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About Archicad's design tools, element connections, modeling concepts, etc.

MEP 27 - The New Feature that never happened


Can someone from Graphisoft please step up and own the current abject failure to deliver the renewed MEP Modeller?


Today I joined the many others who have had to return to using AC26 in order to deliver on our MEP commitments.


We all pay out for GS to deliver improvements to AC, yet here we are 7 months later with a key feature broken & software we can't use. Can someone at least tell us what we can expect in terms of delivery of fixing this MEP debacle and when?


It's bad enough struggling with the 3D screen "grey outs", and the disappointment of new features that suddenly became experimental, but finding a fundamental tool is no longer useable... 🙄

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

Hi Balint,

Thanks for looking at these points.

1. I have now found the missing objects. But adding a double Tee or Wye to a sloping or vertical pipe using the Pipe Fitting Tool isn't possible? There can only be a single connection when joining pipes onto a run?

2. Someone suggested not long ago that removal of nodes in polygons & poly lines should be removed by double clicking. I like that suggestion, especially if there is consistency between tools. The drag option can in some situations generate unexpected outcomes.

3. That's not what I am seeing and if I use the context [Relink home storey] menu item then the elements change their height - they shouldn't with that option!  Perhaps sending you a copy of my PLN file would help identify some of the display problems?

4. What I was looking for was to take a run of pipes containing different slopes between nodes and average them from the lowest to the highest point so all the slopes are the same e.g. I have three segments of equal length but different slopes of 10mm/m, 30mm/m & 20mm/m. I want them to adjust so they are all set to 20mm/m either by AC doing the averaging or letting the user set the slope with the node heights adjusting automatically.


A couple of more points:

Undo/Redo doesn't seem to function correctly e.g. the results are consistent with the previous state.

Placing pipe parts don't associate with the connected run.


Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

My answers to your points:

  1. It is possible to add any kind of Fitting to a sloped route and these elements will become sloped as well:


  2. Yes, that could be a way of doing it, but it still not addresses what should happen to labels, when each side of the pipe/duct is labeled.
  3. Yes, please send me your file, I would be happy to check out the issue you described. As far with the relinking we are aware of that issue.
  4. Currently there is no such smart functionality, but I'm interested to hear about your opinion of the best possible sloping workflow.
  5. What are you trying to undo that does not work?
  6. Are these pipe parts in the same system? Connections only stand when the system is the same between the ports of the elements.
Balint Kezer
Senior Product Manager

Hi Balint,

Sorry but I am getting frustrated again!!!


What stress testing or QA assessments are you doing if any? Are you actually trying to create a drain layout for instance rather than just relying on an opinion of "The code looks ok so it should work."?


If we delete a node and there are two labels either leave them in place if they don't auto reposition or delete one. It's part of the drawing process.


Undo failure - I need to get back to you on that. I can't recall what I did the other day that required a run to be completely redrawn! What I do remember is disconnecting the upper main pipe to a branch and not being able to undo to reconnect. 


I just had to move my building on site using the "All floors" selection method... ( bear in mind I have been doing this for 28 years! ), guess what elements didn't move. And no it isn't down to locking or visibility status.


MEP elements don't respond to the Quick Layers pallet.


We should be able to place a branch pipe fitting into a run rather than just tagging it on the end.


The branch fittings don't inherit the system default diameters when changed in the tool settings.


There should be an alert when trying to connect pipes from different systems or layers.


Relevant stories isn't working. Show on Home storey only works if the pipe run is within the storey height zone. Even if the FPCP is set to show below the home storey level the pipe won't always show. I need to draw sloping pipes that may run across multiple storeys. It should be possible to draw all the pipes on a single storey and have them display even if they pass outside the storey zone. The rest of AC e.g. walls works this way.


I will issue a drawing when I have time. I am now about to try and move all those pipes that didn't respond to the marquee... hopefully without having to redraw everything... 😡

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

@Balint Kezer wrote:
Are these pipe parts in the same system? Connections only stand when the system is the same between the ports of the elements.

This is something that bugs me. So this is suppose to be a modern MEP modeller but still it isn't system oriented? The system should be the first thing that is defined and then elements should be added to the system - keeping them together and playing nice. Instead we are left with a bunch of routes, branches, fittings, accessories and equipment floating around in model space. Whats modern about that? And perhaps more importantly is this due to technical limitations of AC or conceptual ignorance of developers?


I mean the baseline for a MEP modeller in a modern architectural CAD/BIM must the ability to hard connect a shower drain to a pipe or vice versa just by a click in floor plan. No need to match system attributes, no need to model vertical elbows, no need to reconnect when moving.

@Balint Kezer In addition to my previous comments and as @thesleepofreason has indicated, probably one of the biggest frustrations is the "System" concept is seriously lacking. The more I analyse my drawing to get it to work the more you can see the complete failure to connect the dots e.g. we should be able to select a pipe system and know that everything that is drawn will coordinate. At present I can connect two pipes - (same layer, story, system) - and end up with a branch connection that is in the right place but has on a completely different home story. That's like drawing with a composite wall, turning a corner and ending up with a different composite wall on a different story - it shouldn't happen!


Switching between relevant & home only display produces warnings that things have moved and are no longer visible when they haven't moved.


All this stuff including my earlier comments isn't fine tuning / teething problems, it is fundamental coding failures that seem to lack any degree of QA testing. It just smells of a rushed release because someone wants to say "We've done this amazing rewrite!" and just hope people don't pick up on the fact it doesn't work. And if someone thinks it's ok to get the end user to find the faults & tell you what should be happening when they've paid you to deliver working software, well that is just grossly insulting.


