Introduction: Create a Facility Layout in AutoCAD

The purpose of this tutorial is to teach you how to create an electronic facility layout using AutoCAD drafting software.  Using electronic methods of drafting can help:

-Create layouts faster than by hand
-Ensure accurate dimensions
-Make portable, transformable layouts

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following:

-A computer with AutoCAD installed
-A measuring tape
-Paper and a pencil

Although no technical skills are required, familiarity with computers will help you complete the tutorial faster.

Creating a layout can take anywhere from an hour to multiple days, depending on the size of the room or facility. For this tutorial, we will create a layout of a standard dorm room. The same principles apply to say, a manufacturing floor or an office space.

Picture source: Google images

Step 1: Gather Materials

Install AutoCAD on your computer. A free student edition of AutoCAD can be found here.

Gather the following:

1) Measuring tape
2) Paper (preferably graph paper)
3) Pen or pencil

Step 2: Create Paper Room Layout

Measure the inside dimensions of your room, and record it on paper.

NOTE: This does not require art skills or drawing to scale - you simply need the dimensions for electronic drafting later on.

You should have something like the photo above when complete.

Picture source: Self

Step 3: Measure and Draw in Furniture

Measure individual pieces of furniture and draw them in on the room layout. Use your tape measure to record accurate dimensions. Consider measuring additional dimensions from the corners of the room to ensure proper furniture placement later on.

Again, the paper draft does not need to be drawn to scale, or even have straight lines. The final product should look something like the photo above when finished.

Picture source: Self

Step 4: Start AutoCAD Layout

This youtube tutorial will show you how to set up your AutoCAD file for drafting. Again, AutoCAD needs to be installed to complete this step.

Step 5: Create Layers

This video tutorial describes what layers are, and shows how to create layers in a facility layout.

Step 6: Construct Room Outline

This video will walk you through creating the basic outline of your room.

Step 7: Creating Furniture

This video describes the process of turning dimensions on paper into useful electronic objects.

Step 8: Editing Furniture

Did you mess up? This video describes how to modify furniture.

Step 9: Grouping Lines Into Useful Objects

Turn each of your pieces of furniture into a group for easy portability.

Step 10: Adding Text

Add labels and text to your drawing.

Step 11: Adding Dimensions

Use the annotation tool bar to add dimensions for readability and usability. 

Step 12: Printing Your Deliverable

Print your file to a format usable by managers and maintenance.