Monday, 2 February 2015

ARRAY of Sunshine

AutoCAD has for a long time, had a powerful modify command: ARRAY. ARRAY is essentially a multiple copy command, creating clones of a selection set on either a grid (rectangular) or circle (polar) arrangement. Since AutoCAD 2013, however, the ARRAY command has become even more versatile and powerful. Let's briefly look at both ARRAY commands: ARRAY and ARRAYCLASSIC.

This is the new name for the long standing command that prior to AutoCAD 2013 was simply called ARRAY. It creates multiple copies of a selection in either a rectangular or circular arrangement. The end result is a series of separate objects, all identical to the source selection.

Rectangular array prompts users for the number of rows, number of columns and the spacing between rows and spacing between columns. Polar array copies objects around a center point. Two of three criteria are required: number of objects, total angle to fill and angle between objects.

ARRAYCLASSIC gives the traditional dialog box, with plenty of user entry options, and even an in-window preview.


This is the new revamped command, with an old name. Much like its historic namesake, it creates multiple copies of a selection in a rectangular or radial pattern, but also along a path.  The big difference here is the array becomes its own object and is associative; the array can be selected and modified after creation!

Another major difference is the lack of a dialog box; the ARRAY command is driven at the command line. Here is a peek at the many options available when creating a path array:

As you can see there are powerful options inside of this command, perhaps more than a dialog box can support. Once an array is created or selected, a context-sensitive ribbon appears so the array parameters can be modified in the ribbon.

The new ARRAY command is very powerful, editable, and associative! Check it out!