While at a client meeting last week, my client asked if AutoCAD can create a Bill of Materials. As soon as I heard the question, my first reaction was to write a blog. While he knew it could, he had not done it before. I answered his question but that wasn't my first reaction! I explained to create a BOM, you will need blocks with attributes. Long time AutoCAD users are now thinking of the old ATTEXT command. If you are, stop it. We always had the ability to create a BOM with ATTEXT but there's a better way. Using AutoCAD 2012 and its TABLE command, you can generate a quick and easy BOM. However, don't forget you will need blocks with attributes. After all, what is a BOM? It's a list of parts (blocks) and data (attributes) associated with the parts.
Below is an AutoCAD control wiring diagram with many blocks and attributes. The image on the left is an enlarged view of the BOM I generated in seconds, not minutes. It took longer to write this short blog than it took to create the BOM! Can AutoCAD create a BOM? I have two responses, yes, and it's easy.