If you are looking for a way to make the shop drawing process faster, then “The Block Factory” package is what you need. My name is Mark Everett, and I am the owner of Everett Drafting & Design, LLC and The Block Factory, LLC. I have been making shop drawings for the woodworking industry for about 25 years and one of the many things I have found is that this process is very repetitive. When I first began drawing for a living, I would draw each project from scratch each and every time. However, as time progressed, I noticed that I was drawing basically the same items with some variations. I started saving these items and categorizing them into groups, such as Cabinet Blocks, Hardware, and Appliances.
An Introduction to AutoCAD Dynamic Blocks
This was just the beginning. In 2006, Autodesk AutoCAD Full Version software came out with a release, which included a feature called dynamic blocks. At this time, I was using AutoCADLT 2005, so I was not able to create these dynamic blocks, but as a teaser, AutoCADLT software did make it possible to use them. This sparked an interest, that I believe was the starting point for what is now “The Block Factory”. In 2007, Autodesk included the power of making dynamic blocks in its AutoCADLT versions and I could not wait to start working on my own dynamic blocks.
Creating Custom Blocks
I looked for books on how to create dynamic blocks, but I was not able to find any, so I just experimented with the ones included on the AutoCADLT tool palette and a few that I could find online. It took about three months of long hours, but I was able to convert many of my standard blocks into dynamic blocks. I further defined the blocks into the following categories: Appliances & Fixtures, Cabinet Blocks, Cabinet Sections, Hardware, Millwork Details, Moldings, Symbols & Titleblocks. I believe that anything you draw or think you will draw more than once, you should find a way to save it for future use. There is no sense in drawing twice because as the old saying goes, “Time is money”.
Launching a Groundbreaking Product
One other thing that I have found in making shop drawings is that you can learn a lot from others who use AutoCAD. Using AutoCAD and its many features allows you to be creative in finding your own system that works for you. This can be a good thing, but don’t become so rigid in your own system that you are closed to the possibility that there may be a faster way of doing things. I was one of those early on in my career and to this day I regret that I did not listen to some who told me to try something new. I have since looked for as many ways as possible to make the drawing process faster and more efficient.
In addition to creating blocks, I have also created some macros and customized some of AutoCADLT commands to work for the woodworking industry. “The Block Factory” was created for the sole purpose of making the drawing process faster and more efficient, and because of this, I have coined the phrase “Stop drawing and start building your drawings with “The Block Factory”.