New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP by nikeborome

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									New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD® MEP
Gregg Stanley - Autodesk


In this class, we will go through all the controls for how piping works in AutoCAD MEP, and we will dig
into creating Templates, Tools Palettes, System Definitions, Routing Preferences, Rise Drop Styles,
Customize Single Line Graphics, as well as the new functionality added to AutoCAD MEP in 2010.

About the Speaker:
Gregg is a Quality Assurance Analyst for AutoCAD® MEP and has been an Autodesk software
user since 1984. His entire career is based on using Autodesk-based products to produce
contract drawings for the water/wastewater treatment engineering industry as a mechanical
process designer.

Gregg is also one of the authors of book Mastering AutoCAD MEP 2010 with Paul Aubin,
Darryl McClelland and Martin Schmid.
New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Important information: 

Updates and Hot Fixes: 
AutoCAD MEP has a Web Update and several hot fixes posted on please remember
to install all service packs and hotfixes.

Subscription Extensions 
AutoCAD MEP also has Subscription Extensions available for Subscription customers.

       Piping Content Extension
       Duct Transition Utility
       AutoCAD Architecture Productivity Extension
       AutoCAD Architecture Renovations Extension

Additional Resources 
The book “Mastering AutoCAD MEP 2010” from Paul Aubin, Darryl McClelland, Martin Schmid and Gregg
Stanley is now available at and book stores everywhere.

Improvements to Piping in 2010 
AutoCAD MEP 2010 contains several improvements for the Piping. This section reviews the

Hundreds of additional pipes and fittings have been added to AutoCAD MEP 2010 in the Release and
thru the Subscription Content extension. AutoCAD MEP now supplies pipes and fittings for the following
materials and pipe types:

    Cast Iron Extra Heavy Weight Pipe   Sch40 DWV ABS
    Cast Iron Hubless Pipe              Sch40 PVC
    Cast Iron Service Weight Pipe       Sch40 Clear PVC
    Copper                              Sch80 CPVC
    Ductile Iron Pipe                   Sch80 PVC
    Ductile Iron Plain End              Sch80 Clear – PVC
    CTS – HDPE                          Sch120 PVC
    DIPS - HDPE                         SDR 13.5 PVC
    IPS - HDPE                          SDR 21 PVC
    CPVC                                SDR 26 PVC
    Sch40 CPVC                          SDR 41 PVC

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

    General (Generic)                   Steel

Pipe Connections: 
The supported Pipe connection types have been extensively enhanced to support virtually every industry
supported connection type and all connections have gender assigned to better represent real piping.
Each connection is assigned a gender. Connections that are assigned both genders are considered
gender neutral allowing both Male x Male and Male x Female connections.

Gender is defined on the connection by Connector Engagement Length specified on each connector. A
value larger than 0 is defined as a female connection.

Supported Connections and Gender assignments based on the Global connection name stored in the
AecbDomainConfig.xml file:

    Bell gender= Female                                      Fusion gender= Male
    Brazed gender= Male                                      Glued gender= Male
    Brazed gender= Female                                    Glued gender= Female
    Capillary gender= Male                                   Grooved gender= Male
    Capillary gender= Female                                 Grooved gender= Female
    Clamped gender= Male                                     Hub gender= Female
    Clamped gender= Female                                   Hubless gender= Male
    Compression gender= Male                                 Hub_No gender= Male
    Compression gender= Female                               Mechanical_Joint gender= Female
    ConCoupling gender= Female                               No_Connector gender= Male
    Crimped gender= Male                                     Plain_End gender= Male
    Crimped gender= Female                                   Push_On gender= Female
    Electrically_Bonded gender= Male                         Same_Connection gender= Male
    Flange gender= Male                                      Same_Connection gender= Female
    Flange_Blind gender= Male                                Sleeve gender= Female
    Flange_FlatRing gender= Male                             Slip_Joint gender= Male
    Flange_FlatRing gender= Female                           Slip_Joint gender= Female
    Flange_Integral gender= Male                             Socket gender= Male
    Flange_Integral gender= Female                           Socket gender= Female
    Flange_Lap_Joint gender= Male                            Soldered gender= Male
    Flange_Lap_Joint gender= Female                          Soldered gender= Female
    Flange_Ring_Joint gender= Male                           Spigot gender= Male
    Flange_Ring_Joint gender= Female                         Threaded gender= Male
    Flange_SlideOn gender= Male                              Threaded gender= Female
    Flange_SlideOn gender= Female                            Threaded_FPT gender= Female
    Flange_Slip_On gender= Male                              Threaded_MPT gender= Male
    Flange_Slip_On gender= Female                            Undefined_Connection_Type gender=
    Flange_Socket_Welded gender= Male                        Undefined_Connection_Type gender=
    Flange_Socket_Welded gender= Female                      Welded_Butt gender= Male

    New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

        Flange_Threaded gender= Male                                Welded_Socket gender= Male
        Flange_Threaded gender= Female                              Welded_Socket gender= Female
        Flange_Welded_Neck gender= Male                             Welded_Solvent gender= Male
        Flared gender= Female                                       Welded_Solvent gender= Female

    A new special connection type called Same Connection has been added to allow pipes to read thru and
    report the correct connection type. For example, a Bell added to a pipe has a connector called Same
    Connector (male side) and Bell (female side) thus allowing the pipe to report the end connection type as

    Male connections are specified as “Undefined” to allow the new connection mapping controls in Pipe
    Preferences to specify the correct male name when connecting to a female connection. Refer to the Pipe
    Preferences section in setup below for more information.

