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Part II: Starting New Projects with Auto... > Organizing a Drawing with Layers

Chapter 4. Organizing a Drawing with Layers

Prior to the use of Computer Aided Design (CAD), projects consisted of dozens of mylar and vellum drawings that were ultimately printed as bluelines, and then taken into the field or the shop where they were used in the construction of buildings or the fabrication of parts. Although drawings are still necessary in the construction and fabrication process, today the person who initials the “Drawn by” box can more efficiently organize the information formerly drawn on those dozens of sheets by using AutoCAD’s layers.

For those of us who have been in the business for a while, the pin-registered drafting days (where layers of mylar sheets were stacked one on top of the other to create a composite drawing) are just a faint memory. In those days, a single mylar sheet was dedicated to a particular item, such as the centerline and right-of-way lines for a street. Other mylars were dedicated to other specific items, such as curbs and gutters in the street, the street’s underground gas lines or sewer lines. Each mylar sheet contained a series of small holes along the top, and the holes on each sheet lined up, or registered, perfectly. When someone needed a composite drawing of, perhaps, the street’s centerline, curb and gutter, and sewer line, those particular mylar sheets were stacked on top of one another on a special table with “register” pins along its top. Then, a blueline print was made of the stacked mylar sheets. By layering the desired mylars on top of one another, a composite sheet was created that contained the information needed for a specific purpose.

In AutoCAD, layers mimic individual pin-registered mylar sheets. By placing specific information on a layer, the former process of placing item-specific information on a mylar sheet is emulated. Because AutoCAD can contain an unlimited number of layers, you can expand upon the idea of composite sheets and include layers for the object geometry, dimensions, and notes, and so on. By using layers to organize your drawings, you can create a single model that serves many purposes and satisfies many needs.

This chapter discusses using layers to organize your drawings, and shows you how to use AutoCAD’s Layer Properties Manager, improved for AutoCAD 2002. This chapter explores the following topics:

  • Implementing layering standards

  • Controlling the drawing’s layer features

  • Creating and assigning a color to new layers

  • Locking layers

  • Setting a layer filter

  • Using layer states



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