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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.
Now, that we know how to create a block let's expand on the concept and learn how we can use blocks to our advantage. On my screen, I have an architectural example. this is a floor plan for a proposed medical office. Let's zoom in and notice all of the repeated geometry in this file. I'm going to select some of these, because I want to show you that virtually all of the entities that you see were created using blocks. By using blocks I can add furnishings to this building very quickly. For instance, if I need an exam table, I can insert and exam table, if I need a desk, I can insert one.
And the whole time I'm certain that my geometry is consistent throughout the entire floor plan. As an example, I'm going to insert one of these exam tables that we see right here. To do that I'll move up to the Block Panel and launch the Insert command. And I'll click the Block Name fly-out and I'll select my block from the list. Now, when I insert this, I want AutoCAD to ask me for an Insertion point and a Rotation. Finally, I'm going to place my block right about here. And I'm being mindful of my running objects snaps. You know what I'm going to turn those off momentarily.
I'll place the block here and then I'll rotate it such that it's similar to the room next door. Another, nice benefit of creating all of these furniture blocks is that it's very easy to move, or copy, or rearrange the contents of my floor plan. As an example, I'm going to launch the Move command, and let's move these plants away from the closet. I'm going to pick this up from a point somewhere in the middle of the plants and I'll place it over here. Then I'll launch my Copy command, I will select these entities and I'd like to copy them from the endpoint of this wall to the endpoint of this one.
Now, notice that this block that I inserted is a different color than some of the other similar blocks in this drawings. Remember this, because in a little bit I'm going to give you a quiz and you're going to tell me why this block is a different color. In the meantime I'm going to pan the drawing over. And let's talk a little bit about block best practices. First of all blocks should be placed on a layer of their own. I'm going to open up the Layer control. Notice that I have a layer called furniture. all of my furniture blocks have been inserted onto that layer.
I also have a layer called plumbing fixtures. This is where you'll find all of my plumbing fixture blocks. I've created several other layers in this drawing for my blocks. Dividing your blocks onto logical layers can make it very easy to turn groups of objects on and off using layers settings. Another best practice. It's very helpful if you create your blocks from geometry that was drawn on layer zero. As an example I'm going to create a new block. This geometry right here represents a desk chair. And if I select these individual entities you can see these guys were drawn on layer zero.
Let's convert this geometry into a block. To do that I'll launch the Create command then I'll give my Block a Name, I am going to call this guest chair. I will then select Pick points and I'll select my Insertion point. Now, this is furniture, so it doesn't require a high degree of precision, virtually any point will do. I'm going to select the Midpoint right here. I'll then click Select Objects, and I'll select the objects that makeup my block. And I'll right-click.
Finally, I would like to Delete these original entities. Let's backup, I'll pan this over, and we'll insert one of our new chairs into this office. First, I'm going to practice good form. Let's create a layer for this block. I'll do that by going to the Layer Properties Manager. I'll click the New icon, and I'm going to call my layer, guest chairs. Now, this is kind of, overkill. I mean I could be inserting these chairs onto the furniture layer.
I'm only doing this as an example. I'm going to set the Layer Color to red. And finally, let's set this layer current. I'll do that by using the Layer control. Alright, I'm ready to insert my chair. I'll click the Insert button and I'll select my new block from the list. I'm going to keep the same settings as before. I'll place my chair right here, and I'll give this a little bit of rotation. Now, notice this block is taking on the properties of the current layer. If you create your block from entities that were drawn on layer zero that block will assume the properties of the layer it's inserting to that.
This is a very powerful concept. Watch this, I'm going to set the plants layer current, and then I'm going to Insert another guest chair. Notice, this new chair is taking on the properties of the current layer. This means we can have one symbol and they can show up using different colors or line types depending on the layer we put it on. And as a bonus, this is also a visual cue that shows me that I'm inserting my block on the wrong layer. All of my chair should appear red, this one is green, it's obviously on the wrong layer.
To fix that I'll select it and then I'll select the appropriate layer from the Layer control. Now, let's pan back over to the Exam Room and here's the quiz, why is this exam table magenta? Well, if I select this we can see the answer right here. It was inserted on the plumbing fixtures layer. All of the blocks in this drawing were created using geometry that was drawn on layer zero. So let's correct this, I'll open up Layer Control then I'll put this guy on the furniture layer. Use block to your advantage. Anytime you have repeated geometry in your drawing, you've a perfect opportunity to create a block.
Using the blocks in this drawing, I have more control over the furniture and I can make fast revisions or editions to floor plan.
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