    To add additional Gender support or to change the gender specified you can edit the
    AecbDomainConfig.xml file located at: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\MEP

- <AecbConnectionTypeSet>

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Bell" gender="Female" />

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Brazed" gender="Male" />

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Brazed" gender="Female" />

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Capillary" gender="Male" />

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Capillary" gender="Female" />

 <ConnectionTypeEnum globalStr="Clamped" gender="Male" />

    See Single Line Display below for more information on how to control the Display of fittings.

    The pipe catalogs have been reorganized to better support piping by separating the catalog into several
    catalogs based on Material. This allows you to reorder and remove catalogs based on your needs. To
    control the catalog order, go to Options and the MEP Catalog Tab, expand the Pipe Catalog and use the
    controls to organize the catalogs.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Materials: Cast Iron, Copper, Ductile Iron, HDPE, Plastic, Steel and the Subscription Content Extension

The General Catalog contains all Generic fittings for all materials.

Here is a screen cap of the new catalog structure and some of the new couplings added.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP


New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Pipe Setup 
Several areas of Piping have been improved to better support the new content and functionality. This
section highlights the main areas of improvement

Routing Preferences 
Routing Preferences are essential for piping and have been expanded and improved with new

    1. New functionality has been added to support adding the specified joint when 2 male connections
       are placed. All male pipe connections are specified as “undefined” in the connection name inside
       the content. This allows the Routing Preference to determine that the Joint part is needed, thus
       creating a Male to Female Connection.
    2. Lateral Part Type has been added to the Catalog. This part type can also be considered and
       Offset Wye. Auto Layout will add this fitting when adding a branch at a non 90 Degree angle.
       Refer to the Routing Section Below for more information.
    3. Transitions are split into Concentric and Eccentric to allow for both fittings to be specified in the
       Routing Preference. (Duct Part Preferences has also been updated to support this part type).

Routing Preferences also support fittings that contain different connection types and gender which can
give you the ability to route male x female pipe systems. Refer to the Routing section below for more

The Routing Preference style is stored on all pipe objects specified in the style and is set in the Pipe Add
command when starting from an existing object.

Pipe Preferences 
Pipe Preferences is updated and accessible again thru Pipe Add under the Advanced section on the
Properties Palette.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

    1. The Slope control supports several additional standard slope formats and units, allowing for you
       to set your standard. The format is then displayed in Tool tips, the Slope Property Set and on the
       Properties palette.
    2. The Elevation changes control has been enhanced to perform direct connections and override the
       specified slope when needed.
    3. Connection Assignments is a new Tab that maps the connector name of a Male connector based
       on which female connection it is connected to when the Male connection is set to Undefined. This
       allows for more accurate scheduling.

The display and control of the display of piping has also been improved in 2010. You can now control
what symbol your company wants per connection type, per system when using Pipe Single Line Display.
Centerlines on Elbows can be displayed as the arc or now with Straight intersecting lines to allow the
contract drawings to meet your company’s standard. All AME 3D objects have the ability to honor the cut
plane setting and overrides to the cut plane.


New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Display by Elevation 
To access Display By Elevation go to Options and the MEP Display Control Tab and turn on Display by

Once this is enabled all objects that support Display by Elevation will be updated with new display
components to allow for the individual control based on Elevation.

Each Display component will have:

       -Below: Objects that exist below the Display Below Range indicated by the Cut Plane
       -Low: Objects that exist between the Display Below Range and Cut Plane indicated by the Cut
       -High: Objects that exist between the Cut Plane and the Display Above Range indicated by the
        Cut Plane
       -Above: Objects that exist above the Display above Range indicated by the Cut Plane

The settings are independently stored when on and off for each display component.

Center Line Display 
DisplayStraightCenterline is a command line only command that allows you to specify whether elbows will
display an arc or straight lines on elbows.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Single Line Display 
A new style category exists in Style Manager to control the single line graphics of each Pipe Connector
when displayed in Single Line. You can now define an ACAD block for each connection type. This style
can be applied on any single system. This allows a single MEP connection type to display different
graphics for a single object.

To access go to Style Manager Pipe Objects Single Line Graphic Styles

New styles can be made and each block can be overridden with either Annotation Scale or a specific
scale. All System Definitions have a style assigned.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Pipe System Definitions store the Pipe Single Line Graphic Styles on the design Rules tab of the System

Creating new Single Line Graphics Styles gives you the ability to have different symbols for the same
objects and allows you to customize each connection’s display.

