Sunday, March 26, 2006

AutoCAD, Stop Helping Me!

Controlling the Insertion Units

New system variables were introduced with the advent of the AutoCAD Design Center (ADC) in AutoCAD 2002. When you drag and drop a block or drawing from the ADC into your current drawing, AutoCAD examines the values of INSUNITS in both the block and the current drawing and, depending on the value, automatically rescales the block appropriately.

For example: Using the ADC, if you drag a 2x4 light fixture symbol with an INSUNITS setting of 1 (Inches) into your current metric drawing which has an INSUNITS setting of 4 (Millimeters), the light fixture block is automatically rescaled by 25.4, converting it to the metric equivalent of this English sized light fixture.

Autodesk, in their finite wisdom, decided that this was such a clever feature they would extend it to all insertion operations in AutoCAD 2006. Now, when you INSERT a Block, or XATTACH a drawing, AutoCAD reads the INSUNITS of the source and target drawings and calculates a rescale factor for you. This rescale factor is then multiplied by the Scale you enter to yield the final insertion scale of the Block or Xref.

This can be handy, if you know about it and know how to make it work for you, but frustrating if you don't. So pay attention to the Block Unit area of the Insert and Xref Attach dialogs to see if AutoCAD is "helping" you determine the proper insertion scale factor. If the resultant scale is incorrect, adjust the setting of INSUNITS in both the source and target drawings before Inserting or Attaching it.

Some of the more common INSUNITS settings include:
0 = Unspecified (No units)
1 = Inches
2 = Feet
4 = Millimeters
6 = Meters

AutoCAD uses the values stored in system variables INSUNITSDEFSOURCE and INSUNITSDEFTARGET if INSUNITS is Unspecified.


At 8:42 PM , Anonymous David Coombes said...

I agree that this is frustrating. We get drawings from a variety of sources to use as xref's.
To eliminate this problem go to FORMAT - UNITS & set insert units to UNITLESS (command line INSUNITS & set to 0).
We have done this in all our templates & do not have a problem.
(these commands are saved in the drawing, not the registry)

At 10:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not know who thought this up, but they need to be slapped silly. This command is a total waste of my time. We have over 15 years of CAD files that are affected by this.

If they "WERE" thinkng they would have given me a switch to FREAKIN IGNORE INSUNITS... instead of Forcing this ilconcieved command on me.

I do not use the insert block function mainly because I already know what most of our blocks are called so I use the -I insert and just give the name. even still, this INSUNITS have just reaked havoc with our Xrefs.

Some are fine and just drop right in but 75% of the time I have detach - purge and then hunt the INSUNITS out of both files.

I really dislike this feature... can you tell ? anyone anyone ?

At 5:53 PM , Blogger intercad said...

Dunno, but I've added this question to my watch list in case someone does find somewhere!. . Thing is, if you're going to study architecture, then the university or college you are studying at will have plenty of computers with CAD on them, so I wouldn't worry if you can't get it on your own machine.

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At 9:39 PM , Blogger Mufasu CAD said...

Helpful information,, thanks

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