Am I using blocks correctly?

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Am I using blocks correctly?

Postby awdunstan » Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:25 am

I'm an utter novice at QCad, so I wouldn't be surprised if I was going about this all wrong. If there's a better way I'd love to hear it!

The problem I'm trying to solve: I want to create a blueprint of an existing house. It has a basement, a 1st floor and a 2nd floor. I'd like to create three layers for each floor: one for the floor plan proper, one for electrical, one for plumbing. Right now I'm working on just the 2nd floor (it's smaller than the other two). I hope to eventually be able to lay adjacent floors on top of each other and figure out where the plumbing & wiring should be routed (it's a foreclosed house that's been stripped of all plumbing & wiring).

To simplify the process of diagramming each floor I created several blocks: interior door, wall, window, sink, etc. The "wall" block is just a 5" x 120" rectangle. I'd like to use multiple "wall" blocks to build the floor plan. But to do that I need to insert several of them, rotate them and resize them.

Right now I'm trying to figure out the resizing. I've created the wall block and have inserted one into a drawing. Right now my drawing consists of just a wall block, 5" high and 120" wide. The wall's bottom left corner is at the origin, with the wall block extending to the right. If I Modify -> Scale I can blow it up but that multiplies both the height & width by the given factor, making the wall too thick. If I try Modify -> Stretch I enter the 1st & 2nd corners (I've been using the bottom left and bottom right corners), the reference point (bottom left corner again) and the target point (I manually entered 229,0 - where I'd like to bottom right corner to be) but it doesn't change the size of the wall block. It only moves the reference point (small red circle with a + in it) out to where I'd like the rightmost end of the wall to go.

If I try Modify -> Lengthen it says "The chosen entity is in a block. Please edit the block". I assume that if I do that it'll change the length of all my wall blocks, not just this one.

I'm assuming a block is more like a template, and not a rubber stamp where every copy looks exactly like every other.

I'm using the community version of QCad (v2.0.5.0) on Fedora Linux 17 (up-to-date as of yesterday).

Any clues as to what I'm doing wrong? Thanks!
awdunstan
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Re: Am I using blocks correctly?

Postby Clive » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:57 pm

First, Hello and welcome to the forum.

awdunstan wrote:If I try Modify -> Lengthen it says "The chosen entity is in a block. Please edit the block". I assume that if I do that it'll change the length of all my wall blocks, not just this one.


Indeed, correct if the original created block is edited the change will reflect dynamically in all the blocks. A block is a 'grouped' locked collection of entities, each entity within a block can have its own properties - color, line weight, line type etc. and its own layer!

However when a block is inserted in a drawing and say copied several times, any copy of the 'original' block can be modified quite simply by first exploding it and then using the modify tools.
Select the block in the current drawing (do not edit the original block) and go to Modify > Explode, this will break the selected block back down again into individual entities where you can select them and edit them to change the properties/attributes.

Have a go and see if this takes you further on.

In QCAD 3 there is a wonderful tool called the property editor, this can be used as well as using the modify tools to change an entities properties also.

property editor.png
property editor.png (13.82 KiB) Viewed 3619 times



In addition:
To use the stretch tool
1.Drag and pull a window around the end of your wall, this is the 'First and Second' corners here.

Stech tool 1.png
Stech tool 1.png (11.46 KiB) Viewed 3612 times


2. Pick a reference point - any will do.

3. Pick or enter in the command line (as you did before) the relevant coordinate (@ e.g. 100,0 - this will stretch your wall 100 units in the X direction and 0 in the Y direction).
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Re: Am I using blocks correctly?

Postby awdunstan » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:02 am

Thanks for the quick response. After some experimenting I was able to do most of what I was after. Part of what confused me was the presence of two different Explode options - one under Modify, the other under Blocks. I'd been using the former, not the latter.

I've now got the floor plan done for the 2nd floor, and the plumbing layer partly entered - fixtures but no pipes.

Thanks again for your help.
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Re: Am I using blocks correctly?

Postby Clive » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:21 pm

awdunstan wrote: Part of what confused me was the presence of two different Explode options - one under Modify, the other under Blocks. I'd been using the former, not the latter.

Understood, to my knowledge they are both exactly the same explode tool, just in two different tool-sets, I guess for convenience - you can for example use the Explode tool from the Block menu to explode a spline and it will do the same job as using it from the Modify menu!
Glad to hear that you are making good progress on your plans :wink: .
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