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MEP Product Research

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Dear all,

As a Product Manager for MEP related developments I would like to better understand the needs of architects and engineers using our products. Because of this I have compiled the following survey: https://bit.ly/GSMEP.

Responses are more than welcome. I'm also open to any ideas you might have regarding this topic, feel free to provide them here in this topic.

Best regards,
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager
96 REPLIES 96

Aaron Bourgoin
Booster
This is a survey worth filling out by architects and MEP professionals using AC MEP. Might I suggest you also prepare a survey for us to share with non AC consultants as I'm certain that their feedback as it relates to collaborating with us on integrated design would be useful for us and for Graphisoft.

M&E consultants in Canada are coming to BIM very slowly. So slow, in fact that one of your clients in Western Canada established their own Mechanical Engineering group. Our offices are working with only two engineering firms that are using BIM at all. The rest make 2D drawings that range from purely schematic plans to ones that show proper equipments, piping and ducting, but only in 2D.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

bouhmidage
Enthusiast
Good news
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3080 10 GB

Archicad 23

Windows 10 professional

https://www.behance.net/Nuance-Architects

Thank you for asking!!!
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

William Yan
Booster
yes! MEP is very important in BIM. Pipes and ducts need to be very easy to create and modify, and change hight.
AC 23/24 CHI, Windows 10

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Aaron wrote:
This is a survey worth filling out by architects and MEP professionals using AC MEP. Might I suggest you also prepare a survey for us to share with non AC consultants as I'm certain that their feedback as it relates to collaborating with us on integrated design would be useful for us and for Graphisoft.

M&E consultants in Canada are coming to BIM very slowly. So slow, in fact that one of your clients in Western Canada established their own Mechanical Engineering group. Our offices are working with only two engineering firms that are using BIM at all. The rest make 2D drawings that range from purely schematic plans to ones that show proper equipments, piping and ducting, but only in 2D.
Hi Aaron,

A survey for non AC consultants would be certainly useful. I targeted the architecture segment with this survey as we have much more users in architecture and could receive enough responses to arrive at conclusions.

I would be happy to create such survey if I could gather enough responses for it.

Thanks for all the other responses, the survey is still open, feel free to provide your opinion!
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Graham Whipple
Participant
Balint,

Thanks for getting this survey out. We are continuing to establish reasonable workflows using the MEP tools but hope the tools and workflows can be improved. I am hoping you have received my survey.

Graham
Resin Architecture
Idaho USA

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Graham wrote:
Balint,

Thanks for getting this survey out. We are continuing to establish reasonable workflows using the MEP tools but hope the tools and workflows can be improved. I am hoping you have received my survey.

Graham
Hi Graham,

Thanks for your response. We will have more focus on this area in the future, but for AC24 we will already integrate it into ARCHICAD, so there will be no license and separate installation required. With AC24 update 1 we will also provide some improvements on it which will hopefully provide help to both architects using it for collaboration and MEP professionals using it for modeling.
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Jp1138
Expert
Balint wrote:

Hi Graham,

Thanks for your response. We will have more focus on this area in the future, but for AC24 we will already integrate it into ARCHICAD, so there will be no license and separate installation required. With AC24 update 1 we will also provide some improvements on it which will hopefully provide help to both architects using it for collaboration and MEP professionals using it for modeling.

At last!
ARCHICAD 24 SPA
Windows 10

bouhmidage
Enthusiast
So the first guidelines of archicad 24 pop up integrated mep modeller,
Archicad is going in depth into engeneering and coordination
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 3080 10 GB

Archicad 23

Windows 10 professional

https://www.behance.net/Nuance-Architects

vdentello
Participant
I've used MEP quite a bit around here. I Think it's really promising.

My biggest concerns are more GDL related. It's not so easy to build connections for elements.
If GDL had even line numbering or some colors on the editor it would already make things a lot easier. (natively). An easier connection "function" could help. This way users can customise their own stuff and don't have to wait forever.

Regarding usability, what i miss most is segment Length (gotta map it in a weird way), predefined angle x size charts, so it "Switches" between the pre existing/ configured favorites.

