March 22, 2011

Revit MEP 2012 New Duct/Pipe/Conduit Features

The new iteration of Autodesk Revit MEP 2012 comes packed with new features that will streamline production of Mechancial and Electrical systems. My name is Matthew Nelson, MEP Application Specialist at Ideate, Inc. Ideate has spent time reviewing these new features and in this post, I will be covering a few of the best new features that I have found to be quite useful.

The first new feature that I would like to introduce is Placeholder Pipes/Ducts.

This tool was designed to simplify the early design process. It functions as a single line duct or pipe system that can later be converted to actual geometry. This is a fantastic tool that was developed to reduce the time spent creating/coordinating layouts during the schematic design phase of a project.

The first time I tried this new feature, I have to be honest, It didn’t present the results I was expecting. I tried to create a placeholder duct system using (4) ceiling hosted supply diffusers and a fan powered VAV. I had the diffusers at 8' and the VAV at 9'6"… which I thought. No Problem! Tons of room for elbows and duct transitions. Well, I was mistaken. It wouldn’t work. It gave me this warning:

So I looked a little further into the issue. Then it dawned on me! I had not looked at the options bar!

I took a look there… and my elevation was off. I had not set my elevation to meet up properly with my main duct. Once I fixed my user error, it worked like a charm.

Here is a sample of the results of the Place Holder Duct layout that I created.

What you should also notice in the image is the new Disconnect warning that has been introduced in Revit MEP 2012. This new option will show any open connection of Duct/Pipe/Cable Tray/Conduit/or Electrical circuits. Personally, I find this to be an invaluable tool. I don’t have to chase down minuscule open connections that are causing flow errors in my ducts anymore! This should definitely cut down on time spent troubleshooting MEP systems in Revit.

Once the layout has been generally agreed upon, it can be converted in one shot to actual geometry.

When placing placeholder piping, you are given the option to add the slope values as well. As seen below:

Revit MEP 2012 has rewritten the way that it handles sloped piping, and if you would like to know more about it, please watch this blog for Lana Gochenauer’s upcoming post.

The second layout feature that has been developed for Revit MEP 2012 is Parallel Pipes/Conduit.

I know that since I have been using Revit, I have been hoping that I could cleanly layout conduit and pipes next to each other without manually manipulating the bend radius of each pipe. My dream has now become reality. Revit MEP 2012 has two new functions that can quickly produce parallel pipes and conduits. This is surely going to speed up the production end of designing complicated piping layouts!

This tool is essential for pipe/conduit gangs. The tool takes uses the initial conduit/pipe size and settings to arrays it parallel to the vertical/horizontal offset that you select. It also allows you to select a concentric radius or array the same radius. The concentric radius is based upon the initial bend radius and the offset that has been selected.

The tool is extremely easy to use and can create complex conduit/pipe runs quickly. If there is an condition in which the minimum bend radius of a conduit is not met, Revit MEP will prompt you to either use the minimum radius or cancel the creation of the parallel part.

Below are a few examples of some parallel conduits, and pipes. Please note the use of the minimum bend radius on one segment of conduit.

These new features add usability and efficiency into the already powerful Revit MEP platform. Along with these features there have been many other enhancements to the Revit Platform. Some of these platform changes directly effect the way that MEP firms will use Revit in their workflow.

Don’t forget to look through other great features our Ideate Technical Team has found in the new 2012 releases for Revit Architecture, AutoCAD, Revit Structure, Civil 3D, Navisworks and more:

Matthew Nelson
MEP Solutions Application Specialist

Matthew has a deep understanding of Autodesk products. He studied Mechanical Engineering at SUNY Stony Brook. He has been a BIM manager and CAD manager for a leading international consulting services firm utilizing AutoCAD MEP, Civil 3D and Revit MEP. During that time, he focused his skills on understanding the dynamics of inter-discipline coordination on large scale civil and building engineering projects. At Ideate, Matthew provides training and support for Revit MEP, Navisworks and AutoCAD MEP. @MNelsonIdeate

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