Pipe tools in Arch

Info about new implemented features, classes, modules or APIs. Might get technical!
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yorik
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Pipe tools in Arch

Postby yorik » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:30 pm

I added a couple of tools in the Arch WB to design plumbing systems. It is quite simple,really. The typical workflow is this:

You start placing sanitary items (below is an imported step file). You turn these objects into Arch Equipments by selecting them, and pressing the Arch Equipment button.

arch_pipe_example_01.jpg
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Arch Equipments now have a new "SnapPoints" property, which is a list of 3D vectors. This allows you to add custom snap points, to which you can snap when the new "Special" Draft snap button is turned on. Currently that property is only available to python, though. In the case above I added a new snap point at the exit of the wc appliance. The vectors inside SnapPoints appear on the model as white dots:

Code: Select all

App.ActiveDocument.Equipment.SnapPoints=[App.Vector(0,0,100)]


arch_pipe_example_02.jpg
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With the new "Snap Special" Draft Snap, you can now snap to these custom points:

arch_pipe_example_03.jpg
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Now we can draw our piping using Draft Lines, Draft Wires, or Sketches. The best way, though, is using only Draft Lines:

arch_pipe_example_04.jpg
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There is now a new Draft -> Utilities -> Set Slope tool that allows to change the slope of Draft lines, to, for example, 5% (0.05). So we can quickly give our waste lines a correct slope. Only z coordinates are change by this tool, so we only need to snap them back to each other, the top projection will stay unchanged.

arch_pipe_example_05.jpg
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We now only have to select all our lines, and press the Arch Pipe button. Arch Pipe works with any Part-based object that contains one and only one open wire.

arch_pipe_example_06.jpg
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We can now create connections by selecting 2 or 3 coincident tubes, and press the Arch PipeConnector button. If 3 pipes are selected, two of them must be aligned in order to create a tee element:

arch_pipe_example_07.jpg
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Changing the connectors radius doesn't change the length of the underlying base line, only the resulting tube (by changing their OffsetStart or OffsetEnd property). So you can still draw your line layout with only straight lines, without the need to care about curves and radius.

It is also possible to create Arch Pipes without a base line, in this case use its "Length" property to define the length.

So far these tubes cannot be exported to IFC, I have to see first how that works...
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Arch Pipe Example.FCStd
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triplus
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby triplus » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:13 pm

Thanks for creating such feature and providing documentation and use case on how to use it.
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NormandC
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby NormandC » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:15 am

Yorik, thanks for this new tool, can't wait to test it! I'll see if I can find it a purpose it was not intended for. :twisted:
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yorik
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby yorik » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:30 pm

NormandC wrote:I'll see if I can find it a purpose it was not intended for. :twisted:


Oh, I trust you... :mrgreen:
Joyas
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby Joyas » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:50 pm

When I did my Final Year Project (with Autodesk Revit) I had this idea:

You have a 2D sketch (xy), some "entry points", and a "drain point" of it, then, the algorithm generates the pipes based on that sketch with the selected slope. The grid is connected with the entry points with vertical pipes. Also the "drain point" should have a certain angle.

The problem of this idea is that is complex. The advantage is that some pipes are changed, the grid could be updated with very little effort.
___

PS: It's only a idea, I know that It is very difficult to code it.
I prefer JavaScript, I don't like Python indentation.
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yorik
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby yorik » Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:38 pm

Joyas wrote:You have a 2D sketch (xy), some "entry points", and a "drain point" of it, then, the algorithm generates the pipes based on that sketch with the selected slope. The grid is connected with the entry points with vertical pipes. Also the "drain point" should have a certain angle.

There are many ways to do such automatic designs, but yeah, that's complex... The possibilities are many...
renatorivo
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby renatorivo » Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:32 pm

Could we have a "SnapSpecial", or something similar, for each object of the document,
and without converting it into Equipement? (The category or module could be Piping).

It would be useful for connecting various healthcare equipment, sink, bathtub, shower tray,
and also to create piping system with threaded fittings (distribution grid, water, gas)

Here, a pipe and a fitting,
tubo e raccordo.png
tubo e raccordo.png (24.26 KiB) Viewed 1727 times

if both have a special point, you may think that you just select them and a function allows you to join them "on the fly", joining the two special points.

I hope this is not too complicated. Thank you for all that there is already.

Renato
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yorik
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby yorik » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:50 am

renatorivo wrote:Could we have a "SnapSpecial", or something similar, for each object of the document,
and without converting it into Equipement? (The category or module could be Piping).

That would make C++ modules like Part dependent on Draft, which is a python module, that is very dangerous, we try to avoid that.
Note that tube like yours above already have a snap point (the center of circular edges). So snapping these objects together is already possible.

Of course the Pipe stuff can and should be extended a lot yet, for ex. hollow tubes, threads, etc.
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby lalberts » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:38 pm

How does these pipings fit to the constraints model in the mechanical modeling?
Is it possible to catch a pipe and move it around , the length of all fitting get automatically corrected?
Something tells you, uhps the slope is not respected anymore, or collision with a wall..
Can we export a parts-list of all the piping?

I am looking for an electro module for FreeCAD. There also you need to connect different objects. But add also some operator to it (to calculate the power consumption). I found some PhD work about ifc and open-modelica on the net.

It is all about the mapping of the objects. Have you seen yEd (from yWorks gmbh Tübingen, germany. a graphing tool. We need something similar but with more freedom on the nodes (adding physical modules, modelica nodes or so.)

I follow all this from far away, and I am very enthousiastic on your work. Amazing what already has been reached.

the organisation of the CAD objects needs to be set carefully so that we can compete with Revit/ArchiCAd at some time. I believe it is starting from the mechanical constraints tools to be set.. but this one should be extendable to architecture purpose like piping or electro.

I believe nothing new for you. Just some loud thoughts.
Good continuation
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yorik
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Re: Pipe tools in Arch

Postby yorik » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:36 pm

hi,
there is nothing to do that kind of checks at the moment, (collisions, slope changed, etc..) but it wouldn't be hard to add. Also, in its current implementation, the pipe is unmovable from its baseline (same as PartDesign Pad), which can be handy or an annoyance, it's hard to tell at this stage.
As always, the more people begin to use these tools, the faster they will take their definitive shape