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Working with Blocks

Sep 18, 2020
Video Length:  51:38
Presented By:  Jaymz Wooden

Blocks are essential components of any CAD design. It's important to maintain a proper standard for the blocks you use, as well as to make sure your blocks are easy to adjust and place. We'll go over the role played by blocks within our software, showing the various types of blocks you have access to and how they all function. We'll also show you how to integrate your personal set of custom blocks into our system. You'll come away from this presentation well versed in the power of the block.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

 

  • Intro/TOC
  • What is a Block?
  • How Land F/X Uses Blocks
  • Considerations for Block Creation
  • How to Save and Integrate Your Own Blocks

0:00 – 2:15: Intro/TOC

2:16 – 6:52: What is a Block?

A block is a collection of objects combined into a single named object.

  • When a block is inserted into CAD, it becomes defined in that drawing.
  • The only way to make permanent changes to that block is to edit the source block.
  • A block in a specific drawing will need to be redefined and removed completely from the project and then re-inserted.

 

Analogy example: Block as cake (lines, hatches, etc. are the ingredients, the block is the finished cake, and the block definition is the recipe) (3:30)

 

Types of blocks include (4:05):

  • Standard: Static, as is
  • Dynamic: Has additional functionality
  • Annotative: Adjusts to viewport scale

6:53 – 23:12: How Land F/X Uses Blocks

Site Plan and Elevation Graphics (7:13)

 

Opening and editing a block definition in the Block Editor – note that all placed instances of the same block in the drawing will take on the edits, but the source block won't be changed. (7:47)

 

Our cloud block library (9:15)

 

Dynamic blocks (9:47)

 

Discipline Graphics (10:35)

 

The block tools in Land F/X and how our blocks are organized (example: Plan Graphics) (11:55)

 

Placing a block (13:17)

 

Keyboard commands for placing blocks (13:58)

 

Placing dynamic blocks and copying them along a line using our Copy along Line tool (15:20)

You can use keyboard commands for adjusting the spacing of the blocks.

 

Adding color to blocks using our Site Color tool (16:58)

 

Using our Color Render tool to assign color symbols to plants (17:45)

 

Using the XLAYER command to view and edit the data associated with a block (example: assigning the block with a new color and custom linetype) (20:02)

 

Question: Does Land F/X have plans to create plan-view doors and windows? (22:14)

Answer: Yes, they're on our radar. As of webinar time, we are looking into creating these blocks as dynamic blocks that can be resized to custom sizes. We welcome requests for blocks to be added to our libraries.

23:13 – 32:13: Considerations for Block Creation

Folder structure (23:52)

 

Cloud-based blocks (23:52)

 

Advantages of our system (24:56):

  • Time saving. Eliminates the old method of copying and pasting from master drawings.
  • DWG, XML, and slide files are downloaded.
  • The Land F/X tools that we discussed compound the efficiency of your blocks.
  • Our block library is constantly being improved and expanded.

 

Naming convention (36:03)

  • Understanding our block-naming convention will be helpful when you want to add your own blocks or edit yours.
  • When naming your own blocks, or modifying our default blocks, be mindful of how you name them.
  • Our naming convention does not need to apply to your blocks. However, in the name of avoiding issues, it's still important to understand.

 

Layers (27:45)

Layers are critical when creating blocks.

  • Each layer has specific properties that various tools will rely upon to function optimally.
    • Characteristics such as visibility, transparency, lineweight, and even discipline are often layer specific.
  • How the block appears when printed will largely depend on the layer settings and CTB file.
  • We recommend using our standard layer states, even if just as a starting point.

 

Example of block layers in Model Space and when printed (28:45)

 

Example of our Layer States (Load Layers and Save Layers tools) (29:16)

 

Drawing practices (29:52)

General block creation guidelines (29:52):

  • Always set your units prior to drawing.
  • Load the appropriate layer states.
  • Assign the correct Preference Set.
  • Draw all elements at full size.
  • Strike a balance between details and legibility.
  • Linework should only consist of polylines, arcs, and circles. (Avoid splines.)
  • Make sure the insertion point of the block is 0,0.
  • Make sure the drawing is free of proxies, Xrefs, Text Styles, etc. The only object in the drawing should be the block.

 

Our general block checklist (31:32):

  • No ellipses or splines.
  • No groups. Only in special conditions is this allowed. Ex: a logo. Or parts of a structure that must remain together.
  • Use standard layer settings.
  • All objects at 0 elevation.
  • Free of proxies, unwanted linetypes, registered applications, Xrefs, etc.
  • Block is drawn in appropriate units.
  • Block is drawn at 1:1 scale.
  • After block is complete, set units to decimal and unitless.
  • After block is complete, set layer 0 as the active layer.
  • No text, dimensions, or groups unless it is a special case.
  • Run PRG command to remove any unused layers.
  • Save the block as 2013 DWG format for compatibility.

32:14 – end: How to Save and Integrate Your Own Blocks

The importance of backing up your blocks (32:33)

 

The normal AutoCAD way of saving a block using the BLOCK command (note that we do not recommend this method) (33:03)

 

Our recommended methods of saving blocks into the Land F/X system (34:34)

 

Saving a block using our Save Block and Save Detail tools (34:47)

 

Saving a block using our Save Block tool (35:44)

 

Accessing a saved block for use in a drawing using a Land F/X tool (example: Elevation Graphics) (38:10)

 

Saving an existing block from Paper Space (example: a seal) (38:50)

 

Using the MSLIDE command to shoot a slide for a block from its source file (40:40)

 

Redefining blocks in your drawing using the Redefine Block tool (42:45)

 

Creating and working with dynamic blocks (45:00)

 

Assigning parameters and actions to a block (46:39)

 

Remember: We don't just welcome your block requests for our libraries – we rely on them!

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