Join Scott Onstott for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding alignment and base-point grips, part of Designing Dynamic Blocks in AutoCAD.
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- Up to this point, we've created dynamic blocks using geometric and dimensional constraints. There's an entirely independent system that exist for creating dynamic blocks, that employs parameters and actions. You can pick which system you want to use depending on the situation. If you have a highly geometric or engineering type of situation where you need to calculate sizes based on a formula, then the dimensional and geometric constraints might be the way to go.
If you want greater interactivity with your objects, perhaps the parameters and actions method would be more suitable. Let's go ahead and explore this new method by double-clicking on this static block reference. To open this edit block definition dialogue. Here we can just click okay to open the desk set block in the block editor environment. As I said before, we are looking at geometric and dimensional constraints.
Now, we're going to examine parameters and actions. Parameter sets are combinations of parameters and actions together. You can mix and match these systems. You can use geometric constraints with parameters if you want. It's all fair game. To start with, let's try out two of the simplest parameters. These two parameters alignment and base-point actually don't even require actions to be associated with them.
Just putting in the parameters is enough. Let's click alignment, and then click the mid-point along the right edge of the desk to specify the alignment point. Now, it says specify alignment direction. Click this lower end point. A custom grip appears showing this special alignment symbol. Let's close the block editor and save the changes. To see how this works, draw a line off to the side at some arbitrary angle like this.
Then, continue the line horizontally like that. Click your dynamic block, and you'll see that it has an alignment grip. Click the grip and bring it closer to this line and wa la, the entire block automatically re-orientates itself. If you move the cursor around, you'll find that they'll be a point where it will flip over onto the other side. You can just experiment with that.
You can come down here and have it go on either side of the horizontal line. Eventually, you can just decided where you want to place it by clicking, and the block is re-positioned and re-orientated all in one fill swoop. If we insert the desk set, the insert command doesn't exhibit this functionality. Just drop it down anywhere, click the block, use it's alignment grip to very quickly align it to the office that you're putting the desk set in to, for example.
At this point, the block has an alignment grip and a base-point grip which is shown in blue. Double-click on the block reference and click okay. To go back into the editor, click the base-point parameter and place that right here. Close the editor and save. Now, everything moved because I re-defined the relationship of the geometry to its basepoint.
You see. Click the alignment grip and move things back into position. The base-point is now in a new location. You can actually put the base-point so that it's coincident with the alignment grip. I'll move this base-point right there. Close and save. Again, everything jumps but that's okay. Now, we don't even see the blue grip anymore.
We don't even need it either. We can just use the alignment grip to position and orient our block relative to other geometry.
- Defining and nesting blocks
- Inserting and redefining blocks
- Creating and applying constraints
- Designing dynamic blocks
- Sharing blocks on a local area network