Knowledge Base

Category: AutoCAD
Topic ID: 204
Title: Working with Architectural Units
Created: 2002-10-09Last modified: 0000-00-00

In AutoCAD, distances can be expressed in the following notations:
Scientific 1e+0
Decimal 1.0
Engineering 1.0"
Architectural 1"
Fractional 1

Problem
In SurvCADD (used for civil engineering, mining, and surveying), 1 drawing unit = 1 foot. Most architectural drawings are drawn where 1 drawing unit = 1 inch.

A common problem is a civil/survey firm receives an architectural drawing and then realizes that everything seems 12 times too large. Let's say you inverse between two endpoints of a line and the result is 144.00 feet. Remember that SurvCADD always works in feet. 144 is the length of the line, so SurvCADD reports that length at 144 feet, but its actually 144 inches (12 feet).

This is not an error in SurvCADD or in the way the drawing is prepared.

Solution
The solution is to scale the drawing down by a factor of 12.
Rather than using the AutoCAD scale command, let's use an easier method.

For AutoCAD R14

  1. Open a new empty drawing.
  2. On the Draw menu, choose Insert.
  3. Press the "File" button.
  4. Choose the architectural drawing and press "Open".
  5. Uncheck "Specify Parameters on Screen"
  6. Turn on the "Explode" toggle.
  7. Under "Scale", enter 1/12 for X, Y, and Z.
  8. Press OK

For AutoCAD R2000+
  1. Open a new empty drawing.
  2. On the Draw menu, choose Insert.
  3. Press the "Browse" button.
  4. Choose the architectural drawing and press "Open".
  5. Uncheck all of the "Specify on Screen" toggles.
  6. Turn on the "Explode" Toggle.
  7. Under "Scale", enter 1/12 for X, Y, and Z.
  8. Press OK.

Using the Insert method ensures against scaling a drawing with layers that are locked, frozen, etc.

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