AutoCAD Plant 3D General DIscussion

AutoCAD Plant 3D General DIscussion

Active Member
7 Posts
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Registered: ‎03-24-2011
Post 1 of 10

Cable Tray in Plant 3D

3464 Views, 9 Replies
11-06-2012 03:41 PM

What is the best software for designing cable tray when integrating with AutCAD Plant 3D? 


Up until now we have been using Inventor for the entire plant design.  It was not ideal, but once I had a library built it wasn't too bad.  Plus I could get realtime updates for routing the tray (didn't have to model, export, import, check, model...)


The office I work with is now switching to Plant and I think this would be a good time to find a better piece of software (since plant doesn't have a cable tray tool... which it should...).


 I downloaded the trial version of rRevit MEP.  It works great for modelling, but I've had some trouble finding the best way to insert it into the plant model.  Also, I was disappointed that Revit Cable tray doesn't have any intelligence (ie cable designation/pulling info, multitray labelling, etc.)


I read a bit about bently raceway and cable management and it seems like a pretty interesting prgram, but will it work at all with AutoCAD Plant?


Any help would be appreciated.



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Registered: ‎09-05-2012
Post 2 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

11-06-2012 11:29 PM in reply to: rusty_67

You can save the MEP file to a dwg format file. Then xref it into Plant3D. Everytime the MEP file is exported, (to the same file), the Plant3D model will update.

Or have you sonsidered just using AutoCAD MEP. It is dwg file based so will update live when any changed are made.

If my post answers your question, please mark it as an Accepted Solution, so that others can find answers quickly!

Jarrod Mudford
Plant Solutions Consultant
Global Services
Autodesk, Inc.
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Registered: ‎12-01-2010
Post 3 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

11-07-2012 11:29 PM in reply to: JarrodMudford

Another vote for AutoCAD MEP. As Jarrod said, its DWG based, so it'll be a live XREF to your Plant model

Tomislav Golubovic
Plant Solutions Engineer
Autodesk Australia / New Zealand
Autodesk, Inc.

*Expert Elite*
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Post 4 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

11-08-2012 08:53 AM in reply to: TomislavGolubovic

An abstention vote here.  Yes, MEP is great for all the little details.  But pipers don't always have electrical designers handy to run that, or have the software or a department familiar with its use.  Its nice to have something to quickly route cable-tray (stand-ins/proxies would do), without needing any cable lengths, routing diagram extractions, or even BOM takeoffs (but that might be handy).  Just something to occupy space during design and model reviews.


To the OP, if you are heavily invested in AutoDesk software now, I would think long and hard about trying to implement mixed-vendor systems ie. adding in some Bentley products.  They can cooperate, but it effectively doubles the number of object enablers you (and your clients) need to install, keep up to date, coordinate versions with, license renewals, maintenance billing, and so on.  It imposes a significant overhead in support management.

If you are going to fly by the seat of your pants, expect friction burns.
Adopt. Adapt. Overcome. Or be overcome.
A good question will be halfway to a good answer.

Active Member
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Registered: ‎03-24-2011
Post 5 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

11-08-2012 09:45 AM in reply to: dgorsman

Thank you all for your replies.


I have downloaded the trial version of Autocad MEP so I will see how it works for me.


I am responsible for supplying electrical installation documents for the electrical contractors during construction as well as a 3d model for Review in Navis.  This means I need to create cable tray layout drawings, cable pulling infomation, cable lengths, tray fill info, etc.  So it would be nice if the software I used had some or all of these capabilities.


One thing I haven't been able to find in testing the Autodesk software, is a label/leader tool that can (in a plan view) identify a group of stacked trays and list elevation/type/size of each tray.  This is something that will be required for the layouts and it is one of those thing that can be quite time consuming if it cannot be automated.




Distinguished Contributor
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Registered: ‎06-03-2012
Post 6 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

11-20-2012 07:17 AM in reply to: rusty_67

Keeping Xref from other MEP, Revit, ASD in Plant 3d generates more errors. Also the Orthographic is not proper if you bring models from Revit, ASD, MEP. So, pls don't recommend till the above is resolved from Autodesk.


Plant 3d space should have all the basic shapes of civil, structural, electrical, hvac duct.


MEP, Revit, ASD are meant for specific disciplies and require more detail to feed.


The piping desingers who are in modelling requires only shape intelligent of civil, structural, electrical and hvac. It is not practically correct to train all the desingers in Plant3d, MEP, Revit, ASD to get the 3d modelling.


Please see the CADWORX which works on Autocad, they have all the above shape intelligent except civil in one space. Don't think I m promoting CADWORX, i want to see the similar performace from Plant3d too.


Distinguished Contributor
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Registered: ‎04-07-2005
Post 7 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

12-04-2012 07:36 PM in reply to: Arun_Kumar_K

This is what i've made to placehold for cable ladders (dynamic 3d solid block) the only issue is i sthat plant 3D ortho does not reconise visablity states of dynamic blocks so shows all rung widths when producing orthos (my suggestion is make 4 blocks 1 for each ladder width from the one I supplied) you could also change the sides to suit your prefered suppliers profile.


But yes come on Autodesk please supply a cable ladder to next years realease.

Valued Mentor
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Registered: ‎07-07-2011
Post 8 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

12-04-2012 11:38 PM in reply to: rusty_67

For my customers I was create new steel catalog in Plant3D, where I was introduce new type of memebers: Cable-Tray. This is rectangular members with the standard size of cable trays, and which has as description cable tray properties. I was configure the new BOM list type for generated reports of summary cable trays.

Yury Bogdanov
ASIDEK(Grupo CT) - Partner Directo de Autodesk
Barcelona (Spain)
Active Member
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Registered: ‎02-16-2013
Post 9 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

03-07-2013 02:15 PM in reply to: ybogdanov

Yes please put something in for raceways

Active Member
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Registered: ‎02-16-2013
Post 10 of 10

Re: Cable Tray in Plant 3D

03-07-2013 02:20 PM in reply to: JarrodMudford

MEP is not the answer

Having a propper Cable Tray module is the correct answer

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