AutoCAD tips: Wall studs

Through this short tutorial, you will learn how to create a partition stud wall by attaching separate studs to a wall. There are two main principles to this technique:

1.   Create a Layout Curve – this is alignment geometry that has nodes that are equally spaced, repeated over a length, or manually spaced.

2.   Anchor studs to the Layout Curve – the anchor is used to attach studs (defined as structural members) to the Layout Curve.

First off, if you can’t see it, you may need to enable the Design pull-down menu as this is not enabled by default. To do this, from the Windows pull-down, select Pulldowns, then choose Design Menu:


Let’s start by applying some studs to a basic 100mm wall. Draw a wall using the Standard wall style and set the width to 100. Use baseline justification:

Next up, we shall create a layout curve which will assign nodes to the wall that will  be used to position the studs. From the Design menu, choose “Layout Tools and Anchors”, then select “Add Layout Curve”, or simply type “layoutcurveadd” at the Command line and you will see the following prompts:

Select a curve: Pick the wall

Select node layout mode [Manual/Repeat/Space evenly] : R for Repeat
Start offset <0.0>: 25
End offset <0.0>:
Spacing <304.8>: 400


A number of magenta circles have been added to the wall – each circle represents a node of the layout curve and they are spaced at 400mm intervals. Note: by default, these circles will not plot and we can also adjust the radius they are drawn with (more on that later).
To define the studs, we shall create a new structural member style. From the Format menu, choose “Structural Members”, then select “Wizard”:


Select “Cut Lumber” in the “Wood” folder, then press “Next”.

For “Section Width” enter 50, and for “Section Depth”, enter 100. Then press “Next”.


Finally, enter the name of the style (e.g. “Wall Stud”) and then press “Finish”.

Once the structural member style has been created, use the “ColumnAdd” command to insert one in an arbitrary position near the wall. This command can simply be typed at the command line or you can select it from either the “Design” tool palette, or from the “Design” menu (Structural Members -> Add Column). Which ever way you choose, insert as illustrated below:

To add the stud to each of the nodes along the wall, we shall use the “Node Anchor”. From the Design menu, choose “Layout Tools and Anchor”, then choose “Node Anchor” (or simply type “NodeAnchor” at the command line).


Command: nodeanchor

Node anchor [Attach object/Set node/Copy to each node]: C (for copy)

Select object to be copied and anchored: select the stud

Select layout tool: select one of the circles of the layout curve

5 object(s) copied.

Your wall will now look like this:


These studs will now stick to the wall, so if the wall moves, the studs will remain attached. If the wall is stretched longer, additional nodes will be created, but you will need to use the AutoCAD.

Copy command to add new studs. To do this, copy one of the other anchored studs to one of the new nodes.

I mentioned earlier that we could reduce the size of the circles of the layout curve and doing so will help us see their centre positions. To do this, select one of the circles, right-click and choose “Edit Object Display” from the cursor menu. In the “Object Display” dialog, click on the “Edit Display Properties” button.


Switch to the “Other” tab in the dialog and enter a radius of 25, then OK both dialogs.


Your wall should now look like this:

Of course, studs will not always be so conveniently placed, but we do have control over individual stud positions. There are three types of layout curve and the one we used let us set an initial offset of 25mm which is why the first stud edge aligns with the start of the walls (e.g. half of 50mm, the width of the stud).

Now let’s say we want to add an extra stud at the end of the wall which isn’t going to be placed 400mm from the current last one. To do this, edit the properties of the layout curve and change its type from “Repeat” to “Manual”.


Select the layout curve now and you will see different grip points:


Select the “+” grip on the right and an additional node will be added:


Select the node, and then select the triangular grip to adjust its position.

The distance is set from the start of the wall. In this example, the wall is 1844mm long, therefore to align the stud 25mm in from the wall end, I’ll enter a dimension of 1819, and the wall will now look like this:

As mentioned above, to add the additional stud to the wall, simply copy one of the other studs in the wall to the new node, and your wall will now look like this:


Now we’ve just got one more concept to learn. The layout curve is based upon the baseline of the wall and in this example, the baseline is along the wall centre and hence our studs align conveniently within the wall. Let’s try the same with a wall style where the baseline is along the outside edge of the studs, as in the example below:


In order to position the studs in the middle of the wall, you can set an offset to their anchor properties. To do this, select all the studs, right-click and choose “Properties”, then pick the “Anchor” button in the Properties palette:

Then in the Anchor dialog, enter a “Y Offset” of -50mm (if they go the wrong way try 50mm next!).


To re-cap:

• Use a Repeat Layout Curve to create nodes.

• Use Node Anchor to attach studs defined as structural members to each node.

• Convert layout curve to Manual to position individual studs.

• Use standard AutoCAD copy to add new studs.

• Adjust Y offset of the stud anchor property to adjust the position of the stud across the wall. Note: you can use the X offset to adjust the stud position along the wall too.

• Using the default UK template, the layout curve nodes are placed on the layer “G-Anno- Nplt” that can be turned off, but as the name implies, this layer is set not to plot.

For additional AutoCAD Architecture information refer to the product webpages

If you have any CAD-related queries, don’t hesitate to call the CAD team on 03332 409 204 or email!
Call us: 03332 409 306

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *