The drafting of house plans by architects or builders is one of the main uses for Autocad 2d. These plans are then to be submitted for council approval, according to their guidelines.
The first step in the drafting process would be to create a new drawing by opening an existing template (dwt) file from within the Autocad 2d workspace. A variety of metric and imperial templates ship with Autocad, and it's common practice to edit one of these to save it as your own custom template, complete with all your text and dimension styles, title blocks and sheet sizes. Then, all that's needed is to draw your new content, scale it to the correct size and output it as a PDF to send to council, or for the client's approval. Other export file types are DWG or DXF for file sharing purposes.
The next step is to draw up the various elevations in Model Space at a scale of 1:1. Materials or cross-sections could be represented by hatch patterns in various coloured layers. And any repeatable items like doors and windows could be created or imported as Blocks. The last part of the drawing process is to add dimensions and text, as well as tables and text leaders to point out certain parts of the drawing.
New users often ask whether Autocad will automatically generate elevations from the original drawing, in a similar fashion to how Revit operates. This is now possible, unfortunately. There are two basic types of drafting software. In some, like Revit and VectorWorks, the user creates a 3D model from which 2D elevations are later extracted. In other programs, like Autocad, the floor plan is drawn first. Then we move into the 3D workspace via the Workspace Shifter on the bottom right of the interface. We would then extrude the various lines and poly-lines upwards in the the Z-axis to create the 3D model. This is possible only the full version of Autocad, however. The cheaper Autocad LT (or Lite) version allows us only to create in 2 dimensions. 3D models can be opened and inspected in Autocad LT, but not created or modified.
The drafter then switches to Autocad's Paper Space layouts to view the drawing in the Viewport windows. It is these windows that are scaled to 1:100, for example. The company's title block could now be added or modified, if it doesn't already exist within the template. And we can create various sheet sizes, for example A4 for desktop printers, A3 and A2 to larger print formats. And the drawing could be output as a DWG for other CAD users, or as a DXF file for sharing and opening within other programs. A very common format would be the PDF which basically anyone with a computer could view using a PDF reader. We can also, of course, send the drawing to a physical printer or plotter.
And this process is generally the same every time we create house plans in the Autocad 2D workspace.
Tom Gillan has been training AutoCAD 2D to corporate clients in Sydney for seven years. Visit Design Workshop Sydney for more information.