AutoCAD Plant 3D and Advance Steel models


When working with AutoCAD Plant 3D, you have the ability to create basic steel structures but they are limited.  One of the software packages that come included if you purchase the AEC collection is Autodesk Advance Steel.  If you haven’t heard of this and you are in the structural game I would highly recommend checking it out as it is a very powerful package when it comes to Structural modelling and detailing.

You might remember AutoCAD Structural detailing for it’s ability to fall over every 5 minutes (not quite but it had the impression it did) and then you would have to restart and hope that your work saved so you could continue where you left off.

Autodesk Advance steel is not that.  It was acquired by Autodesk a few years back and was initially not part of any plan to be integrated into any collections but lo and behold Autodesk did us a solid and snuck it into the AEC collections about a year or two back.  Now you have the ability to create some pretty detailed structural assemblies.

To incorporate it into your Plant 3D workflow, you need to save it to one of your Plant 3D project file locations.  This can be done by right clicking on a folder that you have created within the Plant 3D  project manager and selecting copy drawing to project.

Once it is part of your project you can then xref it into one of your Plant 3D drawing with all your piping or equipment if you have that as well.

Just a word of caution, you might have a lot of detail coming from the Advance Steel model so if you do not need it take it out.  It is not worth the extra waiting time when a project is on deadline.