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spittle

Could someone please give the rundown on MEP sectioning capabilities?

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spittle

I'm after 'non-sales' speak, your experience with what's good about MEPs ability to generate 2D drawings from your model, and what it's limitations are. I think this is the make or break of most 3D software really.

 

Also how much manual work to you have to do to get your sections looking how you'd like?

 

We're looking for new software and it takes a good 3 or 4 e-mails back and forth to people selling various software to really get to the nitty gritty or whether it will or will not do what we want.

 

We plan to use in waste water industry and are also intersted in how easy it is to find a decent catalogue of parts and ease of use and functionality of MEPs routing.

 

I've used Solidworks so far for 2D drawings from 3D model and have been discussing other software with a seller. Solidworks would have been still used if it worked with dwg XREFs. A pipe fitting library would have been nice too as the pipe routing was quite tricky.

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tzframpton
I'm after 'non-sales' speak, your experience with what's good about MEPs ability to generate 2D drawings from your model, and what it's limitations are. I think this is the make or break of most 3D software really.

 

Also how much manual work to you have to do to get your sections looking how you'd like?

 

We're looking for new software and it takes a good 3 or 4 e-mails back and forth to people selling various software to really get to the nitty gritty or whether it will or will not do what we want.

 

We plan to use in waste water industry and are also intersted in how easy it is to find a decent catalogue of parts and ease of use and functionality of MEPs routing.

 

I've used Solidworks so far for 2D drawings from 3D model and have been discussing other software with a seller. Solidworks would have been still used if it worked with dwg XREFs. A pipe fitting library would have been nice too as the pipe routing was quite tricky.

Well for one, AutoCAD MEP is designed overtop of the AutoCAD core, so it still runs and functions like AutoCAD. This translates to the fact the learning curve will be minuscule compared to other applications.

 

As for "generating 2D drawings from your model" well this isn't perfect, but it's damn close. I can create my 2D plan view drawings from my model, but there are little things here and there that are nagging about the program. Just the way it represents certain objects aren't accurate because it's not just a simple block or simple 2D linework, but still there is far greater things to worry about.

 

Sections are very complete and easy to use, only once you get the hang of them. They generate them quite well actually. You can do 3D Iso sections as well.

 

As for content, out of the box comes with plenty of your standard fittings and pipes and lots of other goodies but there is always a lack of. One thing to know is that Autodesk sees this and does provide updates. In fact, on the Subscription Center they have a Content Extension for download, read here:

US Content Extension for AutoCAD MEP 2010

 

Release Date: 2009-12-01

 

The US Content Extension for AutoCAD® MEP 2010 software provides over 300 new pipe fittings to help mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) professionals create pipe design models and drawings for projects in the United States. Contents include:

  • Cast Iron (Bell and Spigot, Hubless)
  • Ductile Iron (Flanged, Mechanical Joint, Push On)
  • HDPE (Fusion)
  • Plastic (Hub)
  • Steel (Grooved)

Content is currently available in English only.

 

I will say this... it will never be the complete program. You will always find something missing or wrong with it. But it is a very helpful tool once you understand the underpinnings of how it works. You deal with "objects and styles" instead of "lines and colors". You have a "Display System" instead of "Layer Control". These things are very advanced and somewhat cumbersome but it's all for the greater good, depending on how large your designs will be.

 

There are lots of literature and help files installed with the program that helps, along with a really good book that was recently released on Amazon.com for your intermediate to advanced tutorials and capabilities. Hope this helps you some. 8)

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spittle

Thanks, I think this is perhaps the route we're going to take next.

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tzframpton
Thanks, I think this is perhaps the route we're going to take next.

Just look at it this way, after you pay the "upgrade price" from AutoCAD to AutoCAD MEP, subscription for AutoCAD is $400/mo and subscription for AutoCAD MEP is like $525/mo or something like that. It's not that much more to own a seat, and you get essentially three programs in one: AutoCAD, AutoCAD Architecture, and AutoCAD MEP. You can run all three profiles, so you can ease into the application at your own pace.

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spittle

We've already got a few licences that we can have access to. We're trying to determine though that we've got the best tool for the job.

 

How would you rate the graphics performance of the software? Have you any experience with any particular graphics cards and drivers?

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tzframpton
We've already got a few licences that we can have access to. We're trying to determine though that we've got the best tool for the job.

 

How would you rate the graphics performance of the software? Have you any experience with any particular graphics cards and drivers?

2D Wireframe is pretty lightweight for any computer. You get into the Realistic Visual Style with a big file and it will buckle even the most extreme workstations. I suggest getting at least a decent gaming card for each computer. If your company can afford it, get some workstations and max out the RAM as much as budget allows.

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spittle

The two PCs that are most likley to be running it atleast initially have Quadro FX 1500 and FX3700. However, the FX1500 one is already having a few issues currently with the display of (random) materials and a few issues with lagging. This is with an MEP model of cylindrical chamber, some stairs and 10 or so flanged pipe fittings.

 

I've experienced issues with the 3700 in the past doing the smallest 3D model - objects dissapearing usually. However I had either the 3DS Max or Solidworks driver installed at the time so that wasn't a fair test.

 

I'm a little reluctant to put it all down to the driver though - I've also used gaming cards with modelling using standard AutoCAD and it's not long at all before things start becoming unstable.

 

What spec are you using?

 

My current spec is:

 

2x Quad Xeon 2.66GHz

8GB Ram

Quadro FX3700

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tzframpton

I have a Core 2 Duo with 8GB of RAM, and a Quadro FX1700. Use 3DCONFIG to check if your driver is certified or not, and make sure you have all the updates and hotfixes. This might be your troubling issues.

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spittle

Ok thanks, I've amended those settings before but will take a look when I get MEP.

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spittle

Regarding the routing functionality of the software -

 

Could I create a library of flanged pipes, and fittings, bends, tees, tapers, valves etc and gain any benificial routing functionailty? Or does one exist for metric Ductile Iron pipes?

 

Compared with manually placing all of my fittings? this would be a bit of a pain - and quite time consuming especially if the view of the pipe is obscurred.

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