AutoCAD MEP Wishes

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Contributor
lygernight
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Message 1 of 12 (4,158 Views)

So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

4158 Views, 11 Replies
03-28-2008 06:55 AM
I don't get it, Autodesk has developed versions of AutoCAD for virtually every other construction trade. They have MEP for Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing, and they have Architecture and Civil Engineering but there's nothing for Fire Protection. Fire Protection, Sprinkler system design is not plumbing! I'm so tired of using cheap backward rip off programs and wish the original software designer (Autodesk) would develop this program for Fire Protection Engineers.

We need a good solid program that can do the following:

- Coordinate between all the other AutoCAD drawings that MEP Contractors and Architects use.

- Help run Hydraulic Calculations (and not have to resort to HASS).

- There are other products that I simply draw a remote area (basically a selection box) and it Nodes the Sprinkler heads, and runs the calculations based off the water supply information I already entered into the water source element block.

- Adjust pipe sizes on the fly by entering a pipe schedule (I.e. change all pipe sizes from 1" to 1½".)

- List all materials for the job in a fabrication list to send out to a fab shop with adjustable options.

There's so many more options other programs have built in to try and make life easier, but it would be better done by the original developers of AutoCAD.

I've used non autoCAD based programs like AutoSPRINK, and complete AutoCAD add ons like Fire ACAD and HydraCAD, and a complete AutoCAD Rip off like SprinkCAD and with the exception of autoSPRINK, all the others leave alot to be desired. The only reason I don't use AutoSPRINK is because i have to "Import" AutoCAD drawings into it's own format. Currently I just use AutoCAD and draw symbols and lines representing what I want for pipe and Sprinklers, and list material by hand (typing in Excel Spreadsheets). All the others I still have to buy AutoCAD with the add on, so I'm spending more then just buying AutoCAD which just irritates me more. When it comes to calcs I use a program called HASS but would prefer something a little more cutting edge.

HASS is a data entry based calculation program and I have to spend extra time re-entering lengths, fittings, elevations, sprinkler information (K factors, orifice sizes). Autodesk, if they spent sometime learning what Fire Protection needs could make life so much easier. Like make a Source element where I enter the water information, elevation, pressures, flow, and draw a remote area around the sprinklers with the most demand and it simply "runs" the calc with all the information entered in. No need to duplicate entering in pipe sizes, lengths, elevations, sprinkler information and so on.

Come on Autodesk, please give me something in 2010!
Contributor
lygernight
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Message 2 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

03-28-2008 06:59 AM in reply to: lygernight
Oh and make it all available to do in 3D too.
*Gregory Hoyt
Message 3 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

03-29-2008 02:05 PM in reply to: lygernight
Have you looked at the MVPart catalog? There are sprinklers, valves, FDC's
etc. For manufacturer specific content you'll have to create your own
though.

You should know that AMEP is not designed with sprinkler shop drawings in
mind, since the typical MEP consultant doesn't put that much detail into
there sprinkler design (there are exceptions of course). I suspect that
most sprinkler contractors would opt for the sprinkler specific design
programs, such as the ones you mentioned, and not AMEP because they only
care about FP and not M, E or P. Perhaps mechanical contractors who also
have sprinkler divisions would have the most demand for more FP tools within
AMEP.

BTW, I am a fellow sprinkler designer and I use AMEP everyday to do
sprinkler shop drawings, but I have had to do alot of customization to the
base package to enable myself to be halfway productive. Oh and my designs
are all 3D.

Hope this helps.

Greg Hoyt

wrote in message news:5888356@discussion.autodesk.com...
Oh and make it all available to do in 3D too.
Contributor
lygernight
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Message 4 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

03-31-2008 09:38 AM in reply to: lygernight
So would you say AMEP has been at least as productive as using programs such as SprinkCAD, HydraCAD, FIREACAD? Does AMEP do calcs and listing? My main concern more than anything is a CAD program that does those two funcations well. SprinkCAD does ok, but looks like it was built on a commodore 64. I just need something to look reaonsably easy to use for functionality.

I would love to develop drawings in 3D since our company is beginning to do more retrofit projects and it involves detailed drawings for almost exact measurements. I would also think using AMEP would help in coordination with MEP contractors since they probably developed their drawings in the same program.

I assumed AMEP was not anywhere near FP friendly except for maybe pipe and some fittings since we share similarities with plumbing material. Would you recommend AMEP over a 3rd party addon or ACAD rip off? My company is in the middle of possibly renewing a year contract with SprinkCAD again and if I could see the usefulness of AMEP over some cheap knockoff we'd probably go that way. Is it worth $5,000 USD? I mean Autodesk has made the market kind of a necessary evil and all, but if we're gonna spend $5,000 USD per seat we need to know it's going to be getting us a competitve more productive edge.
*Gregory Hoyt
Message 5 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

03-31-2008 01:05 PM in reply to: lygernight
I've only used HydrCAD, and that was several years ago (early 90's). If
you're just interested in churning out shop drawings as quickly as possible,
I would have to give a slight advantage to HCAD. Plus AMEP doesn't have
hydraulics and stock-listing. But as you know HCAD is only 2D.

I started using AMEP with version 2004 (it was called building systems at
the time). And I chose it because I was doing alot of work for engineering
firms and I thought it would make the coordination and collaberation with
the various trades alot easier. However none of my clients have made the
switch, so it really hasn't worked out like I would have hoped, plus the
last couple of years I have been doing more work for contractors and less
for engineers.

Hope this helps.

