Sharing Awesomeness in AutoCAD Plant 3D – Sending Projects

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Sharing Projects with AutoCAD Plant 3D

One of my favorite features of AutoCAD P&ID and AutoCAD Plant 3D is how sharing drawings and/or projects is managed, in a word seamlessly. The topic is discussed here [], but this series will take a more in depth look at it.


Sending Projects

First, we should cover sending projects.  For projects based on SQLite (the default database option), sending projects is simple.  You can simply zip the entire project folder. From there you should have included everything, if you are using the default project format.

Zip a project folder (7-zip shown)

Zip a project folder (7-zip shown)

If you are using any external locations, like a network spec folder, or templates, you will have to add those to the zip as well.

Here are a list of items to verify that you have included:

1. Piping Specs

2. Templates

3. External References

4. Tool palettes (mandatory to use custom P&ID symbols)

Of course the amount you include should be governed by how much you want the user to modify. If someone is only looking at the P&IDs, you should only send them P&ID necessary items.

Sending SQL Server or Vault Projects

Using SQL Server of Vault complicates matters a little, but the general process is the same. The core of the issue is that you won’t be giving the user access to your server, so you have to get the data into the SQLite project format.  If you will be giving the user server access, the procedure is the same as the first section.

For SQL Server the steps will be as follows:

1. Create a new project based on the SQL Server project.

2. Use copy drawings to project to bring in P&ID, model, and ortho drawings.

3. Zip the SQLite project using the same methods as the first section.

Create a new Project

In the new project wizard, select the SQL Server project as a reference.

Reference SQL Server Project

Reference SQL Server Project













On the database setup page, you must select SQLite database.

SQLite Database selection

SQLite Database selection



















Copy drawings

After the project is created, you have to bring the existing drawings into the new portable project. To do that, use the copy drawings functionality found within the P&ID folder, 3D model folder, and the ortho folder.

Copy P&IDs and 3D models

Copy P&IDs and 3D models

Copy orthos

Copy orthos














Make sure to multi-select to bring in several drawings at once. Do not open any drawings until you have copied all of them into the project, or you may lose off page connector information.

Once the copy process is complete, you may zip the project and include extra files per the first section.

Series NavigationSharing Awesomeness Part 2 – Data Population in AutoCAD P&ID