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Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Builder
Builder

Hello there.

 

I guess it was in ST9 when block functionality within sketches appeared, which can be useful for certain tasks.

 

I use a lot block functionality within drafts, mostly for drawing fast mechanism schemes and so, combining blocks with dimensions and relationships. With all, I thought that including blocks in sketching would be great.

 

For my frstration, I can't edit a sketch block once created, there's no command for that. The only approach if you need to make some change is making a new block (most of the tie unblocking an instance of the original) and replacing all instances with the new one.

 

This is tedious, since each instance needs to be replaced and, if you have decided to use blocks, chances are that the number of instances will be high. Moreover, once you replace, all dimensions and relations linked to the original instance get lost, even if the new instance has the same kind of geometry, with just changes in dimensions and positioning.

 

With all, the current block workflow within sketches makes it quite useless. The powerful side of blocks is being able to edit them and have all instances updated, while maintaining their position, orientation and relations, as it's done in draft environment. I was able to test ST10 last week and it seems that this has not been updated.

 

Am I missing something about block stuff on sketches? Thanks for your help, guys!

12 REPLIES

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Phenom
Phenom

@javigoca I am not sure I understand what you are trying to do. But have you simply double clicked on the blocks to open them for edits? 

 

Perhaps you could upload an example draft or provide a short video.

 

As a quick test I drew two small sets of geometry and dimensioned them. I then created a block of each and connected them together. I then combined the two blocks by creating a block of the two sub-blocks.

 

By double clicking the combined block and once inside, double clicking one of the sub-blocks I can edit anything in there. I am sure I am missing your problem or intent.

 

Edit: Clarification - I am doing this in draft, not in a model file.

Bob Henry
REH Technical Consulting
Canonsburg, PA 15317

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Phenom
Phenom

@rehenryjr

If you perform the same steps inside a sketch in the Part environment, it won't be possible to edit/open a block, is what the OP means.

 

I believe there are some pitfalls to allowing block editing inside sketches. 

have seen @hawcad or someone else illustrating the use of blocks in the part environment for aligning or rotating holes or some kind of other feature based on the rotation angle of the block in a pattern - just not able to locate it on the forum.

 

Whereas a block in a draft document serves the purpose of visual representation and not much further, redefining it is allowed, but in the Part/Sketcher environment it has downstream dependencies, hence editing the block could result in failure of dependant operations, hence editing is not allowed. This is just my guess since someone might as well come up and show a way to edit blocks in sketcher as well.

 

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Phenom
Phenom

@javigoca

 

Interestingly earlier today I found that the context menu items for a block - Open and Edit - were grayed out in the part - sketcher environment. But now I find them enabled.

   

If the block instances can't actually be edited or opened I wonder why the menu options are enabled.

 

OpenBlock.png

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Those options are greyed out in this example (although not demonstrated but trust me) of the duplicate with blocks function.

 

(view in My Videos)

Bruce Shand
ST10 MP5 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Phenom
Phenom

Bruce, Awesome!

That was the example I was looking for.

Thanks.

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Builder
Builder

I guess that the fact of not being able to edit a block is just because it has not been implemented, at least yet.

 

As it happens with modeling and part placement, any editing of those blocks will be expected to generate downstream issues if lines are added or removed, but that's part of this game! It shouldn't be a source of errors if you just play with dimensions and relations, as is most usually the case for block editing.

 

I use blocks a lot in draft environment, most of the time to design basic shapes of mechanisms and make them work together with relations and dimensions. The approach is quite powerful, and even more when you play a bit with layers and visibillity. Basically the draft is my assembly and the blocks my parts, which is quite **bleep** faster for basic testing and even more beautiful for client-boss visual presentation.

 

Importing this workflow into sketching seemed a good step, but obviously, with no block editing capabilities, block paradigm has no sense. The functionality shown in the video could be obtained in a much simpler way, allowing some kind of item within sketches to define position and orientation, the same way that items such as holes and patterns are used for different purposes.

 

I hope this will be improved ni the future!

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

 


javigoca wrote: The functionality shown in the video could be obtained in a much simpler way, allowing some kind of item within sketches to define position and orientation, the same way that items such as holes and patterns are used for different purposes.

I don't understand the objection implied in that sentence. That exactly describes what the video shows.

Anyway, maybe you should look into using virtual components and assembly structures.

 

From help:

Activity summary
In this activity you learned how to create a virtual assembly structure using virtual components.
Sketch geometry in the assembly file was assigned to virtual part files and once published, the
sketch geometry was moved into those files and used to create parts. Existing parts were placed
in the virtual structure and positioned using component sketches. This is a top down approach to
laying out and modeling complex assemblies.

Bruce Shand
ST10 MP5 - Insight - Win10 - K4200

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Builder
Builder

I guess I didn't explain correctly. What I mean is that Duplicate feature needs the use of blocks inside a sketch in order to define position and orientation, but a block contains (or at least it should) more information other than position and orientation, which makes it an un-elegant solution, from a software+engineering point of view.

 

Moreover, if your blocks are placed/oriented by means of relations and dimensions, which should be the case most of the times in real designs, as soon as you need to edit the blocks content (for which there's no other path than redefining and replacing instances), all your positioning will be lost. In short, you are stuck with freezed blocks if you want to keep your design intent. From my point of view, there should be two logical choices here:

 

1-If you force the user to use blocks for defining position and orientation of items within a sketch, block functionality should be robust designed, allowing to edit blocks content like in drafts.

2-If you don't plan to design a robust block system in sketch, allow some kind of new item within sketch in order to keep position and orientation, for its use here. Something like an orientable dummy point or similar with just the info you need: positiond and orientation. We use other special items in sketch all the time: holes and patterns, for example. So why not? Keeping blocks for what blocks are needed in any drawing/modeling software sounds quite fine.

 

I think that SE has quite a robust engine and a very powerful foundation which shouldn't resign to weak new features!

Re: Unable to edit blocks in sketch

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

javigoca wrote:

I guess I didn't explain correctly. What I mean is that Duplicate feature needs the use of blocks inside a sketch in order to define position and orientation, but a block contains (or at least it should) more information other than position and orientation, which makes it an un-elegant solution, from a software+engineering point of view.


and
2-If you don't plan to design a robust block system in sketch, allow some kind of new item within sketch in order to keep position and orientation, for its use here. Something like an orientable dummy point or similar with just the info you need: positiond and orientation. We use other special items in sketch all the time: holes and patterns, for example. So why not? Keeping blocks for what blocks are needed in any drawing/modeling software sounds quite fine.

Why must a block contain more information? These blocks don't need to contain even the information I show in my video. The entities are there just to indicate origin and orientation and for something to block.

and

If you are using simple blocks for position and orientation why should they be some other type of entity?

The ability to edit them is a separate question in my mind.

Bruce Shand
ST10 MP5 - Insight - Win10 - K4200