Placing Parts

This task shows you how to place a part on a run. This process allows you to filter (or search) a catalog for parts that meet the criteria that you specify. You are presented with a list of parts that meet these criteria so that you can select the part you want to place.

This type of parts placement is known as "functionless" parts placement. It is used in Raceway & Conduit Design, and also in Equipment Arrangement. These parts do not have a function as defined in the feature dictionary. Instead of opening a class browser, you open the catalog browser. 

The same procedure is used for placing parts at a location other than a run. While conduit parts are used in this example, the procedure is the same for raceway and other types of parts.

See also Detecting Clash in Parts Placement and Placing Parts Using a Schematic.

Note that this application incorporates intelligent design functions. This means that during the design process the application ensures your design meets certain criteria. These criteria are established by design rules. For example in Piping, the design rules will match the threaded end of a pipe to the threaded end of a mating part. (You can override the rules if you want.) There are certain general design rules that apply to all parts you place. Other rules apply to parts you place from a specifications catalog or a standard.  Theoretically you can create a new standard and not incorporate any design rules. However, your parts will not place correctly if you do so.

The standard and specifications catalog that you use for parts placement has to be defined in the setup data. See Understanding Project Resource Management.

It is recommended that you place a datum point on each part connector to which a flexible may be routed. This is needed to allow a flexible to update when you move a part in a design.

NOTE: There is a command in the menubar - Insert > Place Object from Catalog, that can also be used to place parts. However, the command works differently from the normal Place Part command described in this task. The command Place Object from Catalog is meant to be used with parts that are not typed, and is normally used in spatial products like Plant Layout. If you use this command to place a part, it will not have the technology associated with a normal typed part, such as automatic object naming or resizing capability, nor will it be a unique reference. A typed part is one that has been assigned a class and sub-class in the feature dictionary.

When you place an object using this command, a unique reference will be created and placed in the CATTemp directory. The instance will not point to the catalog. If you want the instance to point to the catalog reference then you need to add a keyword to the family to which the part belongs. Add the following to the family, using the Catalog Editor:

  • Name - LoadType;
  • Type - String;
  • Default Value - SameReference.

To learn how to add a keyword see Creating a Catalog in the Component Catalog Editor user guide.

Parts that are placed in free space inherit some property values from the Line ID menubar. See Using the Line ID Menubar.


With the run displayed, click the Place Conduit Part button . The Conduit Placement dialog box displays. 

Select the mode by clicking one of the buttons.

Place on Object to place a part on a run.

Place on Connector to place a part on a connector.

Place on Active Axis Plane. This will place the part on the same plane as the axis that is active. You could use this with a local axis, for instance.

Place on Compass Plane. This mode allows you to place a part on the compass plane. It becomes active when you move the compass and place it on a surface.

Place on Surface lets you place a part on a surface, such as a ship's deck. You will first need to position the white reference square that appears when you click this button.

Open Catalog Browser lets you open the browser and select a part to place.

The Filter Definition button lets you override values and specification, explained in Steps 3 & 4 below.

The last four buttons, Edit Part Parameters, Move, Flip & Adjust, let you perform tasks already explained in this manual. They become active when they can be used.

2. To filter for parts click the Filter Definition button to display the Filter Definition dialog box. Select the property whose value you want to define, then select the new value from the drop down box in the Value field. This new value will appear in the Filter Value column. The values in the Filter Value column will be used when searching for parts in the catalog. You can also clear the override value by clicking on the Clear Value button.

3. To change the specification, click the Filter Definition button. Select Conduit Specification from the list then click the drop-down arrow in the Value field. Select the appropriate specification and click OK. The spec, e.g., AL001, will display in the Filter Value column.

It is preferable to take this step before opening the catalog browser.

4. Move your pointer to the place on the run where you want to place the part and click. (When placing an elbow, click when the green arc displays.) The Catalog Browser displays.

Note: You can choose to display the class browser expanded, as shown above, or collapsed, by using a setting. To display it expanded, go to Tools - Options - Equipment & Systems, click the Design Criteria tab, and check the option Expand Class Browser. Uncheck it to display it collapsed.

5. Expand the tree if you need to and select the part you want to place by double clicking. The part is placed.


To ensure correct placement of conduits in a run, first place the in-line components and then place the conduits.

You can choose to display or hide a "preview" of the part you are placing. To do this click on Tools - Options and select Equipment & Systems and the General tab. Check or uncheck the box Display image while placing catalog object in 3D viewer to obtain the effect you want.

By default, when you click (in free space) to place a part the center of that part will be placed at that location. The center is determined by the application by drawing a box around the part and selecting the center of the base of the box. You can also choose to place the origin of the part at the point where you click. To do this click on Tools - Options and select Equipment & Systems and the General tab. Check the box Place at component's origin when placing in free space.

After you move or modify a run or part, click the Update Part button and select a part to update that part, or select the run to update the run. You only need to do this if the application does not update the object.