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Autodesk Plant Solutions (2 Nov 2010)


AutoCAD Plant 3D Performance Maximizing Speed


AutoCAD Plant 3D is built on AutoCAD, a general purpose cad engine as its platform. AutoCAD is used for many things and is not solely optimized for 3D graphics. AutoCAD Plant 3D default settings are not set up specifically to favor editor response speed over display quality.

When looking to improve performance, the first thing to consider is using the Visual Styles Manager to reduce 3D display detail. You can also use 3dconfig to set options that affect graphics card hardware performance.

We strongly recommend setting dispsilh to zero and isolines to four (4) for both 2D and 3D views. Default settings have been modified below to reflect this recommendation. (2 Nov 2010)

This document presents options that go beyond tuning and identifies settings and strategies that can have an impact on editing behavior and model appearance.

Performance increases can be made by turning off disconnect markers, breaking up large drawings using external references, and operating in 2dwireframe mode. AutoCAD Plant 3D specific performance settings are described in this document, as well as some AutoCAD performance settings.

AutoCAD Plant 3D Settings

AutoCAD Settings

Large Drawing Management

Sample Settings

AutoCAD Plant 3D Settings

You can set system variables and use commands to improve display performance.


Value for maximum performance


Hides disconnect markers


Do not display insulation on piping


Hides insulation on valves and fittings


Ignores locked piping setting for display


Turns off pipe silhouettes


Turns off markers (yellow !) for placeholder parts


Hides property mismatch markers


Reduces drawing file size


Hides connection markers


Displays structure using a line model

Performance Tuning

For more information, see Maximize Plant 3D Display Performance in the User’s Guide, and System Variables in the Command Reference.

You can close AutoCAD Plant 3D palettes that you are not using when working in the model. For example, closing the Data Manager can improve performance, especially when editing. You can also close Project Manager to improve performance. For best results close the palette, do not Auto-Hide.

AutoCAD Settings

There is no single best AutoCAD setting for performance, because some settings are designed to disable features that you need to select and edit. In general, the settings identified here are intended to maximize browsing speed.

The most significant choice is between 2D and 3D view modes. 2D modes can display 3D objects that look similar to 3D wireframe, but the modes use a significantly different redraw database. The 3D redraw database is designed for quality and response, but not scalability. In practical terms, this means that in 3D view modes, performance deteriorates faster as the model in the display gets larger.

Changing to 2D wireframe with silhouettes off can significantly improve performance.

with silhouettes off can significantly improve performance. dispsilh=0, isolines=4 dispsilh=1, Isolines=0 If you turn

dispsilh=0, isolines=4

significantly improve performance. dispsilh=0, isolines=4 dispsilh=1, Isolines=0 If you turn off dispsilh to improve

dispsilh=1, Isolines=0

If you turn off dispsilh to improve performance in wireframe, you should set isolines to 4. Piping also uses plantpipesilhdisplay, which displays silhouettes for tube segments when dispsilh is off.

Below are some of the AutoCAD system variables you can use to improve performance.

AutoCAD Setting

Value for maximum performance


Do not display silhouette edges


The number of contour lines per surface on objects


Objects are selected after the command


Sets the smoothness of curved objects in a 2D view

Zero (0)

Turn off autosave


Sets the fastest display mode


Turns off smooth view transitions


Turns off activity logging

Performance Tuning

It is important to understand the impact of these settings and consider that they could cause undesired behavior. For example, turning off pickfirst speeds up browsing, but it disables the select connected parts shortcut menu. Dragging in 2dwireframe can be slower than 3dwireframe. The best performance configuration depends on how you are working with the model. Setting a low viewres speeds up dragging in 2D mode. Facetres is a similar variable that affects 3D views.

You can use vtoptions to set a fast transition speed, lower the performance (fps) threshold, or disable view transitions.

Other settings that are not specific to display can be used. For example, you can freeze unused layers to improve performance, instead of turning a layer off.

You can also turn off features that you do not use. For example, if you do not need the properties window open, consider closing it until needed. Tracking, dynamic input, and even grips can be turned off when not used.

Large Drawing Management

Breaking up larger drawings into smaller ones using external references can significantly improve performance. For example, you can place equipment, piping, and structure into different drawings and break up large drawings by area.

Sample Settings

You can copy and paste the table below into the Command window, or create and run a LSP file. Values are also provided to restore default settings.

Performance settings:

(command "plantconnectionmarker" "0") (command "plantinsulationdisplay" "0") (command "plantinsulationmode" "p") (setvar "plantpipesilhdisplay" 0) (setvar "plantpropmismatchdisplay" 0) (command "plantplaceholderdisplay" "0") (setvar "plantwelddisplay" 0) (setvar "plantlockfadectl" 0) (setvar "plantsavedetail" 0) (command "plantsteelsetrep" "L") (setvar "dispsilh" 0) (setvar "isolines" 4) (setvar "pickfirst" 0) (command "viewres" "y" 1) (setvar "savetime" 0) (command "vscurrent" "2dwireframe") (setvar "vtenable" 0) (if (/= (getvar "cipmode") 0) (prompt "\nRun customerinvolvementprogram to disable."))

Default settings:

(command "plantconnectionmarker" "1") (command "plantinsulationdisplay" "1") (command "plantinsulationmode" "f") (setvar "plantpipesilhdisplay" 1) (command "plantplaceholderdisplay" "1") (setvar "plantsavedetail" 1) (setvar "dispsilh" 0) (setvar "isolines" 4) (setvar "pickfirst" 1) (command "viewres" "y" 1000) (setvar "savetime" 10) (setvar "vtenable" 3) (command "vscurrent" "realistic")

Autodesk, Inc. 111 McInnis Parkway San Rafael, CA 94903 USA Performance Tuning Autodesk [and other

Autodesk, Inc. 111 McInnis Parkway San Rafael, CA 94903 USA

Performance Tuning

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