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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
In this lesson we are going to talk about blocks. Blocks are something that we use whenever we have geometry that's repeated throughout our drawing, they are a lot like symbols. I would like to start off by inserting a block into this file to give you an idea of how they work. On my screen I have a civil engineering example. this is a site plan for a proposed commercial development. I am going to zoom in on the parking lot. and I will center these stalls on screen and I am going to insert a block that represents a car. To do that I will come up to the Block panel and I will click insert.
and when the dialog box comes up, I am going to make sure that the only setting that's checked is this one on the left hand side. Then I will come down and click OK. We will come back and talk about this box in just a little bit. Notice I am holding a car at my cursor and I can position this in between some parking stripes, and I will click to place it in the drawing. Now this car is a block. If I select this, notice that AutoCAD treats it as a single entity. I am going to press Esc to deselect this, and let's insert another one and this time we will focus our attention on the dialog box.
I am going to move back up and click Insert. First of all, I can use this name fly-out to select from any block that' been defined in this file. Right now I only have the one. If a block name has been selected, I can see a preview of the block, right over here. Just below I have a series of checkboxes, these guys represent questions, for instance, where do you want to insert the block, do you want to resize the block, do you want to change the rotation of the block? Placing a check in one of these boxes means that AutoCAD is going to ask me that question when I insert the block.
As of right now, when I insert this car, AutoCAD is only going to be asking me for the insertion point. Let's click OK and then I will place this car right here. Now I obviously didn't center that car to well inside the stall. Take a look at this, if I select the block, I can see a single grip right here. This grip represents the insertion point that is the point at which I am holding the block when I inserted into the drawing. I can use this insertion point to help me accurately position the block in this file. I am going to click to select this grip, now where do I want to put this block down? Well, I like it to be centered inside the stall, let's take a look at a new object snap.
I am going to Shift+Right click and then I will select Mid Between 2 points from the menu, and I will select the endpoint of this stripe and the end point of this stripe, and AutoCAD places my block midway between those two points. Now I move that block by clicking on the grip at the insertion point. Insert is also an object snap. Take a look at this car. it's obviously not perfectly centered in the stall. I am going to launch the Move command. I will then select my block and right-click, where do I want to pick this up from, I am going to Shift+Right click and select Insert.
Now when I place my cursor on the car, AutoCAD selects the insertion point and where do I want to place this, I will Shift+Right click and I will select Mid Between 2 Points and I will grab the endpoint here and the endpoint here. Let's insert another block. This time I will insert it on the other side of the lot and let's see if we can position it correctly as its being inserted. Click the Insert button and as far as the questions are concerned, I still want AutoCAD to ask me for the insertion point, and since this car is going to be facing in the other direction, I would also like AuotCAD to ask me for the rotation.
You know what. as long as we are talking about checkboxes, notice there is another checkbox down here. this will explode the block when it's inserted. So technically it wouldn't be a block anymore, it would individual entities. It's very important, if I need this geometry to be a block, I want to make sure that this box remains unchecked. Let's click OK and where do I want to place this? I am going to use my new object snap. I will Shift+Right click. I will select Mid Between 2 points. I will select the endpoint of this stripe and this one. Notice AutoCAD is now asking for a rotation angle, at this point I could free pick a point on the screen, or I could enter an angle, instead I am going to make easy on myself.
I am going to press F8 to lock my Ortho and then I will snap to the angle that I want, and I will click to place the block. By having this geometry as a block, I am sure you will agree, it's much easier to work with. It's certainly much easier to insert. Now that we understand what a block is and how we can insert them into a drawing, we are ready to move on to the next lesson, where we learn how to create our own blocks.
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