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Creating custom duct fittings as MV Part, What do you think? and some more questions!


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Hello everyone,


I have some questions...

I know that custom duct/pipe fittings have to be created as parametric parts, not MV parts.


But from my humble experience of spending more than 48 hours trying to create a rectangular concentric Y branch duct fitting, I say no more messing with the AMEP parametric part builder! The user interface is too difficult, (I mean come on, I can't even use the UNDO command (Ctrl + Z)... What to to expect!


I remember long time ago, creating HVAC equipment using the MV part method, was a piece of cake for me.... But I hear that this method should not be used to create fittings (duct/pipes etc) .... It's only for equipment!



  • Are there disadvantages for that?




  • Is there, somewhere... or someone, who has a collection of duct fittings to be used with AMEP.. I mean that which are created as parametric parts... I wonder if you guys would feel okay sharing with us what you have, just like the old days when we shared Autocad blocks and details!



That's it for now,

Thanks in advance.

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I have been too busy through the past few years to dive into this and I've always wanted to. There is a good book that has a small reference of creating Parametric Fittings here:

AutoCAD MEP 2011: The Aubin Academy


It's a book that covers an overall aspect of AutoCAD MEP, not just specifically parametric HVAC fittings. The area it covers is very detailed, however, and can give you a good grasp on the general methods and techniques to possibly accomplish what you're trying to achieve. Or, you could always give a true design to fab software a try, such as CAD-Duct or Eastcoast CAM, which gives you a vast array of true real world catalog of parts and fittings used by fab shops. This saves you the need to spend the countless labor in creating your own in-house library of customized fittings and parts.


And you are correct, MvParts are only good for things like equipment and accessory objects, not pipe or duct objects.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There is also Virtual Mechanical. It does almost everything the other add-on does (and a lot that it doesnt) for a small fraction of the cost. Doing the math... VM is currently packaged with 106 real world parametric parts in the duct catalog alone. If you spent an hour building each part yourself, at 45 dollars an hour thats $4770 dollars! The entire VM software and content package is only $1500, and about $10,500 cheaper than the other package. It easily pays for itself on the first project.

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I can attest for Virtual Mechanical. I have been using it now for almost a year. It is hands down the best AMEP add software you can get for your money. Easy and simple, especially if you are already familiar with the AMEP enviroment. I will put my sheet metal shop drawings up against any EastCost :) or TSI (CADDuct) anyday. It does not have a CAM package like some of the others, but you will be up around 25,000$ with most others adding a CAM package.

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I would actually love to get my hands on Virtual Mechanical. We have a fab shop and we also use CAD-Duct and I would rather use a program that uses AutoCAD MEP native objects, which I'm assuming VM does by the videos? I would be able to produce very good and true "shop drawings" then.

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you can get a trial version from their website.

I know it's not CAD-Duct, but I have worked on some larger BIM jobs this past year, in which I was not the only CAD sub doing shops. The other company used CAD-Duct, and my shops were just as detailed... It's kind of funny, I was entertaining a CAD-Duct purchase for about a year, but then I can across Virtual Mechanical. I was hung up on the price with CAD-Duct but mostly hung-up on the fact that you can't "test drive" it..... TSI gave me a "sales-demo" but for 15,000$ I've gotta have more that a "sales-demo" if you know what I mean :)

Virtual is even slowly adding some piping features, plus their very "Accesible" as far as tech-support and user input.

I think they are even based out of the great state of TEXAS! (I won't hold that against Y'all :lol:)

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So are the duct objects native MEP objects or no? It looked as if they were. If they are then that is fantastic. CAD-Duct creates its own Proxy Entities and I can't stand that about CAD-Duct. We use that here, our senior CAD designer uses it. He's really good with it too but still... sheesh, $15k was a big purchase.

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The VM parts are 100% real AMEP parts. :)


You can open them up in Catalog Editor/Content Builder, change their elevation, flanges, liner, object display, etc... Anything you can do with the stock AMEP parts you can do with VM parts and much more.

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