Creating a part catalog from scratch OR How to re-use your Aunt’s chocolate chip cookie recipe

For those folks wanting to create your own part catalog to use with Civil 3D, you’re out of luck. You can’t create one from scratch. But, you CAN re-use the existing part catalog as a foundation. Read on die-hard XML chefs….

BY default, the Pipes catalog lives @ C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\C3D <version>\enu\Pipes Catalog. If you peak in that folder, you get this:


This may also be in a network location; the path is set from the Pipes menu using


Once in the parent folder, you will see folders for metric pipes and structures and imperial pipes and structures. We will use the appropriate set as our basis. For this example, we’ll use imperial.

NOTE: custom files and folders should live in a network location so that all team members can have access to the content. Otherwise, your efforts will be for nothing.

Step 1 – Select the pipe and structure folder, right click and choose copy.

Step 2 – Right click in the parent folder and choose paste. You should now see 2 new folders that have been prefixed with “Copy of “.

Step 3 – Rename them to something appropriate like Microsol Imperial Pipes and Microsol Imperial Structures.  The exact names are important, so choose wisely.


Step 4 – Go into the 2 new folders and look for files that end with .apc and .htm.  The filenames should match the original folder names. Rename them to match your new folder names. Do this in both the pipes and structures folder.


Step 5 – Edit the .htm file in both folders using anything but MS Word. I use Edit Pad myself. Search the .htm file for “var strCatalog”. It’s a variable in the .htm file that we need to adjust the value to the new folder name


Step 6 – Edit the .apc file in both folders. We need to replace the old folder name in 3 spots, see below;




That’s it! You should now see these 2 new part catalogs in your list. Now you can edit these catalogs in Part Builder to include region specific parts. Some people like to have one pipe catalog for all their design needs, others like to have separate catalogs for government agencies, or different state regulations. That way, you can’t use the wrong part.

Creating and modifying parts in Part Builder though…. is a discussion for another time.  🙂 Actually, we are doing a 2 part series on part builder this month, check it out!

2 Part Civil 3D Webinar: PART BUILDER: RELOADED



About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

2 Responses to Creating a part catalog from scratch OR How to re-use your Aunt’s chocolate chip cookie recipe

  1. Dan Thill says:

    Have you had any problems running the reports manager from Tool Box with pipe networks using parts from the new catalog?


    • Kevin says:

      Not that i recall Dan. I can take a look in the morning and let you know…


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