Dynamic Parts in AutoCAD Plant 3D

One question we get fairly regularly is “how do I create dynamic parts in Plant 3D?”  While the custom parts palette is powerful, for frequently used shapes, it is cumbersome.

The best way to insert standard, modifiable parts is to create them in the custom parts spec (CustomParts Imperial or CustomParts Metric).  This spec is modifiable from the spec editor, and you can change information after the component has been placed.


You can modify parts in the spec, or add new ones from the custom parts catalog.

In the spec viewer, choose the custom parts spec, and locate the modified item.



After placing the part, you can modify the properties and end types as needed, but the default values will come from the spec.




You can also change the spec to match the existing line.

You should use the custom parts spec for items like relief valves, control valves, or instruments so you can predefine symbol skeys, types, and dimensions while allowing the part to remain configurable after being inserted.

  • Jason

    Thanks for another great write-up Dave! Do you know any way of keeping the stretch grips like with supports? I have noticed that if I add scripted components (must belong to group ‘Support’) to PipeSupportsSpec I am able to place components from the supports dynamic toolbar and still use the stretch grips defined in the script. I have found no other way to add these components and keep these grips. Thanks for your help!

    • pdoteam

      I haven’t played with that feature at all. None of the custom support I’ve done have been stretchable.