Author Topic: AutoCAD MEP 2011  (Read 14073 times)

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nivuahc

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AutoCAD MEP 2011
« on: May 19, 2010, 06:28:48 PM »
Okay, so I started using AutoCAD MEP 2011 about 2 weeks ago for the project that we're working on. I've used MEP before (2008) but never used it for more than what I could do in plain ol' vanilla CAD. In this instance, I'm routing conduit in conduit rack and to equipment. I've managed to figure out quite a bit on my own, and from the little bit of guidance that the help files offer, but there are a few things that have me perplexed and was wondering if anyone would be able to shed some light on the subject for me. Also, it probably help to know that I have avoided working in 3D space for my entire career so it's entirely possible that some of what I'm trying to do is perfectly doable, MEP or not.

Sections - Okay, the section generating thinger is cute but it really doesn't give me any information other than a picture of what the conduit looks like in the rack. Each conduit has a name and a size, and it's important that I identify those things in section, but I've been unable to figure out how to go about doing that. Generating a 2D section gives me something to look at, but there is no intelligence in that 2D section telling me the conduit sizes or names (at least none that I can see).

Previously, in vanilla CAD, we did our sections (mostly) manually, tagging the conduit manually, and mistakes were made along the way. I wrote a routine for drawing sections where the drafter could pick the conduit size, it would insert a block for that conduit, pick the next size, it would insert the next conduit at the proper spacing, throw in dimensions, prompt for the next conduit, etc. After that was done the drafter would manually tag the list of conduits on each tier (I'm attaching a screenshot of a section as an example).

So I was banging my head against the wall this morning, trying to figure out how to retrieve the properties of a conduit that was drawn in MEP (such as the size and the name) for tagging the conduit in plan view (yes, I know MEP can do tags for me but those either suck or I haven't figure out the limits of those tags...). Anyway, I figured that bit out and I want to do a similar thing in section. I want to be able to list the conduit shown in section without the drafter having to type all of that information in. The 2D sections in MEP are pretty useless, as far as I can tell, so I'm trying to figure out how I can make my sections work. How can I make my sections look (at least somewhat) similar to the attached screenshot?

Let's start there and see if anyone bites.  :-(

mjfarrell

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2010, 06:41:23 PM »
you have added tags to the conduits, and other features in the rack?
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Michael Farrell
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2010, 06:43:43 PM »
you have added tags to the conduits, and other features in the rack?

Please elaborate  :?

mjfarrell

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2010, 06:49:57 PM »
the objects in your file should have tags assigning information to them that MEP uses for schedules and such....so do your parts in your catalog have all the information assigned to them?

if yes you should be able to get labels from the tags...
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Michael Farrell
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2010, 09:33:29 AM »
the objects in your file should have tags assigning information to them that MEP uses for schedules and such....so do your parts in your catalog have all the information assigned to them?

if yes you should be able to get labels from the tags...

Keep in mind that I just started using MEP with no training other than what I've been able to figure out on my own...

Having said that, this is what our customer asked for and the way that I found to be able to give him what he wants:

The customer wanted to be able to select a particular conduit by name, isolate it from all of the others, and follow it's routing from start to finish. So I setup each conduit name as it's own electrical system. We're only running conduit, not wires to panels, just conduit in conduit rack and to euipment in the field. Using electrical systems for this task seemed the most logical solution to my unskilled mind.

I setup a tag style in MEP that produces a tag for each conduit that reads just like the ones that you see in the screenshot above but have been unable to figure out how to make that useable. When I tag a conduit, I don't seem to have any liberty with the placement of the tag other than "somewhere on the conduit" which, in plan view, is impossible to read. In an isometric view, with the visual style set to 2D wireframe, the tags are legible but it's impossible to figure out what you're looking at. In 3D hidden or Conceptual view, the tags are "inside" of the conduit and not at all capable of being read.

