AutoCAD MEP General Discussion

AutoCAD MEP General Discussion

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Distinguished Contributor
Kayrondad
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
Message 1 of 19 (427 Views)

DDC Automation?

427 Views, 18 Replies
04-24-2013 11:28 AM

So my company is also a controls contractor.  For the past 6 years I have created DDC diagrams using autoCAD...lines, circles, some blocks, some block controllers, etc.

I was recently asked if there were a way to make the line work "inteligent".  Meaning this:  I have a Reliable Mach Pro Zone (MPZ), I run a wire (line) from +1IN and -1IN from the controlled devise (a supply air temperature sensor- SAT).  On my drawing the MPZ and the SAT are "connected" by the line work.  However, now we are adding other parts and components so we need to move the SAT and/or MPZ to a different location on the drawing.  

They want the lines connected to devices to retain their connections AND know when the "wires" (lines) cross and to automatically have line breaks or jumps.

They say this is available via Vizio, but I am 100% dead set against learning new software.  (Do not even tell me that the more software I know, the better off, this is a lie as I have yet to see more money for my continually escalating skill set since being employed here...so I will learn no more :smileyhappy:

Any intel from anyone on this is helpful, thanks.

Product Support
pothied
Posts: 192
Registered: ‎10-01-2009
Message 2 of 19 (409 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-26-2013 06:29 AM in reply to: Kayrondad

Since you created this post on the AutoCAD MEP forum, I'm going to assume that you have AutoCAD MEP. Based on the description of what you say you want, you already have it in AutoCAD MEP. There is a Schematic workspace that has schematic symbols and lines. You can create your own schematic symbols if what you need isn't already in the product. The schematic symbol is basically a block with some rules and connectors added so it knows how to behave with the linework. You can have these symbols automatically break into linework and they can be anchored to the linework so if you more a line, the symbols will move as well. If you move a symbol, the break will move. You can also setup the linework to show no breaks when crossing, show a jump or show a gap and you can control how big of a gap or jump to show. I created a short video that you can watch showing how this works. I had a piping example handy so I used that but it works the same way with electrical stuff as well. You can watch the video here: 

http://screencast.com/t/XSGET2PFsY2

 

I hope that these tools provide what you are looking for.



David Pothier

Distinguished Contributor
Kayrondad
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
Message 3 of 19 (395 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-29-2013 10:23 AM in reply to: pothied

The video was extremely helpful for how to make the lines brake and jump.

The symbols are really no different than any other object in MEP- if it is connected to a duct, pipe, wire, it will move if the object it is connected to moves.

What I really need is a little more complicated.  The attached shows a DDC wiring diagram.  This is very small compared to what we typically do, so it is nearly critical to come up with something that works smoothly.

If you notice the terminal blocks the wires are connected to, we have many Reliable Controls boards that need connections like the ones in the electrical panels so that when the controller is moved, the wires will move orthographically.

another thing, why the heck are there no DDC parts and options in the MEP set?  DDC is the operation power house of all the automation in the commercial HVAC world.  In a commercial building, HVAC is nearly never operated without DDC.

*Expert Elite*
Keith.Brown
Posts: 1,130
Registered: ‎03-13-2008
Message 4 of 19 (392 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-29-2013 10:28 AM in reply to: Kayrondad

I took a look at your attached pdf and I believe that you can create them as a block based MvPart and get the functionality that you desire.  I do not work with the electrical portion of the software so I am not sure what can be done using that package.  If your sole intent is to have the wires move when you move the controller then a block based MvPart will certainly solve that issue.  You need only concern yourself with the symbol view representatin as that is what it looks like you will be using. 

 


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Distinguished Contributor
Kayrondad
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
Message 5 of 19 (388 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-29-2013 11:12 AM in reply to: Keith.Brown

Teh MV Part only allows pipe, duct, conduit, cable tray connection points.  If I use one of my Reliable blocks adn convert to "device" I can create an electrical part, BUT, I have found no way to place my connections precisely where I want them as is possible in the MVPart creation.  I get an x, y, z entry, but I have to know beforehand what they are.  This will be EXTREMELY time consuming as some controllers will have 48 or more points of wire connections.

I am getting close as I was able to take the same drawing I shared earlier and convert all my lines to the schematic, but still working on best method to create in schematic first and have the wires color when the PM wants them that way.

Product Support
pothied
Posts: 192
Registered: ‎10-01-2009
Message 6 of 19 (382 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-29-2013 12:40 PM in reply to: Kayrondad

The type of objects that you want to user are Schematic Symbols, not devices or MV Parts. Unfortunately there isn’t a Convert to Schematic Symbol command so creating these objects are a little more involved. Generally you need a block definition, you need to know the location of the connectors at a scale of 1 (x and y values). What I usually do is place the block at 0,0,0 and id the location of each connector and write it down.

Once you have the block and connector information, open the Style Manger (Manage Tab -> Style Manager) and open Schematic Objects -> Schematic Symbol Style -> New style from buttons at top or right click and select New. I normally name the schematic style the same as the block name, you can enter a description.  In the Design Rules tab, you can specify how you want wires (lines) to trim around the symbol. In the Views tab, click to the right of Ortho/Plan and select the block definition to use. You also can set the scaling properties here. In the Connectors tab, you need to enter the location for each connector. For a block with 40 connectors, this will take some time but once done you don’t need to do it again. Hit Apply, then Ok. Normally I would save these symbols to an external drawing that you use as a library file.

For the lines, the easiest way to have different colors is to setup schematic line styles with color overrides.

I attached another quick video to help show what I was doing. I hope that this helps.

 

 http://screencast.com/t/V8u0m5SWnz4c



David Pothier

*Expert Elite*
Keith.Brown
Posts: 1,130
Registered: ‎03-13-2008
Message 7 of 19 (376 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

04-29-2013 01:19 PM in reply to: Kayrondad

My mistake Kayrondad,

 

My advice would be to make a single connection point that is a symbolic symbol.  I would then convert your Reliable blocks to mvblocks so that you could attach a single connection point everywhere that is needed on the mvblock. Then using the OBJECTANCHORATTACH command you could anchor the connection points to the mvblock so that they will move when the mvblock moves.  Once you have created the mvblock and attached the connection points and anchored them you can then block up the entire assembly again.  You can then drag the 'assembly' to a tool palette and adjust the properties so that it explodes on insertion.  This will place the mvblock into your drawing with the connection points already attached.  It is a little bit of work up front but on the backend it will certainly save you alot of time.

 

 


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Distinguished Contributor
Kayrondad
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
Message 8 of 19 (363 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

05-01-2013 10:00 AM in reply to: pothied

Okay, I followed your instructions to the T!  Style is created, saved and does appear in the drawing as it should.

Now, forgive my ignorance, but how to I get it into new drawings with the connection points defined in your instructions?

See the attached.

I did also add the block used for the connection points to my tool palette....Upon insert it does not have connection points at all...

Member
whorton-DK
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎08-26-2011
Message 9 of 19 (349 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

05-02-2013 09:02 AM in reply to: Kayrondad

The Autodesk product you want to look at is the Electrical which is for creating control diagrams

Distinguished Contributor
Kayrondad
Posts: 250
Registered: ‎05-02-2007
Message 10 of 19 (340 Views)

Re: DDC Automation?

05-02-2013 09:29 AM in reply to: whorton-DK

Not the electrical portion of MEP?  What other program has electrical in it?

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