Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a simple block palette, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] So here we are again, in the world of AutoCAD and the tips and tricks that we can use to work more effectively in AutoCAD as well. You'll notice we've got a new drawing open, as we do with each tip and trick and this time it's called PALETTES_SimpleBlockPalette.dwg. And you can download that from the website to follow along with the video if you wish. Now you'll notice we've got a nice floor plan there with our grids, our dimensions, our staircases, our rooms, our doors, our windows and so on.
However, we're missing furniture. And what we're going to do, we're going to create a simple block palette so that we can drag and drop furniture in and out of our AutoCAD floor plan. Now to do that, we're going to utilize the tool palettes in AutoCAD and DesignCenter in AutoCAD. Now I have already done a tip and trick on DesignCenter, so go and check that out and obviously watch that before you watch this particular tip and trick so you know the work flows and the processes of DesignCenter itself.
So, I'm going to go to the View tab on the ribbon, into the Palettes panel and open up the tool palettes first. Dock them over here on the right, and we're going to create a new tab on the tool palettes palette, that will be our simple block palette with our furniture. Then we're going to open up DesignCenter, again, it's on the Palettes panel here, it's just there, click on DesignCenter. And you'll notice this often defaults, in the Folders tab, to the Sample folder here. So this Sample folder comes with AutoCAD and it's got various tools in it that allow you to utilize sample drawings and so on.
Go into the Sample folder, find enus, English United States, and then find the DesignCenter folder. Scroll down and there's a Home Space Planner drawing. I'm going to expand it by clicking on the little cross there, and I want to look at all the blocks that are available in that drawing. So there's all my blocks there, things like a bed, a chair, a desk and so on. That's the furniture that I need to come into my floor plan drawing, my palettes simple block palette drawing that we've got open at the moment.
Now, what I need to do is create a new palette from that drawing and it is so easy. Let me just pop DesignCenter over to the left a little. I want you to keep an eye on the tool palettes palette over here. I'm going to select the drawing, Home Space Planner and right click on it. And you can see there on the shortcut menu, Create Tool Palette. I click, see the little circle go round and round, the little window circle telling me that Windows is doing something. And as if by magic, I now have a Home Space Planner palette in the tool palettes.
It's that quick and it's that easy. And you can do that from any drawing. So what you've got to do is find that drawing, using DesignCenter. So if I go to Open Drawings here, I might have a drawing open that I need to take the information from. Obviously I've only got my Palettes drawing open. In Folders, that's like Windows Explorer for AutoCAD, I can go and drill down and find a drawing and then find the blocks that I need and then right click on the drawing and create the palette that way. So I don't actually need DesignCenter open anymore, I can close that now.
And what we're going to do now, we're going to set the settings in AutoCAD, to make sure that this will work. Now I know that this floor plan drawing is metric. So we need to make sure that our insertion scales are all in place as well. So I'm just going to right click, go to Options, and into the User Preferences tab at the top there there's my insertion scales there. The source content units will be inches, you'll notice Desk 30 by 60 inches, Dining Set 36 by 72 inches, because we've taken them from an imperial drawing.
Our target drawing though, our floor plan, is in millimeters. So we make sure that it's inches and millimeters and we OK it. So that's our insertion scales all set up. I'm just going to quickly jump back now to the Home tab. And you'll notice that we've got A-ANNO-DIMS is the current layer. I'm just going to click on the fly out menu there, the pull down, and make sure that we're on the furniture layer, which is there, interior furniture. So that's now my current layer, so any blocks I bring in are on the correct layer. So everything now should work.
So what I can do is I can start bringing things into my drawing. Now we've got a nice little office space going on here, I'm going to zoom in. And what I want to do there is bring in a chair and a desk, and then we can prove that this work flow works. So there's my desk, I click, hold, drag and look at that, it comes in at the right scale because of my insertion scales. There's the chair that goes with the desk, click, hold, drag, and there's my chair there. Now obviously the chair's not facing the desk, but you can use things like rotate, to obviously rotate things around.
If I need an exercise bike in the office, for example, you never know, there's my exercise bike in the corner, I get in early in the morning, do a bit of exercise before I start work. Table lamp, I can pop a table lamp on the desk, like so. I might need a phone on my desk as well, so I'll bring that in as well, and all these blocks are coming in the right size. And what we'll do is we'll tidy everything up in a second. If I come down a little bit more and just scroll down, I've got things like a baby grand piano if I need it. I might have a sofa for example in the office, my clients might need to sit on a sofa.
So I brought some blocks in, let's just zoom in on the desk. There's the phone there, click on the grip, just pop that sort of in the corner of the desk there, like so, hit Escape to deselect. Click on the chair there as well, click on the grip, right click and just use the Rotate there on the grip selection, rotate that round, click on the grip again and just drag it down. There's my little desk arrangement nicely set up. And what I've got to do now is rotate the sofa. Click on the sofa, click on the grip, right click and rotate about the grip.
Bring it around the other way, and then click on the grip and just move it nearer the wall. And there we go, I've got my office all nicely set up, using my simple block palette that I created using DesignCenter and the blocks from that other Home Space Planner drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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