Plant 3D – Why we normally use lower detailed models


A common question I get asked is why are the Plant 3D models so simple?

Why can’t we just import and use high-quality models, showing all the fittings, connections, and details.

The honest answer is that you can do a lot of this but there is a price to pay,


Consider the picture below.
































There are two similar butterfly wafer valves shown.

The top valve assembly is a high-quality model in Autodesk Inventor,

the lower valve assembly, is a normal valve in Plant 3D,

The Inventor model has far more information in faces and features than the Plant one,

This makes the model a lot heavier and thus more strain on the workstation to display the model.

This by itself is not too much of an issue if there was only one or two of them,

Though normally there will be several hundred valve assemblies in a project.

If we simplify this problem a bit and do a bit of quick math,

The top Inventor model has about 5 times the detail that the Plant version has,

So even if there were only 100 valves,

The model would have 500 times more faces to try and handle.

At the end of the day, Plant is not really meant to do this,

It is meant to be a fast, accurate and efficient means, at building your Plant project.

Just like your P&ID, the models are meant to be a more symbolic view.

You can have greater detail, but at the cost of performance.