There is no general heading for this so I have stuck it in the general archicad forum. Moderators move it to wherever you like.
I have now been using MEP Modeller quite intensively (non-production work) to try to get it to work as an overall 3D model with my clients who are also using archicad. I have spent considerable time on it in the last two months during a slow down in our work to try to get it to a point where it was a usefull 3D production tool. The intent was to set up office standards so that all future office MEP work would be 3D as a matter of course.
MEP has a lot of limitations and some bugs that need someone to pay attention to and fix before it can be seriously considered in production in a consulting engineering office.
The main problems are:
- saved 3D models (eg a fan coil unit for a specific manufacturer) do not retain both duct and pipe connectors. Fan coil units usually have a supply air (outlet) connector and a return air (inlet) duct connector. They also have two refrigerant pipe connectors and a condensate pipe connector. When the model is set up with these connectors and saved as an MEP 3D model, and then try to insert the model into a new drawing, the model loses either the pipe or the duct connectors (random)n and sometimes both.
- MEP has no facility to retain specific pen settings for objects. You can specifically go through and set up "MEP Systems" for items such as ducts, pipes etc and give those specific pen settings and save this as a template file and provided you use the template file, ducts etc will insert to those pre-set setting - BUT this does NOT work for equipment objects. Every time you insert an equipment object it defaults to the preset Graphisoft determined pens (which are not good selections by the way) and you have to go through and edit EVERY object EVERY time you insert it
- whilst in MEP Systems, you can select a default centre-line linetype, you CANNOT set a default pen for the centreline, so as long as you like the default Graphisoft very thick centreline you have to select and edit every object after insertion. This applies for pipes, ductcs, bends etc. That is you cannot just select all your pipework after insertion and change the centreline pen, because it will only change one object at a time and a pipe bend is a different object to a straight pipe and so is a pipe Tee.
- the routing dialogue totally ignores the Layer you set for it. For some reason, even though I set refrigerant pipes to go on the layer "M-ac-pipes" MEP will put it on another layer. - Why? - I don't know.
- you cannot rotate 3D objects about the X or Y axis. Not in standard archicad that is. I have used Objective (very neat add-on and should be incorporated into basic archicad because it brings sketchup into the archicad environment without a separate app) and can rotate objects verticall using their rotate tool BUT when you do archicad drops all connectors. They are still there (say as a pipe connection) but they lose all their connector parameters, so this is useless. A good example is MEP supplies some models of condensing units. These are all vertical discharge type (that is with the grilles on top). Not all condensing units are vertical discharge - a lot are horizontal discharge so the easy solution is to rotate an existing model about the X axis so it stands up and then set dimensions etc. You can't do this with archicad. You can do it using the expansive add on "Objective" but when you do, you lose the pipe connector parameters.
So, these are the five major issues I have found with MEP. They are so major that the MEP system cannot be considered a competitive production tool yet. Fix these 5 issues and it will be.
I seriously hope someone is listening and can address these issues.
I am sure someone is listening (and reading) at GS.
I also let the guys at GS know about this post so I am sure they will read it. I encourage you to write up all your experiences as they will prove very useful in the future development of MEP.
.................................................................................................... Get Archicad Tips at https://twitter.com/laszlonagy AMD Ryzen 1700X CPU, 48 GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB, 500 GB NVMe SSD 2x28" (2560x1440), WIN10 PRO ENG, AC20-AC25 Loving Archicad since 1995
I will preface this by saying i have not actually used the MEP Add-On yet but am very interested in it and will hopefully have the time to get to it sooner rather than later..
mclean wrote: There is no general heading for this so I have stuck it in the general archicad forum. Moderators move it to wherever you like.
Yes this should probably have its own MEP forum/header.
mclean wrote: MEP has a lot of limitations and some bugs that need someone to pay attention to and fix before it can be seriously considered in production in a consulting engineering office.
I thought i had read somewhere that GS did not intend this product to be used for documenting MEP, rather simply to give Architects the tools in ArchiCAD to model MEP systems for coordination in 3D - needed because at least in my experience back in Aus MEP engineers rarely (if ever) did anything in 3D to coordinate with the Arch+Structural drawings. It was the #1 coordination problem on any project. All major consultants working in 3D should have been mandatory IMO.
Not saying i agree with this approach to the MEP Add-on, but that is what i had heard was GS position (it was someone authoritative on these forums but i cannot remember whom sorry). If you think it is (almost) capable of producing MEP documents then that is a good thing IMO - the architects job is not to model the engineers drawings to check it has been coordinated, so for me MEP should have some greater purpose than this. Great that you guys are doing this.
mclean wrote: - MEP has no facility to retain specific pen settings for objects....
This is the same with standard AC objects .. can MEP objects/tools be saved as Favourites and accessed via the Favourites Palette? - these will remember all settings for an object/tool including Pens, Linetypes, etc
Another option is to set up a 'Reference Storey' where you can place preconfigured elements, show this storey as a 'Trace Reference' and use the eye-dropper to quickly grab settings from these as required.
mclean wrote: - saved 3D models (eg a fan coil unit for a specific manufacturer) do not retain both duct and pipe connectors...
- the routing dialogue totally ignores the Layer you set for it....
Sound like bugs and/or just half-baked functionality to me. Certainly important enough to warrant a patch.
mclean wrote: - you cannot rotate 3D objects about the X or Y axis. Not in standard archicad that is. I have used Objective...
You have encountered a long-standing problem (and wishlist item) with ArchiCAD - no rotation of objects out of the XY Plane. Stupid limitation but one that when fixed would probably require all existing objects to be re-written to take account of this (or live with plan representation being incorrect). Big task GS .. but thats life, get on with it.
BTW - Your signature, you pulling our leg? That is some serious, serious hardware ..