Setup & drawing Hex Bolts (Mechanical Toolkit)

This Tech Tip demonstrates how the Mechanical Toolkit facilitates the drawing and annotation of some common mechanical components.

Note: Make sure that the drawing units are set to "mm" (millimetres) before using the mechanical toolkit functions.

The first step is to define the defaults that the toolkit will use.

Toolkit Menu › Mechanical... › Setup


Configuration file path This tells the Mechanical Toolkit where to store it's settings data. The mechanical toolkit will not work correctly if this file has not been specified. AllyCAD is supplied with a standard file "ISO Mechspecs.ini" situated in your CAD user directory. If you wish to switch to an alternate configuration file, you can browse for it by clicking on the "browse" button.
Solid Line Type Specify the line type and pen colour that will be used by the mechanical toolkit to draw Solid lines.
Hidden Line Type Specify the line type and pen colour that will be used by the mechanical toolkit to draw Hidden lines.
Centre Line Type Specify the Line type and pen colour that will be used by the mechanical toolkit to draw Centre lines.
Annotation Setup... Press this button to display the Annotation Setup Dialog.


Welds Symbol File Specify the AllyCAD symbol file that will be used to draw the weld symbols. This file must be specified before you can draw welds. A default symbol file containing weld symbols according to the South African Steel Construction Handbook is supplied in the Symbols directory.
File Open button Press this button to browse for an alternative weld symbol file.
Weld Annotation Layer Name This is the name of the layer that the weld annotations will be drawn on. If no such layer exists in your drawing, it will be created when you draw a weld annotation.
Tolerance Annotation Layer Name This is the name of the layer that the geometric tolerance annotations will be drawn on. If no such layer exists in your drawing, it will be created when you draw a tolerance annotation.
Surface Finish Annotation Layer Name This is the name of the layer that the surface finish annotations will be drawn on. If no such layer exists in your drawing, it will be created when you draw a weld annotation.
Symbol scale factor Use this value to adjust the relative scale with which the annotation symbols are drawn.
Text Size Specify the text size in points for the annotation text.
Arrow Length Specify the length of the arrow head in the weld annotation.
Arrow Width Specify the width of the arrow head in the weld annotation.


Drawing Fasteners
Toolkit Menu › Mechanical... › Fasteners › Hex Bolts

The following dialog will appear:


  • Select a bolt from the drop-down list, or fill in the relevant data.
  • Select whether to draw the top view, the side view, or both.
  • Select the line type (solid or hidden) to use for the top and side views.
  • Press OK to draw the specified bolt.
Using the repeat function: The repeat function is used to draw multiple equi-spaced copies of the bolt.

To draw multiple copies of the bolt in a straight line:
  • Select "Linear"
  • Enter the number of bolts you want to draw in the input box labelled "Number"
  • Now enter the distance between the bolt centres in the spacing input box below that
  • Click on the OK button, and follow the prompts
To draw multiple copies of the bolt in a circular arrangement:
  • Select "Polar"
  • Enter the number of bolts you want to draw in the input box labelled "Number"
  • Select either "Spacing" or "PCD" from the list box
  • If you select "Spacing", then enter the distance between the bolt centres
  • If you selected "PCD", enter the PCD of the circle on whose circumference the bolts will be arranged
  • Press OK, and follow the prompts
Adding and deleting bolt definitions:

Note that the side view will not be drawn if you select the Repeat Polar function.

You may add your own bolt definitions by clicking on the "Add" button, and then entering the relevant data. The bolt definition will then be saved when you click on OK, or when you select another bolt definition from the list.

Warning: If you modify an existing bolt definition, you will be asked to save it. Select "No" to avoid changing the original bolt definition.

Drawing the side view:

The side view will only be drawn if the "Side View" checkbox was checked.

If you also checked the "Automatically align the side view" checkbox, then AllyCAD will prompt:

Indicate the position of the Bolt side view (auto align)

In this case, the bolt side views will be drawn aligned to an existing line. Click on the thread side of a line as illustrated in (1) below.

The bolt will then be drawn as illustrated in (2) below (i.e.: it will "snap to" the nearest line).




If you did not check the "Automatically align the side view" checkbox, then AllyCAD will prompt:

Indicate the position of the Bolt side view

In this case, the bolt side view will be positioned where you indicate on the drawing, and you will be prompted to select the rotation of the bolt from a pop-up menu.

To accurately position the cursor, use the snap functions.

Drawing the top view:

If the "Top View" checkbox was checked then AllyCAD will prompt:

Enter Bolt centre for plan view

Indicate the position for the centre point of the bolt plan.

AllyCAD will prompt:

Enter a point on the Bolt plan view centre line for rotation

Indicate a point on the centre line of the bolt plan view. This point will be used to rotate the bolt plan drawing.


Note: that if you click on the same point as the bolt centre, then the bolt will be drawn with no rotation.

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