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Scaling Distorted Objects
Tip# 3101 By R.T. Rinehart On 08-Jan-2009
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Rated By 1 users
Categories : Tips & Tools Weekly Archive Tips
Software type : AutoCAD 2008
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Scale distorted vertical objects back to 1, or vice-versa, using the x, y, and z options of the Insert command.

R.T. Rinehart sent this tip for scaling distorted vertical objects back to 1, or vice-versa, using the x, y, and z options of the Insert command, which he uses with Civil 3D/AutoCAD 2008. "I use this trick a lot when I need to add or take away vertical distortion on an object. For instance, when I draw roadway typical sections details, I draw them at 1:1. However, I find that they are easier to read at 3 vertical.

"Once I have completed my detail, I make a block of it, giving it a random name. Then I just use the Insert command to bring in the block. On the Command line, I enter X, Y, or Z, and it will ask for the scale factor for that direction. For vertical distortion, I enter Y and a vertical scale. When the block is reinserted in the drawing, it will be vertically distorted by the number.

"This tip is also very handy when drawing bridge details. I will take the roadway/bridge profile typically distorted at 10 vertical and make a block of it. I insert the block in a new drawing at a y scale of 0.1, and voila! The profile is now at a 1 vertical scale, and I can begin dimensioning, etc., for the bridge detail. There are probably hundreds of other uses for it in different disciplines."

NOTES FROM CADALYST TIP PATROL: This tip is a classic. We do this same thing for the exact reasons. Sometimes details, sections, and views are difficult to understand when displayed at a scale of 1:1. Sometimes distorting them to exaggerate features to make them more visible is an appropriate drafting practice.
One variation of this method is to make the item a block and edit the y scale factor in the Properties Manager Palette instead of reinserting it, which might save a step or two. Useful tip, R.T.!

Follow-Up: Scaling Distorted Objects
Lloyd Beachy sent in SCALE_X-Y.LSP, an AutoLISP routine that automates some of the steps described above. It is set up to scale objects in either the x or the y direction, but Lloyd reports that it could be changed to include the z direction as well.

Follow-Up: Scaling Distorted Objects
Tim Rechel sent this follow-up tip that allows the user to easily change the distorted block, which he uses in AutoCAD 2008. "Make a base file with an appropriate name. Text can be inserted here, but it must be set up to offset the subsequent distortion. Insert this base file in your plot file, distorting it as needed. That way, every time it needs to change, you can fix the base file and resave it. Then reinsert it, click Yes to Replace Current Block, and cancel the command after it starts to load."
 

 

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