AutoCAD – Using AutoCAD to Investigate the Eclipse

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Did you know that AutoCAD is a mathematical tool as well as a drafting package? This is probably not of much interest to the average draftsman, but I know many Engineers struggle with geometrical calculations. You could use MatLab or something similar, but that takes a lot of function setup. It is easier to model the challenge. Here is one example where I investigated the solar eclipse to scale.

I was astounded to discover that AutoCAD handles very large distances with aplomb. Here is a pretend earth orbiting in a circle around the sun. note the size of the radius.

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

Now see how small the orbit of the moon is around the earth. You might just be able to see it.

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

The red lines represent insolation rays that just kiss the surface of the moon.

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

Now zooming in it looks as if we may just see a shadow cast on the planet (the radius of the moon is 1/400 of the sun, and is also 400 times closer to the earth).

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

Below you can see how the idealized solution is close but not exactly a success. Still, the ability of AutoCAD to handle large-scale geometry is remarkable. Try this with Revit and see how far you get.

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

This celestial arrangement was made so much more real for me when I could see everything in perspective. The next time you see the corona of the sun, marvel at the awesomeness of it all.

Autodesk, Micrographics, AutoCAD 2021, Large Scale Geometry, Solar System, Eclipse

If you need help adopting AutoCAD in your practice, contract Micrographics so we may be of assistance.

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