- Using Isometric Snap
- Switching Isometric Planes
- Using COPY and Other Edit Commands
- Drawing Isometric Circles with ELLIPSE
- Drawing Text Aligned with Isometric Planes
- Drawing Ellipses in Orthographic Views
- Saving and Restoring Displays with VIEW
- Chapter Summary
- Chapter Test Questions
- Chapter Drawing Projects
Switching Isometric Planes
If you tried to draw the boxes in the preceding section with Ortho on, you discovered that it is impossible. Without changing the orientation of the crosshairs, you can draw in only two of the three isometric planes. We need to be able to switch planes so that we can leave Ortho on for accuracy and speed. There are several ways to do this, but the simplest, quickest, and most convenient way is to use the <F5> key (or <Ctrl>+E).
Before beginning, take a look at Figure 11-4. It shows the three planes of a standard isometric drawing. These planes are often referred to as top, front, and right. However, AutoCAD’s terminology is top, left, and right. We stick with AutoCAD’s labels in this chapter.
Figure 11-4 Isometric planes
Now look at Figure 11-5, and you can see how the isometric crosshairs are oriented to draw in each of the planes. The gridlines change for each isoplane as well. They will be at 90° and 150° for the left isoplane, 30° and 150° for the top isoplane, and 30° and 90° for the right isoplane.
Figure 11-5 Isometric crosshairs
✓ Press <F5> (or <Ctrl> 1E) to switch from left to top.
You can also open the isoplane list to the right of the ISODRAFT tool on the status bar to switch among the planes. The advantage of <F5> is that you can switch while drawing without moving your cursor away from the object you are drawing.
✓ Press <F5> again to switch from top to right.
✓ Press <F5> once more to switch back to left.
✓ Now turn Ortho on and draw a box outline like the one in Figure 11-6.
Figure 11-6 Isometric box outline
You need to switch planes several times to accomplish this. Notice that you can switch planes using <F5> without interrupting the LINE command. If you find that you are in the wrong plane to construct a line, switch planes. Because every plane allows movement in two of the three directions, you can always move in the direction you want with one switch. However, you may not be able to hit the snap point you want. If you cannot, switch planes again.