AutoCAD MEP General Discussion

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Posts: 184
Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Message 1 of 4 (569 Views)
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3D Pipe Display Issues

569 Views, 3 Replies
11-21-2012 04:47 AM

We have recently switched to MEP 2013 and are working on a plumbing coordination. The problem we are having is that some of the people we are sending drawings to are using 2010 and our pipe just shows up as squares when they open them. Is there an object enabler they need to install?

Product Support
Posts: 517
Registered: ‎08-23-2006
Message 2 of 4 (486 Views)

Re: 3D Pipe Display Issues

11-28-2012 04:01 PM in reply to: tonyatrsm

AutoCAD MEP does not convert backwards across the file format "elegantly."  There are steps you can take to minimize any geometry losses, but some losses should be expected.  It's not perfect.  What is your end goal?  If you just want a 3D model with no loss of geometry, then from 2013, manually explode the MEP objects.  Maybe save a copy of the file first and work in the copy.  Once MEP objects are exploded down to Core AutoCAD solids, you can AECEXPORTTOAUTOCAD2010 command and get the file into the 2010 file format.  The solids will translate with minimal loss of geometry.  If you need MEP intelligent objects, they do not survive.  When exporting or exploding, always set your view to a SW Iso view (as long as not in plan view), and then explode or export.  Or MEP objects are flat 2D in Plan view and you end up with 2D lines when exploded.  A SW Iso view + explode will result in a 3D solid.  Make sure PROXYGRAPHICS is set to 1, which saves an image of the object so that it looks the same in older version.

Hope this helps,





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Joshua Benoist, PE
Senior Support Specialist
Product Support
Autodesk, Inc.

Distinguished Contributor
Posts: 184
Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Message 3 of 4 (481 Views)

Re: 3D Pipe Display Issues

11-29-2012 04:13 AM in reply to: Joshua.Benoist

Thanks, I did this the other day before our coordination meeting then the other contractors complained about the file size of the solid after I exploded it... can't keep everybody happy I guess. For now I've just been opening the dwg in Navis and saving as an nwd to get it into the Navis model. Just an extra step for me but it works. I just told them it wouldn't be an issue if they would just upgrade their software... thanks again.

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Message 4 of 4 (453 Views)

Re: 3D Pipe Display Issues

12-01-2012 10:31 AM in reply to: Joshua.Benoist

If the other trades are only interested in geometry then you don't have to go through the motion of exploding everything down to its core element (3Dsolid).  Instead you can use the CONVERTTO3DSOLID command which will turn all of your MEP objects into 3D solids.  You will lose all intelligence but if you are using this method then that is OK.  This method does not require that you turn on proxygraphics which balloons the file size anywhere from 2-5x's its original size.  Once your items are converted to 3D solids you can save down to any version of Autocad.


Please make a backup of your original drawing as this method will convert the originals and you could possibly loose all intelligence forever.


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