably you have already thought about the furniture layout in your mind or else you have probably thought of repeating the same old layout with only the new furniture pieces. In this article I will show you a simple method to create the most efficient layout for your living room.

Before we begin there are a few points that need to be considered. A living room is always a transition space. This means that entrances to all other rooms are located in living room. Other bedrooms, dining room, kitchen etc. are accessed through living room, that's why a sufficient "circulation space" for family members is a must.

So here is what you can do to create the most efficient layout for a living room.

1) Take a plane white paper. A4 size is also enough.

2) Draw a sketch plan of your living room on this paper. While drawing this plan it is important to show the following things in it:

a) Entrance door
b) Entrance doors to other rooms
c) Window positions
d) Minor column projections (if any)
e) Swing of the doors (inside or outside the living room)
f) Presence of staircase
g) Fireplace (if any)

3) Take a pencil and draw lines starting from entrance door to all other doors and window positions. This is the natural travel lines for any person using the living room. If the room is empty without any furniture these are the lines any person would follow to reach other point in the living room.

4) Now start placing the furniture units like 3 seat sofa, single/double seat sofa, coffee table, end tables lampshades, bookshelves, TV unit, etc.. Depending upon your budget you can go for any number of these units.

While placing these units it will always be seen that the furniture obstructs the pencil travel lines drawn in the third step. But that's OK for now. Now make as may combinations and arrangements of the furniture units as possible. Think out of the box while doing this. Try to do something different.

Remember if you try you will easily come up with at lest 10 layout for that same living room. You will be amazed at how many combinations are possible. Also imagine the furniture pieces you already have or can you replace that table in the bedroom with the one in the living room.

How about keeping it vertical rather that horizontal in the plan. Whatever you do keep one thing in mind. Always keep the human movement "unobstructed". People passing through the living room in other rooms must be able to pass without cutting vision if you are talking to other person in the living room.

That's why those pencil lines have been drawn. After you have drawn the furniture pieces on the living room plan, modify the travel lines. Now these lines will be around the furniture, especially at corners. The travel lines will now take the shape of the furniture at the edges.

After this short exercise you will have probably 5 different layouts on paper with. Select the one in which you see the following points of interest.

a)Travel line lengths are shortest.
b)Travel lines do not pass trough the furniture.

Apart from the efficiency there is another factor called as visual balance while designing a furniture layout. Finally does it look good to YOU. Are you comfortable with the final layout. The visual balance is achieved by making the most use of all walls of the living room with decorating elements such as paintings, color schemes, etc.
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