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Drafting Project

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Lab 1

Switch Plate


Assignment: Switch Plate


The following instructions are to be used to draw the switch plate.  As we proceed along in the course, less and less explicit instructions will be given.  We will start by drawing the outline of the switch plate using absolute coordinates, and then utilize relative coordinate entry and show polar coordinate entry.


Type L from the keyboard or from the Draw pulldown menu chose "Line" command. From the command line, Autocad will ask you to specify the first point and so on for as many points as needed for and entity. Hit enter after each point entry.


            4.25, 2.875

            4.25, 5.625

            8.75, 5.625

            8.75, 2.875



The C letter will finish any polygon by drawing a line from wherever it is at back to the starting point.  You have now drawn the outline.  Note that it appears sideways on the screen because the long axis of the paper is defined as the horizontal axis.  If you cannot see the rectangle, from the pulldown menu, go View/Zoom/Extents.


Save  this file using the correct naming convention (LAST NAME-Lab1.dwg).  Remember to save often to prevent loss of your work.


We will use polar coordinates in association with relative coordinate entry to draw the slot in the switch plate that the light switch goes through.  Again start the line command as described above and enter the following values (remember you can also just press Enter to reactivate the command).  We will first anchor the line using absolute coordinates.


            5.8437, 4.06

            @ .375<90

            @ 1.3125<0

            @ .375<270



Now we are ready to draw the holes in the switch plate for the attachment screws.  The holes are drawn with the CIRCLE command.  From the toolbar on the left select CIRCLE (its a circle with a radius at 45) or you may type CIRCLE or the letter C.  Several options will appear on the command line with the default being Center Point.  Enter the absolute coordinate


             5.3125, 4.25


After you press ENTER, you will be prompted for a diameter or radius (default) if you typed C or utilized the circle command from toolbar. At this time enter the diameter of .125.


For the top or right screw hole, either start the command again or press ENTER to reactivate the circle command and enter the center of the circle as


            7.6875, 4.25


You will notice that when asking for the diameter or radius, AutoCAD remembers what the last value was and uses that as a default value.  Just press ENTER and accept the default.  If you make a mistake anywhere, AutoCAD provides a way to undo what you have done, just type U.


The drawing is now complete and we want to enter in the text associated with it.  On the Command Line, type TEXT.  On the command line you will see several options, we will want to center justify the text so type J and ENTER.  Of the justification options, type C for center and ENTER.  You will be prompted for the center point, type in


            3.5, 4.25 Enter


AutoCAD asks you for a text height, just hit ENTER to accept the default value of .2 inches.  Next you will be prompted for the rotational angle.  Type 270 so the text will be properly rotated.  Finally, you will see on the command line Text.  Type in the following: 


            LAB PROJECT #1

            SWITCH PLATE

            YOUR NAME



Be sure to hit enter after each line.  After the date is typed in, press ENTER to get to the next line and then ENTER again to end the command. Now we will draw a rectangle around our project using relative coordinate entry with the line command. Anchor and start the line at 0,0. Then proceed to @10.5,0 then to @0,8 then @-10.5,0 and finally close the rectangle with key entry of C. The drawing is now complete.  Save and email this file to


Extra Credit (10 points max):  Use the Dimension commands to dimension the switch plate sufficiently so that someone could fabricate the plate.   Make sure the Snap/ON command is set.


                               Last Updated:  7 February 11