This is the 11th article in my AutoCAD 101 series – to read about the origination for this series, see the first post here: <Intro>
The last post in this series was about “Dynamic Blocks” on the ‘Rotate’ Parameter and Action. <link>. This post will cover the ‘Flip’ Parameter and Action and the next post will cover the ‘Linear’ Parameter and associated Actions.
For this post, once again, I will make a new block – the “Refrigerator” (Fridge). To demonstrate the ‘Flip’ Parameter and Action, I will create a block that has two visibility states. One state will be for a single door (Top or bottom Freezer) and one will be for a Side-by-Side. If you are not familiar or comfortable with Visibility States, see the post on Visibility states here. This block will now give me two Dynamic options in one block and the ability to choose a left or right hand version – common for refrigerators and front load washers and dryers. Now some would say “it is just a rectangle dude!” – well, I tend to be a bit more detailed, so knowing which way my doors open is important. In addition some would just say – “Mirror the block to get a left or right side door handle or Freezer section. True this is an option, but if you insert a lot of appliances and re-layout kitchen and laundry designs on a regular basis, you will see how much cooler (and faster) the ‘Flip’ option is.
Below are two views of my basic refrigerator in the original left side option view.
You will notice that the image shows the various grips of the block. the down arrow grip is for choosing the visibility states, and the bottom centered grip is the insertion point. Note that the insertion point is off the back of the refrigerator – this is because we need space behind it. This one of those important little details discussed in the “Important Stuff” post about making blocks.
NOTE: The time it takes to make a simple block like this is small compared to the time you save each time you insert it. And the more options you add to it – the more flexibility and time you save. For instance, if you have (4) common refrigerator sizes, maybe more for a professional kitchen designer, and you add all the looks and sizes in to Visibility states and add flip options, you can keep everything in one block, one insertion, one edit… Make sure your most common used version is your default visibility state.
To create the ‘Flip’ option, I need to add both the ‘Flip’ Parameter and the ‘Flip’, Action.
- On the Parameter Tab of the Block authoring Palette, select ‘Flip’
- Select the base point for the Flip (bottom of Fridge)
- Select the endpoint of the Flip line (top perpendicular to bottom of Fridge)
- Place the label just above the Fridge
- To save editing later – because we have multiple Visibility States, select the button that shows all objects (filled box over open box on Block Editor Toolbar)
- On the Action Tab of the Block authoring Palette, select ‘Flip’
- Select the Flip Parameter from the previous step (arrow on bottom of Fridge)
- Select everything
- Right click on the Flip Label and set Object Visibility to ‘Show for All states’
- Test the block to make sure it is functioning properly – pick on the arrow and your block should ‘Flip’
- Once I verify it is all good, I moved the Flip “Arrow” to the top of the Fridge for easier access
Below are two views of my final refrigerator in the right side option view. You will notice that the image now shows the ‘Flip’ arrow grip.
In the next post, I will cover the Linear Parameter and it’s associated Actions. That will wrap up Dynamic blocks and I will move in to External References.
If you run into a snag with any of this or you would like a copy of the blocks created here, email me at email@example.com