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Click on Open new sketch to open a new tab for your sketch. This adds a new layer to your model. On this layer you can add custom objects that don’t interfere with your model, but can easily be placed in dependence to it.

You can open multiple tabs with sketches but only one sketch is shown at a time. To return to your model, click on 3D.

Adding and editing objects

If you want to add another object, first select it from the menu on the right. You are now able to drag and drop it into position.

There are five categories of objects:
-Basic structure (ground plate, column, steel, slab)
-Basic shapes (cube, cylinders)
-Piping (pipes, valves, flanges, etc.)
-Custom objects

With the menu on the left (or your keyboard) you can manipulate the selected object:

Button Description
Delete the selected sketchitem.
Move the selected sketchitem.
Resize the selected sketchitem.
Rotate the selected sketchitem along the hight axis.
Measurement tool. Convert selected 3D item to a sketchitem.
Undoes the last change to the tree.
Redoes the last undone change to the tree.
Colours tool
Comments panel
Create a sketch specific Markup. This will not appear in the files treeview on the right menu.
New sketch
Switch between mouse-/touchmode on devices that are able to do both.
Take a sketch specific screenshot. This will not appear in the files treeview on the right menu.

Basic structures and shapes

Basic structures and shapes have a default scale and custom editing possibilities in accordance with their function:
Object Default scale Scaling options Property to choose from
Ground plate 10 x 10 m X, Y & Z -
Column 0,3 x 0,3 x 3 m Height only Profile type
Steel 0,05 x 0,05 x X m Length only Profile type
Slab 1 x 1 x 0,2 m X, Y & Z -
Cube 1 x 1 x 1 m X, Y & Z -
Sphere 0.1 m Z -
Vertical / horizontal equipment 2 x 1 m X, Y & Z -
Pipe 1 m, DN 50 Length only Length and diameter

Scaling objects in dependence to others

If you want an object’s measurements to match the position of another object, select the object, click on the scale icon and then click and hold one of the semi-spheres on the object you have selected. When you now move your mouse pointer over another object in your model, a green circle with crosshairs in it will appear. The crosshairs indicates the X, Y and Z coordinate where the scaling will end.


When placing a pipe you’ll automatically get some extra options that allow you to create a pipe run and connect it to other pipes or Symbol Designer objects with Pipingconnectors.
The pipes diameter can be chosen from a drop-down list in the properties.
You can add a 90° angle to the end of your pipe run by dragging the half-sphere and move / lengthen your pipe by dragging the coloured arrows.
In the rotation mode, you can drag the curved arrows to change the angle of the pipe. Pressing CTRL makes the pipe-end angle towards the mouse position.

Creating a pipe run

The easiest way to create a pipe run is to click to where your pipe should start.

This will add a horizontal / vertical pipe depending on the orientation of the surface.

By dragging one of the semi-spheres, you can continue the pipe with a 90° angle connected by a bend.

You need enough space for a bend. Otherwise bends will be displayed in red.

You can add additional pipes between bends or loop pipes back on themselves.

Moving and deleting pipes

If you select a pipe, you can move it by dragging the directional arrows.

If you want to delete a pipe you will be asked if you want to delete the section or all connected sections, too.

Adding piping equipment

Valves etc. can only be added to pipes that are sketch items. Select a piece of equipment and click on the part of the pipe where you want to place it. After that you can move it to the desired place on the pipe.

Some pipe equipment has optional properties you can choose from.


Start by placing the platform. Click on the Platform icon and then on any place in the model or drag the button into the 3D space.

To select the whole platform, select any part of it and click on the selected part another time.

The Platform can be moved and scaled as a whole, but its columns and slabs can also be moved, scaled, and changed independently.

The platforms attributes have buttons to increase/decrease columns and rows. ‘Deleted’ platform objects can be reactivated with the ‘Activate’ button. You cannot reactivate single objects; unnecessary parts need to be deleted again.

Custom objects

Custom objects in the .obj format can be placed like other sketchitems. Click the button and select the object to be created from the file browser.

Adding objects from the catalogue

When loading a model, UPV looks for a “Catalogue” folder with subfolders for objects (i.e. [Architectural]). The catalogue folder must be in the same folder as the “Data” folder.

The catalogue is a set of .obj / .xls and .jpg/.png files and a list file (upvsketchitemindex.txt, located at the Data folder of your model) that includes all the available items. The default catalogue includes common parts of a plant (pumps, vessels, stairs, etc.) that can be added like regular objects. Objects from the catalogue can also be scaled but only parametric symbols will keep the right proportions of all their parts.

Adding objects to the catalogue

Any .obj file and a corresponding .jpg / .png file (optional) can be added to the catalogue. UPV will include them while loading the model if the object is valid and properly included in the file upvsketchitemindex.txt. Both absolute and relative paths can be used, as well as the #include keyword.

For example:



#include D:\yourindex.txt

With include, objects can be stored in as many locations as needed. The included text-file works the same as the upvsketchitemindex.txt and can contain more includes.

The creation of a upvsketchitemindex.txt file can be automated by creating a .bat file with the following lines of code:

@echo off

for /f "delims=" %%i in ('CD') Do set wdrive=%%i

Setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion

if exist upvsketchitemindex.txt del upvsketchitemindex.txt

for /r %%a in (*.obj,*.xlsx) do (

SET out=%%a

rem set out=!out: =%%20!

set out=!out:d:\_DemoPlant\__work\20_config\=!

rem set out=!out:\=/!

set out=!out:%wdrive%=Catalogue!

echo !out! >> upvsketchitemindex.txt


Executing this batch file in the root folder of the catalogue that contains all subfolders and objects will delete any existing upvsketchitemindex.txt file and create a new one containing all *.obj and all *.xlsx files in all subfolders.

Adding parametric symbols to the catalogue

Parametric symbols are created using 3D SymbolDesigner.

These symbols can contain attributes changing the looks of an object, to the point where complex objects, such as the car-crane below, with movable parts can be designed.The white spheres in the images are movable parts and can be dragged to change certain attributes in a symbol, leading to eg a rise of the crane. For an in-depth explanation on how to create symbols, please consult the 3D SymbolDesigner manual.

To add parametric symbols to the catalogue, add the respective .xlsx file created by the symboldesigner to the upvsketchitemindex.txt, eg:

Converting objects from the 3D model

You can convert 3D view objects to a sketch item, hiding the source object, or clone them which leaves the original ones visible. After converting or cloning the objects, you will be asked to choose if the objects should be referenced or copied. Referenced means the sketch item will always be connected to the 3D object (by its ID), retaining its look, even when the model is changed, and the old objects are replaced by something else. Copying creates a new, autonomous sketch item. The new object behaves like a regular sketch item.
You can delete selected objects from the current sketch and hide / show all deleted objects.


In this example, we will move a tank and connect it to a pre-existing pipeline.

Select the tank and its nozzles and open the “Convert” menu. Click the first button “Convert 3D object to sketch item”, choose reference since the actual tank is to be moved.

Click the button “Move” and drag the red/green arrows until the tank is next to the pipeline.

Select the pipeline you want to connect to the tank, open the “Convert” menu and click the last button “Convert 3D View objects to piping”.