Spooling In Fabrication

December 15, 2021 Heather Volk


This article will walk you through the process of set up for Spooling in Autodesk Fabrication CADmep.

Set up:

  1. *Must* have a spooling.dwt set up per company standards
  2. *Must* have standards set up in drawing.dwt including annotations
  3. *Must* have BOM set up


  1. Start with a DWG file that is 100% coordinated and ready to go to spooling.
  2. Select the “Define / Create Spool” button: 
  3. Complete the set up:

The items show in the red boxes need to be set up.

  1. The spool name can be set to anything. I have chosen to name after the service and “-1”.
  2. The path is where the spools will be stored and saved.
  3. The template should path to the spooling template that will be used. See Set Up #1.
  4. The colour range can be set to company specifics.
  5. Set View To is typically “SW Isometric”.
  6. Report should be set to the spool report previously set up. (This is the BOM)
  7. The “Update Title with Report” should also be set to the same report as “Report”.

Finally, you can set the tags needed for the spools.

  1. Display is to show the item numbers (red ovals with numbers).
  2. Renumber is used to number the items, and can start with any number.
  3. Prompt for positions is an option to place the numbers manually.
  4. Lock leader is part of the number tag. By locking the leader this saves clicks later and sets the leader on the pipe.
  5. Same number for identical parts is the option to number identical parts with the same number. This will make the BOM smaller since it will not have a different number for each part.


**Side note: if you want to be able to continually select spools without them opening, do not check “create spool on ok”. **

Then hit “OK” to start selecting spools. **(Note: When spooling for the first time only select 1 spool to open, to make sure things are working correctly)**

  1. Select the objects for the first spool. Example:

To finish the selection, select enter. Then continue selecting spools.

  1. Once the selection process is done your drawing should have multiple colors for each spool like this:

  1. Spooling Buttons:

  1. Define/ Create Spools.
  2. Batch/ Create Spools.
  3. Set Spool Color
  4. Reset Spool Color
  5. Add Spool Dimension


  1. Next, select the Batch/ Create Spool button and open a spool to add dimensions and the BOM.

**Note: If you uncheck the “Select All” box you can then select the number of spools and how many to open at a time. **

  1. Select the spools you want to open and select ok, and ok on the Define & Create Spool box as well.

  1. Set the number bubbles for the items in the spool. If you checked the following boxes:

The spool will resemble something like this:

The numbers display, it prompts you to place the bubbles and the leader is locked and will automatically be pointing to the item. It restarts / renumbers each spool starting at 1 and if there are identical parts, they will be numbered the same. The template I am using also auto populates the BOM once all the number tags are placed. This BOM is a report I built and can be customized on company specifics. This report needs to be created before you spool.

When customizing there is the ability to change the columns to many different conditions depending on what you need. For more information on Creating/ Building Reports, please see this article:

Fabrication Reporting - Edit, Create or Update Report


  1. Add dimensions to the other view and any other annotation needed for the shop. Depending on items in the spool you may need to rotate the view. Typically, I have my second viewport set to “Top View” and that covers 90% of the spools. In this scenario I need to rotate it to a front view to add my dimensions.


And then rotating to front:

Typically, there will be different views, a BOM, dimensions and project information on the spools. This of course is all dependent on the company’s standards.

Numbering, adding the BOM, dimensions and project information will be repeated on all spools.


About the Author

Heather Volk

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Building Solutions<br><br>Heather is responsible for responding to customer requests and helping them address technical challenges in a timely manner. She is an experienced Computer Aided Design Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. She has strong arts and design professional skills in AutoCAD, plumbing, computer aided design (CAD), project estimation, and facility management, and a history of providing training and technical support.

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