Extracting a catalog from Specs in Plant 3D

One issue we sometimes have is that if someone doesn’t have a source catalog, you can’t modify the underlying spec information. For example, if you convert specs from other programs, you wouldn’t have a catalog behind the spec.

One way to get around this is to create a catalog from the spec. To do so, you’ll have to use the catalog builder. The catalog builder is available under the Tools > Launch Catalog Builder menu item in the spec editor.

In order to put the spec in a format the catalog builder can understand, go to File > Export to Catalog Builder while in a spec.

The catalog builder format is an Excel file with tabs for each part and parameter for creating the catalog item.

Because we are not going to do any modifications to the spec, you can select build catalog when the catalog builder launches, and browse to the exported spec.

The error checking listed doesn’t actually work right, so even if the components you create with Plant 3d are correct, you will still get errors.

Click the save as new button to create a new catalog.

The end result is that you have a single catalog based on the spec.

To make this more sustainable, you would export all of your specs to Catalog Builder format, and when you build a catalog, you will be prompted to merge duplicate items. After merging everything together, you can separate the main catalog (which could become quite large), into separate catalogs. We often see catalogs broken up by material (CS, SS) or component type (Fittings, Valves, Misc).