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How to Maximize Your Software Investment with AutoCAD Plant 3D Training

Hagerman & Company
Maximize Your Software Investment with AutoCAD Plant 3D Training

Imagine overseeing a large plant design project with the goal of streamlining every step of the operation. As the project progresses, however, unforeseen issues pop up. Errors in preliminary designs go unnoticed, integration of P&IDs with 3D models creates inconsistencies, and there are serious discrepancies with the final outputs.

The project timeline extends, costs mount, and everything goes haywire.

Unfortunately, this scenario is all too common in the process plant engineering and design industry. The most frustrating part is that proper AutoCAD Plant 3D™ training can prevent these issues. Organizations must push themselves to avoid waste and understand the benefits of maximizing their investments in advanced software like AutoCAD Plant 3D.

“It’s about enhancing productivity and ensuring a high return on investment by addressing common frustrations and leveraging techniques that apply to real-world plant applications.”

- Brett Barkman, AEC Solutions Engineer at Hagerman & Company

The Main Challenges with AutoCAD Plant 3D

AutoCAD Plant 3D offers revolutionary design capabilities for process plant engineers and designers – but implementing, adopting, and getting the most out of this powerful software can be challenging. Without making the most out of the tool, teams can experience dampened productivity and efficiency. Users often face challenges affecting immediate project execution and the long-term maintenance of plant design records.

Generally, some users report frustration with the software due to learning its unique interface and the learning curve to adopt its range of specialized tools. These adoption challenges can lead to late-stage errors that significantly increase change order costs, inflated budgets, and unnecessarily extended project timelines.

Transitioning to a 3D environment adds to the complexity. Learning to view models and work in a 3D world requires adapting and can be challenging for those used to 2D designs. Additionally, many users do not fully exploit the robust tools and automated processes like Automated Pipe Routing. That can lead to suboptimal designs and underutilized software capabilities.

Let’s not forget about human nature. A significant internal challenge is the resistance to change, where teams prefer “the old way” over the recommended best practices. Adopting new technology can require a culture shift – and a team willing to do so.

“At a company I worked for back in the ‘90s, we had somebody who messed up one little thing. It was so minor to some people, but the mistake cost us a quarter million dollars in change orders to fix it.”

- Rick France, CAD Design Manager at Hagerman & Company

How to Solve These Challenges & Maximize Your Investment with AutoCAD Plant 3D Training

So how can you move through these challenges? Experts are here to help with AutoCAD Plant 3D training.

Advanced AutoCAD Plant 3D training equips teams with the expertise to utilize its full suite of tools. The goal of this targeted training goes beyond basic functionality. It dives deeper into underused sophisticated features like automated pipe routing and customized report creation.

Moreover, without comprehensive training, users may not fully utilize the software and find its integration challenging, which can lead to project delays and increased frustration among team members. Issues often arise in the creation of P&IDs and 3D models that remain undetected until important documents like Orthos, Isos, BOMs, and Reports are generated. At that point, fixing the problems will be costly and time-consuming.

Advanced training addresses these challenges head-on by providing the skills needed to effectively use the software and troubleshooting strategies in the modern world. The proactive approach minimizes downtime, enhances the accuracy of project deliverables, and reduces the likelihood of costly last-minute changes.

“The digital age is all about hyper-precision. By consolidating, analyzing, and leveraging the right quality data at the right time to assess, predict, and prescribe decisions, companies can significantly enhance productivity and the value of their resources.”

- MIT Technology Review

9 Tips to Better Leverage AutoCAD Plant 3D

If you’re not quite ready for training, we asked our CAD experts to share some of their best tips on maximizing the functionality of AutoCAD Plant 3D.

  1. Customize the Software: Tailor AutoCAD Plant 3D to meet specific company standards and project requirements, which ensures that the software performs optimally within the unique frameworks and workflows of your company.
  2. Keep It Simple: Avoid overcomplication. Utilize the software's capabilities without over-engineering the setup. That leads to unnecessary complexities and potential errors.
  3. Utilize Equipment Templates: Save time and ensure consistency by using equipment templates for recurring project elements. This standardization speeds up the design process and reduces errors.
  4. Understand Automated Pipe Routing: Mastering this tool can drastically improve the efficiency and accuracy of your piping designs. For practical applications, watch our Getting a Grip on Piping video below:


  5. Export and Import Settings: Familiarize yourself with the proper configurations for exporting to and importing from different formats. This knowledge prevents data loss throughout the lifecycle of the project.

  6. Create and Customize Specs and Catalogs: Tailor your projects to specific needs and streamline workflows.

  7. Customize Report Creator: Adjust the Report Creator settings to align with project reporting requirements. This customization enhances the readability and relevance of project reports.

  8. Use SQL Server Instead of SQLite: For larger projects, using SQL Server for database management instead of SQLite provides better performance, enhanced security, and improved data handling capabilities.

  9. Utilize Autodesk Construction Cloud (ACC): Integrate ACC to enhance collaboration among teams, streamline document management, and maintain a single source of truth for project data across all stages of the plant design process.

“Empowered with the right tools and best practices, engineers can provide the solutions needed to collaborate and take the actions that will make a difference.”

- Forbes Technology Council

How Hagerman’s Training Can Help

At Hagerman, we offer AutoCAD Plant 3D training built with a structured curriculum tailored for various CAD roles. Our goal is to ensure our clients and participants maximize their software investment effectively. 

We offer five interlinked courses designed to equip participants with comprehensive AutoCAD Plant 3D skills:

  • AutoCAD P&ID Quick Start: Introduces the basics of creating Process & Instrumentation Diagrams (P&IDs) that outline the plant’s processes. This course sets a foundational understanding of the software’s interface and basic functions.
  • AutoCAD P&ID Advanced: Expands on the Quick Start insights by exploring advanced customization and complex features essential for detailed P&ID creation. It prepares users for more sophisticated 3D plant design tasks.
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D New User: Shifts focus from 2D diagrams to 3D plant modeling. The goal is to teach new users to apply prior P&ID knowledge to develop accurate 3D plant models.
  • AutoCAD Plant 3D Advanced: Enhances skills in high-level functionalities, including complex modeling and in-depth feature utilization.
  • BIM Collaborate Pro for AutoCAD Plant 3D: The final course focuses on project management using BIM Collaborate Pro. The goal is efficient large-scale project execution and team collaboration.

This training program is particularly beneficial for Project CAD Leaders, CAD Administrators, and Project Managers. It focuses on the nuanced needs of advanced users managing key project design and execution.

By investing in Hagerman’s tailored training, firms can significantly reduce design errors, streamline project phases, improve team collaboration, and ultimately increase project profitability and client satisfaction. It’s about building a culture for success from the ground up.

Hagerman: Your Partner for Maximizing Your Investment

Challenges are opportunities. With Hagerman & Company’s expert AutoCAD Plant 3D training, we offer comprehensive solutions while supporting your ongoing solutions with best-in-class assistance. It’s about elevating your project outcomes – and exceeding your operational goals. Explore our training courses and build the future you envision.