Over the past few years, here at Aura Engineering, we have moved towards using AutoCAD Plant 3D for an increasing number of our projects. We have found that this program not only helps our piping designers to increase their efficiency, but also provides many benefits to our clients. From a project’s conception, through design, construction, and then on to everyday use and maintenance, AutoCAD Plant 3D has been a proven time and budget saver when compared to more traditional two-dimensional programs.

As the program’s name states, AutoCAD Plant 3D renders designs that are completely three-dimensional. Having three-dimensional designs available from the beginning of a project can help potential investors to truly see the “vision” of the facility in a way that a flat piece of paper cannot. AutoCAD Plant 3D even has a feature that can give a viewer a bird’s eye tour of an entire facility or project. Having 3D renderings available can also help minimize costly delays and revisions by making spacing or functionality issues of a design more apparent from the outset.

In traditional CAD programs, making changes to the design can be tedious and time consuming as the change will need to be made to each layer of the design. This entails opening multiple drawings to change the same detail on each one. In AutoCAD Plant 3D each layer of the design is contained in one file, so you only need to change the detail once and it will then be changed in every version of the drawing. AutoCAD Plant 3D also has the capability to easily load customer specifications to generate reports such as a bill of materials, line numbering, and weights.

Having a project designed in AutoCAD Plant 3D can also save time and money during the lifetime of a project. Inevitably, projects will need to be updated, or perhaps even retro-fitted, in these cases the same features listed above that make AutoCAD Plant 3D so invaluable during the design process again become beneficial.