It would be nice to be able to xref Plant3d files to revit, or even better attach revit files to Plant3d. Just think of the possibilities. Now that would be an improvement.
P3D: Create Equipment
1) After selecting shapes, give me a button to show the assembled shapes
2) Part SubType Setting, currently can only change that after insertion
3) Access to the P&ID Equipment Tag data
Currently, if you place a tank, its Part subtype = General Vessel, change that to Dome after placeing, then edit a nozzle, it will revert back to General Vessel. I woul like that fixed.
Project manager: let me right-click and xref a dwg into the current dwg.
It seems like Plant3D 2014 did address some issues we were having with the 2013 release, but not all things have been fixed (as expected). I see the following improvements as a necessity for Plant3D make:
1] Revise/check the dimensions of components in the out-of-the-box catalog. I know this is supposed to be a starting point for the users, and we need to make changes, but it seems obvious that either; Autodesk didn't care to check the dimensions of certain components, outsourced it and a conversion from metric to imperial is off, or they used some non-standard manufacturer to come up with the numbers. I have found gasket thicknesses to be completely wrong. Reducer lengths to be out to .xxxxx decimal places that are so random. Make them a round/standard number. Those are just a few of many I have found. I cannot believe this has yet to be acknowledged and fixed!! Completely ridiculous and irresponsible in my opinion. Doing a fitting-to-fitting stack up of these odd dimensioned components results in an incorrect overall length over time.
2] I also can't believe that the ORTHO creation has been fixed to allow for freezing of layers. I will admit they made some decent improvements to the ORTHOs for the 2014 release. But we need to be able to turn off certain layers or override the layer properties in the "green box view" and have those changes saved and shown on the resulting ORTHO view. I have explained this in much more detail to Autodesk in cases, and over the phone and they have admitted that this should work and they would like to fix it. SO FIX IT!!! We cannot utilize the ORTHO creation tools at this time until something like this works. I would really like to talk to someone at Autodesk about this more and show them firsthand how it should behave.
3] When a pipe is selected, it would be nice to have the T.O.P./C.O.P./B.O.P (maybe even T.O.I./B.O.I) listed in the properties palette for easy entry/changing. Currently clicking the little arrow when the pipe is selected and "tabbing" to either T.O.P./C.O.P./B.O.P works, but sometimes they are out of the current zoom level view or are stacked on top of each other. I realize there is an expanded field’s add-on that can do this. But this should be built in.
4] Showing insulation as a separate component in Plant3D and Navisworks that could possibly be selected and given a transparency. We like to see the actual pipe and then a transparent insulation around the pipe in the model. The current method of just expanding the pipes OD does not cut it. Currently I trace my pipe lines with a 3Dpolyline then sweep a circle with a diameter of the insulation and put on a separate insulation layer. This is a workaround but if I change my pipe, editing the swept solid is a bit of a pain.
5] Easier ability to set up a naming convention for ISOs in the project setup. [Like the fine name format in general settings]
6] Easier configuration of ISO settings. More settings have been added to the "Isometric DWG Settings" in project setup and you can manipulate a lot thru the "setup titleblock" environment and the isoconfig.xml. But seems counter-intuitive to have multiple places to make changes on how the ISOs look and act. Consolidate the settings to fewer places so it's easier to manage. Maybe start by adding all the options throughout the isoconfig.xml to somewhere in the ACAD UI. I think manipulating the isoconfig.xml scares off new users.
7] Need to choose ISO start point and flow direction. Leaving that up to the software's Isometric engine does not always create best results.
8] Add the ability to reference objects in ISOs [ex. dimensions to columns]
9] Even with the default theme set to put "tables" on the "Table" layer, when I run some ISOs the table is on layer "0"
10] The continuation symbol on ISOs [block name Split Mark] needs to have linetype set as ByBlock so on the ISOs the linetype shows as "Dashed". Currently set to "Continuous" in block editor, so on ISOs the continuation symbol doesn’t show "Dashed". And with further investigation, I go into the block editor for that symbol on an ISO and it seems that the "squiggle" /break polyline of the symbol is on layer "table" [very odd]
11] Cannot get the dimension style to control how trailing zeros are displayed in ISOs. I want a dimension of 4 feet even to display as 4'-0". Currently it only shows as 4'.
12] While inserting a component from the tool palette or even the spec viewer, more insertion points should be created for quicker insertion at intersections. For instance, why can you not cycle to the workpoint on an elbow as an insertion point rather than just the two ends? If you have "Nearest" snap on and you move the component to be on a pipe you can sometimes get to the work point by using the "Basepoint" settings. So why not just have the ability to hit Next to get to the work point of components?
13] Possibly more equipment templates. There are some there, but a bit more detail with pumps would be nice. [ex. diaphragm pump template]
14] I don’t understand why that when in the spec editor and after adding a new part to a spec, for example a weldolet, and I want to hide some of the sizes (with the weldolets there are over 100 at least) I cannot hold shift on one size then click another one further down the list then click the check box to hide. Currently I have to click every single box (maybe I only want 1 or 2 out of the 100). Either a "Select all" checkbox or the ability to highlight multiple sizes at once and check the box to hide them would save much time.
