By Andy Davis
After installing the 2014 release of AutoCAD Plant 3D, you might wonder what has changed.
The 3D Piping workspace layout is largely unchanged, apart from the new AutoCAD 2014 tab control that shows the currently open drawings. The 3D Piping specific tool ribbon tabs appear to be unchanged but Autodesk 360, Vault and Featured Apps tabs have been added to the tool ribbon with Vault support added to the Project Manager window.
However, once you start to generate an Ortho view, you will find that Autodesk have spent a considerable amount of effort improving the Ortho generation capabilities of Plant.
The Ortho ribbon has been overhauled and the following functionality has been added:
- Isometric views and the Current View of the Ortho Cube have been added to allow any projection of the cube to plotted in 2D
- The faces of the Ortho Cube may be jogged to create stepped sections
- Hidden lines may now either be removed fully, shown for pipes only or shown for all fittings
- Match lines may be added to plan views
- A cut pipe symbol may be added to show cut pipes
- A paper check facility shows a preview of the Ortho view against the paper layout to aid view scale selection
- A Pipe Gap Tool has been added to the Ortho View ribbon to allow pipes to be cut to reveal otherwise hidden detail
- Additional Annotation styles are provided for Ortho Annotation
Looking at the P&ID tool ribbon shows a new Drawing Checker button on the Validate panel. This provides a visual consistency check between the data in the database and the current drawing.
Significant attention has been paid to the functionality of Off Page Connectors also.
For a further insight into these changes take a look at the video that Autodesk have produced highlighting the new features in AutoCAD Plant 3D 2014, via this link: http://docs.autodesk.com/PLNT3D/2014/ENU/plant/pip/autocadplant3d_video_newfeatures1_v5.html