Save Time in AutoCAD with Associative Section Views

13 Jul, 2014

Drawing section views in AutoCAD can be such a tedious process, and the many updates that can occur during design changes make it even worse. In this video tip from Cadalyst and Autodesk evangelist Lynn Allen, you’ll see how easy it is to generate section views from a 3D model that automatically update whenever the model changes.

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip courtesy of Cadalyst magazine.

Today we’re going to talk about section views. Yay section views! So if you draw section views, you know, without any 3D modeling involved, you know how tedious it is, right? You’ve got the hatch patterns, all that detail work that needs to be done — not a lot of fun. But if you create section views from a 3D model, it’s a piece of cake — it's almost automatic. So let me show you what I'm talking about. It's going to convert you, so you might want to keep that in mind.

First of all, you want to be in the 3D modeling workspace, as I am. I'm going to go to the Layout tab, and when you get to the Layout tab you'll see that there's an option for Section Views. It's pretty simple. All different types of section lines that you can draw. I'm just going to draw a full section line. And to start off with, I'm going to grab this view up here as my parent view, and it's going to ask me where I want this section line to go. You would work a little harder at that, you would be more exact, maybe put it through one of the holes -- you can see I kind of guess-timated on there. And there is my section view -- how easy is that? Super, super easy.

It automatically puts a label on it, you can make modifications to that label any way that you want and it automatically puts the scale factor, of course, on there. So, let's think about that. Maybe we don't want that to be our scale factor. Maybe we wished it was one-sixteenth of an inch, just as an example. All you have to do is click on that section view, grab this arrow, and you'll see how easy it is to make modifications. Let's switch it to one-sixteenth of an inch and you'll see that the label changes automatically. So: very smart, very easy to work with. I'm going to go ahead and undo that.

You'll also see if you want to make changes to the hatch pattern, for example, you can still treat the objects in this section view independently if you need to. I'm just going to hover until I make sure that I'm on top of that hatch pattern, and you'll see that when I select it, it automatically changes that context-sensitive ribbon so that you can easily make changes to just the hatch pattern.

But you can make changes other ways as well. For example, you will see that of course, we have a Section View Style -- of course we do -- where you can make all different types of setups for your various section views. I'm going to go ahead and just hit Modify so we can do a quick, very quick tour of the Section View Style dialog box. So, very dynamic, if I make changes as I go through here, like maybe I want the text to be blue, you will see that you get a great preview. That always comes in handy, right, so there's no surprises?

Maybe I want to show the identifier at all the bends. Or maybe I want to use continuous labeling, so instead of just AAA, you'll see that it does it sequentially. Lots of options in here. There are also options for cutting planes, for the view label, and for the hatching. You can easily switch it to a different hatch pattern if you wanted to. Just another route to take.

All right -- lots in there, enough for many tips, we're going to keep going. I’m going to say Cancel, I just wanted to show that to you, I don't really want to make changes.

All right, what else can I do? Well, you can make some projected views. How hard are those to do in 2D, right? Look how easy this is going to be. I'm going to go ahead and select my view, and you will see that I automatically have a projected option in the ribbon -- love the ribbon! And now I'm going to go ahead and place an isometric view of that up above. Easy, easy, easy.

Now I don't really want it there, so I'm going to go ahead and move it down just a little bit -- just a little bit, so we can see it better. Easy, easy, easy, am I right?

And we can make changes to that, you know, I'm going to go ahead and pick Edit View; I kind of like having it shaded, just because it looks cool. Give it just a second there to shade it, and look how great that is, how easy that is.

So, what happens if you change the section line? Well, let's take a look. If I come up here — now keep an eye on the section views that we have — maybe I want to flip the direction of this section line. You will see that it will affect all of the views accordingly. And you can also move that section line anywhere you want to. You can bend it and do all kinds of things. It's all dynamic, and it's all so easy to do!

So you're going to give it a try, right? Does this not convince you to draw in 3D? If this doesn't convince you, I don't know what will.

So I want to thank you for your time, and I am going to see you back here in just a couple of weeks. Have a great day.

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