AutoCAD Plant 3D – Creating a Spec from a Catalog


AutoCAD Plant 3D is a great software package but getting the right components in your pipe runs might not always be there in the box. In South Africa we have a mix of different standards and sadly not all in the catalogs or sample specs that come with the AutoCAD software.

If the piping and fittings that you need are not in the standard AutoCAD spec library, then you can look in the Autodesk appstore.  There you will find a few catalogs that various vendors have created and all you need to do is download them and then create your own spec for use in your own projects.

When creating a spec there a few things to think about and do.  Firstly if there are nozzles that are going to be used on equipment then these do not get added to your spec.  You will copy it from the catalog you downloaded or acquired and paste it into the nozzle catalog. Please note that this is an .acat file and not a .pcat file.  The .acat extension tells us that these components are not inserted into a spec.

Once this is done you create a new spec and then start to populate.

To make sure that the correct parts are inserted and you have minimal hassle connecting pipes and fittings I use the following rules.

Use your filters to insert the following parts from the bottom to the top. This helps with making sure you do not miss anything.

On each part category, make sure that if it has a pressure class you filter it out so that only the relevant parts are visible for insertion into the spec.

Once this is done make sure that you resolve all part use priorities.

Open your AutoCAD Plant 3D and copy the newly created spec into your project and you are good to go.

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