Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Leveraging blocks, part of AutoCAD 2013 Essential Training: 5 Working with References.
Now that we understand how to create and insert blocks, let's explore some concepts that make blocks even more powerful. In this lesson, we'll look at some block best practices. On my screen, I have a drawing that represents some handicapped stalls. Over here to the right, I've constructed some geometry that I'd like to convert into blocks. We'll start by zooming in on this symbol. If I select these entities, you can see they were all drawn on Layer 0. This is actually a great idea.
Whenever you create a block, it's important that your entities be drawn on layer 0. We'll see why in just a minute. I am going to deselect these entities, and we'll convert them into a block. To do that, I'll move up to the Block panel, and launch the Create command. I'm going to call this block handi-symbol. I will then click Pick point, and I will select a centrally located in insertion point. I'm going to choose the endpoint right here. I will then choose Select objects, and I will select the entities that make up the block.
I'll press Enter when finished. I would like to delete these entities after the block is created. When I am finished, I will come down and click OK. Now that I've defined the block, let's insert one into this drawing. If I hover over this geometry, you can see it was created on Layer striping. I would like to place my block on this same layer. To set that layer current, I'll choose the Make Object's Layer Current button, and I will select an object on that layer. I will then insert the block. We'll do that by clicking the Insert icon. I will select the block that I just made, and when I place this in the drawing, I will make sure AudoCAD asks me for Insertion point, and a Rotation angle. I'll click OK, and take a look at the symbol; if you create a block from entities that were drawn on Layer 0, that block will assume the properties of the layer it's inserted on.
This symbol looks yellow, because it's being inserted on a yellow layer. Now, I'd like to place this in the middle of the stall, so I am going to Shift+right-click, and choose Mid Between 2 Points, and I will select the opposite endpoints of this stall. I will then define the rotation angle by the midpoint of the right side. Let's insert another symbol. This time I am going to change the layer, so we can see the difference. I will click Insert; I'll use the same settings as before, and choose OK. Notice the difference.
As you can see, by creating your blocks from entities that were drawn on Layer 0, your blocks can have a variety of appearances. It's also a great way to identify when you are inserting blocks on the wrong layer. Let's finish this up. I'd like to place it in the middle of the stall, so I'll choose Mid Between 2 Points. I will select opposite endpoints, and I'll rotate it to the midpoint of the right side. When I am finished, I'll select the block, and I'll place this on the striping layer. Finally, I am going to use the Copy command, I'll select my last block, and I am going to copy it from the lower left corner of the stall to the remaining stall.
Let's pan the drawing back over to the right, and we will look at another example. In this case, I'd like to add some parking bumpers. As you can see, I've drawn a parking bumper right here. These entities were created on Layer 0. I have also constructed a typical parking stall around this geometry. What I'd like to show you here is the importance of the Insertion point. When I insert parking bumpers, I typically like to place them a half a foot from the front of the stall. Since I've constructed this geometry, I can easily find that point by grabbing the midpoint of this line.
By not having the insertion point on the object itself, I can easily place these bumpers exactly where I need them when they're inserted into the drawing. Let's convert this geometry into a block. I'll call it bumper, I'll select Pick point, and my insertion point will be the Midpoint of the front of the stall. I will then choose Select, and I will select the parking bumper geometry, and press Enter. I would like to delete this geometry after the block is created.
When I'm finished, I'll click OK. Now, I don't need this extra line work anymore, so I will select it, and click Erase. Let's pan the drawing over, and we'll insert a bumper. I'll start by setting the parking bumper layer current. I will then choose Insert. I will select my block. When I insert this, I'd like AutoCAD to ask me for the Insertion point, and Rotation angle. And I'd like this to be placed in the middle of the end of the stall, so I am going to Shift+right-click, I'll choose Mid Between 2 Points, and I'll select the endpoints on either side of the front of the stall, and then I will identify the Rotation angle by this endpoint in the upper right corner.
As you can see, using a little foresight with my Insertion point, I can easily place these bumpers exactly where they need to be. Let's place one more. I'll use the same settings. We'll insert this to the Mid Between 2 Points. I will select both endpoints, and we'll rotate it to the upper right corner. Finally, I'll finish the remaining stall using the Copy command; we'll copy this bumper all the way over to the right.
So the next time you're creating a block, spend some time preplanning its creation. With a little foresight, your blocks will be easier to insert, and assume the properties of the layer on which they're placed.
- Inserting blocks
- Building a block library
- Creating a link to a DWG file
- Controlling the appearance of referenced drawings
- Choosing between attach and overlay
- Binding references
- Clipping images
- Sizing images