Custom User Section in AutoCAD Structural Detailing

Pat Begnaud and Keith Dempsey of Keystone Engineering were curious how to add custom user sections into AutoCAD Structural Detailing.  The instructions below will show how to create a user part in an assigned database.  This will be specific to adding large diameter piping, but can be used to create any profile, as long as it is derived from a polyline or region.

1.)    First I created to AutoCAD circles at a random thickness between the two.  The outside diameter was drawn at 36″.

circles 1


2.)    I then created a region by typing in the “region” command and selecting each circle individually.  I selected the inside diameter first in order to make the process easier.


3.)    Now that the regions have been created, I can use the subtract command to get the center region erased, representing a hollowed out circle. to do this:

  1. Type in the subtract command
  2. Select the outer region and accept
  3. Select the inner region and accept, it should now look like this.

subtract regions


4.)    Once you have your desired thickness using AutoCAD, you can use the “user sections” command to add it to the database.  This can be found in the ASD-Model tab in the tools panel.

user sections command


5.)    After activating the command select the created region, pay attention to the command line as it will prompt for another action.  Choose inDatabase, and a dialog box will appear.  The “saving Section to Database” Dialog box will enable you to pick section types, the database it is stored in, and what the name should be.  You will also see a preview of the dimensions below.

Dialog box sections

6.)    The profile is not only added to the database of parts you selected, but is automatically inserted into your list of custom profiles selected for the project.  Just find you profile and insert it into the model.

profile menu

Pipe in model