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Leveraging blocks

From: AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Video: Leveraging blocks

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.

Leveraging blocks

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 20308 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding model space
      3m 44s
    2. Accessing AutoCAD's tools
      3m 2s
    3. Leveraging dockable palettes
      3m 1s
    4. Monitoring the Status bar
      1m 28s
    5. Understanding the anatomy of a command
      2m 14s
    6. Customizing AutoCAD's preferences
      3m 13s
    7. Accessing help
      3m 38s
    8. Saving a workspace
      3m 13s
  3. 19m 42s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding mouse functions
      2m 44s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regenning
      4m 24s
    4. Working in a multiple-document environment
      2m 39s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 29s
    6. Saving time with templates
      4m 24s
  4. 14m 35s
    1. Constructing lines
      2m 20s
    2. Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes
      4m 49s
    3. Drawing circles
      4m 10s
    4. Activating the Heads-Up Display
      3m 16s
  5. 14m 48s
    1. Defining a unit of measure
      6m 28s
    2. Constructing geometry using architectural measurements
      4m 6s
    3. Working with metric units
      4m 14s
  6. 23m 45s
    1. Understanding the Cartesian coordinate system
      4m 53s
    2. Locking to geometry using object snaps
      7m 42s
    3. Automating object snap selection
      7m 26s
    4. Using temporary tracking to find points in space
      3m 44s
  7. 19m 30s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      4m 56s
    2. Drawing polygons
      3m 4s
    3. Creating an ellipse
      5m 9s
    4. Organizing with hatch patterns
      6m 21s
  8. 29m 46s
    1. Making geometric changes using the property changer
      3m 38s
    2. Moving and copying elements
      4m 28s
    3. Rotating elements
      3m 48s
    4. Trimming and extending geometry
      5m 10s
    5. Creating offsets
      6m 16s
    6. Erasing elements
      2m 46s
    7. Undoing and redoing actions
      3m 40s
  9. 11m 52s
    1. Selecting objects using windows
      3m 46s
    2. Adding and removing from selections
      3m 43s
    3. Using keyboard shortcuts
      4m 23s
  10. 51m 12s
    1. Creating fillets
      3m 52s
    2. Creating chamfers
      3m 51s
    3. Copying objects into a rotated pattern
      4m 20s
    4. Copying objects into a rectangular pattern
      4m 58s
    5. Stretching elements
      4m 4s
    6. Creating mirrored copies
      2m 12s
    7. Scaling elements
      5m 0s
    8. Leveraging grips
      7m 20s
    9. Exploding elements
      5m 47s
    10. Joining elements together
      3m 44s
    11. Editing hatch patterns
      6m 4s
  11. 32m 19s
    1. Understanding layers
      2m 43s
    2. Creating and adjusting layers
      7m 20s
    3. Using layers to organize a drawing
      9m 17s
    4. Changing popular settings using the layer control
      3m 30s
    5. Understanding the BYLAYER property
      3m 37s
    6. Restoring previous layer states
      3m 42s
    7. Using existing geometry to set the current layer
      2m 10s
  12. 37m 43s
    1. Creating single-line text
      3m 11s
    2. Justifying text
      5m 18s
    3. Controlling appearance using text styles
      6m 10s
    4. Annotating with multi-line text
      5m 10s
    5. Editing text
      4m 32s
    6. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 29s
    7. Incorporating symbols
      5m 28s
    8. Correcting spelling errors
      4m 25s
  13. 28m 37s
    1. Creating general dimensions
      4m 13s
    2. Creating continuous and baseline dimensions
      2m 13s
    3. Controlling appearance using dimension styles
      4m 57s
    4. Modifying dimensions
      6m 6s
    5. Creating multileaders
      2m 53s
    6. Controlling appearance using multileader styles
      3m 23s
    7. Modifying multileaders
      4m 52s
  14. 25m 19s
    1. Inserting blocks
      4m 34s
    2. Creating blocks
      6m 41s
    3. Leveraging blocks
      5m 39s
    4. Redefining blocks
      3m 1s
    5. Building a block library
      5m 24s
  15. 13m 50s
    1. Querying a drawing using rollover tooltips
      2m 9s
    2. Taking measurements using the Distance command
      3m 2s
    3. Modifying properties using the Quick Properties tool
      4m 25s
    4. Automating calculations using the Quick Calculator feature
      4m 14s
  16. 36m 6s
    1. Creating quick plots
      6m 4s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 48s
    3. Choosing line weights
      4m 32s
    4. Creating a layout, pt. 1: Choosing a paper size
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a layout, pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      2m 29s
    6. Creating a layout, pt. 3: Cutting viewports
      6m 9s
    7. Reusing layouts
      4m 3s
    8. Organizing layouts
      4m 19s
  17. 16m 49s
    1. Using the Annotative property to automatically size text
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Annotative property to automatically size dimensions
      4m 34s
    3. Using the Annotative property to automatically size multileaders
      3m 58s
    4. Changing the scale assigned to annotations
      4m 4s
  18. 6m 56s
    1. Saving drawings to other formats
      2m 27s
    2. Plotting to the Design Web format
      2m 15s
    3. Plotting to PDF
      1m 20s
    4. Sending drawings via email
      54s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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