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Overview

AutoCAD® MEP software helps you draft, design, and document building systems. Create more accurate designs and increase productivity within a familiar AutoCAD-based environment.

What's new

Collaboration

 

  • Work on flat 2D AutoCAD floor plans or AutoCAD Architecture geometric model architectural floor plans

     

    AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture support

    Work on flat 2D or geometric floor plans.

     

  • Calculate room measurements automatically, including square footage, meters, and volumes per area

     

    Automatic space and zone calculation

    Calculate room measurements automatically.

     

  • Create, manage, and share MEP CAD data with others in the design process with IFC data

     

    IFC data support

    Create, manage, and share design data.

     

  • Get tips and tricks from the Autodesk Knowledge Network

     

    Web-based help and learning tools

    Stay informed with tips and tricks and other content.

     

Construction & content

 

  • NEW

    New section enhancements help improve the way you work

     

    Section and elevation (enhanced)

    Now edit Xrefs when editing live sections and refresh upon opening.

     

  • NEW

    Parallel routing improvements

     

    Parallel routing improvements

    Select routing preferences for objects, then automatically connect parallel objects.

     

  • Specify the default type of revision cloud: Freehand, Polygonal, Rectangular, or Object

     

    Revision cloud

    Get a consistent appearance in views.

     

  • Create, rationalize, and document 2D views with improved documentation features

     

    Documentation

    Create, rationalize, and document 2D views.

     

  • Use AutoCAD Content Explorer to quickly search for design files, objects, and content

     

    Integrated content search

    Easily find design files, objects, and content.

     

  • It is easy to batch-convert single or multiple blocks

     

    AutoCAD block and symbol conversion

    Batch-convert single or multiple blocks.

     

  • Create and manage MEP project drawing sheet sets

     

    Drawing management

    Create and manage MEP project drawing sheet sets.

     

  • Video: Use routing preferences with sloped piping

     

    Sloped pipe routing preferences

    Use routing preferences with sloped piping. (video: 59 sec.)

     

Productivity & usability

 

  • NEW

    Quickly navigate, search, and add object styles

     

    Style Browser (enhanced)

    Get more MEP components, and add folders to the Content Library.

     

  • NEW

    Control visibility and order settings

     

    Assigning circuits

    Change the circuit for a given set of devices.

     

  • Choose the type of elbow that best fits your design

     

    Elbow duct fittings

    Choose the type of elbow that best fits your design.

     

  • Automatically attach property set definitions to architectural objects to complete quantity takeoff calculations

     

    Automated property set definitions

    Complete quantity takeoff calculations.

     

  • When you change drawing units, object tags, text, and other annotation-scaled objects are properly modified

     

    Annotation and unit scaling

    Objects and text change along with drawing units.

     

  • Set an order for layers and preview your changes

     

    Display order by layer

    Set an order for layers and preview your changes.

     

  • Use the block swap to edit components as your design changes

     

    Block swap

    Make changes to components as your design changes.

     

  • Use point cloud data for renovation projects, and save time and increase accuracy

     

    Point clouds

    Use point cloud data for renovation projects.

     

  • The Application status bar now includes the Display Configuration and Cut Plane tools

     

    Status bar

    Now includes Display Configuration, Cut Plane tools.

     

  • Use the Finder to locate frequently used commands from within Help

     

    UI Finder

    Locate frequently used commands from within Help.

     

About AutoCAD MEP Workflow

AutoCAD MEP provides features that allow the creation of very complex designs. While the software has many intricacies, there is a basic workflow for using it. Use the following table to navigate to detailed workflows for designing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

General task   View more information
Establish high-level project parameters, and create document sets   Define project standards, the look of the drawing area, the look of parts, the tool catalogs to use, and other settings. See Working with Drawing Management Projects. Create sheets, sheet lists, and cover sheets for construction document sets. See Construction Document Workflow.
Link to architectural floor plans   Use Project Navigator to create cross references to the floor plans onto to which MEP designs will display. See Working with Referenced Drawings
Create preliminary domain outlines using flow and 1-line diagrams   Use the schematic tool set in MEP to create concept designs. See About Schematic Diagrams
Create detailed domain designs using catalog parts and custom content   Create:

  • HVAC designs
  • Electrical designs
  • Plumbing designs
  • Radiant heating system designs
  • Piping system designs
Circulate designs for review   Use Drawing Compare to see how drawings differ from one revision to another. See Comparing Drawings

Working With Drawing Management Projects

When you create an AutoCAD MEP drawing, you often need to relate your layout to an architectural drawing, such as a floor plan, a reflected ceiling plan, or an AutoCAD MEP building model.

You can begin with a drawing that contains the walls and other spatial elements that you need by attaching another drawing called a referenced drawing or xref. Xrefs are drawings that are linked to, and displayed in, the current drawing.

Whenever you open a drawing, the software reloads the xref drawings attached to it so that changes made to the xref drawings are reflected in your building system drawing. For example, if you attach an architectural floor plan as an xref, and the architect subsequently changes the location of the building’s mechanical room, the changes to the architectural floor plan are automatically reflected in your building systems drawing the next time that you open it. You can also reload xrefs on demand and check for interferences between building system objects and structural members by applying interference detection highlighting to your drawing.

There are 2 types of xrefs: attachment and overlay. Unlike an attached xref, an overlaid xref is not displayed when the drawing is itself attached or overlaid as an xref to another drawing—a process referred to as nesting xrefs. Overlaid xrefs are designed for data sharing in a network environment. By overlaying an xref, you can see how your drawing relates to the drawings of other groups without changing your drawing by attaching an xref. Changes made to an xref drawing, whether attached or overlaid, are displayed in your drawing when you open the drawing or reload the xref.

