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Method 2 - Optimizing CAD File Prior to SketchUp
Working with Blocks

3.4_Working with Blocks

0:01 As you recall from our earlier investigation of our floorplan, some repeating objects were drawn as blocks and others were not that should have been.

0:12 For example, the columns definitely should be blocks as they appear to be all the same.

0:18 Also, all of the windows and doors should be blocks as well.

0:23 Let’s take a minute to do a refresher on how blocks work once in SketchUp in order to ensure we’ve set them up properly in here CAD.

0:33 I’m going to pop back into the SketchUp file with the non-cleaned up floorplan we imported earlier.

0:40 Then, going into the linework group, I’ll select a few different doors and try to find one that was drawn as a block...which means it is now a component in SketchUp.

0:52 I can tell by selecting this one that it’s a component by checking the ‘Entity Info’ panel where it says it is a component.

1:00 It will also tell me how many more instances of that component are in the model.

1:07 As you can see, in addition to the doors not all being blocks, not all the blocks or components, are the same definition.

1:16 This causes a problem because if I were to place a 3D door inside of the door block, only one or a few would update, not all of them.

1:27 Forcing me to do them all individually and thus taking up more time.

1:32 Especially if I have to change one of the doors later.

1:36 Especially if I have to change one of the doors later.

1:36 So I can’t stress this point enough.

1:39 Take the time to replace loose linework with blocks and ensure you’re using the same block for all of the same type of door.

1:48 For our example, I’ve simplified things and used the same door everywhere.

1:54 Same thing is true for the windows.

1:56 I’ve gone ahead and used the same window component for all of them so that when I get into SketchUp, I can be confident that once I add my 3D geometry to the block, it will apply to all of them.

2:09 Let’s also touch on block and layer standards real quick before moving on.

2:14 Like SketchUp, it’s good practice to have all your loose linework on ‘Layer 0’...then create your block...and assign the block itself to the proper layer.

2:31 For example, if you move a block from one layer...

2:38 to another layer with a different color and it stays the same color, that’s usually a red flag that the internal linework is on a different layer other than '0'.

2:50 So keep an eye out for that as you draft, or in our case, re-draft the blocks within our floorplan.

3:01 Lastly, you might find yourself with some of these complex or dynamic blocks that have text tags and multiple layers embedded into it.

3:13 If that’s the case, since SketchUp doesn’t read text and we want to reduce our layer count and geometry count up front, it may be worth the effort to explode the block…

3:26 delete any unnecessary tags or other data…then assign the linework to 'Layer 0'…and then create a nice new simple block definition.