Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with blocks, part of Up and Running with AutoCAD LT.
We're now going to have a look at working with blocks in AutoCAD LT. We're in another of the floor plans drawings. What we're going to do, we're going to zoom in on the left hand floor plan, in this area here. So, zoom in nice and tight, and you can see some white lines and a circle just here. Now these particular white lines and circle are going to be utilized to create a block that is going to be generated for the work tops in the kitchen area of the building.
These white lines here, you'll notice, are lines on layer zero. If you create a block on layer zero, it'll automatically adopt the current drafting layer when it's inserted into the drawing itself. Now, we're not going to include the circle in the block. That's going to be for lines for something else in a moment. It's basically these six white lines that are going to be converted into an AutoCAD block called "Worktop." Now, how do you create a block? Well, there's two ways that you can do it using the "Create Block" command.
In the Home tab, over here in the Block panel, you've got the opportunity here to create block. So, if I click there, that will open up the block definition dialog box. I'll just cancel that for the moment. If I go to the Insert tab, on the ribbon, you'll notice also, you've got "Create Block" here, and you can also do a thing called "Write Block." We want to create a block there. That will also create a block definition as well. That's what we want to look at, initially. Now, we'll worry about "Write Block" in a moment.
I want to create a block first. We're going to create a block, very quick and very easy. We're going to go to the "Create Block" command, and we're going to give the block itself a name, which is going to be Worktop. Like so, and it's going to be the worktop in the kitchen. Now, we've got that gap there, in the worktop, that's to allow for a stove block to go in there. We'll look at that in a moment. Now, we need to specify a base point, which will be that single grip that you see on AutoCAD blocks.
We need to pick a point, so we're going to click here, on this icon. We're going to pick a point of where we're going to actually insert the block. Ideally, you want one of the end points of the lines, like this, where it touches the wall. I'm going to use that top one right there. That's my point, now I need to specify the objects that are going to form the block. So, I hit the Select Objects button here. I just go through and I go one, and two, and three, like so, and then the other side of the worktop as well.
We have six objects in total. Then just right-click on the mask to confirm, there's our six objects selected, we get a little preview, like so. Now, we're going to convert these to a block. Notice, you can retain the original objects, and delete them as well. I want to convert to a block in 6-U, because that's where I want the worktop to be. Now, behavior of your block, we're not going to touch Annotative in this particular course, that's more for intermediate, advanced level AutoCAD, but we do want it to scale uniformly.
If we're going to scale it, we want it to scale uniformly in the x and y directions. Now, exploding, what does explode do? You can explode blocks back to their original AutoCAD objects. You want to allow that because you might want to explode this block, make some slight changes, and create a slightly different block, for a slightly different sized worktop for example. Always allow exploding when you're creating your AutoCAD blocks. Now this particular instance, our block unit will be inches, because we're working in an inches drawing, right here.
I can open it in the block editor, which I've showed you in the previous exercise. We don't need to do that, we're just creating a block at the moment. I can hyperlink, to perhaps the worktop manufacturer, and I can give the block a description in this text field, if I need to. I'm not going to worry about the description there, what I'm going to do now, is just click on OK. You'll notice that it's changed color. Changed color to the current layer. If I go back to the Home tab now, you'll notice here that it's gone to this layer here, which is actually the Architectual_Floor_Plan_Sink layer, which is the layer I wanted it to go onto, because there could potentially be a sink placed inside that particular worktop.
Now, the circle, why is the circle there? That's to allow me to insert a block into my worktop. We're going to look at that in the next particular exercise. What we'll look at, is inserting blocks into this particular drawing, utilizing that circle there, and the space we've left in the worktop for the stove. That's how you create your block. Now, it may be that you want to edit this worktop block. What you can do, is go to the Insert tab, click on the "Create Block" flyout, here, and go "Write Block." You want to select a block, so I select a block from the drawing.
I've got to find my worktop, which is right at the bottom, there. Don't need to worry about base point and objects, it knows all of that. What I might do, is I might actually want to save this particular worktop to a particular location. What I'll do there, is I'll go to the desktop itself. What I need to do is go and find my work files, my DWGs here, and go into 08, here. What I'm going to do is insert worktop DWG in there like that and save it.
The reason I'm going to save it in there, is because I've now got a DWG that's going to have the same name as my block. Obviously the units will be inches, I click on OK. You'll see a little flash to the top-left of the screen, there. This particular work top now, has it's own separate DWG. What I'll do now is I'll go up to Open, and there's my worktop there, and I'll open that particular file. Now, it may be, because of the way that you saved it, you need to double-click on the wheel, to zoom extents and there's my worktop.
What I might do now is just add a nice little bevelled edge to all of this, by using the "Off-set" command, so I'll go back to the Home tab, into the Modify panel, and I'm going to off-set. I'm going to off-set by two inches. Then the objects are going to off-set like so, if I select that right there, can see that's off-setting nicely by two inches there, it's off-setting nicely by two inches there, and I'll trim these up in a moment as well, to tidy them up. We just zoom out, come down here, I'll click there, and I'm just tidying this up to give it a nice bevelled edge.
It may be that I just leave it like that, but I do want to tidy those up. I'm just going to press enter there to finish the Off-set command. What I'll do, is I'll zoom in nice and close, use that little Fillet trick, so that's "Fillet" from the Modify panel, hold down the Shift key, click there, click there. I'll repeat Fillet, hold down the Shift key again. Click there, click there. That tidies that part of the worktop up. Then I'll do the same on this side. So, "Fillet" command again, hold down Shift, click there, click there.
Repeat "Fillet" command, hold down Shift again, like so. I'll zoom extents on that so we can see it. Then I'm going to save that particular worktop drawing, so I'll save it. The good thing is once that's saved, I can close it. Like so, and that's done. Now, if I go to the Insert tab, and I go "Insert Block" now, you'll notice, I can do this. I can insert the blocks that were already available in the drawing.
So if you look, you can see all the different blocks there. As I come down, there's my worktop without the bevelled edges. If I go to More Options, though, and go to browse on the Insert dialog box, I can then go to Desktop, into my work files, and use this worktop file, here. When I click on Open, now, I can now bring this in. The insertion point, I will specify on the screen. I'll leave all the scale and the rotation as it is. I don't want it to change, so I click on OK. It tells me now that "Worktop" is already defined as a block in this drawing, which it is, but I've made some changes to the DWG.
Would I like to take those changes from the DWG and redefine this block reference? Yes, I'm going to redefine the block, and I now get the option to insert another block if I want to. I'm not going to insert it, because it's already updated for me. You can now see the bevelled edges on my new worktop, ready to go. That's how you work with blocks, when you're working in AutoCAD LT, and you can see how they can almost automate some of the design processes for you.
- Opening DWG drawing files
- Starting a new drawing
- Saving drawings
- Drawing lines and shapes
- Working with the Snap and Grid features
- Editing objects
- Organizing drawings with layers
- Inserting blocks
- Creating layouts
- Adding text
- Adding and editing dimensions
- Printing your drawings