Objects and connectors
MEP objects are special 3D-Objects that contain connectors inside. Within the Design Center, the software library, they can be identified by a special marker in the preview.
Connectors are anchor points that allow you to connect pipes or ducts.
The connector is a fundamental component in MEP modeling, it provides the diameter or section properties of the pipe/duct to be connected, as well as the system properties, i.e. the MEP discipline to which that connection point refers. The connector can also be assigned a series of non-geometric information such as the flow rate or direction of a flow, any losses or other values that can be used for design purposes.
By querying the properties of an MEP object, the software displays the connectors.
Connectors appear as Markers/Grips in 2D-View and 3D-View. You can start drawing new pipes from them.
Creating a new MEP Object
To create a new MEP object, simply place any 3D-Object inside the work area and start associating connectors to it.
Using the commands on the ribbon it is possible to create connectors respectively for Pipes or for Ducts, and with a rectangular rather than a circular section.
After selecting the object, click on one of its surfaces. Its center will be detected and the connector inserted on it.
Subsequently, using the mouse and dialogs that appear on the screen, it is possible to determine the outlet direction of the pipe, the effective section profile of the connector, and the system properties.
If the object does not have flat surfaces suitable for positioning the connector, some additional commands allow you to create virtual support planes for the subsequent creation of the connector.
MEP objects from external files in RFA format
The .rfa (Revit Family) format is a very widespread format which is establishing itself as a standard among manufacturers of components for plant engineering. There are several sources on the web from which to retrieve mep objects in this format. ARCHLine.XP imports the .rfa format and allows mep objects to be downloaded directly from portals such as BIM Objects.
NOTE: Manufacturers often "exaggerate" with the complexity of their models because they tend to include many details of a geometric nature (they often use the same 3D models used for production). The use of very heavy objects makes it difficult for the designer to manage a large quantity of them in a complete project. We recommend that you carefully select the objects you use for your design.
To import an MEP Object use the commands from the File menu - Import - RFA, TVT
Once the file has been selected, or downloaded via the internal ARCHLine.XP browser from one of the compatible portals, the software will automatically open the sketch mode, temporarily closing the project you were working on.
Within this modality there is only the imported object, and exploded in all its components.
In this mode, if necessary, we can clean the object from unnecessary 3D parts, or add others.
To save the object use the Sketch Mode menus.
The software will ask where to save the object in the library.
Note: the imported BIM parameters are saved together the object. If there are any, the connectors are also stored.