Changing Part Familes in the AutoCAD Plant 3D Spec Editor

A question posed by Craig Sablich from Keystone Engineering brought up an interesting topic.  How do you merge two part families?  This example will walkthrough merging the 1/2”-24” Blind Flanges with the 26”-60” blind flanges.


I’ve recently run into yet another database editor that I now think is the best.  And yes, my pick seems like it’s changing with the seasons.  However, like the others, this one is free, but it handles the guids (partfamily ids) much better than the other options.

The program is Sqlite Expert Personal:

The process to merge the family id’s will involve matching the partfamily id, matching the part family long description, and then clearing our data cache.

Modify the Id and Description

Open the catalog (.cat) that contains the items you want using SQLite Expert. In the panel on the left, double click the Engineering Items table.  In the Plant 3D databases, the Engineering Items table is sort of the bulk list where items go.  For example, in the catalog, all the catalog items are stored here, and in the Piping.dcf, all of the components in the model are listed here.


Choose which PartFamilyId to keep.  Pick of on the two from the components you want to merge.  In this example, I have F4C0D4EF-2D3B-4882-8FEA-ECDBBAE9AE1E and 64A5C674-603D-46DE-B1C1-E265467102AA.  Let’s use the F4 number:


Select the cell of the one you want to keep, hit F2 on your keyboard and copy (Ctrl+C) the id:


Once that is complete, you can click a cell and paste (Ctrl + V) the new id over it.

Repeat the copy paste procedure with the PartFamilyLongDesc that you wish to keep:


Once that is done, you should have the same partfamilyId and PartFamilyLongDesc for every part.


You may close the editor.

Clearing the LocalDataCache

We have the procedure spelled out with more information here:


The process is, close Plant 3D and the Spec Editor.  Run the program PnPLocalDataCachePurger located here: “C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD Plant 3D 2013 – English\PnPLocalDataCachePurger.exe”


After that, open up your catalog in the Catalog Editor.

You will see a single row for your combined items: