Creating Baseline and Continued Dimensions

As you dimension your design, you may need to create a series of dimensions all measured from the same base or datum point, or several dimensions that add up to the total measurement. Baseline and continued dimensions help you accomplish both tasks. Baseline dimensions create a series of dimensions measured from the same dimension origin. Continued dimensions create a series of dimensions placed end to end. Each continued dimension begins at the second extension line of the previous one.

To create a baseline or continued dimension, you must first create (or select) a linear, ordinate, or angular dimension to serve as the base dimension. AutoCAD measures

  • Baseline dimensions from the base dimension’s first extension line
  • The first continued dimension from the base dimension’s second extension line and then each succeeding continued dimension from the second extension line of the previous one

The following illustration shows baseline dimensions.

baseline_dimension01

To create a baseline dimension

  1. Create (or select) a linear, ordinate, or angular dimension to serve as the base dimension.
  2. From the Dimension menu, choose Baseline.
  3. AutoCAD uses the base dimension’s first extension line as the origin.

  4. Specify the second extension line location, and then continue to select extension line locations until you complete the baseline series.
  5. AutoCAD places the second dimension above the first at the baseline spacing specified in the Lines and Arrows tab of the Dimension Style dialog box (see “Formatting Dimension Lines and Arrows”).

    baseline_dimension02

  6. Press ENTER.
  7. If you want to create another baseline dimension series, choose a new base dimension and create the baseline dimensions. Otherwise press ENTER to exit the command.

When dimensioning a series of connected objects, use object snaps such as Endpoint and Intersection to precisely place baseline dimensions. You can also use Quick Dimension to dimension multiple objects (see “Dimensioning Multiple Objects”).

Command line DIMBASELINE
Creating continued dimensions is similar to creating baseline dimensions. However, though baseline dimensions are all based on the same dimension origin, AutoCAD uses each continued dimension’s second extension line as the origin for the next. The continued dimensions share a common dimension line, as shown in the following illustration.

baseline_dimension03

To create a continued dimension

  1. Create a base linear, ordinate, or angular dimension.
  2. The second point you specify is the origin for the first continued dimension.

  3. From the Dimension menu, choose Continue.
  4. AutoCAD uses the second extension line of the base dimension as the origin and prompts you to place the second extension line point.

  5. Specify the second extension line point.
  6. Continue to select additional extension line origins until you complete the continued dimension series.
  7. Press ENTER twice to end the command.

Command line DIMCONTINUE

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