AutoCAD Plant 3D General DIscussion

AutoCAD Plant 3D General DIscussion

Active Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
Message 1 of 20 (1,175 Views)

freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

1175 Views, 19 Replies
12-06-2011 11:41 AM

I need to create some ortho 2D drawings and I am trying to figure out the correct work flow for this. I have piping drawn and I am trying to create an ortho plan drawing with a building and equipment included in the view. The building and equipment files include pieces that I will not need in the ortho 2D drawing, so I would normally freeze them. So what I did was select the original building and equipment files from the models to include into the "Orthographic View Selection (green box view)" with the appropriate pieces frozen (in their files) that I don't need to see. When I cut the view, the pieces I froze weren't there which was great. Everything works but the problem with that is if other people reference those building or equipment files, they will have things frozen that shouldn't be for them. To try and fix this, I created a separate file called "plan view" with the building and equipment referenced in. I froze the pieces I don't need then chose the "plan view" from the models to include box into the "Orthographic View Selection (green box view)". The problem with doing that is the parts that I froze are not retained into the view. The "Orthographic View Selection (green box view)" is not allowing me to freeze things. When i cut the view, the objects come back. What is the correct work flow to create plan views?

Product Support
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎06-17-2010
Message 2 of 20 (1,148 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

12-11-2011 04:31 PM in reply to: eski

Hi Eli,


I did some testing on this and I'm seeing similar results. I just to make sure I'm using the same environment in my test:


Scenario 1:


1. XREF an external drawing into a Plant 3D 2012 project with layers already frozen in the original drawing

2. Define a new ortho view

3. Layers are still frozen on view generation


This works, but affects others who use the XREF drawings.



Scenario 2:


1. XREF an extenal drawing into a Plant 3D 2012 project

2. Freeze XREF layers using layer manager

3. Define an new ortho view


Result: The XREF layers are automatically thawed turing the ortho view boundary selection process. Resulting in all layers shown.


Please let us know if that is the case and I will look into a workaround.


Thank you,

Jason Drew
Premium Support Specialist
Product Support
Autodesk, Inc.

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Active Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
Message 3 of 20 (1,136 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

12-12-2011 05:58 AM in reply to: eski



Thanks for your reply.  Both scenarios you explained seem to be what happens to us as well.  We tried both those scenerios without them working so then we actually made a copies of original 3D files and then added them to the Project through the ProjectManager.  Once all the files were a part of the project we did the following:


1)  Created a new blank file in the "source files" tab under "Plant 3D Drawings" (lets call this TEST.dwg)

2)  Xref'd in copies of files added to the project (ex: arch bldg done in autocad arch, steel columns & beams done in

      autocad arch, mech equip. done using 3D solids, piping files done using Plant3D)

3)  In this newly created blank file (TEST.dwg) with the Xrefs we froze (also tried just turning OFF) layers using the layer

      manager, also turned layers different colors & lineweights. (VISRETAIN=1)

4)  We then clicked "Create Ortho View" on the "HOME" tab of the ribbon.

5)  In the "Select Orthographic Drawing" dialogue box, we created a new ortho drawing

6)  This brought up the temporary "green box" file called "Orthographic View Selection 1.dwg" where we clicked "Choose

      models to include" on the "Ortho Editor" contextual ribbon tab.

7)  In the "Select Reference Models" dialogue box I select only TEST.dwg and click "OK".

8)  Visually none of the changes (freezing/ON/OFF/color changes/lineweight changes) seem to have stuck.  Everything is

     visible and the colors originally from the files copied to the Project are shown.

9)  So when we actually get the green box oriented the way we want and click "Create Ortho View" the 2D view created

      shows all layers and colors originally from the copied files.


We want to be able manage our layers in the layer manager in that TEST.dwg file as a helper model to create the views we want, showing the correct information.  It seems that the ability to manage layers in the temporary "green box" view called "Orthographic View Selection 1" is not possible, and we dont want to manage layers in the original files copied to the Project.  So this seemed like the next best step.  It seems that we would need a "blank (helper file)" for each ortho 2D view we want to create.


