Creating hatched areas using curved shapes in AutoCAD

We’re always keen to hear about new AutoCAD tips, so when our newest Twitter friend Paul Munford (aka @CadSetterOut) was recently the guest blogger on Autodesk’s Between the Lines blog, we thought we’d share his useful post titled ‘How to create AutoCAD Hatches that use curved shapes’. Enjoy!

“Do you need to create hatched areas in AutoCAD using Circles, Arcs or Splines? Find out how with this quick tip.

OK, my title is a bit cheeky. Of course, you can’t create AutoCAD hatches with Circles, Arcs and Splines. But I can show you another technique that you could use to get a great result.

Did you know that AutoCAD’s CLIP command can be used to clip Blocks?

We can use this feature of AutoCAD to create a reuseable pattern that will act in place of a Hatch.

Creating Hatched Areas In Auto CAD 1

To use this method we will need:
•    An AutoCAD Block which will represent our hatch.
•    A Polyline as the Clipping Boundary.

Tip: The polyline can be closed or open, but it must contain straight line segments only.

Pick a Block to Clip

You will find the CLIP command on the Insert tab on the Reference Panel.
Tip: If you are using AutoCAD in Classic Mode you can use:
Modify Menu > Clip > XRef

You can also start the CLIP command by typing ‘CLIP’ at the command line.
AutoCAD will ask us to select an object to be clipped:
Command: CLIP

Creating Hatched Areas In Auto CAD 2

Select Object to clip:

In this case we will choose our Block.

AutoCAD will ask us for a clipping option.
Enter clipping option:
[ON/OFF/Clipdepth/Delete/generate Polyline/New boundary] <New>:
In this case we will choose New to create a new clipping boundary.

Pick a Boundary

Creating Hatched Areas In Auto CAD 3

AutoCAD will ask you to specify a clipping boundary:

Specify clipping boundary or select invert option:
[Select polyline/Polygonal/Rectangular/Invert clip] <Rectangular>:

In this case we will choose Select Polyline and pick the Polyline that we wish to use as our clipping boundary.

The Result

The Block is clipped to the Polyline that we gave it!

Note: The Block is not permanently trimmed, and can be used again elsewhere in the drawing.

The clipping boundary can be adjusted at anytime by Grip editing or using the CLIP command again to define a new boundary.

An Added Tip

AutoCAD 2012’s new Dynamic Array objects behave like Blocks. They can also be trimmed with the CLIP command.

Creating Hatched Areas In Auto CAD 4

I hope that you enjoyed this quick explanation of Block clipping.”

Paul has his own website devoted to providing the CAD community with tips and advice gained from his experiences as a joinery draughtsman using AutoCAD and Inventor

If you want to get your hands on AutoCAD, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email

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