For some time now, it seems there is move in the industry to push RMEP to fabrication levels of detail, pushing even to doing shop appropriate tickets.
We are increasingly seeing project specs calling for AIA Level of detail 500 when the completed as-built model is delivered to the owner, complete with all it's... 'I' ... in BIM.
Some are pushing a 'concert' approach using Autocad MEP to add fabrication data and correct BOMs... like EastCoast, Autodesk Fabrication (newly acquired FAB-Mep from MAP Software). And others like TSI SysQue (still in beta, but quite impressive.)
I'd like to start a general discussion on just how near RMEP is, and how far it has to go to realize this goal. Several thoughts come to mind to kick this discussion off:
- RMEP has a core limitation preventing routing preferences, and pipe fitting family to be built with a Connection Engagement Length that when a pipe is connected. This I believe is a fundamental limitation in the core software engine. To get accurate pipe length currently, a schedule with complex conditional formula.
- Currently, there is no native functionality that will maintain productivity while at the same time automatically breaking up pipe and duct runs into fabricatable lengths. The 'split' function can (i think) be customizable to add fitting of various configurations. I am not clear if this can be done to automatically change up what fitting types get applied (socket weld, no hub, but joints and the like).
- 'Slit' function for but welded connections cannot be done to provide a weld gap. With an actual gap or space. As soon as the run is moved, the software would rejoin the lengths back into one length. To accomplish this, a special 'weld gap' fitting family would have to be created.
- Don't know about this one, but i heard from several that thinner objects representing gaskets,or thin gauged flanged connections cannot be done, any less than 1/8".
(a couple other comments)
It seems to me that autodesk is spending it's development dollars in developing its Cloud based services and not on developing Revet MEP. Since considering RMEP for fabrication, I've been interested in a set of classes centering on Fab Level detail AS-Built AIA LOD 500 at AUTODESK UNIVERSITY, but all I've seen is classes geared to Engineers and using RMEP for design.
Please chime in with your additions and/or corrections to the above!
I feel they really need to fix ALL of the current issues within the program 1st, BEFORE any FAB or CLOUD. No.1 ISSUE.........Calculations Tools really do not work for all of the Design Discipline in MEP......I can say this with all Honesty as I just went thru 2 weeks of INTENSE VALIDATION TESTs within my company with some prtty Smart Engineers and Designers. And They all came back with the same answer..............ALL of the design calculation Tools just are not trustworthy, not even close, as to how the real world engineers and designers work. That above all should be the true goal.................THEN the FAB will work as intended, then the Cloud.
Do Not get me wrong...........I love the entire REVIT spectrum of tools..............The only reason I have Autocad on my machine is to clean up dwg files to bring into RAC/RST/RMEP to convert to Revit Models. But the True need is to get the actual Design Tools to work correftly, and most importantly, ACCURATELY, to the level that Designers, Enginners and Architects can and will be comfortable with the Calculations side, so they can concentrate on what they do best. DESIGN.
Just my 'real world' 2 cents worth.
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