Block Diagram Template
Gain a better understanding of your current systems and build new ones.
About the Block Diagram Template
A block diagram is a tool that allows you to model objects in a system and how they connect to each other. It’s often used to model complex systems, but it has many use cases.
Keep reading to learn more about block diagrams, as well as how you can create your own using our Block Diagram template.
What is a block diagram?
A block diagram is a method of illustrating a system that shows each part of the system as a block connected to the other important objects by arrows. It looks a bit like a flowchart.
This seemingly simple design is invaluable to engineers working on highly intricate systems, especially in electrical engineering and software design.
With just blocks and arrows, you can show which parts of the system receive inputs, which parts produce outputs, which parts produce waste, and which objects depend on other objects to work. You can also see which system processes work in parallel.
Each shape in a block diagram is a “black box.” It doesn’t matter what happens inside the object — the block diagram is much more concerned with inputs and outputs.
Every object receives an input, converts it into an output, and sends it to the next object or user, or the object sends it to be disposed of as waste. You have a complete system when you have a chain of inputs and outputs.
Benefits of a block diagram
A block diagram is a great way to get a high-level overview of a control system. It helps shine a light on the most important parts of the process and model the stages through which an input turns into an output. It’s especially useful when multiple processes are working in tandem.
You can use block diagrams to plan out new systems or understand and improve existing ones. They’re mainly used in engineering, but you can also use them to diagram workflows or another sort of non-technical algorithm.
Create your own block diagram
Start by signing into your Miro account and adding the Block Diagram template. Then, follow these steps:
Step 1: Define the system you’re illustrating
It can either be a new control system you’re planning to build or an existing system you want to improve. No matter your objective, start by defining the scope of the system and the level of detail you want to illustrate.
You can share the Block Diagram template with others from the very start and collaborate seamlessly with your team as you work through the next steps.
Step 2: Add blocks for each important component
What counts as an “important object” depends on the scope you defined in step 1.
For example, if your block diagram schematic describes meal prep flow in a restaurant kitchen, you might use a single block for the refrigerator. But if you’re an engineer trying to build a better refrigerator, you’d break it down into many more parts.
Miro’s drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to add as many geometric shapes as you need. You can use more than one type of shape if you want to categorize your system components.
Step 3: Label the blocks
Add text to each block so that it’s clear what each one represents and what part that object plays in the system. Make sure you’ve also added blocks representing raw materials, waste, and the end-user.
Step 4: Add arrows for inputs and outputs
Add arrows to connect any objects that work directly with one another. Whenever an object feeds into another, illustrate the relationship with connectors. If they form a cycle, add connectors that go both ways.
Step 5: Label the arrows
Like you did with the blocks, add text to label the inputs and outputs. Congratulations — you now have a working block diagram!
If you need to expand the diagram to add more detail, move the blocks and add new ones in between them. Miro makes expanding or altering all your draft diagrams and graphs easy.
Example of an effective block diagram
Let’s say you’re trying to diagram the system you’d use to produce a cup of tea from raw materials.
First, you decide to define the system it takes to make one cup instead of a pot or pitcher. You also decide that while you’re growing and processing the leaves yourself, you’ll use a municipal water system and manufactured electric kettle.
That tells you what blocks you’re going to need. Inputs include tea leaves and water. Components include the harvesting, drying, and packaging steps for the tea leaves, as well as the kettle and the cup. Arrows would connect the leaves to a steeping system and the system to a cup while the water passes through the kettle into the cup.
With a complete diagram, you can see any inefficiencies in your process (for example, it’s easier to buy tea than to grow it yourself).
What is the main purpose of a block diagram?
The primary purpose of a block diagram is to model a new system in order to build it or to model an existing system so that you can improve it. It also helps to visualize systems and its various interactions.
What are the basic components of a block diagram?
The basic components of a block diagram include blocks and arrows. Blocks define the objects in the system, and arrows define the relationships between these objects.