I was familiar with MEP but since have mainly been programming add-ins for 'Vanilla' AutoCAD I have not used it in a year or to, but I am wanting to get more familiar with MEP AEC API.
So any ideas for add-in you would like to get some ideas and if a good idea comes up that I can program I will post it here for anyone to use.
FWIW, the first one shold be possible using 'out of the box' functionality.. perhaps some tweaking of the schedule necessary:
Not even close to be honest Martin. The AMEP part number tool sees no difference between a "banded" aluminum transition and a "clipped" stainless steel one. (I understand "banded" and "clipped" are supposed to be generic however that is not specific enough for fabrication and they certainly shouldn't get the same number.)
24 X 16 - 24 X 16 INCH RECTANGULAR DUCT ECCENTRIC TRANSITION OFFSET (L= 61 ,X1= 2 ,X2= 2 ,E= 30 ,F= 0 INCH)
That is the "Part Size Name" of a transition I inserted using the built in tool, after tweaking the schedule as suggested. Are those center line offset dimensions? Is the "E" offset left or right? Is the "F" offset up or down? Whoever needs to read these schedules will have the same questions. Furthermore, if the "E" or "F" dimension makes the transition flat, it doesnt say so. Bottum up, top down, right right, left flat... This is the language that HVAC contractors understand, and this is the way that CAM entry software works.
In order to meaningfully part number and schedule an HVAC project for fabrication and installation, the duct catalog has to be built with that in mind to begin with, and things like material, pressure class and real world connector types have to be taken into consideration.
Interesting.. thanks for the additional info. I should have been more clear... I was only referring to the portion of the video regarding the placement of the transition/offset.. this is new functinality in 2012 (was available previously in other countries and/or by subscription)
As far as the naming, I should have been more clear that I was refering to the schedule *data*. To be honest, I didn't look at the details of the schedule you posted. It would certainly make sense to align the data to convention used by construction. This *may* be possible already (I haven't tried) by simply modifying the schedle data in the catalog. It is also possible that the description is based on how it is done in another country, so perhaps the US catalog (or whatever country you are in) could use some tweaking.
I'm not familiar with the nomenclature in the description.. can you clarify/confirm my guesses?
WOS: Width offset
HOS: Height offset
RL / RR : Right side offset to Left / Right side offset to Right
BD / BU: Bottom offset down / bottom offset up
You also stated : "if the "E" or "F" dimension makes the transition, it doesnt say so"... how would this be indicated? I.e., if the top and left sides stay flat flat (i.e., a 20x12 to a 18x14 that is top/left justified), since the offset is indicated relative to Right and Bototm (RL: 2 BU: 2), wouldn't it be inductive that the left and top are flat, or, for clarity, would it be described as RL: 2 LF, BU: 2 TF?
The banded vs. clipped receiving the same part number is because the parts have the same name. If you modified the catalog naming convention to include the connection type, they would receive unique part numbers.
Material and Pressure Class can certainly be added to the catalog data, and then scheduled. As far as 'real world connection types', what exactly do you mean? I.e., you can add connection types to the catalog, but I'm guessing you are indicating there needs to be more data than just a name (?)
Thanks again for posting, and I look forward to your response.
Your nomenclature assumptions are correct, and your example transition inserted from the VM duct catalog would be scheduled as: WOS: LF HOS: TF.
Some duct software solutions (CAD and/or CAM) use the terms "Straight In" and "Straight Out" while others use "ST1" and "ST2". In the above AMEP example it is "X1" and "X2"... This is all a matter of taste however as long the schedules are descriptive enough to know which dimension we are talking about then everyone can be on the same page. (L= 61 ,X1= 2 ,X2= 2 ,E= 30 ,F= 0 INCH) looks like something out of a physics book...
"Clipped" could be Ductmate, TDC, TDF, or some other brand of clipped connection. Those connector types could also be classified as "Flanged". It's all very confusing to new users to be honest, and in 10 years I have yet to find a practical purpose for the AMEP duct connector types other than causing connection conflicts. You can NOT add custom connector types to AMEP parts. Doing so will result in an "Invalid Enum Map String" error, as these types are hard coded into the AMEP API. With stock AMEP you are stuck with Banded, Flanged, Slip_Joint, Vanstone, Clipped, and Undefined.
Thanks for the additional comments... I do suppose that adding connector types to the catalog, and actually using them are not the same thing! Perhaps I was thinking in Revit MEP where you can add connector types for pipes (such as 'Chewing Gum' if you so desire).
As far as I recall, the only practical functionality provided by the connector types is that Flanged allows you to show flange graphics. I do know that some customers opt to only have Undefined connections available to their users to avoid the connection conflicts. Would there be benefit to being able to use 'custom' connector types? Could the details of the connection type be defined in the part name so it schedules accordingly, or does it need to be 'per port'?
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