Editing 2D CAD Blocks Assigned to 3D Symbols


Reference Number: KB-00805
Last Modified: April 2, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors



QUESTION

I want to change the 2D display of a symbol from the library such as an electrical switch or built-in appliance. How can I do this?


ANSWER

Architectural objects in the library are represented in floor plan view by 2D CAD blocks. In some cases, you may want to change something about the 2D display of a symbol. The process for doing so will depend on which version of Chief Architect you're using.


To edit the 2D display of a symbol in X13 and newer versions

  1. In the Library Browser , browse for and select the symbol you would like to use, then click to place it in your plan.

    For the purposes of this example, we will browse to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing> Electrical> Switches> Garbage Disposal Switch.

    Garbage Disposal placed onto a wall

    Note: If the Library Browser side window is not displayed, navigate to View> Library Browser from the menu to enable its display.

  2. Using the Select Objects tool, click on the newly placed symbol, then click on the Edit CAD Block edit button.

    You can also navigate to CAD> CAD Block Management from the menu, select the name of the 2D CAD block that you would like to edit, then click the Edit button.


  3. In the CAD Block window that displays next, the 2D CAD block will be exploded into individual objects, allowing for modifications to be made.

    For the purposes of this example, we will enlarge the "GD" text, as well as change its color.

    • Select the "GD" text and click the Open Object edit button.

    • In the Text Specification dialog that displays, you can modify the text you would like to see on the General panel, as well as adjust the Font, Character Height, Text Color, and other attributes on the Text Style panel.

      For the purposes of this example, we will set the Character Height to 3", uncheck the "By Layer" box for the Text Color, then specify a red color for the text.

      Text Style panel of the Text Specification dialog

    • Once the text is to your liking, click OK

      Text color changed to red


  4. Make any other desired changes to the other CAD objects, then click Tools> Active View> Save Active View .


  5. In the Question dialog that appears, you can choose to replace instances of the existing CAD block with the newly modified version. Choose an appropriate option to proceed.

    Question dialog that appears when editing CAD blocks in X13


  6. You can now add the symbol with its customized 2D block to your User Catalog folder in the Library Browser by selecting the symbol and clicking the Add to Library  edit tool.


To edit the 2D display of a symbol in X12 and prior versions

  1. In the Library Browser , browse for and select the symbol you would like to use, then click to place it in your plan.

    For the purposes of this example, we will browse to Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing> Electrical> Switches> Garbage Disposal Switch.

    Garbage Disposal placed onto a wall


  2. Select CAD> CAD Block Management  from the menu, and in the list of CAD blocks, find the Garbage Disposal CAD block and select it.

    Garbage Disposal CAD block selected in the CAD Block Management dialog


  3. With the CAD block selected, click the Insert button, then click somewhere in the drawing area to place a copy of the selected CAD block.

    As the CAD block will be placed on the Default CAD layer, its line color may be different than it appears when it is applied to a library symbol.


  4. For the purposes of this example, we will enlarge the "GD" text, as well as change its color.

    • To edit the content of the CAD Block, begin by selecting it and clicking the Explode CAD Block edit button.

    • Next, select the "GD" text and click the Open Object edit button.

    • In the Text Specification dialog that displays, you can modify the text you would like to see on the General panel, as well as adjust the Font, Character Height, Text Color, and other attributes on the Text Style panel.

      For the purposes of this example, we will set the Character Height to 3", uncheck the "By Layer" box for the Text Color, then specify a red color.

      Text Style panel of the Text Specification dialog

    • Once the text is to your liking, click OK.

      Text color changed to red

    • Using the Select Objects  tool, left-click and drag a marquee around the objects.

      Selection marquee created around CAD and text

    • With the objects selected, click the Make CAD Block edit button to block the objects back together.


  5. Select the block and click the Open Object edit button.


  6. On the General panel of the CAD Block Specification dialog that displays, type a short, descriptive name for the CAD block, then click OK.

    In this example, we will name the CAD Block "Custom Garbage Disposal".

    Specify the Block Name on the General panel of the CAD Block Specification dialog


  7. To use this newly created CAD block for the electrical symbol, select the Garbage Disposal Switch symbol you placed in your plan in Step 1, then click the Open Symbol  edit button.


  8. On the 2D Block panel of the Symbol Specification dialog, select the block created in the previous step from the list of Available CAD Blocks, then click OK.

    Selecting the Custom Garbage Disposal CAD Block on the 2D Block panel of the Symbol Specification

    CAD blocks that have nested blocks within them cannot be assigned to 3D objects or to images. 


  9. The symbol will now display the CAD block you created as its 2D symbol.

    Custom 2D CAD Block specified for an electrical symbol


  10. You can now add the symbol with its customized 2D block to your User Catalog folder in the Library Browser by selecting the symbol and clicking the Add to Library  edit tool.