As a technical illustrator, I’ve always found that there is more than one way of completing the same task and every illustrator has their own techniques and methods. One of the best things about BricsCAD is that it offers options. It allows you to work the way that is best for you. To demonstrate this, here are 11 ways to draw a square in BricsCAD. They might just surprise you.

Is there only one way to use CAD?

The easy way

Let’s start simple. Use POLYGON, by default the number of sides is set to 4. Draw from the center to a vertex, center to side or along an edge.

The almost as easy way

Click the rectangle button, type REC in the Commandline OR right click and select ‘Rectangle’ from the Quad. So long as DYN is turned ‘on’, then it’s simply a case of typing in the size you want.

draw a square in BricsCAD

Tip: Hover over the polylines and hold ctrl to select a section of the polyline, repeat this on the opposite side and use Nearest Distance to change the dimensions of the rectangle.

change diameter of polygon in BricsCAD

Polylines

You can also create a rectangle using the polyline tool. First, turn on ORTHO. Then, click your starting point and draw 3 polylines at 90 degrees. Complete with  ‘close’.

drawing with polyline

Note: If you draw 4 polylines and then click ‘close’ an additional, hidden vertex will be created, giving you a 5 sided polygon.

Constraints

This time we’re going to turn a non-uniform shape into a square. First, draw out your 4 sided polygon. Don’t worry too much about being precise. Then add your constraints. The bonus of this method is that you can then edit any of the constraints at any point to adapt to your needs.

BricsCAD square constraints

Lines

Another option is to draw one line, displace it, rotate with a copy and then join.

copy lines

Boundary

If you have a selection of lines that already mark out your square, you can use the boundary tool to generate a closed polygon. First check that Enable Boundary Detection is turned ‘on’. Then, simply hover over the boundary and use the GENERATEBOUNDARY command.

draw a square in BricsCAD with boundary

Tip: This also works for hatching.

Extract edges

If you have a cube or any solid with a square side, you can use XEDGES to extract the edges and draw a square. The advantage is that this works on any plane. Ensure that Face Selection is turned ‘on’. Then, simply hover over the face and use the XEDGES command.

extract edges cube

Square the circle

If you have a set of 4, curved, joined polylines you can adjust the bulges to create a square. Hover over a polyline section and hold Ctrl, click to select the section and adjust the bulge in the properties panel.

draw a square in BricsCAD

PEdit

You can use the straighten option in the PEdit tool library to remove vertices. Complete using Nearest Distance.

Pedit to straighten polygons

Array

If you have one line you can use an ARRAY to rotate it around a central point. Although this does draw a square, you will need to explode the Array and then join the lines in order to create a completed square.

array draw a square in BricsCAD

Hint: In this example I have marked my center of rotation with a point.

LISP

LISP is a little scary if you’ve never used it before, but extremely powerful for repetitive and complex tasks. To draw the same square of 50×50, use the following commands in the command line:

(setq a (getpoint))

0,0,0

(setq b (getpoint))

50,50,0

(command “rectang” a b “”)(princ)

You can learn more here.

Have I missed any techniques?

Why not let me know in the comments below.

Try it for yourself

Easy to try, easy to buy, easy to own. That’s BricsCAD®. Try all of our products, for free for 30 days at www.bricsys.com. Freedom of choice, plus perpetual (permanent) product licenses that work with all languages, in all places. You’ll love what we’ve built for you with the BricsCAD® product family.


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