The above steps for that process kind of came from a White Paper I found on the Plant Exchange website called "Managing Large Projects".  There was a section that seemed to suggest this process for managing layers for Ortho generation.  I will attach a scanned copy of that selection (starts on first page under "ORTHOGRAPHIC DRAWINGS").  In theory it makes sense, but for some reason we cannot get it to work.  Sorry for the long explanation, but we just didnt want to leave anything out.  Thanks for the help.

Posts: 4
Registered: ‎03-16-2011
Message 4 of 20 (1,049 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

06-21-2012 10:09 AM in reply to: eski



Has this problem been resolved? I am using autocad 2012 plant 3d. A fix for this would save lots of time in drawing creation.




Active Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
Message 5 of 20 (1,046 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

06-21-2012 12:56 PM in reply to: eski

sorry, none that i have heard of.  I havent tested it in Plant3D 2013 yet either.

Active Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
Message 6 of 20 (1,020 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

07-10-2012 12:32 PM in reply to: eski

I have finally installed Plant3D 2013 and tested out my above methods again.  There has been no changes so far that i can tell.  It still seems like the layers can not be managed in the green box view.  The white paper that was referenced in my comment still makes sense to me in theory but cannot figure out why it doesnt work on our end.  It would be real nice if we could get some more feedback on this from anyone at autodesk or on the plant3d team.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎08-01-2007
Message 7 of 20 (985 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

08-20-2012 12:22 PM in reply to: eski

I just so happened to run into this very same problem also.  My situation is we have a building.dwg that has side walls, roofs and floor, and I want to hide the roof so I can get a complete plan view of the building.  If I was to slide the clipping plane down I would then start cutting away at some of the steel and equipment because of the slope of the building. 


So my work around for this was to create the roof as its own .dwg.   Was easy to fix, but I don't want to start creating xrefs for each piece of steel just because I don't want to show something. 



Active Contributor
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-07-2010
Message 8 of 20 (802 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

05-02-2013 01:26 PM in reply to: jason.drew

I have just installed Plant3D 2014 and this problem is still NOT fixed!  I am quite furious and have no clue why this cant happen or a better work around is not being described.  How am I suppose to use the tools to make othos in Plant3D if they wont address what should be a simple yet greatly needed fix.  It has been 3 releases now of this software, and I have been patiently and eagerly adopting the latest release in hopes improvements in this area would be made.  But I have seen very minimal advancments in the ortho documentation process.  I am almost at a loss for words, incredibly mad that this and the other major problem (incorrect catalog parameter sizes for standard components) with software has not been addressed yet.  Can I please get into contact with someone so I can possibly explain this better and work towards a solution or workaround?  I want to be able to spend most of my time in Plant3D and complete a project using just this software, but currently can not see how this would be feasible.  I am just looking for a little feedback and some help here.  Thanks.

Active Contributor
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎03-06-2013
Message 9 of 20 (401 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

03-27-2014 03:33 PM in reply to: eski

I am working with point clouds at the moment, and I am running into the same issue. I also ran into the issue when working with a building from Revit.


It would be a great idea to make it so one can freeze layers one does not want to see... before creating the ortho view. All one would have to do in the coding is make an if-then that checks if the drawing has the layer frozen and then does not include any object on that layer for the clipping process during the number crunching part of ortho creation. 


As it stands, after creating the view, one has to manage a new layer for every ortho view (top, front, right, etc.). It is quite a hassle to manage after the fact and sometimes makes the drawing view unusuable. I have to delete all the markers I use from the point cloud right now, so that they don't show up and obscure anything I want to see in the ortho drawing, which means I loose valuable placeholders. And I have to make crazy jogs to miss parts of the rafters. What a waste of time!


Thanks for adding the centerlines, matchlines, and what not... but the car will not move much faster with flat tires--no matter how big the engine. I figured this would have been addressed for 2014 at least. AutoDesk can't say it is because a lack of comunication from the user base. We have done our part, please do yours.



Posts: 235
Registered: ‎10-05-2009
Message 10 of 20 (385 Views)

Re: freezing layers in Orthographic View Selection or in XREFs

03-28-2014 06:33 AM in reply to: TheCadGuyDavid
we having been asking for this for quite a while now. it is a serious attention Autodesk!
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