The block can also be defined as a single point to remove the graphic.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

User Interface 


New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Pipe Add 
The Pipe Add command has been revised in 2010 to better support workflow by adding the ability to see
the start elevation, access to Pipe Preferences, supporting Laterals in Auto Layout and improved Routing

The Tool Palette allows for drag and drop from any pipe object in the drawing to create a Pipe Add tool.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Pipe Fitting Add 

To create new tools on the Tool Palette for Piping, simply drag the fitting from your drawing onto the
Palette and the tool will automatically reference the location from the catalog.

Auto Layout / Auto Routing has been revised to support true Male x Female connections, improved
solutions, Laterals, Eccentric Reducers and true sloped piping.

The Pipe add command has new controls for the both Bend and Branch angles as well as specifying the
branch fitting or order of fittings when creating solutions. You can now create an angled branch when
starting from or connecting to a pipe segment based on the Lateral and tee specified.

You can also restrict the solution or layout to a specific angle or fitting.

All Female Connections on Pipe Fittings contain a new parameter called AOD (Angle of Deflection) which
determines if the joint allows the connection to deflect and if so specifies the maximum angle. When
laying out piping with Female connections the Routing code now will take into consideration the allowable
Fitting Tolerance (AOD) and create solutions that would otherwise fail. A new control called Allow Fitting
Tolerance in the advanced section determines if the AOD value should be considered. Turning this off
can be helpful when routing female piping and wanting only standard connections.

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

In addition, any coupling that has AOD and is female can be inserted in place of the elbow when the
angle is less than the total of the AOD values specified on each side. This allows slight changes to get a
coupling instead of a custom elbow. The intent is to mimic real world installation conditions.

Branch layouts will create a combination layout of a Lateral or Tee and elbow based on the closest angle
to your pick point. This means if you select a 60 degree angle and you have a 45 degree Lateral and a 11
¼ Degree elbow these fittings will be combined in an attempt to create the angle specified.

Routing Eccentric Reducers 
Specifying Justification the Eccentric Reducer specified in the Routing Preference will automatically be
added when needed.

Parallel Pipe Routing 
The PipeParallel Command (Home Tab, Pipe Drop down) will layout multiple pipe runs based on existing
pipes in the drawing, This command works off a baseline pipe and prompts to select the pipes to route in
parallel. This is limited to non sloped pipes.

Male and Female 
All Pipe connections are defined as either Male or Female based on the Connector Engagement Length
(CEL) specified in the content. Auto Layout allows these fittings to be specified in the Routing Preference
and placed during Layout, the pipe add command does not supply the ability to control the direction Male
into Female or Female to Male. However, you are no longer restricted from specifying these parts.
Couplings will be automatically added between male connections as needed and pipe segments will be
automatically created between female segments.

Pipeadd from Plumbing Mvparts with the Plus Grip 
Control of which Add command is started is stored in the DomainConfig.xml file located at

C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Autodesk\ACD-MEP 2009\enu\Aecb Shared

This control is done by “"Appliance" isPlumbingFixture="True" />” Removing Is Plumbing Fixture
True will now start PipeAdd when selecting the + Grip.

(Please remember to backup the original DomainConfig.xml file before attempting any edits.

This is a partial list of the DomainConfig.xml any changes to this file is at your own risk.

      <PartTypeEnum globalStr="Access_Door" />
      <PartTypeEnum globalStr="Air_Cooler" />
      <PartTypeEnum globalStr="Air_Handling_Unit" />
      <PartTypeEnum globalStr="Air_Terminal" />

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Alarm" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Appliance" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Drain_Plumbing" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Drain_Roof" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Economizer" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fan" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fan_Coil_Unit" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Faucet" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Filter" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fire_Protection_Inlet" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Flow_Indicator" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fountain_Drinking" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fountain_Eyewash" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fountain_Washing" isPlumbingFixture="True" />
       <PartTypeEnum   globalStr="Fume_Hood" />

Laying out Male x Female Piping 
To utilize the hidden male x female routing in 2010. You will need to update all the fittings with the
autolayout flag. There are 2 ways to do this, 1 is to open each fitting inside content builder and select the
AutoLayout Flag in Options

The 2nd way to update the fittings is to modify the associated XML file with each fitting and change the
string “<ColumnConst desc="AutoLayout Flag" dataType="bool" unit="" name="ALayF"
id="CC13" visible="0" context="AutoLayout_Flag" index="0">0</ColumnConst>” T

Change the Index value from 0 to 1 index="0">1</ColumnConst>

<ColumnConst desc="AutoLayout Flag" dataType="bool" unit="" name="ALayF"
id="CC13" visible="0" context="AutoLayout_Flag" index="0">1</ColumnConst>

NOTE: Modifying XML files is at your own risk and should not be done without first baking up
your files

New Tips and Tricks for Piping in AutoCAD MEP

Editing the AecbCompass settings to support your preferred fitting angles allow for more efficient layouts.
To access AecbCompass go to the view tab and MEP View Panel

Rules for Creating new Pipe Content: 

AutoLayout requires that fittings are built with connectors in a specific order.

In Addition, each part must have path angles(A1, A2, A3) defined in a specific order as shown.

Male x Female Fittings require the Male Connector to be located at Connector 1.


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