Greg Hoyt

wrote in message news:5890193@discussion.autodesk.com...
So would you say AMEP has been at least as productive as using programs such
as SprinkCAD, HydraCAD, FIREACAD? Does AMEP do calcs and listing? My main
concern more than anything is a CAD program that does those two funcations
well. SprinkCAD does ok, but looks like it was built on a commodore 64. I
just need something to look reaonsably easy to use for functionality.

I would love to develop drawings in 3D since our company is beginning to
do more retrofit projects and it involves detailed drawings for almost exact
measurements. I would also think using AMEP would help in coordination with
MEP contractors since they probably developed their drawings in the same
program.

I assumed AMEP was not anywhere near FP friendly except for maybe pipe and
some fittings since we share similarities with plumbing material. Would you
recommend AMEP over a 3rd party addon or ACAD rip off? My company is in the
middle of possibly renewing a year contract with SprinkCAD again and if I
could see the usefulness of AMEP over some cheap knockoff we'd probably go
that way. Is it worth $5,000 USD? I mean Autodesk has made the market kind
of a necessary evil and all, but if we're gonna spend $5,000 USD per seat we
need to know it's going to be getting us a competitve more productive edge.
Contributor
lygernight
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Message 6 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

03-31-2008 06:02 PM in reply to: lygernight
Yea my main gripe about most software is the clunky way they handle fabrication and calculations. Even Hydracad is a bit odd and confusing. The only program I've used that is in my opinion anywhere near easy to use is not even a DWG based program called AutoSPRINK however even that is extremely expensive and the files tend to be monstrous in comparision to Autodesk's DWG format. I just wish that autodesk would include these two basic functions for Fire Protection. It would be the different between night and day if we could now only use AutoCAD (or AMEP) to design systems in 3D but to also have the same program take lengths of pipe, adjust the lengths for cut lengths (takeouts) and make fabrication lists as well as run calcs on the system. I would forever be an AutoCAD fanatic if that happened.

But for now it seems as always that sprinkler guys are always the last ones thought about and the first ones needed to complete a job.
*Gregory Hoyt
Message 7 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

04-01-2008 08:27 AM in reply to: lygernight
Don't hold your breath on the hydraulics and stock-listing. If those
features ever became available it would probably happen via a 3rd party
add-on. In fact I think it might be preferable for a 3rd party that
specializes in FP rather than Autodesk who is a jack of all trades and
master of none. BTW, and I should have mentioned this before, I use Elite
Software's FIRE program for hydraulics, and it has the capability of
interfacing with AMEP but I have not been pleased with the way it works so I
do manual input only. The UI is a bit cheesy but it gets the job done.
They have a demo version available for download if you would like to try it
out.

Greg Hoyt

wrote in message news:5890689@discussion.autodesk.com...
Yea my main gripe about most software is the clunky way they handle
fabrication and calculations. Even Hydracad is a bit odd and confusing.
The only program I've used that is in my opinion anywhere near easy to use
is not even a DWG based program called AutoSPRINK however even that is
extremely expensive and the files tend to be monstrous in comparision to
Autodesk's DWG format. I just wish that autodesk would include these two
basic functions for Fire Protection. It would be the different between
night and day if we could now only use AutoCAD (or AMEP) to design systems
in 3D but to also have the same program take lengths of pipe, adjust the
lengths for cut lengths (takeouts) and make fabrication lists as well as run
calcs on the system. I would forever be an AutoCAD fanatic if that
happened.

But for now it seems as always that sprinkler guys are always the last ones
thought about and the first ones needed to complete a job.
Contributor
lygernight
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-06-2007
Message 8 of 12 (4,158 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

04-01-2008 12:21 PM in reply to: lygernight
I'll stick with HASS for calcs then...most Fire Marshalls around here have gone to school and learned HASS anyhow so they understand the print outs from it. Have any ideas for a good Stocklisting program? Or perhaps know of a good way of writing an AutoLISP function to do stocklisting? I've considering taking that puppy on and distrubuting it for free. I'm just so tired of not having somethign cheap and useful when everyone else wants to charge like at least $1200 to have that ability. (plus the $5000 for the autocad seat)
*Gregory Hoyt
Message 9 of 12 (4,159 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

04-01-2008 02:06 PM in reply to: lygernight
HydraCAD is the only one I'm familiar with. It seems to be the most
popular. As a free-lancer all my clients do there own listing so I haven't
worried about finding one myself. I know there is a fabrication listing
package available for mechanical ductwork (I can't remember the name), so
I'm sure developing one for sprinkler is doable.

wrote in message news:5891641@discussion.autodesk.com...
I'll stick with HASS for calcs then...most Fire Marshalls around here have
gone to school and learned HASS anyhow so they understand the print outs
from it. Have any ideas for a good Stocklisting program? Or perhaps know
of a good way of writing an AutoLISP function to do stocklisting? I've
considering taking that puppy on and distrubuting it for free. I'm just so
tired of not having somethign cheap and useful when everyone else wants to
charge like at least $1200 to have that ability. (plus the $5000 for the
autocad seat)
New Member
tackleterry
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-05-2009
Message 10 of 12 (4,159 Views)

Re: So wheres AutoCAD Fire Protection?

10-05-2009 05:02 AM in reply to: lygernight
If the only reason you do not use AutoSPRINK is the conversion factor, you need to see a live demo of the latest version. If Autodesk/Revit ever comes up with a FP version, it will have to follow in AutoSPRINK footsteps... Calcs, stocklists, fab reports, drawings can be as detailed as you wish AND the 3-D, object oriented, BIM compliant, aspects are built-in. If you have not seen this program lately, you need to.
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