CAD Blocks are groups of objects that can be used to create repeated content in digital designs. These can be 2D or 3D and can save time and ensure consistency within your design.
AutoCAD is a popular design software that employs CAD blocks, and there are many free examples available online.
CAD (Computer Aided Design) is a blanket term for anything that has been created using digital technology.
In 3D printing terms, this relates to the design of a model or object you want to print, and AutoCAD allows you to design and create such items. To do this, you may need some help in adding repeated components to the design that require the exact same attributes each time they’re used.
This is where AutoCAD blocks come into play.
Some examples of these could be architecture, vegetation (trees, bushes, etc.), furniture, vehicles, and even people.
AutoCAD, along with other similar software, uses the DWG file format as it’s native and can also use DXF files. However, other formats can be converted to suit the program, and some sites that we look at offer 2D files in various formats.
What are the Benefits of using AutoCAD blocks?
As we’ve discussed already, there are many benefits of using AutoCAD blocks.
The main advantage is the obvious fact that you have ready-made components for your design, which allows you to design more efficiently. You simply don’t need to design every component from scratch.
Another benefit is that using AutoCAD blocks reduces the overall file size of the completed design and therefore storage space on your device.
There’s also the fact that you may want to include certain design “styles” in your design or items like furniture which come from a certain era.
For example, furniture from the 1960s and ’70s has a distinctive style to it which you may want to use. Or there may be a particular Victorian chair or table which you have seen. So you simply research some sites with free blocks and find those which are related to your design.
And I’ll show you the best sites with a large selection of AutoCAD blocks.
6 best Sites for free AutoCAD Blocks
Among the many sites available online, I’ve selected the best to search for and download free blocks for your designs.
Please note that all of these sites offer free AutoCAD blocks, but some files may only be available on premium pricing plans.
Bibliocad states that they are “The largest database of free AutoCAD blocks available…” And certainly there are a vast number of downloadable blocks on their site.
Categories include everything you might need, from animals to vehicles and doors to furniture.
There are in fact 35 different categories of AutoCad blocks, each with hundreds if not thousands of files to choose from.
Although most of the files are free to download, as we mentioned, some are only available if you pay for them. A free account gives you access to any of the free files, but you can only download a maximum of 20 per day.
You can also save and “favorite” any files for later viewing/download.
The Premium subscription gives you access to every file on the site and allows up to 200 file downloads per day. Pricing for this is a subscription of either $14.90 monthly or $89.90 annually.
A very interesting aspect of Bibliocad is the added content it has on its site. This is not just a standard file repository, but offers tutorials in AutoCAD and other design programs.
This is a welcome bonus feature, particularly for new users or those wishing to expand their knowledge.
Another nice feature is the “interviews” which have been carried out with respected professional designers and architects. T
hese give an insight into how they create their design visions and may provide some inspiration for users of AutoCAD and similar software.
Users seem to rate Bibliocad fairly highly, with many of the site’s official Facebook members stating that their experience has been excellent and would recommend Bibliocad to others.
- Supported file formats: DWG, 3DS MAX, RVT, SKP
- Pricing: Free or $14.90 pcm/$89.90 pa
DWG models was started in 2016 by a group of like-minded designers and architects who wanted to share their work and make life easier for others using AutoCAD and similar software.
The site itself may not be as “slick” looking as Bibliocad, but it still has plenty of CAD block files in a variety of categories.
The main supported file format is, unsurprisingly, DWG. Other formats are also available for certain files.
For example, 2D objects such as some maps can be downloaded in DWG, DXF, PNG, EPS, PDF and JP formats. This doesn’t apply to all files, so it’s worth checking before you download.
Categories vary from architectural properties to vehicles and people, and there are some nice and very detailed 3D AutoCAD models of cars available.
For the architects amongst you, DWG models have partnered with a few manufacturers of furniture, plumbing, and other architectural features to provide collections of their product designs.
These can then be found in a separate library for ease of access.
In terms of community, Facebook interaction is fairly non-existent, but there is a large following of users on Pinterest. You can also find files that have been Particular favorites of users on their Pinterest page.
These and the majority of files on the DWG models site are of course free, but there are an equal number of premium files for which you have to pay.
These are all individually priced but are mostly around the $5 mark.
- Supported file formats: DWG and some other 2D image formats
- Pricing: Free and individually priced per file
DWG Free does exactly what the name implies and allows for free downloads of AutoCAD blocks across its site.
The best part of this is that there is no real need to register, and you can browse and download individual files as you wish.
The only downside to this is that you will see ads every time, but they have to keep going somehow.
The number of files available is comparable to the other sites and categories follow the same route with 25 in total.
These range from the standard ones you’d expect in terms of objects and architectural items to some interesting AutoCAD floor plans and electrical lighting blocks.
There is a mixture of 2D and 3D files to suit every need. However, there are only a limited number of files that are specifically geared to AutoCAD 3D, so it would be worth checking these out first.
In terms of additional support on the site such as tutorials etc. DWG Free has an onsite blog that covers subjects related to AutoCAD and other software.
