Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with AutoCAD blocks, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Certified Professional (2015).
When you're working with existing content in your AutoCAD drawings you can actually reuse that content by way of creating blocks and reference files. So what we're going to look at when we're reusing existing content in this new section is how to work with blocks, how to manage block attributes and also how to work with reference files as well. So what we've got, we've got a drawing open which is 8_Reusing_BLOCKS_Complete. If you want to follow along use the Lynda.com exercise file 8_Reusing_BLOCKS.dwg.
Now what we've got is a similar element to what we had in the previous section and it's a little metal sleeve with a hole down the middle. And we're looking at a side view there of that particular little metal sleeve. You'll notice everything, including the polyline there, and the hidden detail lines, are on layer 0. Now, when you're creating your blocks to reuse content, you want to make sure that everything in the block is on layer 0. That way when you insert the block into the drawing it actually assumes the current drafting layer.
And we'll see that in a moment. So we'll go to the home tab on the ribbon first and go to the layers panel here and just make sure that our current layer is the layer sleeve, like so. Now what we're going to do is we're going to create a new block. Now on the home tab, you do have a block panel, and you can create from there as well. You'll notice as well if you go to the insert tab on the ribbon you've also got create block in the block definition panel there and you've also got write block as well, which is another thing entirely, which we wont cover in this particular course.
However, what we want to look at is creating our block, making sure that it becomes a block within our .dwg file. All blocks that you create are stored in the .dwg file when you save it. So you don't need to worry about going looking for them you just go the insert block command here on the insert tab. It's also on the home tab as well on the block panel here. You can insert a block there as well. So I'm just going to start on the home tab now. Go into the block panel here click on create and that gives me the block definition dialogue box.
Now I'm not going to be too imaginative here I'm just going to call the block SLEEVE, and I'm going to pick a point now on the drawing where I want the sleeve to be inserted. So I go pick point on the icon there and using my object snaps now, I'm going to specify the insertion base point. That's going to be my midpoint snap there on the bottom face of the sleeve. So you can see there there's no way I could have guessed the x and y coordinates for that one. Now we're going to go over to the objects part of the dialogue box. So we need to select the objects that are going to to make up the block.
So I click there like so, and I'm just going to do a little selection window and make sure I select everything, like so. Two clicks and then a right click or enter on the keyboard to confirm. So you can see we've got three objects selected. We've actually got a little preview box up there as well. Now we've got three options when it comes to our object. We can retain the original objects in the drawing, or we can convert them to a block, or we can actually delete them. Ideally what you want to do is convert to block each time because that way you've then got one of the blocks in the drawing already.
So I'm going to leave that there, convert to block. For the purposes of your AutoCAD professional certification though, I would suggest creating different blocks to practice and use retain, convert to block, and delete to see what they do. Don't worry if you use the delete option. The delete option will delete the original objects but still create the block. You can go to the insert command and then insert your block if you need to. Now the behavior of our block, we're not going to make it annotative. However, we will scale uniformly in the x and y direction if we resize the block using the scale command.
And always, always, always allow exploding in your block. That way you can explode it, perhaps redesign it slightly, and save it as a different block, but part of the same block family, for example. Now this particular drawing I'm using a metric millimeters drawing. So the block unit has defaulted to millimeters. I can give it a text description in this box if I need to. I can also give it a hyperlink, perhaps to the manufacturer's website. And I can also open it in the block editor if I want to, to perhaps create a dynamic block at a later date.
I'm going to leave that unticked for the moment. I now click on OK and you'll notice it's changed color, because it's now, when I hover over it, a block reference on the sleeve layer. So, bearing in mind that I'm on the sleeve layer as my current layer, as my current layer, if I now go up to the block panel and click on insert, here, there's my sleeve, I click, and I can bring that into the drawing. And you can see I'm reusing content in my drawing by way of inserting another sleeve block, like so.
So that's how you work with your blocks, create a block, and insert a block, into your AutoCAD drawing. And as I said earlier in this particular video, practice, practice, practice. Blocks are a very useful tool in AutoCAD Full Stop regardless of whether you need them for your professional certification exam or not.
- Creating and publishing AutoCAD files
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Creating isometric drawings
- Transforming objects
- Creating and using arrays
- Organizing objects and layers
- Reusing content with blocks
- Adding text, dimensions, multileaders, and scales
- Creating layouts
- Setting printing and plotting options
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Is this certification available for AutoCAD for Mac users?
A: AutoCAD certification is on the Windows environment only. Currently Autodesk does not have plans for an AutoCAD for Mac certification.
Q: This course was updated on 02/01/2016. What changed?
A: We added four new videos to the "Certification: What Is It?" chapter. These tutorials cover Certiport, the online certification service that now offers a variety of Autodesk certifications.