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_In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to make an AutoCAD Dynamic block of a door. The process is quite simple and hopefully will give you an understanding of how the process of making Dynamic blocks work

Firstly we need a door. Download a door I have already prepared here

Now open the drawing of the door in AutoCAD. (Fig.1)

Next thing we need to do is make the door a block. We need to do this so we can edit the door in the block editor. The block editor is where we make this basic door block into a dynamic block.

To make the block, select all the objects that make up the door and type 'B' (for block). The block window opens (Fig.2).


Name the block 'MyDoorBlock' (Fig.2), and Click OK.

Now the door is a block, so we can now edit it in the Block Editor.

On the menu bar, go to TOOLS, then Click, Block Editor (Fig.3)

A window will appear (Fig.4) with a list of Blocks to choose from. Select the block we just created called MyDoorBlock (or whatever you named it) and Click OK . We are now in the block editor.



You should now be in the Block Editor. You should have a screen that looks similar to the image on the right (Fig.5) (Notice that my background is a grey/black colour - the default is a peach colour -you can change this in options)

When you are in the Block Editor, there are new tools available to you. These tools can only be accessed whilst in the Block Editor.

On the left hand side of the screen is the Block Editor toolbar pallette. First thing we are going to do is click the 'Linear Parameter' and add it to our door.


After clicking Linear Parameter (1 - Fig.6), click First Point (2 - Fig.6) then Click Second Point
(3 - Fig.6)
(Note: The points I have selected are of the actual door opening - 820mm. I have done this to make scaling the door swing easier which you will learn about futher in the tutorial.)

We now have our first parameter added to the block. This parameter tells the block to do something when the Arrow Grip (Cyan coloured Arrow) is dragged in a linear motion.
At present we haven't added any Actions to the door, just a parameter, so the block doesn't really do anything. Note the exclamation mark, this tell us there are no Actions associated with this Parameter

To understand how this works, we have selected a parameter (linear) which will control how an action (yet to be selected) will work. The action is connected to the line's that make up the door.
Don't be concerned if this doesn't fully make sense, it will as you continue through the tutorial.



The linear paramater has 2 Arrow Grips. We only want 1 Arrow Grip so the door will have a fixed point at Arrow Grip 1, and be stretched by selecting and moving Arrow Grip 2.

To do this, select the linear parameter by clicking on the word "Distance" (1 - Fig.7), then right click. A menu will pop-up. Move your mouse to 'Grip Display' (2 - Fig.7) on the menu, then Left Click on the number 1 (3 - Fig.7).

You should now notice that there is only 1 grip on the linear parameter.

If we had kept 2 Arrow Grips, the door would have been able to be modified in 2 directions.


Before we add an action, we will alter one last thing on the linear parameter.

(Note that actions can be added or delted at any time, there is no order things must be done)

Again,select the linear parameter by clicking the word 'Distance'. Right click to bring up a menu, then Left Click on properties.

The properties window will appear (if not already open) Scroll down the menu to "Value Set" (Fig.8)

Left Click the Drop Down Box next to the menu item called Dist Type. There are 3 items on the menu: None, Increment & List.

For this tutorial, select Increment.

Increment means that when we drag the Arrow Grip, the door will only be sized by a certain amount between a range.

In Fig.9, the values, in the Value Set properties, the first value: Dist Increment 50 tells the parameter to only move the Arrow Grip in 50mm increments

Dist Minimum is the minimum distance the Arrow Grip will start when measured from Arrow Grip 1 (which we have turned off)

Dist Maximum is the maximum distance Arrow Grip 2 will end when measured from Arrow Grip 2.

Based on these values, if we started at 620mm, the next value would be 670mm, then 720mm etc.

The alternative option in the Drop Down Box called "list", allows the user to specify actual lengths.
So we could list 620mm, 670mm, then skip to another measurement like 800mm. The grip in this case will only snap to entered values.




OK, so finally we will add an Action to the door. On the Toolpallete, select the Tab named Actions
(1 - Fig.10)

Next Left Click the Move Action (2 - Fig.10). You will be prompted to select a parameter. Left click the word 'Distance'. After selecting the parameter, you wil be prompted to select the Arrow Grip to associate with the Move Action.

Move your mouse over Arrow Grip 2 so a red circle appears near the Grip (3 - Fig.10), then click on/or near the Arrow Grip.

You will be asked to select objects to move. Select the Door Jamb where Arrow Grip 2 is located. (Fig.11) Once selected, hit enter to confirm selection.

You are asked to place the Action somewhere, place it just above the Arrow Grip (Fig.12)

To see how the Door block works, Click on Close Block Editor, click Yes to Save Changes, then Select and move the Arrow Grip. The Door jamb will move but the door leaf and swing do nothing. Let's fix this. Open the block editor again.




Alright, back in the Block Editor we are going to Stretch the Door Leaf based on the Arrow Grip position.

Select Stretch from the Actions tab (1 - Fig.13)

Similar to the Move action, we now select the parameter 'Distance' (2 - Fig.13) then select the Arrow Grip (3 - Fig.13 )

Next we are asked to"Specify the First Corner of the Stretch Frame". Draw a rectangle as shown in (4 - Fig.13). This frame means any objects located inside of this frame and that are added to this action will be be stretched.

After creating the rectangle, Select the door leaf then press enter. Locate the Stretch command just above the Door.

Now this might seem all good and well but if you were to try out the door at this time it wouldn't behave correctly. The reason this is, is because the Stretch command by default will try and strectch Left & Right, not Up and Down.

To address this problem, select the Stretch Action (1 - Fig.14), open the properties window (if not open already) then change the Angle Offset from 0 to 90. (2 - Fig.14) This ensure the door leaf strectches in the correct direction

Again, Close the Block Editor, click Yes to Save changes and try out your door. The door jamb and door leaf should now move together when the Arrow Grip is moved. Great as this is, the door swing doesn't do anything still. Open up the Block Editor again so we can fix this.



Similar to the previous 2 Actions, we go to the Actions tab on the Tool Pallete, but now we select Scale as our Action.

After selecting Scale Action (1-Fig.15), select the word 'Distance' (2 - Fig.15) Then Select the Door Swing (3 - Fig.15) and position the Scale Action just above the Door Swing (4 - Fig.15).

Close the Block Editor, Click Yes to Save changes and you now have a functioning dynamic door.

One last thing, you may have noticed that the Arrow Grip isn't positioned in a very good place for stretching the door. It would be much better if the Arrow Grip was at the end of the Frame. Well, open the Block Editor once again and select the Arrow Grip (1 - Fig.16).

This is the original position of the Arrow Grip that we want to move. Once the Grip is highlighted, select the blue squared grip centered on the Arrow Grip, and then drag it down to the new position (2 - Fig.16). Now the grip is placed in a much better position - try it out.

Hopefully this gave you a beginning insight into creating a dynamic door. Next tutorial I will show you how to add additonal Actions to the door to make it flip directions by clicking on special grips.



Part 2 >>>


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