I threw this together yesterday for tagging conduit in plan view (minus the changing of the leader style and layer):

Code: [Select]
(defun c:cndtag ( / CNDEnt CNDObj PickPoint TagPoint CNDSize CNDSystem CNDTag)
(vl-load-com)
(setq CNDEnt (entsel "\nSelect the conduit to tag... ")
CNDObj (vlax-ename->vla-object (car CNDEnt))
PickPoint (cadr CNDEnt)
TagPoint (getpoint PickPoint "\nPosition of conduit tag... ")
)
(setq CNDSize (substr (vlax-get-property CNDObj "SizeName") 1 4))
(cond
((= (substr CNDSize 2 3) ".00")(setq CNDSize (substr CNDSize 1 1)))
((= (substr CNDSize 2 3) ".25")(setq CNDSize (strcat (substr CNDSize 1 1) " 1/4")))
((= (substr CNDSize 2 3) ".50")(setq CNDSize (strcat (substr CNDSize 1 1) " 1/2")))
((= (substr CNDSize 2 3) ".75")(setq CNDSize (strcat (substr CNDSize 1 1) " 3/4")))
)
(if (= (substr CNDSize 1 2) "0 ")
(setq CNDSize (vl-string-left-trim "0 " CNDSize))
)
(setq CNDSystem (vlax-get-property CNDObj "SystemName")
CNDTag (strcat CNDSize "\" C, " CNDSystem)
)
(command "_MLEADER" PickPoint TagPoint CNDTag)
)

It works great (except that if I change a conduit system or size, the tag doesn't update itself, obviously... I'll try to figure out how to accomplish that).

Getting a section view, using the same principal as above, I figured there would be a way that I could select the conduits and create a list of their respective tags and place it on the drawing as Mtext.

so do your parts in your catalog have all the information assigned to them?

Catalog?

Huh?

 :?

JohnK

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2010, 09:54:40 AM »
I think you're getting way ahead of your self. I understand that you may be under a deadline, but there is a LOT of work that goes into sections, taging, systems, catalogs, etc. ...ah, never mind. 

Carrot:
Try generating a 3d section. Then use "3drotate".
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2010, 11:53:13 AM »
I think you're getting way ahead of your self.

No doubt about that.

I understand that you may be under a deadline, but there is a LOT of work that goes into sections, taging, systems, catalogs, etc. ...ah, never mind.  

Yeah, I'm definitely under a deadline, and I know that MEP can be very, very, very involved.

Carrot:
Try generating a 3d section. Then use "3drotate".

Okay, having been able to avoid working in anything but 2D for the past 20 years, I created a 3D section (I think) using SECTIONPLANE and was able to generate a block of that section.... and I still have no idea how to use that.  :?

JohnK

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2010, 12:28:57 PM »
I dont have 2011 installed on this machine (I just got a new box and I havent set 2011 up for our office yet...) but I do have 2008 in front of me right now. Try these two commands and see if you cant get a 3d section drawn.

Not sure if these will work in 11.

Command: _AecBldgSectionLineAdd
This will add a section

Command: BldgSectionLineGenerate
Generate either a 2d or 3d section from section above.
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 12:39:59 PM »
Right, got that bit. Thanks. And I have no problem throwing on dimensions and what-not in a section like that. But the systems and conduit sizes aren't available to me in that section, right? I mean, I tried to poke into it and I got nothing.


JohnK

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2010, 01:53:14 PM »
No they are not.

...Right click on the section line you made on the plan and choose "Enable Live section" and switch the view to a different view.
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2010, 02:47:06 PM »
No they are not.

...Right click on the section line you made on the plan and choose "Enable Live section" and switch the view to a different view.


O.....kay....  :-(


JohnK

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2010, 04:52:47 PM »
O.....kay....  :-(

Not sure i understand:  Does that mean that instead of a 2d or a 3d section a live section didnt help?
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nivuahc

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2010, 06:44:09 PM »
Well a live section is... neat... but I'm probably missing something here. How am I to use that in creating a section view with conduit tags, etc? Let's say I create a viewport and show that view... everything in the external references still show up. For example the system of conduit rack is referenced in. All of the rack shows up in that live section. Or am I doing something wrong?

Also, when we have some wack-a-doodle transitions (a fat mess of conduit taking a turn and changing elevation for example) we're showing an isometric view of that transition on another sheet. Having live sections enabled won't chop that transition to bits or would I need to section those areas off as well?

Forgive my clueless... ness... 

mjfarrell

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2010, 07:28:38 PM »
at this point your view representations come into play, and the tags are shown or not depending on your settings...

if it's modeled it can (should) be sectioned....
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Michael Farrell
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kbrown

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Re: AutoCAD MEP 2011
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2010, 11:50:41 PM »
What I have done in the past for hydronics and plumbing is to xref my 3D model into an empty "view" drawing.  Xclip the portion of the drawing that I want to see in section view and then do a side view of that section.  Once in a side view you can set your UCS to that orientation and then you can tag your conduit racks.  Its not an elegant solution but it does work.  Tags work thru xrefs, labels do not.  In addition, you cannot tag anything that is created using the sectioning tool.