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Create Cutting Planes
Tip# 3899 By Steven Matchett On 21-May-2012
Rated By 1 users
Categories : Toolbars
Software type : AutoCAD 2013
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Customize command macros to quickly set views in model space.

Steven Matchett explains how to customize AutoCAD command macros to quickly set views in model space.

"This tip addresses setting the clipping planes in a 3D drawing for a specific distance for a specific view. First, create the view buttons in the CUI (Customize User Interface). Mine look like this:

"The magenta buttons are for drawings in imperial measurements (12" in front and behind the selected parts); the green ones are for drawings in metric measurements (225 mm in front and behind the selected parts).

"Next, edit the macro line for each button as shown below:



BACK:^C^CUCS;W;UCS;O;UCS;X;90;UCS;Y;180;DVIEW;;PO;@0,18,0;CL;B;-12;CL;F;12;; (CHANGE THE 12 TO 225 FOR METRIC)


LEFT:^C^CUCS;W;UCS;O;UCS;X;90;UCS;Y;-90;DVIEW;;PO;@-18,0,0;CL;B;-12;CL;F;12;; (CHANGE THE 12 TO 225 FOR METRIC)


(Click to enlarge image.)

"To explain how the macro works, I will use the right clip as an example:


All of the semicolons (;) represent a keyboard Enter, all of the backslashes () represent user picks (clicks of the left mouse button).

  • The first command sets the UCS to World. ( ^C^CUCS;W;)
  • The second command sets the origin of the UCS. The user picks this point at the location he or she wants to look at. (UCS;O;)
  • The third set of commands rotates the UCS about the x and y axes. (UCS;X;90;UCS;Y;90;)
  • The fourth command (DVIEW;;) waits for the user to select a set of objects with a two-point crossing window (from right to left; you must pick two points and be careful not to select an object with your first click).
  • The fifth command (PO;) waits for the user to select a camera point (use the same point as in the second step)
  • The final set of commands (@18,0,0;CL;B;-12;CL;F;12;;) sets the camera viewpoint (@18,0,0), then turns the front and back clip planes on with a distance of 12" in front of and behind the point selected in the second and fifth step.

"I know there is a lot of information here, but I find these commands very useful when I am working with a very complex model. These commands are best used when in an isometric view so you can easily pick the same point for steps two and five. The values (12 & 225) can be replaced with any values that the user wants to use; the smaller the number, the smaller the depth of view will be. These commands work 99% of the time; sometimes, however, the view could be slightly skewed. If this happens, just reset the view and retry."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton:
This tip seems more complicated than it really is; each of these custom commands is nothing more than a macro. They have a preset series of command entries that will rotate your view and create a custom UCS, allowing you to work in a specific plane.


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