Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Leveraging the block rotation angle, part of AutoCAD 2009: Mastering References.
When creating the geometry for a block, we typically draw our linework right side up on our screen. In some cases, it might be better to rotate our geometry 90 degrees before turning it into a block. This can give us much more control later, if we need to insert our block in a rotated angle. On my screen, I have got a civil engineering drawing. This linework was created such that each unit equals 1 foot. What we see on screen is an outline of a proposed building and a parking lot. I'm going to zoom in on the Southern part of the lot. These white lines represent the painted striping for my parking stalls.
These parallel lines represent my curve and these small rectangles represent inlets. An inlet is a structure that catches rainwater. So when it rains on this parking lot, the water is going to find its way to these inlets. My task in this session is to place some arrows in this parking lot to identify the direction the storm water is going to flow into the inlets. As you can see, I have created my first arrow. Since I'm going to be inserting several of these guys into the drawing, I'm going to convert this geometry into a block. Let's come up and click the Create Block icon. I'm going to call my block Flow Arrow.
I'll click Pick Point, and I would like the insertion point to be the endpoint right here. Then I'll click Select Objects, and we'll make a window around our geometry. Let's right-click and since I don't need this particular Insertion, I'm going to select Delete. When I'm finished, I'll click OK. Let's back up a little bit and let's insert our first Flow Arrow. To do that, I'm going to come up and click the Insert icon. I would like to insert the Flow Arrow block, and when I drop this guy in the drawing I would like to specify both the insertion point and the Rotation.
It's important that these guys point to the inlet. Let me click OK. I'm going to drop this guy right here and notice if I wanted to point him directly at the inlet, I'm kind of holding it at an awkward angle. I'm going to click to finish the insertion and you know what, let's click our Undo button a couple of times to bring our geometry back. Let's try and create this block a different way. Since this block is rotationally dependent when I put it in my drawing, I'm going to rotate him so he is aligned to the X-axis. Let's select Rotate. I'll window this geometry and right-click. I'm going to rotate him from this endpoint and we'll rotate him negative 90 degrees.
Now let's turn him into a block again. Once again, I'll click my Create icon. We'll call this guy Flow Arrow, Pick Point. I would like my insertion point to be right here, Select Objects. I'll window this geometry and right-click, and then we'll click OK. Let's back up a little bit and we'll drop a new one in our drawing. I'm going to come up and click Insert. I'm going to use the same Settings as before and I'll click OK. Let's click on screen, and notice as I pull my cursor away, the Arrow is lined up exactly with my rubberband line. So I can come down and click the endpoint of my inlet and I know that arrow was pointing exactly at that structure.
I am going to hit my spacebar and go back into the command. We'll click OK, we'll drop another Flow Arrow right here and we'll point it at this inlet. Let me back up a little bit. I'm going to pan my drawing up. Notice I have got a Handicapped symbol right here. This is also a rotation dependent symbol because you never know the angle of your parking stall where you are going to be placing one of these guys. Let's try our rotation trick with this block and see how well it works when we insert it into the drawing. I am going to zoom in on this geometry, we'll rotate, we'll window this guy and right-click. I'm going to rotate it from the endpoint here and we'll rotate him negative 90-degrees. Now he is aligned to the X-axis. Let's click Create Block and I'm going to call this handicapped. Let's pick our insertion point.
Now, I don't have a Running Object Snap set for midpoint, so I'm going to hold my Shift key and right-click. This gives me an object snap menu at my cursor. Let me select Midpoint, and I'll grab right here. I'll then select my objects and right-click, and I don't need this insertion, so I'll leave it set to Delete. Let's click OK, and let's try and drop one of these guys in the drawing. I am going to pan this geometry up. We'll zoom out just a little bit, and then I'll come up and click Insert. We'll select our new block. I would like to specify his insertion point and rotation, and I would like to drop in at the middle of this stall. So I'm going to hold my Shift key and right-click and select mid between two points. I'll click the endpoint here and the endpoint here, and then I'll rotate him such that he is Shift+Right-click perpendicular to this edge. We can see that this symbol is very easy to place within our parking stalls. Before you turn your geometry into a block, consider how AutoCAD handles the rotation angle during insertion. Sometimes rotating your geometry can give you more control later when inserting your block.
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