There are also featured CAD blocks and discussions on how to use them, which could be helpful. IF you wish to share your work too, DWG Free allows you to upload your drawings and projects to the.
Community is difficult to gauge as the Facebook page has no posts or comments aside from a video tutorial from 2020. There is a fairly large presence on Pinterest though, and users seem keen to share files if they find interesting ones on the site.
- Supported file formats: DWG
- Pricing: Free
CAD Block offers a range of files, many of which are free, but the majority seem to be paid for.
This doesn’t mean that you should ignore CAD Block though, as there are still some decent free blocks to be found.
The categories are again pretty standard with most building, vehicular, and flora/fauna areas covered.
The free and paid-for files are interspersed within each category, so check what you’re looking to download before you go ahead and pay.
Prices start at $5 and can range up to around $40, so it’s definitely worth seeking out the free ones if you can.
With regard to the community, there is a presence on social media but no actual comments or reviews which might give guidance.
However, the architectural website firstinarchitecture.co.uk gives a fairly brief but positive review of CAD Block as a recommended site for its students.
- Supported file formats: DWG
- Pricing: Free and individually priced per file
Not to be confused with the previous site, CADBLOCKSfree actually offers both free and paid files in 2D and 3D formats.
As a lot of the files are free, there are quite a few ads running throughout the site. There is no need to register, and you can browse and download at your leisure.
There is a specific section dedicated to just AutoCAD blocks, which has a variety of different model types included. This section is available under the drop-downs for each of the paid-for and free 3D and 2D models.
The overall range of model categories is fairly varied as well, with the expected building and vehicle files but also some interesting musical instrument and sci-fi categories.
You’ll find though that, as with most of the sites we’ve discussed, the majority of blocks aren’t AutoCAD specific.
This means that they won’t necessarily be in the DWG file format, but you could convert it with a tool like online-convert.
There’s a separate store for the paid blocks, but they are also scattered among the free files in order to “tempt” you over!
Prices start from around $0.50 for a single object, but can run into hundreds of dollars for large blocks and library bundles.
As always, check what you need and what you’re prepared to pay before committing.
There isn’t much in the way of tutorials, but the presence of a forum is a good sign. However, there isn’t much content on the forum, so this won’t give you much assistance.
- Supported file formats: DWG and a variety of different CAD formats
- Pricing: Free and paid for from $0.50 to $100+
With ACAD-Block we’re looking at something a bit different.
The site has been created by a small team of architects, and although they do offer AutoCAD blocks, the majority of files on their site are 2D.
There is a limited selection of 3D files available, with the most prominent category being cars, but then there are only 24 of those.
The other 3D category is furniture and equipment, but the only way you can view these is to download the lot in a zip file, which isn’t ideal.
Also, you can only do this via AutoCAD, so the whole process isn’t ideal.
What’s different and notable about ACAD-Block is the fact that it actually provides a direct link to the DWG models site, which seems to make their own site a bit redundant.
The site is, in its own description, “a professional platform for architects, and students” and seems to have started with the intention of developing further but hasn’t quite gotten there yet.
User experience is hard to gauge as there is no social media presence but users can share files to various platforms if they wish.
- Supported file formats: DWG
- Pricing: Free
How to upload blocks to AutoCAD
So, we’ve looked at a few sites that offer free AutoCAD block downloads. And hopefully, you’ve found the right one and already downloaded some Blocks for your project.
But how do you use those files once you have them?
Obviously, your first point of call will be to open up AutoCAD to the home user interface.
AutoCAD is updated regularly and since 2020 there is an easier way to upload your blocks than in previous versions.
On the “Home” ribbon, click on the “Block” panel and then on the “Insert” tool. This will give you a dropdown with a choice where you choose “Blocks from Libraries”.
If you’re uploading a new block, then select “Browse Blocks Libraries” and you can then browse for the saved download file you got from one of the sites.
Now you have the option of rescaling and manipulating the file to fit your model if you wish. Otherwise, you just upload them and place them in your design.
Where are the AutoCAD blocks saved?
As mentioned, you will have downloaded and saved the original file onto your laptop or hard drive. If you have the capacity to do so, then it’s fine to do that and upload them to AutoCAD when required.
However, you can access blocks in AutoCAD by finding them in the same folder extension as the project to which they relate. The project will be saved in the same format (DWG) as the block, so should be visible within the folder.
Another way to find blocks is to look at the “Recent Blocks” tab when uploading, where you should see files that were previously uploaded.
AutoCAD’s blocks are a quick and easy way to add objects to your CAD project without the need to either design them yourself or repeat the design process.
As we’ve seen, there are a lot of sites that offer both free and paid AutoCAD blocks, and some are better than others.
If you’re new to AutoCAD or indeed to CAD altogether, then it’s best to stick to the free blocks. These are generally created by other AutoCAD users, so will be of a standard compatible with the software.
In conclusion, if you can think of an object you need for your CAD project then it’s likely to be available to download as a free AutoCAD block.