AutoCAD Dynamic Blocks with Stretch
Hey guys, Mike Dugan your AutoCAD guru! Welcome to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dynamic blocks but was afraid to ask! Ya know, when I first started experimenting with these things, I found them a bit, I don’t know… a little scary, a little terrifying, a little intimidating. But after I got the hang of them, I found they really were a snap! And I’m telling ya, they just save me hours and hours of drafting time. So now I use them all the time, and I want you to as well.
So, my plan here is to create a series of videos kinda centered around this little house that I have drawn here. It’s a cross-section of a house and right now it’s drawn conventionally, there are no blocks at all in this thing. Or at least there are no dynamic blocks, and you’ll see what I mean by that in a second.
So, we’re gonna start from the ground up with the foundation wall. So let me grab a copy of this wall and drag it out there (and we don’t need this piece right here let me get rid of that). OK, so here’s a section of the wall and let’s turn it into a block. But ya know, before we do I want to point something out. This J-bolt up top, and also these little cross-sections of rebar. These are actually little blocks unto themselves which was a handy thing to have if I’m gonna do things conventionally. But if these are gonna become part of a larger block, I don’t need them anymore. So, I’m gonna explode them. This way later on I can delete them, and they won’t be cluttering up my block library because they’re all gonna be folded into this new block of a wall section.
Anyway, let me grab the whole thing now, and turn it into a block, I’ll hit “B” for Block. We’re gonna call it “Foundation Section”, and notice that I have “Specify on Screen for the Base Point” there checked. So, I’m gonna click “OK” and select this point right here where the foundation wall hits the footing as my base point. OK, now when I select it you can see the base point there and the whole thing is one single block.
Now, let’s turn it into a dynamic block, and to do that I’m gonna double click on it and that will bring me into block editing mode. And you should see this block authoring pallet open up, and if you don’t, just click this little icon on the ribbon up here. So, creating dynamic blocks is basically a two-step process. First, you need to establish a parameter, and then you want to apply an action to it.
So, I’m gonna go over here to my block authoring pallet, hit the parameters tab, and later I’m gonna want to be using “Stretch” and the associated parameter for “stretch” is going to be “linear” so I’ll click “linear” and choose the two points that I want to use for my linear parameter, ending at the top of the sill plate right here… let me just drag that out. OK, I've got my parameter, now let’s apply an action. So, I’ll go to “actions” and choose “stretch”. Now, at this point it’s basically following the instructions so “select parameter”, that’s easy is only one so I can click anywhere on it. “Specify the parameter point to associate with the action”. That basically means this point right here. Because later on, this is the point that I'm gonna wanna be grabbing when I stretch this thing.
Now, this may sound a little tricky but it's really not. “Specify the first corner of the stretch frame”. What that really means is it wants you to create a frame… think of this as a sort of a frame around the area that you can, later on, select what vertices you’re later gonna wanna stretch. That’s kind of a mouthful, but you’ll get what I'm saying in a minute. Now it wants me to select the objects, and there I'm going to use a crossing window just as I would normally in model space, to select the stuff that I want to stretch.
Now, after I click I notice it still says “select objects” because it's giving me the option of selecting still more stuff I want to. But I don't. I'm done. I'm just gonna hit “enter” and we’re good to go.
Alright, that's it! Let me close the block editor… yes, we're gonna save, and now when I select it, yeah I got this original base point I can still drag it around by it if I want, but now I have this neat little grip up top, and that thing can do two things for us. First, I could resize this wall by snapping to another object. Or I could enter a value that I’m gonna want the wall to be. I'll just type in let's say 66 inches just for fun and it'll automatically resize to that number.
OK, that's basically it! It wasn't so bad, was it? We had this done in just a few minutes. So, if you're still here… good move! I’m assuming you’ve already subscribed and liked the video, what can I say I'm a little insecure and I need some feedback! Speaking of which, if you got questions, I got answers so let me hear em in the comments section and I'll be sure to reply. Oh, and by the way, I’ll put a link to this drawing the description so you can go and download it yourself.
Until next time, Mike Dugan, your AutoCAD guru…. signing off!
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