With the release of the AutoCAD® Plant3D and P&ID 2017.1 update came a new feature which enables P&ID to utilize and reference the Plant 3D Specifications for each project. The purpose of the Spec Driven Project on the P&ID side is not to restrict the user but rather inform the user from the Plant 3D Spec itself when components are found (in spec) or not found (off spec). In other words, if using the out-of-the-box Plant 3D CS150 Spec on your P&ID and you added a 30” Primary Line Segment with a 30” Gate Valve, the Gate Valve would be “In Spec” because the Spec includes a 30” Gate Valve, but the Pipe itself would be “Off Spec” because the Spec does not include Pipe larger than 24”. Depending on the settings at the time, you would be alerted to this while drawing or verifying the P&ID and would know to either update his Specs to include the larger diameter pipe or modify the P&ID to match the Spec.
This article was originally released in the fall of 2013; however, I have received several emails since then about an issue users were having when validating their projects after implementing the changes in the article. The validation error would be under the heading “Unmatched model inline fittings” and would show every piece of pipe in the 3D model.
Since the new releases of AutoCAD Plant 3D and P&ID 2017 have been out for a few months now and I’ve had time to thoroughly work with it, I wanted to discuss some of my favorite new features within the two products. Plant 3D is built on top of P&ID which is built on top of AutoCAD, so all three products are available in one piece of software. While there are new features in AutoCAD 2017, the most valuable of which is the new PDF Converter, in this article I will focus on Plant and P&ID.