Standard Doors – Free Dynamic CAD Block

Everyone loves free dynamic CAD blocks!

The other day I was trying to find a standard dynamic block for single leaf doors – ideally in metric and imperial sizes – I couldn’t find one anywhere so I decided to make my own.

I quite enjoy making dynamic blocks in AutoCAD – sad I know, but in the long run it seems to save the office time if they can reuse these components, rather than having hundreds of alternative sizes saved on file.

The block itself comes in standard metric and imperial sizes – with a lookup for the structural openings, as well as references for the leaf sizes. It can also be tweaked to fit almost all openings and wall thicknesses with AutoCAD’s parametric stretching.


This block is free, but if you find it useful and want to buy me a coffee, please feel free πŸ™‚

Click here to download the block for free (Right click > Save as)

How to use it

Here it is in action

Some additional info

  • The door handle is a nestled block – feel free to edit the block named Handle and it should update all the doors.
  • Doors are shown at 35mm thick and the lining is shown with a simple rabetted jamb.
  • Door references are also shown in the middle of the door opening, you can edit reference text by double clicking the block, or you can remove it by turning off the A-Z22132-T-DoorReference layer.
  • Door swing is shown at 90 degrees.
  • File version is AutoCAD DWG 2004

Please note: I do not take any responsibility for the usage of any of this information. Please take all the measurements indicated with a pinch of salt, standard door sizes may vary between countries.

Update 05-02-2018:
Following comments saying the download link was broken, I have now uploaded a new version of the door file β€” please let me know if you have any issues! Note: you need AC2007 at the least, in order to use this block object.

Grade II Listed Building Extension

These are some sketchy perspective images I put together for a planning application submission on a Grade II listed building extension in South Devon. Originally there was an old lean-to garage/workshop and adjoining conservatory space connecting the the main house. To inject new life into the extension we proposed to use the thick wrapping, retaining wall to the back of the existing extension and to create a sleek living/lobby/kitchen unit with contemporary corrugated iron roof planes to both project back over the wall and to create rear high level lighting for the main rooms.

The basic 3D model for this has influenced the design greatly, in playing with the relationship between extension and original house, as well as seeing how the spaces could be stepped. I thought it would be quite nice to use the model to create these sketchy perspective views of the proposal. Made using Rhinoceros 3D and Photoshop+Wacom tablet/pen.

Site Plan: Tavistock Road

Sometimes after going through the rigmarole of submitting hyper-detailed building regulations drawings on AutoCAD, it’s nice to take the drawing back to its roots and add a little colour to inject some life into the project – this was some work done today in Adobe Illustrator for marketing purposes. The site plan sets out the houses on Tavistock Road I created a visualisation for in an earlier post on this site (block C).

Trees from Dosch birds eye view trees, with a watercolour filter applied in Adobe Photoshop, all other textures created using layer styles and washed-out pastel colours.

Tavistock Road Marketing Siteplan, coloured

Vray – The Making of ‘Tavistock Road’

A Rendering / Modelling Tutorial for Rhino + Vray

Some recent work done for Rogers and Jones Architects for a local developer – these buildings are actually being built on site currently, but the company required some marketing images to help sell the scheme. For those interested, I’ve included a short tutorial below on how I went about rendering this scene.

General Modeling view, taken from Rhinoceros
Row of houses in-situ, being modelled
Closeup of guttering being modelled

For the blocks, I imported the CAD drawing over to Rhinoceros 3D and used the information to build up the unit types. I even modelled the cedral effect cladding used on site. Thanks to the NURBs modelling, curved shapes like the half-round guttering were a doddle to manipulate. I used sample XFrog trees to help fill in the site’s foliage – they import quite nicely into Rhino. (Although many others say that it’s faster to export to 3DS Max before rendering, I don’t have that luxury available to me and the Vray plugin for Rhino seems to work just fine.)

Nothing too out of the ordinary here – loosely based on the “Making of Griehallen” render settings posted to Ronen Beckerman’s site a few weeks ago. Simply used a medium/high quality Irradiance Map and Light Cache at a resolution of 4000px wide. Importantly, I used Peter Guthries’ HDRI skies to light the environment with a cloudy/sunny day setting.

The fun stuff – Photoshop post processing

Here’s where I tend to really enjoy adding a little flare to my renders, so lots of blur/dodge/burning to the image done, and also adding entourage (from Gobotree) for a sense of dynamism in the scene. Admittedly, I’m still not 100% happy with the people placed in this scene, since the lighting in the photographs must have differed to the rendering, but I feel it’s always important to give the rendering a sense of scale. Also, I tend to find that exporting the alpha and material IDs with the Vray render makes things a lot easier – for instance you can use the materials to select the whole road at once and then apply it as a mask to a texture, rather than manually selecting the area.