About tracing, i miss being able to draw slopes in % as we do with roofs. I believe that's a pretty simple one to solve.

Changing tracing direction could be a bit easier (as it is with lines that change to arcs on the go). Referencing on last segment as standard, etc.
Archicad User Since 2013
GDL Developer
Experimenting with API
from Brazil

Lukas Zeleny
Participant
To attract more MEP professionals to Archicad it is essential to include also capacity calculations.
But it's definitely a good direction to focus on MEP.
BIM Manager at SIEBERT+TALAŠ
www.sieberttalas.com

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
vdentello wrote:
I've used MEP quite a bit around here. I Think it's really promising.

My biggest concerns are more GDL related. It's not so easy to build connections for elements.
If GDL had even line numbering or some colors on the editor it would already make things a lot easier. (natively). An easier connection "function" could help. This way users can customise their own stuff and don't have to wait forever.
Thanks for the feedback. Could you elaborate a bit more on the connection issues and ideas? What do you mean by it is not so easy to build connections for elements?
Regarding usability, what i miss most is segment Length (gotta map it in a weird way), predefined angle x size charts, so it "Switches" between the pre existing/ configured favorites.

About tracing, i miss being able to draw slopes in % as we do with roofs. I believe that's a pretty simple one to solve.

Changing tracing direction could be a bit easier (as it is with lines that change to arcs on the go). Referencing on last segment as standard, etc.
Segment length can be already defined in MEP Preferences, although you can only change it by type of element (pipe, duct, cable carrier). I can imagine an option here to set it by system type.

What would you like to see with the predefined angles? Two different angle series and easy change between them?

For the slope modeling, you are already able to do it in %. You just have to change the Rise/drop unit inside the MEP Preferences window to Percentage. Then you can route sloped pipes with % setting.
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
Lukas wrote:
To attract more MEP professionals to Archicad it is essential to include also capacity calculations.
But it's definitely a good direction to focus on MEP.
Thanks Lukas for the feedback. What do you mean by capacity calculations? Are you referring to electrical calculations that help with electrical modeling?
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

I think there is a fine line here between architectural representation and full blown specialist tools. From an architectural perspective I would like the basic MEP modelling tools to make a reasonably accurate 3D representation of MEP services, especially if the external consultant is still stuck in 2D land. There are also basic services such as gravity drainage and simple ventilation which many practices can reasonably design in-house which the current MEP toolset could address. I think when you start venturing into the realms of flow modelling GS should be developing specialist packages which allow third party consultants to read the PLN model and share basic modelled routing layouts for collision checks etc but any modelling calculations and detailing should be held as a separate file by the consultant. This could also apply to other disciplines as well e.g. Structural Engineering steel FEA checks, rebar schedules etc. I am just wary of the PLN file and Archicad becoming even more BLOATED with options that the average architect just doesn't need and will distract users from their primary work flow.
Apple iMac macOS Big Sur / AC24UKI (most recent builds)

Aaron Bourgoin
Booster
In 1999, when Graphisoft was not yet part of Nemetchek (circa 2006), they purchased a UK firm called Cymap that was Revit MEP and more - long before there was a Revit MEP.

https://www.graphisoft.com/info/news/press_releases/cymap.html

I had a demo version of this and had some online live demos. It was quite brilliant.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC23-3003 USA / AC24-4018 USA
Rhino 7 Mac
OSX 10.14.6 & 11.3.1

vdentello
Participant
Balint wrote:
vdentello wrote:
I've used MEP quite a bit around here. I Think it's really promising.

My biggest concerns are more GDL related. It's not so easy to build connections for elements.
If GDL had even line numbering or some colors on the editor it would already make things a lot easier. (natively). An easier connection "function" could help. This way users can customise their own stuff and don't have to wait forever.
Thanks for the feedback. Could you elaborate a bit more on the connection issues and ideas? What do you mean by it is not so easy to build connections for elements?
Connections need almost 20 parameters each, that have to be created one by one inside the parameter tab.
I need to create a Draing with 8 possible connections and don't even wanna think about how much time i'm spending just doing this. The documentation is quite Short.

