Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using DesignCenter, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] Welcome to another tip and trick in the AutoCAD world. What we're going to look at is a wonderful content management tool in AutoCAD called DesignCenter. Some of you may already use it, some of you may not but it's a wonderful tool and there's a whole load of content that Autodesk provide in AutoCAD that you might not be aware of. So, you'll notice we have a new drawing for you. It's called CONTENT_DesignCenter.dwg. You can see the name of it at the top of the screen there in the AutoCAD screen.
It is an imperial drawing in inches this time so be aware of that. Sometimes when I'm doing these tips and tricks they can be metric, sometimes they can be imperial. In this case they are imperial and in inches. And there's a reason for that and I'll demonstrate that in a moment. Now, you'll notice the current layer in the Layers panel there is Furniture because we're going to be looking at some furniture blocks that we're going to bring in using DesignCenter. One of the main benefits of DesignCenter is the ability to drag and drop content from one drawing to another.
So, we're in the Home tab right now. We've just checked that our layer is Furniture, which it is. We're now going to go to the View tab on the ribbon, and go to the Palettes panel, and DesignCenter is just here. So, you click on DesignCenter like so. You'll notice the typed in command is ADCENTER, so I'm going to click on the icon there and there's DesignCenter, and oh, look, we've got all these lovely blocks. Now, just before we get into the blocks, I just want to show you the location of these. All of these blocks are in your AutoCAD installation.
If I just scroll up this list on the left, which is a bit like Windows Explorer for AutoCAD you can see there, as I come up, there's all these different folders. I'm just going to scroll across and scroll up a little bit more, and you can see as I come in all the way up, can you see program files? And then you go down to Autodesk, AutoCAD 2017, scroll down a little bit more. You then get Sample and that's where all your samples are for your AutoCAD. You go into ENUS which is English United States and there's a DesignCenter folder, and all of these drawings here contain blocks that you can use with your DesignCenter.
So, you'll notice I've expanded out there the drawing Home Space Planner.dwg and if I click on the blocks there, that's where all these blocks come from. So, all these blocks reside in that Home Space Planner drawing but I'm in my CONTENT_DesignCenter drawing. So, how do I get content from this drawing, the Home Space Planner Drawing, into my content DesignCenter drawing? Easy. I select a block, so there's a table there, Square Woodgrain 42 by 42 inches, I hasten to add.
So, all of these blocks that you've got in this DesignCenter folder in all of these drawings are imperial, they are in inches. Just be aware of that perhaps if you're using a metric drawing. So, Square Woodgrain 42 by 42. Now, I can right click on it and insert the block, and that'll bring up the actual Insert Block dialog box and I can be very specific, insertion points, scale, rotation etc. Or click on it, highlight it, and then click and drag.
And can you see it appear in the drawing behind the palette there? I release the mouse and there's my little woodgrain table in my drawing. It's obviously quite large 'cause I'm zoomed in quite close so I'll zoom back on the mouse a little bit and just pan across a little bit and there's my little table there. Now, the benefit I've got is that block now resides in my drawing as well. So, what I can do now is a quick sanity check just before I close DesignCenter. What I'll do is type DIST, D-I-S-T for distance, press enter, and using my object snaps I'll measure from endpoint to endpoint, and you can see that that is 42.
Came up there on the command line and on the dynamic input as 42, so, I know it's 42 by 42 inches. So, that's great but what I can do now is I can close DesignCenter, and what I can do is go to Insert here, and I'll go to Insert Block and there's my table. So, I can click on table there and there's another table. So, it's now in the DWG file. So, when I save this drawing, my CONTENT_DesignCenter drawing, that block is saved within my CONTENT_DesignCenter drawing file.
So, I've taken it from one drawing using DesignCenter, and dropped it into another drawing. Isn't that cool? It's very, very easy to use and you can go and look in any drawing you want that's got blocks in it, layers, line types and so on. Let me just open up DesignCenter again. It's actually on the Insert tab as well over here in the Content panel. So, there's DesignCenter there. You'll notice if I scroll down a little bit here, it's not just blocks, you've got view styles, dim styles, layers, layouts, line types, all your different styles can be brought in from one drawing to another.
It allows you to reuse your content more effectively rather than having to go and look up a drawing that had some settings that you needed, and then replicate them. You can just drag them across. So, for example, if I went to Layers, there's only a layer zero in that Home Space Planner drawing. If I went to Layouts, I've got Layout One and Layout Two. But if they were more specific I could drag those into my CONTENT_DesignCenter.dwg file. So, make sure you use DesignCenter in anger per se in your AutoCAD drawings.
You won't get angry with it because it's just going to save you so much time but the idea being is that it's a reusing content tool. So, once you've created some content elsewhere, you can use it in your current drawing and it's a great time saver for that. So, make sure that you use DesignCenter when you're using your AutoCAD.
Skill Level Intermediate
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