Geometric and Dimensional Constraints

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Have you ever wanted to draw a rectangle in AutoCAD and wished it would stay that shape? Although there is a specific Rectangle command, it simply creates a polyline entity, not a smart rectangle object.  What if you could make a smart rectangle that would hold that shape?  It’s easy to do, follow along.

In the status bar, click the first icon on the left

This tells AutoCAD to apply geometric contraints as possible, on newly created objects. Now draw a rectangle.

You should see that three geometric constraints were applied (five constraint icons are visible). The top and bottom lines are parallel, the side lines are parallel, and one corner is constrained to perpendicular. At this point, editing commands will not be allowed to change the shape of this object. If you grip edit one corner, the rectangle holds shape and only allows change in size. You could further constrain this object by size using dimensional constraints to limit the editing ability even more.

Constraining a rectangle to shape and size is just one of many possibilities. Explore geometric and dimensional constraints and let us know how you are using them.

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