Tips, Tricks, and Insight into Process and Power Software

Enhanced Fields for AutoCAD Plant Design

Today is the release of our PDO Extended Fields plugin: http://www.pdoteam.com/store/pdo-extended-fields/  The page in our store gives helpful locations like the online help file, the issue tracker, and discussion forums.  We’ll be rolling out videos on implementing the features over the next few weeks.  A playlist of the videos from YouTube is on the store page, and downloads of the videos are available there too.

This plugin addresses 4 key needs:

  1. A size property that is the same as the properties palette, but available in the database for reports.
  2. Elevation fields for pipe run components, so we can call out BOP/ Centerline elevations with annotations (and their formatted).
  3. P&ID Line Group Equipment To/From and Related Drawings.
  4. Update Acquisition field values in a project.

Size Properties

We have gotten this request from a lot of people.  The issue is documented here: http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/AutoCAD-Plant-3D/Report-Creator/td-p/3148670/highlight/true/page/3

Our plugin creates a SizeDisplay field in the project and then populates it whenever you click the Update Size button.  Per user request, the bolt size is the bolt head size x the bolt length.

 

Elevations

Again, by user request, we created some fields that can be used to annotation the BOP, COP and TOP.  Also, the fields are populated for the project by clicking a button, but this command also allows you to choose how the fields are formatted (Archictural, Engineering, Scientific, etc.)

We have a video that shows how to implement this feature:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6C0RuKNZko

P&ID Line Group Fields

This particular feature is one that I have been wanting in a P&ID program since I started out working on P&IDs.  To date, I’ve never been able get line list like I needed to.  We always ended up creating a line list manually, that included the equipment a line was running to/from and the P&IDs the line was on.  Our requirement was that each line had only one entry.  Finally, we can get that type of a line list out of a P&ID product…and it’s automated…well pushing one button – to update the properties, but close.

image

 

Updating Acquisition Fields

When you are customizing your project, sometime you have to add new properties.  If you add acquisition properties after drawings or models are created, you have to go back and re-acquire the property values.  For example, we had to go back and re-acquire connected equipment tags for nozzles when we created our nozzle report:

http://www.pdoteam.com/2012/03/nozzle-reports-for-autocad-plant-3d/

This new feature will run through all the items in a project and update their acquisition properties, saving you the headache of doing so.  Part of the code was taken with permission for lazcad: http://lazcad.com/autocad-pid/tag-on-acquire-mode-does-not-update, I just modified to work on the entire project.

Future

Some of these issue may be fixed in future releases, but I’m pretty sure some of them are not on the radar.  In any case, once the api opens up a bit more, I plan on making all of these acquired properties, so you would only have to run the command one time.  Right now, there is not a good way to tie into acquisition properties in the api so you can supply your own values.