Tips, Tricks, and Insight into Process and Power Software

Adding Custom Equipment to the Plant Menu

One thing I love about Plant 3D is that it is design to be really flexible.  A frequent request we get is, “How do I add my custom equipment to the default Equipment library?”

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The secret lies in the catalog folder C:\AutoCAD Plant 3D 2013 Content\CPak Common\equipment.  You can put the catalogs on the network.

The equipment folder holds all of the default templates.  One trick I’ve learned is to test and see if files are zipped.  Autodesk tends to make their zipped file type end in x.  The peqx file turned out to be a zip with some interesting content in it.

 

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The [Content_Types].xml is a file that tells programs what extensions are used and how to open relationships.  The .rels file (in rels) tells programs what files are used and how they are identified.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″?>
<Relationships xmlns=”http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/package/2006/relationships”>
<Relationship Type=”Plant/Equipment/EquipmentType” Target=”/content/EquipmentType.xml” Id=”PlantEquipmentType” />
<Relationship Type=”Plant/Equipment/Preview” Target=”/preview/strainer-fls.png” Id=”FLS” />
<Relationship Type=”Plant/Equipment/Preview” Target=”/preview/strainer-flp.png” Id=”FLP” />
<Relationship Type=”Plant/Equipment/Preview” Target=”/preview/strainer-s.png” Id=”S” />
<Relationship Type=”Plant/Equipment/Preview” Target=”/preview/strainer.png” Id=”CPSA001″ />
</Relationships>

The file we are interested in is the Equipmenttype.xml under content.

 

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We are interested in three pieces the GUID, PartType and DisplayName.

Because I copied an existing peqx file (the strainer), I have to create a new GUID (a completely unique identifier). You can use a site like: http://www.guidgenerator.com/online-guid-generator.aspx

to create your own GUID.

The PartType is the category the equipment will be stored under. I tried creating my own category, but that doesn’t work.

 

The third item, Display Name, is what will show up in the equipment dialog.

I think the equipment gets loaded when the program starts up, because I had to shut down Plant 3D and restart it in order to see the new equipment in the dialog.

Viola! You should be able to see your own equipment in the menu now!