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DAVID-Laserscanner Forum • View topic - How do AutoCAD coordinates
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How do AutoCAD coordinates

How do AutoCAD coordinates

Postby musquida » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:12 am

How do AutoCAD coordinates relate to units of measurment? I don't have AutoCAD so don't please write this off as a stupid question. Can someone explain how units of measurement are represented in AutoCAD? Is there a scale setting where a user can setup a relationship between coordinates and meters? For example, 100 units = 1 meter. If so, is there a default setting?
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Re: How do AutoCAD coordinates

Postby bartjuan » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:54 pm

In AutoCAD, Like most CAD programs Units are simply arbitrary units. There are no mm or inches until you decide to measure them. The trick comes when you want to combine drawings. If I draw a part and assume 1 unit = 1inch and you draw a part assuming 1 unit = 1mm then when we combine our drawing they will be out of scale. Now, AutoCAD has a setting under the "UNITS" command to help with this. The "UNITS" command tells AutoCAD how to label your units; decimal inches, architectural feet/inches, metric etc. There is also a setting that you can set to say even though I have set my units to inches, Import new drawings with units set to mm( or whatever) and AutoCAD will automatically scale the imported drawing to the correct size.

Does That help?

Bart
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Re: How do AutoCAD coordinates

Postby cadcoke5 » Sat May 28, 2011 4:31 am

I have used AutoCAD for many years. Earlier versions of AutoCAD really did not record the types of units in the drawing file. You could set dimensions to display the same object as 1.5mm long, 1 1/2 inches, 1.5 miles, or 1.5 light years.

This cause some confusion when you inserted one drawing into another. If the drawing was of a part, and originated from a manufacturer who use units of cm, it would not be inserted into an English inch units drawing at the correct size.

More current versions save a variable that indicate the preferred "insertion" units, so that, in the above example, the English drawing would automatically know to scale the metric drawing by the correct units.

Programs like SolidWorks and AutoDesk's Inventor have established their database to always be in meters. If you set a file to be in decimal inches, then it will display decimal inches, but never stores that value. Regardless of if you set a piece of metal to have a thickness of 1", 1ft, or 2cm, it converts it to meters before storing the value.

The problem with the above approach is that computers like precise values when they work. I recall testing Inventor, to see how well it would import a 1" square cube from AutoCAD. Rounding errors caused it to not recognize it as a cube, but just a set of non-parallel surfaces.

Joe Dunfee
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Re: How do AutoCAD coordinates

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