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Alternative to AutoCADs Dynamic Blocks

Alternative to AutoCADs Dynamic Blocks

Alternative to AutoCADs Dynamic Blocks

I had started a thread a few years ago, looking for alternatives to AutoCAD, that were able to create Dynamic Blocks. Apparently Autodesk has successfully patented the concept, so in the U.S. there is no true alternative. Though, since we have the rights to our data, I imagine someone should be able to "clean room" reverse engineer the data and come up with an authoring tool, and perhaps be able to avoid the patent issue that way.

Here is the original thread thread555-355634: Looking for Alternatives to Acad for Dynamic Block creation

Many years ago, there used to be some 3rd party add-ons for AutoCAD, that gave you similar features with what Dynamic Blocks can do today. My memory is vague, but I think one basically allowed you to create a parametric drawing and an interface that allowed you to use a table to choose a configuration that you wanted to insert into a drawing. But, I can't find any such program now.

I ended up writing my own version in Visual Basic for BricsCAD. But, here are some of the pages I used for inspiration.

The first uses a very manual method to generate a script created in Excel, and then to manually load the script into BricsCAD

This is a utility that automates the process for AutoCAD, copying the script from Excel automatically into AutoCAD.
But, his approach's data was not formatted in the standard way that tablulated drawings are in a manufacturer's catalog. So, data entry would be painful.

My own version for BricsCAD is here. (it should work for AutoCAD, provided some of the opening statements and libraries are changed to the BricsCAD version)

However, I would still love to find a more professional, and less tedious approach than creating scripts in Excel. So, that is why I brought this thread back to life. I suspect that a better approach might be to have a table that would modify driving dimensions in a dynamic block, plus a few other features such as mirroring, or editing arrays.

Anyone else know of an alternative to using AutoCAD's dynamic blocks?


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