15] Update the images in the catalog editor "sizes" tab for components. Sometimes those 3D views are hard to see and figure out exactly what the dimensions are dimensioning. either be able to enlarge the image [like the custom part palette inside plant3d] or get rid of the 3D views and just have a more straight forward "front", "Top", "Side" view representation of the component and the dimensions should be easier to figure out. [I realize you can hover over the parameter name to get a brief description, but the images should be better]
16] The ability to Drag & Drop files from the Plant 3D Drawings section on the Project Manager palette into open models that are part of the project for xref'ing. This ability is part of ACAD Arch and MEP using the Project Navigator, and would be a real nice improvement.
17] Make it so Plant3D equipment looks nicer in Navisworks. If I create a tank with domed roof, even when changing the faceting factor in Navisworks to something very high, the tank still does not show a very smooth diameter or domed head.
18] In 2014 the new point cloud engine is much nicer than the old and ReCap seems to be a decent software for a first release. With some tweaks it could alleviate a lot of headaches while working with point clouds. But one killer feature for Plant3D would be to have built in tools for tracing over the point cloud. For example, tracing pipe using the Plant3D specs & the structural details with the built in structural catalog would be amazing. Also the ability to model in simple walls, floors, etc. would be great and prevent us from having to use 3rd party add-ons that just don’t seem to work that well most of the time. I know you can do it Autodesk! I recently found the Feature extraction app that begins to trace with simple primitives, but utilizing Plant3D's specs would be much faster and nicer.
19] Add process conveying/duct work lines, symbols, tags, equipment, etc. for P&ID routing. Process pipes are not the only thing in plants, and having to create custom entities to route ductwork on the P&IDs is time consuming.
Could you give specific examples for point 1? If you've check the ASME standards you will see the tolerances are *very* generous e.g. ASME B16.5 sec. 7.6 (weld neck flange length through hub) is +3.0/-5.0 millimeters from the given values for the indicated size range. As long as the OOTB values are within this range they are acceptable.
Point #18, "the ability to model in simple floors" , We had to switch to Revit MEP because you cannot link a revit file to Plant3d. Working on a multi story water treatment plant was impossible. Even if you export the model to autocad there was no way to cut the model. Until this problem is addressed this program is not helpful on projects with buildings and not steel platforms.
Thanks for the reply. I do understand that there are generous tolerances allowed through ASME. But what I don't understand is why some of the components have dimensional parameters that are within the tolerance but do not match the nominal "standard" numbers. One good example I found are the REDUCER (CONC) BW components. If you go to the catalog and click many of the sizes, for this example lets say the 6"x4" size, and look at the "L" parameter. Why does this equal 5.5118"? Yes this falls within the allowable tolerance given in ASME B16.9 (see attached image #1) for overall length of reducers (+/- 1/16"). But why go to the trouble to type in 5.5118"? Why not just use the nominal length that is referenced on most all charts and tables i could find, including the ASME B16.9 "dimensions of reducers" chart. This clearly states a nominal length from end-to-end at 5.50" (see attached image #2). This seems like a no brainer to me. While this is a very small difference in length, over time, on a fitting-to-fitting stack up, these could throw the overall stack-up dimensions off. I guess I just don't see the point in Plant3D having non-nominal dimensional parameters. In AutoCad we would like to model up piping per a standard, and use "round" nominal sizes as much as possible. There are other examples I could provide, but honestly I have brought this issue up many times to Autodesk (one time they were on the phone looking at my screen, and acknowledged they were incorrrect themselves!). Release after release, I have been hoping they would go back and change these "random" numbers to something more standard, and it never happens. I really just want to know where they got this information? Where did they come up with 5.5118"? That is why I thought they either outsourced this data entry and it was a result of someone not knowing any better, a conversion error, or someone bought a reducer from a manufacturer and measured it up and put that number in. Either way it was done, that is fine by me, but I just want to know why? It'd be nice to have these all fixed instead of the users having to go in and edit dimensional data. Sorry for the long response. I hope you can understand our frustration. Thanks
No problems. They may have used a conversion factor that was more or less decimal places than normal (25 instead of 25.4), or they may have taken a metric table that was converted to inches and back again (140 mm converts to 5.518 inches). My main point is that if its within tolerance, then wanting another value (round or not) becomes one of personal preference which can easily be different between different users. There's also another problem if they start changing part dimensions, even to just round them off, then there can be some blowback from the users as parts are suddenly not the same as before.
As for the cumulative error, thats handled in the design process. Usually an overall dimension is specified and one of the part dimensions (normally pipe) is allowed to float; or specific coordinates are provided at critical connection points. The construction folks out at the field have to deal with even larger tolerances out in the field, since they can get some thermal growth from just sitting out in the sun for a day or from welding. By limiting the dimensions, we can let them construct it so it fits, regardless of issues like cumulative errors. One of the leads I've work with at several companies has a saying: measure with a micrometer, mark with a pencil, cut with a chainsaw, backfill with weld.
In certain cases it becomes very critical to get the right spacing (like large headers on air coolers). We've taken to using pulled tee headers where this spacing gets critical, with good success.
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