This tutorial is unusual, because you don’t need AutoCAD to do it.
You draw full size in AutoCAD. But before long, you may need to set the scale of text, dimensions, and other objects that need to be the right size after you plot on a sheet of paper. In a large drawing, such as a drawing of a house, you obviously need to scale down to fit it on a sheet of paper. For small objects, you might scale up.
You can add text and dimensions in paper space and avoid scaling. You can also use annotative text and dimensions, but you still need to choose a scale.
Let’s say you have a drawing of a house. The drawing is 175 feet wide by 120 feet high. Some typical scales for an architectural drawing of a house in the United States are 1/4″=1′ and 1/8″=1′.
Follow these steps:
- Calculate the plotted size of the width at 1/4″=1′. 175′ x 1/4 = 43-1/4″.
- Calculate the plotted size of the height at the same scale. 120′ x 1/4 = 30″.
- Test this size on a size D sheet (34″x22″). It’s too small. Test it on a size E sheet (44″x34″). It would just fit, but allowing for a title block and margin would make it too tight.
- Recalculate the width at 1/8″=1′. 175′ x 1/8 = 21-7/8″.
- Recalculate the height at 1/8″=1′. 120′ x 1/8 = 15″.
- A size C sheet (22″x17″) is close but you might have problems with the margins. If you can move some objects in the drawing to make it slightly narrower, you’ll do fine. Otherwise, you’ll need a size D sheet.
- Sometimes, you need the scale factor, which is just how many times bigger the full size is compared to the plotted size. For a 1/8″=1′ scale. multiply both sides of the equation by 8 to get 1″=8′. Then convert to inches. 8″ x 12 = 96.