AutoCAD BAD CAD Blocks Hell!


Create real blocks in lieu of Anonymous blocks!









As a designer I work in AutoCAD on a daily basis and use files provided by others.  I am constantly miffed by the level of quality or lack there of in the files that I receive.  Today was another example of what I typically refer to as BAD CAD and why I had to do a little Rant!  But this one got me irked enough to write about it.  Today’s BAD CAD involved an issue I see pretty often, which involves blocks – but this drawing managed to actually cover a few of my hot buttons in one single session.

  1. Blocks were all anonymous “A$C63F21903”, “A$C6F944C45”, etc.
  2. If a block was mirrored, it had another anonymous name
  3. Blocks were created on an ‘ep-text’ or ‘rcp-text’ layer
  4. The blocks were composed of line segments
  5. Blocks were bylayer – Gold Star!
  6. Insertion points were in ‘outer space’
  7. Text was the “Standard” style

For some, the flaws are obvious, for others – maybe not so much.  Let’s look at each one to see what could have been done better.

  1. Blocks are not that hard to make. I understand that you can just select everything and right click to use the clipboard copy option, and then “pastes as block”.  But what you get is a bunch of blocks with no rhyme or reason to their names – anonymous blocks.  This is shoddy work in my opinion and does to do much for future drawing tasks.  Hell if you are going to do this, at least rename it to something that makes sense.  I’ll get more in to the past as block pandemic in future post. [See this post on how to make blocks]
  2. I guess this user did not know how to use the mirror command.
  3. Now these were electrical devices, so I assume the ‘ep’ meant ‘electrical power’ and the ‘ec’ meant ‘electrical crap’ because I couldn think of another good ‘c’ word that made sense since most of the items on the ‘ec-text’ layer were lights.  BUT – how did ‘text’ become part of either layer name – none of it was text! [As an additional note, there were things all over the drawing that had NOTHING to do with electrical that were on the ‘ec-text’ layer!]
  4. This is something that only some die-hard CADD folks might see as an issue. If you make a shape – make it with ‘polylines’ not ‘lines’. I do this to avoid line segment issues should someone (God forbid) exploded it!  it also makes it easier to manipulate when I use ‘Bedit’.  [See post on the Block Editor ‘Bedit’ here]
  5. When I edited the blocks, the line work was ‘BYLAYER’, which is great – gold Star! Of course they lost the star by making the blocks on a ‘ec’-text’ layer instead of layer ‘0’….
  6. When inserting a block, it is great to know where the insertion point will be, like on a wall, intersection of a grid, etc.  But these blocks had the insertion points at random locations.  this typically happens when someone just picks a point in space or creates a block from existing entities and chooses a reference point that relates to that particular location. [See this post on why this is important]
  7. I am all about “Standards” – except using the default AutoCAD Standard styles for anything.

You can check out the 101 series I did earlier on the topic of blocks here.


Leave a Reply