The GDL issue is that once you start setting up, everthing is still black and white. As it gets bigger, it becomes a mess. There are not even line numbers in GDL for a quick look.

If only recognized parameters or even just the comments became another color, it would be awesome.
Balint wrote:
Regarding usability, what i miss most is segment Length (gotta map it in a weird way), predefined angle x size charts, so it "Switches" between the pre existing/ configured favorites.

About tracing, i miss being able to draw slopes in % as we do with roofs. I believe that's a pretty simple one to solve.

Changing tracing direction could be a bit easier (as it is with lines that change to arcs on the go). Referencing on last segment as standard, etc.
Segment length can be already defined in MEP Preferences, although you can only change it by type of element (pipe, duct, cable carrier). I can imagine an option here to set it by system type.

What would you like to see with the predefined angles? Two different angle series and easy change between them?

For the slope modeling, you are already able to do it in %. You just have to change the Rise/drop unit inside the MEP Preferences window to Percentage. Then you can route sloped pipes with % setting.
About segment length i meant the IFC mapping of it and the schedules, I know how to pick them up inside the object, but they could be more explicit or passed to value "A".

Something Like that, and maybe setting a custom predefined Favorite for each angle
For now, unless you pick up the predefinition before a bend, its gonna choose something that is not right.
Something like a C++ Switch wich would check the angles and select the predefined bend/ radius/ size just like manufacturer sizes. Maybe those could look up to a simple txt/ XML sheet that has the favorite name/ rules.

The slope just caught me I never new about this! I've always expected to change it on the go, just like the roof tool.
Archicad User Since 2013
GDL Developer
Experimenting with API
from Brazil

Njegos T
Beginner
I have a couple of suggestions.
I created my library as a favorite of several material manufacturers used in my state. If I have drawn a pipe and the next element is bend, the MEP should automatically recognize the diameter of the pipe and suggest which angle I want to use. MEP has this option, but it only changes the diameter of the favorites that I used before and the other settings remain the same.
Also, it should be an option to change the shape of the connector and band shape( change point position of (B) Bend Radius).
Also a suggestion for creating schedules. When I made my schedules I had to add a new Property Manager and a new Classification Manager to make it easier to identify favorites, but I never managed to make a table that would sum up the lengths of pipes of a certain diameter and material, which are bought per meter long, not piece by piece.
There is a lot of small things that I would like to change, but I don't know is it worth for the others not just for me.

Braza
Newcomer
If GS is trying to improve AC MEP capabilities, I would suggest to contact a guy named Valeriy Ivanov.
You can find information about his work here.
He seems to be well versed in AC MEP GDL and has a very solid work in this area.
Perhaps a partnership with him to improve AC MEP Library.
Anyway... I don't think GS should spend much resources trying to do what other dedicated software do better for decades.
IMHO, Just improving the MEP library and minor tweaking on the input nodes would be enough.

Cheers,

p.s.: Here is a video about his latest works.

Paulo Henrique Santos, Architect
AC24_INT#3008 / I7 / 16Gb / 512Mb SSD / Windows 10

Balint Kezer
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
DGSketcher wrote:
I think there is a fine line here between architectural representation and full blown specialist tools. From an architectural perspective I would like the basic MEP modelling tools to make a reasonably accurate 3D representation of MEP services, especially if the external consultant is still stuck in 2D land. There are also basic services such as gravity drainage and simple ventilation which many practices can reasonably design in-house which the current MEP toolset could address. I think when you start venturing into the realms of flow modelling GS should be developing specialist packages which allow third party consultants to read the PLN model and share basic modelled routing layouts for collision checks etc but any modelling calculations and detailing should be held as a separate file by the consultant. This could also apply to other disciplines as well e.g. Structural Engineering steel FEA checks, rebar schedules etc. I am just wary of the PLN file and Archicad becoming even more BLOATED with options that the average architect just doesn't need and will distract users from their primary work flow.

Thanks for the feedback. The goal is not necessarily to create a software that has everything in-house, GRAPHISOFT has always been on the front of the OpenBIM movement. There are specialist software for each task, when everything is combined in one software, there will be shortcomings.
Balint Kezer
GRAPHISOFT Product Manager

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