Did you know you can do this in autocad?
UrbanLISP
AutoCAD AutoCAD AutoCAD

Span lines

If you look closely, many things in urban design and landscape architecture show a line pattern. For example a bridge of wooden elements, a fence or paving. They all have a repetition of lines. Sometimes you can use a hatch to show that repetition. But when it get's curvy hatches won't do the trick. With the 'Span lines' command you can create a line pattern between two linear entities. When running the command you can specify what kind of pattern you would like to place. When everything is set you confirm those settings and then all you have to do is select two linear entities, such as lines, polylines and arcs. After selecting the second linear entity the command will draw lines between the two selected linear entities creating a line pattern. How that pattern looks is based on the parameters you've defined.
The distance
First of all there is the distance. By default the command will use a regular distance between the starting points of the lines. You can change this value by changing the distance and set a constant value. You can also set a minimum and maximum value for the distance. In that case the command will apply a distance between every line which is somewhere between the minimum and maximum you set. You can also set an increment. Besides the methods of a constant value or a minimum and maximum value you can also use the list method. This method allows you to create a list of distances, let's say with values of '1.0 2.0 3.0'. The command can use that list in two ways. It can use the values in the order you entered them. In that case the distance between the line would be '1.0 2.0 3.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 1.0 2.0 3.0 etc', creating a rhythm of distances. You can also let the command pick a value randomly every time it applies a distance. In that case there is no telling what the pattern will be, which can have a cool effect.
The placement
With the placement you can decide how the lines are placed on the selected entities. By default the command will start drawing from the start of the first linear entity you select. You can also set a starting distance. If you set it to 2.0 for instance, the command will start drawing lines after two units on the selected linear entity. Or set the placement to 'around mid'. In that case the command will draw the lines in such a way there is as much space left at the start as there is at the end. If you set the placement to 'around mid' it you can set a clear distance instead of a start distance. If you set the clear distance to 1.0 the command will keep at least 1.0 unit space between the lines at the start and end of the selected linear entity.
Orientation
By default the command will apply the distance to the first linear entity you select and draw the lines perpendicular from the that same entity. The distance can also be applied to the second linear entity. And the lines can be drawn perpendicular to the second selected entity.
By default the lines are grouped so you can select them all at once. Make sure the system variables of your drawing are set to allow group selection.

Command summery

Entry:
SPN
Applies to:
lines, arcs, circles, polylines, splines, ellipse
Effect:
Creates a line pattern between selected linear entities
Tags:
pattern, distance, random, minimum, maximum, increment, list, order, group, perpendicular, placement,
Categories:
Drafters, patterns, randomisers
Suitability:
No additional suitability information
Watch on YouTube

Pointers

Development Log

April 2014
- It's now possible to include the entities you selected in the group of new lines.

Known issues

Download
Purchase (€6.99) Tweet (Free!) Facebook (Free!)
Add to favorites