Good day readers!
Thanks for coming to our blog regarding the use of AutoCAD’s Plant 3D Tools. Today’s topic will be model sizes! What is a good model size? Well there are plenty of factors that can affect your models beyond size, such as custom parts, inserted parts from programs like Autodesk Inventor and other vendor supplied parts. What is typical of GDP for plant is the – ‘What will fit on the D size Plan Drawing’ And ‘Will that model fit on that D size sheet with a 3/8 scale’ type of thinking. This is why these important topics should be covered prior to detail design beginning. Arranging the project in Areas helps keeps the project models organized. Discipline can also be a separator inside that area. And finally, to keep 3D models in bite sized chunks, you can keep an eye on model sizes as they should stay at or under 5meg’s for working models. Working models are updated daily and are always under editing conditions during detail design. Here is a pic of a rather typical Project Manager Structure setup by Area / Discipline
As you can see, Area is just the first part of the breakdown. If your project does not use Area, perhaps System or Services can be substituted as an alternative. The point is, making your models in your project sized so that the speed of rendering, ortho creation and rotating will not be slowed or delayed by size. Couple that with the time it may take to recreate a corrupt or deleted model and you will have a very good reason to keep models bite sized.
One customer I have creates their project and numbered it in a very unique way. Each P&ID was given a unique number. Each 3D model was a model on only that P&ID. They also tagged each pipe line and equipment with part of the P&ID number so designers knew right where the models were, the schematic that it was designed from and all other pertinent information for detailed design.
It may not work for you and your project but it was rather unique and thought I would share it.
Since it is very difficult to define model sizes for each user, I’ve attached a document to help you in this endeavor. This document can assist you with your project creations. Download it and keep it handy, and try it out on a test project environment.
Once a model is done, it may be larger than 5MB but that’s ok if the model is reviewed with Navisworks. This topic brings us into new workflows, but I will save that for another day.