Fellow CAD learners, we all know that hatching is not exclusive to hens. Actually, we can hatch better than them. In this article, I’m sharing with you how to embellish our drawings with the command, Super Hatch.
First, let’s be clear. A hatch is basically a pattern. You can fill an area with it to make it easy for project members to distinguish the elements or for purchasers and producers to identify the materials.
Most of the time, the plain and simple Hatch command could do the job. But it wouldn’t matter how rich of a pattern library ZWCAD provides because, why not put some icing on the cake, right?
Before we move on, here are 2 ways to invoke Super Hatch:
- Input [SUPERHATCH] in the command line and press Enter.
- Click Express→Tools→Super Hatch icon as below in the Ribbon menu.
Well, the first step isn’t necessarily the hardest, is it? Keep reading and you’ll see how to use Super Hatch in 3 ways – Block, Image and Xref.
Hatch with blocks
Now, I will show you how to fill an area with the blocks you’ve created. (Not quite sure how to make or handle blocks? This can help!)
After you invoke Super Hatch, a dialogue box would pop up.
You can choose which block to hatch by name.
Then, you get to specify the parameters your way. If you prefer locating the block directly in the drawing, leave the “Specify Parameters on Screen” option checked and do that after clicking “OK”. If not, simply uncheck it and input the corresponding values.
Next, you can specify the scale and rotation angle of the block you’re inserting. For example, if you leave the scale as 1 and the rotation angle as 0, the block will be inserted at the exact scale and position you’ve drawn it at.
After you set these parameters, you can decide whether to go with the placement or reset them by entering “Yes” or “No” as suggested in the command line.
Following that, you are to determine the gap among the blocks in the hatched area. It can be done by specifying the first and the other corner of the “magenta rectang”, the purplish-red rectangle enclosing your block. It’s like you’re creating this new virtual rectangular block with your to-be-hatched blocks in it. The bigger the magenta rectang is, the more distant the actual blocks will be from one another.
Finally, the last step is to choose the entity that you’re hatching by clicking inside it.
Hatch with images
Blocks are cool, but images are even better. With them, you can present your drawings more vividly and better meet the actual production requirements. The procedures of hatching them are similar to what we’ve gone through with blocks, only that you need to choose one of the three path types to save your images – full, relative and no path.
If you keep your image files in a folder and will never move it, by all means choose the full path. A more flexible and frequently used option would be the relative path, which is at your disposal as long as the image and the host drawing are in the same folder. As for the no path option, choose it if you plan to move that set of drawings to a different or unknown folder hierarchy in the future. In any case, make sure that your drawing files are uniquely named.
Hatch with Xrefs
By now, I believe that you’ve got a clear idea of how to use Super Hatch. And hatching with Xrefs shares similar steps as was mentioned above, so I won’t repeat them.
Xrefs (short for external references) can be DWG files, image files, PDFs, etc. If your drawings require frequent modifications, are examined by multiple people or used on different drawings, then Xrefs could be a convenient choice. Whether to hatch with them totally depends on you or your company. If you are to use them as hatches, pay attention to the bottom left of the Super Hatch dialogue box. You will need to choose a reference type, Attachment or Overlay.
As the names suggest, you can attach Xrefs to the hatched areas in your drawings or simply overlay them. It depends on whether you want your Xrefs and host drawing to be inseparable or not.
Pairing Super Hatch with other functions, you can get your job done much faster. For example, with Smart Select, one of our most popular features (Click here to see the others!), you can tell how many blocks/images/Xrefs you’ve hatched. I’ve recently used this combo to help my friend figure out how many floor tiles he needed for renovating his closet. You can certainly unlock its potential!
To me, Super Hatch means cool visuals and wise decisions on what materials to purchase. What do you think of it? Feel free to share in the comment section below!