Blocks allow users to manually rotate and scale feature symbols. Rather than measuring an angle for rotation and a distance for scale, two or three points are picked up to orientate the feature. A good example of a block feature is a turning arrow or bin.

Creating Blocks in TBC

  • Import block data or create block data in TBC as line strings.
  • Ensure the lines are the colours are set to By Block/Feature, on the layer 0 and are the correct line style/weight, as once the block has been created it cannot be changed.
  • Navigate to Draughting → Blocks → Create Block. The create block window should display.
  • Give the block a name (use the feature code as the name) e.g. RA for Right Arrow.
  • Click in the select objects section and in the plan view select the line strings/data that make up the block.
  • Click in the Location 1 section. This is the first point that is used to place the block when picked up in the field. In the plan view select the location of the first point e.g. the right corner of the RA feature is to be picked up first.
  • Click in the location 2 section. This is the second point that will be picked up in the field and will be used to orientate and scale the block e.g. the arrow tip of RA feature is to be picked up second.
  • Optionally, select a 3rd location. This is useful for square/rectangular objects as it allows the block to be scaled in a 3rd direction e.g. for a rectangular feature the first point positions the block. The second point rotates and sets the length, and the third point sets the width. See below example of a square BIN feature block.
  • Leave elevation as zero and click Create. A prompt in the Create Block window below Elevation should display saying “Block ‘X’ was created.”
  • Once all the required blocks have been created navigate to Draughting →  Blocks → Insert Blocks. Then insert each block in the plan view. The scale and orientation does not matter when placing these blocks
  • Now the blocks have been inserted in the plan view open Home →  Data Exchange →  Export. In the export window choose the CAD tab under file format and select DWG exporter.
  • Next, click in the data selection box and in the plan view select the blocks. Click on the browse button and select a file to save the block features to.
  • In the settings under geometry ensure the explode block setting is set to no. Then click export.

Creating Block Features in the Feature Definition Manager

Now the blocks have been created in TBC the next step is to import the blocks and create block features in the Feature Definition Manager.

  1. In the feature definition manager in the left pane click on the category in which the block feature is to be created under. Right click and select New New Block Feature Definition.

  2. Fill in the feature details. Then click on the Block Name drop down list and select ‘<< Import Blocks >>’. Navigate to the folder holding the previously created block .dwg file and open it. The blocks should have successfully imported, choose the relevant block from the drop-down list.
  3. The colour will be adopted from the layer or can be adjusted per code as necessary.
  4. Choose the insertion type. This depends on how many points were used to create the block. Select use control codes to specify the block insertion using block control codes (not used in this workflow).
    Alternatively, select from 1 point, from 2 points or from 3 points depending on how many points were used to create the block e.g. 2 points were used to create the right turn arrow and 3 points were used to create the bin.
  5. Leave the Rotation and X, Y and Z scale as default as the placement of the block points will scale and rotate the block when picked up in the field. 

Right Turning Arrow

Square Bin


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