AutoCAD: Defining Blocks Part 1

AutoCAD: Defining Blocks Part 1

In this free video tutorial, I demonstrate the basics of creating Block Definitions in AutoCAD and accessing them through the Design Center palette.

Transcript of this video

Welcome, I’m Cindy Dunn President of CCAD inc. In this video I demonstrate the basics of creating Block Definitions in AutoCAD and accessing them via the Design Center palette.

I’ve drawn three cabinets:

  • Bookcase36x12
  • Cupboard36x18
  • Storage30x25

When creating blocks of physical objects, like furniture, equipment, fasteners, etc. make sure to draw the objects actual size and accurately. Think about how you want to position the block when inserted: endpoint, intersection, midpoint? Or perhaps a clearance is needed.

The layer of each cabinet block is to be determined at the time it is inserted, so the objects that will comprise the block definitions are on Layer 0. Layer 0 should really be used only for objects that define blocks.

After creating the objects that will define each block, select the BLOCK command. The Block Definition window is displayed. This is where you select the objects that make up the block as well as some properties of the Block Definition.

Choose your Insertion Point wisely… a poorly selected insertion point will making inserting the block challenging. You can:

  • choose the Pick point button to hide the Block Definition window while you select a point
  • check the Specify On-screen box to choose a point after selecting the OK button
  • type in X Y and Z coordinates of the point

Unless you selected objects for the Block Definition prior to choosing the Block command, you need to pick the Select Objects button. The Block Definition window will hide while you pick objects. Press ENTER when you’ve selected all the objects.

Next you decide what to do with the objects you selected. You can:

  • Retain the individual objects
    • Use this option if you are reusing objects to make several blocks
  • Convert (replace) the selected objects with the newly defined block
    • Use this option to make the block, delete the objects and insert the newly defined block
  • Delete the selected objects
    • Use this option to make the block and delete the objects

Add a Description that will be visible in the Design Center Palette and Tool Palette.

The Block unit setting is used to determine scaling needed when inserting your block into a drawing with a different unit of measure. For instance, an Inch block inserted into a Millimeter drawing will automatically be inserted at a uniform scale of 25.4.

Choose whether or not the X Y and Z insert scale factors must be equal (uniform).

Decide whether or not to allow your block to be Exploded.

Annotative Behavior in the Block Editor will be discussed in the next video.

After creating the block definitions and saving the drawing you can insert the blocks into other drawings using the Design Center palette or you can create a Tool Palette. Creating a Tool Palette will be demonstrated in another video.

The Design Center palette gives you access to content in AutoCAD files. Examples of content are:

  • Layers
  • Linetypes
  • Text Styles
  • Dimension Styles
  • Blocks

To display The Design Center palette press CTRL+2, type AD and press ENTER or select the DesignCenter button on the View tab.

Use the Load button to select the drawing with your block definitions and display the Content in the palette. Double-click the Block icon, then pick, hold and drag the icon into the drawing. You can also double-click the desired block and insert it with options.

Thank you for watching this video on defining blocks and using the Design Center palette. Please visit the following links for more AutoCAD Tutorials and our schedule of in-person and virtual AutoCAD training classes. Please visit our AutoCAD Training page or see more of our free Tutorials.