Tips, Tricks, and Insight into Process and Power Software
Displaying Under Ground Piping in AutoCAD Plant 3D

One semi-frequent question is “how do I display underground piping on orthos?”   The easiest way in 2014 I have found consists of a few steps: Use a box or plate to represent grade Create one viewport for the below grade items Create another viewport for above grade items Overlay the viewports Represent grade In this model I used a box that has a height of 1/4” to represent grade. Create the Below Grade Viewport…

Routing to BOP Elevations

I have tried to figure this particular issue out for a couple years now. When routing from a pump discharge, you frequently want to get the BOP to a specific elevation like 7’6” or something. Up until last week, I never had found a good way to do that.  I’m sure some have figured this out, but I’ll post this for those of us that haven’t. While doing to onsite work with Sigma Engineering and…

Favorite 2014 New Features

Ok, so I just ran across this new feature in 2014 that I love. First I love the tabs. I feel like they should have had those in the product a long time ago. But the feature I wanted to mention is the open file location feature. When working with plant projects, we tend to have a tree structure that we may not remember. By right-clicking on the drawing tab, you can pull up a…

Instrument Bubbles on Isometrics in Plant 3D

Every now and then, an idea strikes when you go back and look at an old problem.  This morning, a potential solution occurred to me as I was going through some old emails. Several clients have asked if they can have the instrument tag separated out in the instrument bubble on an isometric. Until I learned more about the iso.atr file, no options presented themselves. While there are a couple of ways to approach this,…

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The Process Design, from the Outside site brings you the knowledge and capabilities from the Process and Power group at ECAD, Inc. As part of our contribution to the plant design industry, we provide tips, tricks and insight for maximizing your productivity.  If you need training please feel free to check out training opportunities at any of our offices. We also can provide on-site services.




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  • Plugin Plans and Upgrading to 2014

    Several people have asked about migrating our existing products to 2014. In addition, we have some more plugins that are going to be coming available in the new Plant store.

    Existing PDO Team Plugins

    This applies to the plugins currently sold in our store:http://www.pdoteam.com/store/

    Create BOM

    PDO Extended Fields (1.0)

    Iso Config XML

    First, future plans. As the Create BOM functionality is included in Plant 3D Extension 1, we will not be updating or revising this plugin. However, below we will show a tip that you can use to allow it to run on 2014 (and higher) if you wish.

    PDO Extended Fields is getting some updates to work with 2014 better, and we will be adding a couple more properties (I had a request for a weld length property). In addition, we now have a license manager which is integrated into this (and the rest of our Plant 3D store plugins).  So the version that is going to be available in the Plant store will be PDO Extended Fields 2.0, and you will have to purchase that from the Plant Store. The xml tip below will work, but the To/From information in the PnIDs doesn’t work right in 2014, without the 2.0 version.

    I haven’t decided what to do with the Iso Config XML editor, if I get requests, I’ll put it in the Plant Store, but for now, the xml edit will work to load it in 2014.

    Loading the 2013 Plugins in 2014

    Since there have been no major api changes a simple XML edit can be made. First locate the ApplicationPlugins folder and navigate to the plugin you wish to modify.

    Plugins installed on a per user basis are stored in %APPDATA%\Roaming\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins\

    Plugins installed for all users (and all app store plugins now) are saved in C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins\

    image

    Each *.bundle folder will have a file called PackageContents.xml which instructs AutoCAD on what to load and how to load it. Open the file in a text or xml editor:

    image

    Locate the value SeriesMax=”R19.0” This indicates that the highest version of AutoCAD to load the plugin is AutoCAD 2013.  To allow 2014 to load it change the seriesMax to R19.1, and restart AutoCAD.

    Future Plugins

    Right now in the approval queue, we have several plugins. The Assign Properties plugin has just been cleared, and the Rename Project plugin is available too.

    A list of all of our plugins are available here:

    http://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/PLNT3D/en/list/search?facet=author/ECAD%2c+Inc.

    The plugins in the queue right now are:

    DataLink – a method for writing all the Plant 3D data to a Navisworks model.

    Dynamic Parts – a way to place dynamic nipples in a model (so you don’t need to create a nipple for every size and end type).

    Fix Connector Line Numbers – a fix that updates all connectors in a model (welds) to match the line number of surrounding components.

    PDO Extended Fiels 2.0

    Selection Lists – Export/Import Selection Lists to Excel, Link a column to a selection list value to display the description, use the Plant 3D spec list in PnID, and synchronize selection lists between Plant 3D and PnID (more articles and a video to come on this one).

    image

    We are also working on several other ideas, and we’d love to get your input!

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Latest Articles

  • Displaying Under Ground Piping in AutoCAD Plant 3D One semi-frequent question is “how do I display underground piping on orthos?”   The easiest way in 2014 I have found consists of a few steps: Use a box or plate to represent grade Create one viewport for the below grade items Create another viewport for above grade items Overlay the viewports Represent grade In this model I used a box that has ...
  • Routing to BOP Elevations I have tried to figure this particular issue out for a couple years now. When routing from a pump discharge, you frequently want to get the BOP to a specific elevation like 7’6” or something. Up until last week, I never had found a good way to do that.  I’m sure some have figured this out, ...
  • Favorite 2014 New Features Ok, so I just ran across this new feature in 2014 that I love. First I love the tabs. I feel like they should have had those in the product a long time ago. But the feature I wanted to mention is the open file location feature. When working with plant projects, we tend to have ...
  • Instrument Bubbles on Isometrics in Plant 3D Every now and then, an idea strikes when you go back and look at an old problem.  This morning, a potential solution occurred to me as I was going through some old emails. Several clients have asked if they can have the instrument tag separated out in the instrument bubble on an isometric. Until I learned ...
  • Connecting Plant 3D 2014 to Vault When connecting Plant 3d 2014 to Autodesk Vault, you may get an error like this: The issue is from Plant 3D 2014 working off of a different Autodesk.Connectivity.WebServices than AutoCAD 2014. To resolve the issue, I copied the dll (Autodesk.Connectivity.WebServices.dll) from C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014 (making a backup) to C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2014\PLNT3D\. At that point, I was able ...

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