This situation needs corrected quicker than soon!

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

@Balint Kezer Thought you might like a further update...

I have deleted all my zero & intermediate height story levels to simplify adjusting the pipe routing and hopefully finally be able to present that information in 2D. Guess what happened to the pipe junctions on the lower story beyond what was deleted, yes, you guessed, the junctions moved and the pipes stayed in place. So much for the "system" and coordinating everything.


I'm now heading back to fix all my pipe runs again. Three days to do what should have been a three hour job. 🙄


Can you explain this?...



Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

Balint Kezer

Hi Trevor,


Thanks for the feedback about your experience!


My comments:

  • I guess most of the time labeling is happening at the end of a project during the documentation phase and moving nodes are more relevant during modeling in earlier phases. In most cases it can be a non-issue.
  • What do you mean by "system default diameters"?
  • When trying to connect a route to an MEP element that are on a different System, the element won't be highlighted. While you will receive the highlight when trying to connect to a port that has the same System. But I understand that it would be clearer if there would be a pop-up saying the issue explicitly.
  • Regarding the layers and systems point I have a question: How are you using these? Are there situations where there are elements with the same system but different layers (or vice versa)?

Valid point and you also touched why we had to dish the old MEP Modeler technology. With that this way of modeling was out of question and I know that the new solution is still raw and broken in some places, but I promise you that it will get significant upgrades and will provide the modeling experience that you described in the end. I know it would be better now, but unfortunately it takes time. But I cannot emphasize it enough that your feedback is really important to make sure, that we are building the appropriate product.

Balint Kezer
Senior Product Manager

Jim Allen

I have come late to the MEP party.


I didn't install AC26 (no point, not enough features to make the ball ache of template updates, libraries, drawings conversion and upgrade of all stations & toolsets worthwhile) so I tried to use them for modelling some simple drainage in 3D in AC27.


Everything seemed to work okay for some simple drain runs. We added just 3 pipe runs, vertical soil pipes transitioning to horizontal drain runs - and built some manholes (anyone planning some parametric models for these?) and they basically broke the whole building model, which was working fine before, even with imported IFC structure from Revit.


The software hung after a couple of minutes. Having to restart the machine because some over-zealous IT security policy has disabled task manager is really no fun. Removing the MEP pipes and replacing them with columns and beams worked fine. 


Not a great start - and just 3 pipes caused a catastrophic fail. Same behaviour on Windows and Mac, but at least I can force quit on my Mac, because our IT security Taliban don't understand Macs...


So there's clearly quite a lot of work to be done. I don't know why there wasn't extensive beta testing with users before releasing this.


MEP pipe routing tools are going to be used for the following purposes:

  1. Cabling
  2. Ductwork
  3. Pipework
  4. Conduits
  5. Cable trays

There might be more, but as an architect - pipes and wires aren't my thing.


Each path type has different requirements in terms of things like terminals/outlets, connections, turns, angles, curves and gradients, and different data properties.

Drainage for example needs gradient information, pipework and I would argue it would be useful to have options to display start and end levels as labels. Drainage also needs wall thickness and material information.


I would argue that you need a different path type for each element type, with the relevant properties and parameters built in. You can't easily use the same tool for a cable tray as a surface water drain.


Without knowing what these components do, how they are constructed and drawn, and what level of information is typically required, you can't possibly create toolsets to draw/model them effectively.


You may as well extrude a morph along a path, or use beams and columns with components for the connections and terminals. Routing path tools for these things need the kind of complexity provided by tools like railings, stairs and curtain walls.


A community of beta testers could have clearly defined the requirements, and I suspect parametric GDL objects could have been used. It works with gutters and downpipes. At least there would have been no compatibility issues between versions. 




Archicad 27 UKI | OS X 12.7.1 Monterey

Hi Balint,

The fact there might be an unnecessary label isn't a problem in the big picture. You asked about pain points... my biggest one is not having a label to verify the slopes or levels without tedious cross checks between 2D & 3D views. Could we at least have a slope label in 27.1.1 please or sooner!


If I pick pipe fitting [Pipe Double Sanitary Tee 27] for instance and set it to my current MEP pipe system then pipe diameter [A] doesn't change and isn't updated when placed either. 


Pipe Sanitary Tee 27 is broken(?). You can't set the MEP system and placing in 3D doesn't connect to the end of the existing pipe. Not a problem with the Double version.


If I draw a pipe route and then add a branch using the same pipe settings, the auto generated branch connection will use the pipe branch layer setting rather than naturally inheriting the pipe settings. The branch may also be using its own "Home Story" setting. A pipe route should have a single "Home Story" based on the first point drawn. And as I mentioned above they should be capable of displaying across stories the same as the rest of the AC ecosystem.


With regards to the system & layers... if I pick an MEP System e.g. "Surface Water Drains" then I would like everything drawn with that system to be placed on the associated layer e.g. "SW Drains". The exception I can see to this is pipe terminal fittings (& possibly equipment) where having them on a different layer could assist other trades e.g. a collection point in a path. But I assume these could be changed manually if required. The default should keep a system on the same layer.


When can we expect 27.1.1?

Apple iMac macOS Sonoma / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

I made a 2D/3D slope object you might find useful.


Here you go:


It looks like this in 2D:

Screenshot 2023-11-22 at 18.26.02.png

And like this in 3D:

Screenshot 2023-11-22 at 18.25.57.png

It's pretty configurable.


You drag the origin onto your object/mesh, and adjust the hotpot at the other end to set the length and 3D height.


There are lots of people here who can make this a lot more usable. It does what I need it to though.

Archicad 27 UKI | OS X 12.7.1 Monterey

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