Exploring Grating Techniques in Autodesk’s AutoCAD Plant 3D 2016

In this walkthrough, we’re going to take a look at how to create custom shaped grating to implement in existing structures. The steps in the following video utilize polylines, hatching and grouping which can be applied to multiple design scenarios.

These techniques are shown in Autodesk’s AutoCAD Plant3D 2016, but may also apply to previous versions of the program.

Grating designs can be applied to the surface of an existing structure if a polyline has already been drawn on top of the grid.

To do this, users can select “Plate,” to bring up the “Create Plate/Grate” option window. Here, select “New rectangular” and click on “Create.” Users can then highlight areas of the structure where a polyline exists and apply the grating.

To apply a grating feature to a non-rectangular shape, instead select “Existing polyline” in the Create Plate/Grate window.

Regular move commands can be used to adjust the placement of these grates.

Plates, like those shown in the video above, may not always respond favorably to the grating feature. For example, a plate may have a circular hole in its center to allow space for features in a structure, but the grating feature overlaps this empty space.

To avoid this, draw half of the plate, copy and paste a second half and align them correctly. Applying the grating feature as outlined above will no longer obstruct the empty space.

Some users make the mistake of drawing out a plate with a circle and square, instead of using polylines and expect the grate feature to apply correctly. Rather than start over, users can apply hatching and grouping techniques to create their grate.

After bringing up the “Hatch and Gradient” window, users can adjust settings to match their plate. Users can select the “NET” pattern in the Pattern dropdown menu, click “Add: Pick points” and select where the net pattern will be displayed to effectively simulate the grate feature.

From here apply the Explode feature, delete the circle and square used to design the plate and change the thickness of each line to “1”.

Be aware that using this technique repeatedly may slow down the program due to a large number of objects being present simultaneously.

To group the assortment of lines, activate the “Object Grouping” window. Name the grouping and ensure “Selectable” is checked, and select “New.”

Highlight your group of lines and hit OK in the Object Grouping window to group the lines together. The lines can now be moved as one object like the previously designed grates.

For more training opportunities with videos like the one above, visit imaginit.com/training.

About the Author



Wyatt Schurkamp is a technical instructor and consultant for processes involving manufacturing, engineering simulation, process plants/factories, and engineering data management.