Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thinking Outside the Block

Dynamic blocks have been out there for a while and I think we have all had some idea of what we can use them for. That being said, I think there are many uses for dynamic blocks that don't initially come to mind. I have had a few ideas of my own and some suggested that have really gone far in making the team more efficient. I thought I would share some.

Scheduling
Schedules have repeating rows and columns. If you are not using OLE to bring in Excel files or attribute extraction, using the array and stretch functions in a dynamic block is a great way to add rows and columns on the fly. A word of caution, if you want to use attributes in a dynamic block, the location (in Properties) must be locked to be selected for most anything.

Title Blocks
Seriously, you can have one title block that uses visibility states to morph into all of your standards sizes retaining information through the use of fields. Nest into that an expanding revisions area.

Symbology
North Arrows that rotate the true North, Flipping and stretching section cut symbols. Visibility states can be used to add proper graphic scale to drawings.

Detailing
Give standard details some flexibility by nesting in varying hatch patterns and standard arraying or size changing components. Even standard notes for different situations can be tied to a visibility state.

The point I hope to make is that a door, table or window dynamic block is great, but there are many more options with this powerful new tool if you think outside the block.
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