Adding Part Sizes Using Part Builder


One of the most basic but useful tasks we can do with the Part Builder is to modify the part sizes of existing parts. Have you ever gone to create a pipe network and known you needed a specific part size but just did not see it in any of your parts lists? We can bring in more part sizes into our parts list by adding the part sizes but what if we add all of the part sizes and still don’t see the size that we need? This is where going into Part Builder will help us.
For this example we will modify or add to the part sizes of a pipe in the Part Builder. After opening the Part Builder and changing the catalog to the pipes catalog  in the “getting started-catalog screen” interface, expand the part chapter, in this case “circular pipes”. Then, click on the “concrete pipe” part family. Either right click and select “modify part sizes”, or select the “modify part sizes” button at the bottom of the dialog box as seen in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1

Figure 1

 After selecting the modify part sizes command, you will be brought into the source dwg file for the part. Depending on the version of Civil 3D you are using, you may be prompted with a message like the one in Figure 2 stating that the drawing was last saved by an earlier version of the software and saving will update some AECC objects to the current version and cause them to be incompatible with earlier versions. Click the “close” button.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Next, in the “content builder” dialog box, expand “size parameters”, right click “BdyD1” and click “edit” as shown in Figure 3 below. This will open the “edit part sizes” dialog box. Once inside the edit part sizes dialog box, select any of the PID values to make the “new’ button accessible. For this example I want to add a new part size of 144”. The way this works in this dialog box is whichever existing size I pick on, it will make a copy of that size at the very end of the line of size entries. So, the easiest thing for me to do is to pick the last size in the list, in this case 160″, and then click the new button. You will notice that there is now a copy of the 160″ size part, so what I will do next is to modify the first 160″ entry to be the new 144″ entry that I want. Figure 4 below shows this.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

 After editing the PID value to have the 144″ that I want, it may also be necessary to edit the WTh (wall thickness) value as I did in this example. Notice how after entering the PID value that the PrtSN (part size name) value automatically populates? If you were to go to the top of the edit part sizes dialog box and click the black down arrow next to ‘values” and select “calculations” you will see that it is a formula to automatically populate the PrtSN value.

That’s it! No need to feel like you have to be a Part Builder expert just to add sizes!

Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.