Create a reference object

Hello, I’ve been searching for a similar command like ‘‘Instance copy’’ in 3dsM and I couldn’t find one. What’s the best way of selecting an object for example in an array of objects (ex. stairs) and to edit one and affect all at once?


You are talking about block instances. The word “block” really means block definition. Every time you insert a block, this block is called instance. First you make a block (Block command). Then you copy it or array it. You can change its definition later using either Block command, or BlockEdit command, or BlockManager command.

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Very very useful option for my work. Thanks for the help!. It’s just, When I open block manager, what would be the best option for ‘‘Embedded and linked blocks should’’ to choose? There are three option and I’m not quite sure which one to choose.

Edit: Link status shows ‘‘not linked’’. what’s the meaning of that status?


Hi Kia -

That means that your block was defined in your document or, when inserted from an external file, you picked the Embedded option. Please check the help page for blocks.

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You have four basic options:

  1. Keep the block definitions inside the same model/file where these blocks are used. This option is called embedded blocks. It is the most popular option.
  2. Keep the block definitions outside the model/file where these blocks are used. This option is called linked blocks. North arrow and company logo are good examples of linked blocks. Many models/files can share the same linked block.
  3. Worksession files are similar to the linked blocks, but more sophisticated. They are used when many people edit the same model/file at the same time.
  4. Embedded and linked blocks. The blocks are defined both inside the model/file where these blocks are used and outside the model.

Your question is about the last option (4 = embedded and linked blocks). Sometimes embedded block has different definition than linked block. Rhino wants to know what to do when these definitions are different. Documentation of the BlockManager command explains these options. It is posted here: Block | Rhino 3-D modeling

You can display Rhino documentation in Rhino Help panel, as shown in the following screenshot.

CommandHelp command opens the Help panel. You can also open this panel (and other panels) by clicing gear icon shown in upper right corner.

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Thanks Wim. I’ve checked the website. appreciate it!