Consejos y Trucos
Using the UCS to More Easily Work with Angled 2D Areas

February 22, 2011

By Aurora Helen, an architecture designer and CAD software user


We are all familiar with the user coordinate system (UCS), but we rarely use it for 2D drafting, because most designers consider it to be a tool strictly for 3D design. After my experience with this kind of work, however, I find that it also works well as a helpful tool for 2D design. Allow me to explain.

I work in the field of architecture, and every day I have to design detail drawings. Many of the drawings on which I work have a portion of the design that is rotated -- or at an angle to the rest of the drawing. One example is illustrated by the figure below. Pay attention to the two desks colored in magenta (pink).



How would you draw those angled desks? In earlier times, I would have drawn them as blocks, inserted them in the drawing, and then used the Align command to rotate them into place. (Blocks are commonly used in large, complex drawings.) For simple objects like these rectangles, I might also use the Line and Offset command to accomplish the task.

However, the manual process annoyed me so much that I knew I had to find an alternative to this silly approach. I searched the Internet, and so found a good solution that uses UCS.

With the UCS command, you can easily fix the problem. Here are the steps to accomplish this in ZWCAD:

1. At the command window, type UCS, and then press Enter.

2. Notice the options illustrated below. Choose the 3Point option: just type 3, and then press Enter.


3. Pick a point for the new origin. The exact point does not matter, since we just want to rotate the x and y axes with this command.

4. Select a second point on the positive x-axis, and then a third point near the positive y-axis. These two points should align with the rotated portion of the drawing, as shown by the following screen shot.



Notice how the grid and the cursor are also aligned with the angled portion of the drawing. This allows you to easily draw lines parallel and perpendicular to the wall.
5. You might, however, not like it that the cursor and grid are not aligned to the screen. To change this, just enter the Plan command and press Enter. Notice that the drawing changes, as shown by the screen grab below. Now the UCS, grid, the cursor, and the angled portion of the building are aligned to the screen. 


6. After drawing and editing in the angled portion of the drawing, you can easily return the UCS to the World: enter UCS, and then press the Enter key twice. You might have to run the Plan command again to re-adjust the grid and cursor to align with the screen, as it was in the beginning.

As you can see, this is very easy and convenient method. Try it yourself, and if you have any more tips on using ZWCAD for architectural design, please share them here

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