Course Content and Outcome Guide for DRF 256

Course Number:
DRF 256
Course Title:
Advanced AutoCAD
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines customization of AutoCAD menu and Lisp files. Includes buttons, POP, image, screen and tablet sections, creation and implementation of user-defined AutoLISP functions, and basic file management techniques. Prerequisite: DRF 136. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • The student shall develop knowledge and skills in the creation and edification of AutoCAD menu systems using basic to advanced customization principles.
  • Demonstrate competency in understanding and implementing basic AutoLISP functions.
  • Create AutoLISP programs that are task oriented and problem solving in nature.

Course Activities and Design

This course will be presented by means of short lecture/discussion sessions and laboratory projects. Individualized instruction will be provided while the student is working on assigned projects. Open laboratory time will be made available, and may be necessary to complete the given tasks.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Individual and full class discussion; lab drawing assignments; exams; and final project deliverables may be used to assess outcomes.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Drafting Designers and Engineers need to be able to communicate with each other, and with manufacturing and construction personnel, using customized menus and AutoLISP programs.
  • AutoCAD design software is widely used in the drafting technology professions.
  • Many drafting graduates enter the workplace by performing customized file manipulations.

Competencies and Skills
The student will be able to:


  • Demonstrate basic to intermediate competency while manipulating AutoCAD menu files.
  • Create customized AutoLisp programs and routines.
  • Create a portfolio of customized AutoCAD files to demonstrate their abilities.

1.0 Creation and Alteration of AutoCAD Menu Files

  • Familiarization with an ASCII text editor
  • Beginning a new file, and Editing an existing file
  • Command functions within the ASCII text editor
  • Writing basic AutoCAD menu files
  • Syntactical structures within AutoCAD menus
  • General menu layout including Buttons, Pop, Toolbar, Screen, Icon, and Helpstrings

2.0 Creation and Manipulation of Expressions within the AutoLISP Language

  • Basic AutoLISP terminology and definitions
  • Building simple expressions with basic AutoLISP functions
  • Encountering and resolving basic errors
  • Arithmetic functions that include: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division
  • Setting variables - Singular and Multiple

3.0 Basic AutoLISP Program Files

  • Creating and Loading a program file within NotePad and Visual Lisp
  • Using the text editor to write basic AutoLISP files
  • Proper use of Documentation for programming clarity
  • Defining functions: Local variables vs. Global variables

4.0 General List Processing

  • Car and Cdr family of functions to extract list components
  • List and Quote functions

5.0 Obtaining User Input

  • Real numbers: Getreal function
  • Integers: Getint function
  • Text Strings: Getstring function
  • System Variables: Getvar and Setvar functions

6.0 Distance and Angular Measuring

  • The constant pi for radian measurements in AutoLISP
  • AutoLISP angle functions: Angle, Getangle, Getorient, Polar
  • AutoLISP distance (and related) functions: Distance, Getdist, Osnap, Inters

7.0 Intermediate Mathematics in the AutoLISP Language

  • Maximum, Minimum, and Absolute value functions
  • Exponents and Square Roots
  • Fixing and Floating numbers in AutoLISP
  • AutoLISP trigonometric functions: Sin, Cos

8.0 AutoLISP Conversions and String Manipulations

  • Number, string, and angle conversions
  • ASCII characters in AutoLISP
  • Printing various data types to the display
  • Substrings and String concatenations

9.0 Conditional Expressions

  • Testing expressions that return T (true) or nil (false)
  • Relational operators that include: = (Equal to), /= (Not equal to), < (Less than), > (Greater than)
  • If statements that utilize singular tests and simple branching techniques
  • Conditional testing for multiple tests and related programming results
  • Looping Expressions: The 1+ function (incrementation by 1), The Repeat function (repetitive looping function), The While function (basic test / looping expression)

10.0 File Management

  • Organization and use of AutoCAD and AutoLISP files
  • Directory structure for AutoCAD and AutoLISP files
  • Support files, Search paths, and basic file Editors