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News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.


 Click this Screencast to see how to insert a Factory Design Assembly into an AutoCAD Plant 3D model.

Click this Screencast to see how to place a Clevis Hanger on a pipe, adjust the scissor clamps to the overhead beam, and copy that hanger to another elevation while maintaining the beam elevation for the scissor clamp.

You can now view the class "AutoCAD Plant 3D: Tricks of the Trade 2" from this year's Autodesk University.  You will learn such things as... Complex pipe routing tricks Structures and platform creation tricks Equipment creation tricks Support placing tricks and BONUS Tricks Click here >> AutoCAD Plant 3D: Tricks of the Trade 2

The little icon that probably does not get used very often is actually a very nice tool for automatically cutting back members to include a gap if required.  See the image below of the structural members.  They were placed on a grid on center, which will require some clean up.  The grid has been turned off for clarity.     We need to trim the members back and to do this quickly, we will use this tool as seen in the next image. So as the instructions indicate, this tool will cut multiple members back to the edge of a member that is placed on endpoints of the adjacent members.  After selecting the command, it will prompt you to enter in a "gap", which can be just zero or can be a gap that you specify.  This will leave a gap between the end of the member and the face of the cutting member. Select the members you wish to cut back.  In the example below, I just used a crossing window to select them all at once.   After selecting the members you need to ...

Attention all Plant 3D Users! This year Autodesk University has been moved to the week before Thanksgiving instead of the week after.  Mark your calendars for the November 15-17! Registration for AU opened August 17!  You will want to register early to ensure that the classes you want are not filled up.  As you register make sure you check out the class I will be teaching.   As you can see, as of today, it is down to 23 seats remaining so sign up before they are all gone! See you in Vegas!  

Resting Pipe on Steel Members or other objects can be difficult unless you know the tricks.   Here is the scenario:   Horizontal route needs to turn down vertically and then needs to turn horizontally to lie across steel. To route this pipe, you will want to continue the pipe run by selecting the pipe and then the + at the end of it.  You will pull down seeing an elbow in the route. You will need to set the routing line to BOP.  You will find this in the ribbon (Home tab, Routing & Elevation panel) Use the .X point filter to select the top of steel that you want the pipe to lie across Select the Steel member’s top edge and notice that the pipe will not travel past the steel when you pull in that direction.  Make sure your Ortho (F8) is turned on.  You will also notice that the red line should be on the BOP and not on the COP. Change your PLANE (compass) to a horizontal configuration to get the pipe to lie across the steel. If it is not changed, the COP ...

From time to time, you will come across a pipe route that just stumps you.  This one came up today with a user and this was the solution to the route.  If you know a better way, please comment and let us know and make us all better pipe designers The scenario was two vertical pipes coming off of a tank.  One pipe would turn right at a higher elevation than the second pipe.  The second pipe would turn at 45 degrees and tee into the bottom of the first pipe's horizontal run. Hopefully you can visualize the route from the images above.  Here are the steps using some constructions lines, the TRIM command and LINE-TO-PIPE. 1.  Erase the horizontal pipe on the higher elevation run. 2.  Draw 2 construction lines:  1 replacing the horizontal pipe you just erased and 1 at 45 degrees horizontal off of the elbow.  Make sure the line crosses over the 1st construction line in the plan view. 3.  Once drawn, you will want to TRIM the 2nd line using the TRIM command.  However, this is not a standard ...

You have created your project(s) and have been working for months or years in Plant 3D.  The IT director comes in and says, "We are going to Vault Professional!"  As a designer, you may be thinking sarcastically, "Oh great, something else to learn..." or you may be thinking, "We need something like this to help secure our projects and make horizontal workshare a real possibility!"  You would be right on both thoughts.  There are many advantages to making the move to Vault Professional in regards to AutoCAD Plant 3D, and we can help you explore those benefits.  But you more than likely will have several projects you are already working on that will need to be moved to this new Vault.  It is really an easy task and here are the steps.   In Plant 3D, open the project you want to convert.  Do not open any of the drawings.  From the command line, type in PLANTPROJECTTOVAULT.  You will see the following dialog box asking you to enter in Vault and SQL information.      After selecting "Start" you will see the following dialog ...