by John Flanagan
Using blocks is one of the most important and powerful techniques in AutoCAD software.
What are Blocks?
A group objects can be easily converted into a single symbol or block.
By doing this, you can easily copy an assembly of objects multiple times and reuse an assembly in many different drawings.
Any drawing or portion of a drawing can be turned into a block such as the typical architectural symbols you might use in a floor plan (Fig 1).
Fig 1: Architectural Floor Plan Using Blocks
The benefits of using blocks in AutoCAD and the different sources including the Design Centre for inserting blocks into your drawings are outlined on the following page.
Using blocks in AutoCAD software has many benefits, including:
- Ease of manipulating the blocks in a drawing, since they are unified objects. Some blocks, called dynamic blocks, are designed so you can adjust their size or other features after inserting them.
- Consistency of standard details or parts.
- Reducing file size, since each instance of the block in a drawing refers to a single block definition.
- If you edit one instance of a block, all copies of that block will also be updated. This is invaluable because you don’t need to duplicate similar tasks.
You can insert blocks into your drawings from several sources, including the Insert command, the Tool Palettes, Design Centre, Content Explorer, and Autodesk Seek.
Inserting Blocks with Design Centre
Insert blocks by dragging and dropping them into the current drawing using the Design Centre.
Tip: Pressing <Ctrl>+<2> toggles Design Centre open or closed.
AutoCAD Design Centre
Ø Design Centre is a palette. Therefore it can docked and hidden in the same way as Tool Palettes and Properties.
Ø Open Design Centre, locate the drawing containing the objects you want to use, and drag them into the current drawing.
Ribbon: View tab>Palettes panel
Command Prompt: adcenter (on), adcclose (off), or
Click to launch the Autodesk Seek website and search online content.You can search for a specific item in Autodesk Seek.
Fig 2: AutoCAD Design Centre
In addition to blocks, you can copy other named objects using the Design Centre, including layers, linetypes, layouts, and reference files (xrefs), and text, table or dimension styles