AutoCAD Dynamic Blocks – Part 2: Alignment Grip

In this installment of our look at Dynamic Blocks in AutoCAD, we are going to add the alignment grip to a block. It is a very simple process, but the results are very powerful. Just in case you haven’t used an alignment grip yet, let’s first take a look at how it works.

If you would like to try the same exercise that I use in the demonstration, you can download the exercise drawing file here: Align.dwg

The lesson is presented in the following video. Step-by-step instructions are also included below.

The drawing file contains a half bathroom.

Selecting the toilet will display an alignment grip on the back of the tank.

Select the grip, then place it on the wall next to the door. Using the midpoint object snap will allow you to place it accurately.

The alignment grip automatically rotated the block at the angle needed to match the wall!

Next you will edit the 48 x 30 Cabinet with Sink block so that it also has the ability to align to existing geometry.

Double-click on the 48 x 30 Cabinet with Sink block, then click <OK> to enter the Block Editor.

Select Palette: Block Authoring > Parameters > Alignment.

The Alignment tool does not require an action; you will only be adding the parameter.

Select the midpoint of the bottom line of the cabinet.

This is the original base point of the block and currently displays the UCS icon.

Select the lower-left endpoint of the cabinet.

We have now defined the edge of alignment. The Alignment grip now displays.

Notice that it is pointing away from the cabinet. This indicates the direction in which AutoCAD will align this block.

Select Ribbon: Block Editor > Open/Save > Save Block.

Select Ribbon: Block Editor > Close > Close Block Editor.

Select the cabinet.

Select the alignment grip on the lower side of the cabinet.

Select the midpoint of the wall across from the toilet.

The cabinet block is automatically rotated to align with the wall.

As you can see, that was a pretty simple process, and the ability to rotate a block automatically to align to another object is terrific!

I hope you enjoyed this quick lesson. Next time we will look at how to add the ability to mirror a dynamic block.

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