DraftSight makes hatching a drawing quick and easy, especially compared to the ancient era of the drafting board when every single hatch line had to be drawn by hand. I can tell you from thankfully brief experience, that was no fun. With DraftSight it only takes a few clicks, a few selections, and you’re done!
The Hatch Command
The HATCH command, or the -HATCH command if you prefer keyboard entry in the command window to dialog boxes, is a powerful and flexible tool. It allows you to add clarity and legibility to drawings by filling an enclosed area with a predefined hatch pattern. A large selection of ANSI, ISO, Sample, and Custom hatch patterns are pre-installed with DraftSight. User-defined patterns can also be created. Control options including Angle, Scale, Spacing, etc. are available to adjust the selected pattern as needed.
The closely related FILLAREA command launches the same dialog box, but on the ‘Fill’ tab instead of the ‘Hatch’ tab. Regardless of whether you launch the dialog with the HATCH or FILLAREA command, you can switch between the two whenever you like. We’ll cover creating solid fills and color gradients with this command / tab in another post.
Apply a Hatch Pattern
The normal workflow to create a hatch is simple and quick. First zoom to the area you want to fill with a hatch pattern so you can see all of it, then launch the HATCH command. Select the hatch pattern you want to use. (You can wait and do this after you’ve selected the area to be hatched, if you wish.)
Click on the ‘Specify points’ button. This takes you back to the graphics area. Click inside the region you want to hatch. So long as the area is completely enclosed by entities, DraftSight will automatically detect the hatch boundary. You can select multiple enclosed regions, and the resulting hatch will all be a single entity. Hit the Enter key, or right click and hit Enter from the context menu to return to the Hatch dialog box.
Sometimes there will be internal regions you do not want to hatch inside the hatch boundary. These ‘islands’ are automatically detected. You can change the behavior of how they are handled by clicking the ‘Additional Options…’ button and altering the options found there. Note and SimpleNote entities are treated as internal regions so they will not be covered in hatch lines.
Click the Ok button to end the command and create the Hatch entity. Or adjust the settings if needed. You can click on the ‘Preview’ button to make sure the hatch looks how you want it after making changes. From the Preview, hit Escape to go back to the dialog box and adjust the settings again, or right-click to finish the command.
Editing a Hatch Pattern
If you have finished the command and created a new Hatch entity, but then find you still want to make changes, it’s easy to edit. Just double-click on the hatch pattern to bring up the Hatch / Fill dialog box. Or right-click on it and select ‘Hatch Edit…’ from the context menu. You could also type the EDITHATCH command and select the hatch you want to change.
Hatches really help make a drawing ‘pop’, especially when combined with good use of layers. For example, compare the two Front Elevations below. The only difference is the one on the left has no hatch entities.
The workflow described above is probably what you’ll find yourself doing most of the time, for most hatches. But there are many more options available. To learn more, consult DraftSight Help:
About Creating Hatches, Fills and Gradients – 2023 – DraftSight Help (solidworks.com)
DraftSight’s preloaded hatch patterns and efficient workflow make hatching a breeze. Settings and options provide nearly limitless variety in the hatches you can create. Whether you just want a simple section view of a machined part, a spruced up elevation, or a complex site map, DraftSight has got you covered.
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