CAD Tip 1025: Polylines are your friends
Good works are links that form a chain of love.
Polylines are your friends. If you make more use of them, and learn more of the tricks and features of using them, you will, I believe, come to appreciate their many advantages.
One highly capable CAD designer who I worked with showed me this. He would fill the world of a CAD drawing with polylines. At first I wondered why he spent his time doing it. Later I gradually came to understand the benefits.
Polyline benefits include:
- Can be closed or open.
- Foolproof boundaries for hatch objects (no leaks!) when closed.
- Can be associated with a hatch object for easy adjustments of the hatch later.
- Save-able, editable enclosures for area takeoffs.
- Easy to go back later and see the precise area boundary to verify accuracy of a takeoff.
- Easy to select entire polyline for any editing needed (fewer objects to find and click on).
- Easy to stretch and re-size with no trimming.
- Easy to “send to back” or front of the draw order.
- Width of polyline (as it appears graphically) can be set using Global Width variable.
- Can add or delete vertices with little time/effort cost.
- Can combine straight lines and arcs in a polyline.
- Arcs meet straight lines (if the arc follows the straight line) in perfect tangential relationships by default.
- Arcs meet arcs in perfect tangential relationships.
- If desired, an arc can meet a straight line in a non-tangential relationship (using the Second Point option).
- Great tool for measuring the length of a path (or a pipe, wire, etc.) when open.
- Polyline can serve as a quick and easy substitute for a simple block.
- When acting as a substitute for a block, a polyline has multiple insert points for easy copying, moving, etc.
- Can be 2D or 3D.
- The Undo function works inside of the polyline creating tool (PL).
- Simple lines and arcs can be transformed into polylines using the Polyline Edit (PE) tool.
I could go on and on.
Remember also that a rectangle created using the Draw>Rectangle tool is a particular shape of polyline, having the above advantages. It’s a good idea to use rectangles, whenever possible, to create a rectangle, instead of using individual lines.
Well, until Gotham needs me again, that’s it for now.
Keep on CADDing! 🙂