Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using DesignCenter with AutoCAD blocks, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] Here we are again in another one of our AutoCAD tips and tricks. What we're going to look at this time is we're going to look at blocks, and a thing called DesignCenter, that you may or may not have heard of within AutoCAD itself. Now, DesignCenter is a bit like a sort of Windows Explorer for AutoCAD. It allows you to drill down into the data inside the drawing, and take that information across perhaps into another drawing. Now, what we've got is a new drawing open.
You may recognize the drawing if you've done other tips and tricks videos. Its number five underscore using DesignCenter dot DWG, and you can follow along with the video if you wish. Now what we got is a whole drawing here, so we've got our little shape here, our outline, and hatching, and as you can see, that's a block there right now. That's a block reference on the layer object. Now, I've deliberately left that as a block, you will see why in a moment. What we've also got, we've got our dimensions, which are annotative to a scale of one to four, there's our annotation scale right there.
If I jump into the layout tab here, you can also see that we've got our little view there. Now what were going to do, we're going to tidy up this drawing, and then what were going to do, we're going to create a whole new drawing, and were going to utilize DesignCenter to occupy that whole new drawing. What I'm going to do, I'm going to double-click in the viewport here, like so, I'm going to change that scale, because it's the wrong viewport scale for the annotation scale. Let's change that to one to four, and what we'll do is we'll just do a little bit of panning now, and you will see that all the DIMMs and everything have come through nicely, because they are all at one to four annotation scale.
I'll now double-click outside the viewport to deactivate it. Our drawing is all nice and neat and set up and ready to go. Now, here's the trick. I now go to the view tab on the ribbon, like so, and the DesignCenter is just there on the pallets panel, it's that little icon there, DesignCenter. Now, I'm not going to open it just yet. What I'm going to do is just click on this little plus sign here on the tabs, and I open up a new blank drawing, it's completely blank. If I jump into the home tab now, and go to the layers panel here and I go to layer properties, as you can see there, if I just drag that down so you can see it, there we go, can you see that we've only got the one layer, layer zero right there.
I'm just going to bring that away. Now, you can shrink this, and his docket and things, I'm just going to make it a tad smaller. We'll just hover there, and dragged that like that, and you can see that the layer properties manager, quick and easy to resize, and I can set that at the center of the screen. Now, we've got that one layer, as you can see, and that's all we've got there. I'll just resize that a little bit. Color, white, line type, continuous. Standard layer zero default layer territory. I'll close the layer properties manager. Everything is at a default in my Drawing2. Now, AutoCAD is just added the number to that, so that's just the latest drawing in the consecutive list of new drawings when you open up a new drawing and AutoCAD.
If I go back to my using DesignCenter though, what can I do here? Can I take all of this information across into my Drawing2 drawing? Well, of course you can, and it's very, very easy to do. If I go back to the view tab now on the ribbon, and I open up DesignCenter here, I'll click on it here like so, and DesignCenter kicks in. Now, it can be quite a large dialog box, so again, I'm just going to resize that, and it's just slightly off the screen there, so I'll just bring it into the screen area here like so.
Now, what you can do is you will notice in the folders list it always goes to a sample folder there, like so, and you can go and find, in the EN-US folder, all the DesignCenter sample drawings. I'm not going to use that folders tab, I'm going to go to the open drawings tab. There is my using DesignCenter drawing, and this is why it's like Windows Explorer, because as all these little subfolders of what is actually in the drawing itself. If I went to blocks there, there is my little workstation block, which is that when there.
Now, what I can do is expand out Drawing2 here, like so. Now, if I go to blocks there, there's nothing. If I scroll appear, and go to blocks, and I select this block here, and right-click on it, can you see that I can copy it, like so? I'll copy that block. By going to blocks here now, and right-click, I can add that block if I want to. Now, how do I add that block there? You'll notice there is no paste on the right hand click, so how do I do this? You literally drag and drop, it's that easy.
What I'll do now is I'll just click away from there, go to my Drawing2 here. Now, DesignCenter stays open. If I go to blocks here like that, and then just click once, and then just click, and hold, and drag, that block comes straight into my Drawing2, like so. If I look at blocks for Drawing2 now, there is my block. What about dimension styles in DesignCenter, the drawing? Dimension styles are there, there's my LYNDA dimension style. Click once, click and drag, drag it into the drawing area, release.
If I come into dimmstyles here now, I've got all of those in there already. Now, why have they all come through already? It's because I brought that block through. Now, this is the really neat trick with DesignCenter. You can drag and drop anything you want to. For example, if I go to layouts, I've got my ISO A3-420x297 layout in the DesignCenter drawing. Click, drag, bring it in, release. There it is there, in my Drawing2, I hasten to add. Click there, and oh, look, I've got a viewport, I've got all the layers, everything.
If I go to layers now, you will see that all of those layers that are formed part of the DesignCenter drawing are now coming across into Drawing2, and that's the benefit of DesignCenter. You don't have to like literally copy the drawing, you can just take the component parts off the drawing that you want, into the new drawing in AutoCAD.
Skill Level Intermediate
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