Linking xrefs to your drawings is effective when creating design drawings and construction documents. Design projects typically involve the coordination of many drawings, and sharing the content of those drawings is fundamental to efficient project management. Establishing standards for using xrefs helps you to use drawings optimally and minimize the need to re-create drawing content.

The following cite several advantages to using xrefs in AutoCAD MEP drawings:

  • You can reference an architectural drawing as a base for your mechanical, electrical, or plumbing drawings. In addition, you are aware immediately of any changes to the architectural drawing because the changes are reflected when you open your drawing or reload the xref.
  • You can assemble master drawings from individual design drawings. For example, several people can work with different sections of a design for a large building (such as by floor or by wing), and the individual designs can be referenced into a master drawing.
  • You can attach drawings containing borders, title blocks, and other office standards for plotting as xrefs for easy maintenance.
  • You can choose not to load an xref if you do not need it as a reference. The xref does not use system resources when it is not loaded.

Construction Document Workflow

It is recommended that project drawings are created, stored, and managed using the drawing management tools in AutoCAD MEP. When you use Project Navigator to manage drawings, you can efficiently create construction documents that reference the building system drawings.

After you create a project, you can manage drawings from a central location. For more information, see Working with Drawing Management Projects.

A typical workflow for creating documents with AutoCAD MEP is as follows:

Step   View more information
Create a construct   Save your drawing as a construct on the Constructs tab in Project Navigator. See Creating Construction Documents.
Create views   Create views for drawings and schedules to be included in sheets. See Views.
Create sheets   Create sheet drawings for publishing and plotting. Place view drawings on the appropriate sheets. See Creating a Sheet.
Create sheet sets   Create a sheet set that includes a cover sheet with a sheet list. See Ordering Sheets in the Sheet Set.
Issue construction documents   Plot or publish the sheet set. You can publish a sheet set directly to Design Web Format (DWF™). See Publishing a Sheet Set to DWF™.

Working With Referenced Drawings

When you create an AutoCAD MEP drawing, you often need to relate your layout to an architectural drawing, such as a floor plan, a reflected ceiling plan, or an AutoCAD MEP building model.

You can begin with a drawing that contains the walls and other spatial elements that you need by attaching another drawing called a referenced drawing or xref. Xrefs are drawings that are linked to, and displayed in, the current drawing.

Whenever you open a drawing, the software reloads the xref drawings attached to it so that changes made to the xref drawings are reflected in your building system drawing. For example, if you attach an architectural floor plan as an xref, and the architect subsequently changes the location of the building’s mechanical room, the changes to the architectural floor plan are automatically reflected in your building systems drawing the next time that you open it. You can also reload xrefs on demand and check for interferences between building system objects and structural members by applying interference detection highlighting to your drawing.

There are 2 types of xrefs: attachment and overlay. Unlike an attached xref, an overlaid xref is not displayed when the drawing is itself attached or overlaid as an xref to another drawing—a process referred to as nesting xrefs. Overlaid xrefs are designed for data sharing in a network environment. By overlaying an xref, you can see how your drawing relates to the drawings of other groups without changing your drawing by attaching an xref. Changes made to an xref drawing, whether attached or overlaid, are displayed in your drawing when you open the drawing or reload the xref.

Linking xrefs to your drawings is effective when creating design drawings and construction documents. Design projects typically involve the coordination of many drawings, and sharing the content of those drawings is fundamental to efficient project management. Establishing standards for using xrefs helps you to use drawings optimally and minimize the need to re-create drawing content.

The following cite several advantages to using xrefs in AutoCAD MEP drawings:

  • You can reference an architectural drawing as a base for your mechanical, electrical, or plumbing drawings. In addition, you are aware immediately of any changes to the architectural drawing because the changes are reflected when you open your drawing or reload the xref.
  • You can assemble master drawings from individual design drawings. For example, several people can work with different sections of a design for a large building (such as by floor or by wing), and the individual designs can be referenced into a master drawing.
  • You can attach drawings containing borders, title blocks, and other office standards for plotting as xrefs for easy maintenance.
  • You can choose not to load an xref if you do not need it as a reference. The xref does not use system resources when it is not loaded.

HVAC System Overview

Best practices for mechanical system design start with the establishment of project parameters. HVAC designers can design duct and necessary piping systems to create, size, and connect heating and cooling components.

Use AutoCAD MEP to design and draft heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for a building plan.

Before you begin drafting, you can establish design preferences and HVAC system definitions that fit your project. Once you define the systems for your drawing, you can assign systems to equipment and ductwork as you draw and modify your duct networks.

Plumbing Design Workflow

A typical workflow using AutoCAD MEP to design a plumbing system includes the following steps:

Step   View more information
Configure system settings   Control the form and function of objects in your drawings by specifying design preferences. See About Drawing Preferences and About Configuring Plumbing System Settings.
Set up a project   Specify standards (for example, the templates and tool catalogs to use), and integrate the plumbing system plans with the architectural plans. See About Working With Drawing Management Projects.
Set up a pipe sizing table   Specify the fixture unit table and plumbing line sizing table (pipe sizing table). See About Configuring Fixture Unit Tables and To Specify Plumbing Line Sizing Tables.
Open a drawing and attach architectural plan   Use Project Navigator and attach an architectural floor plan as an external reference. See About Working with External Reference Files.
Add pumps, water heaters, drains, showers, sinks or other equipment   Place the plumbing equipment and fixtures on the floor plan. See To Add Plumbing Equipment and Fixtures.
Add pipe to connect equipment   Connect the equipment and fixtures using plumbing lines. See About Adding Plumbing Lines.
Size the plumbing lines   Analyze the plumbing system to properly size the components. See About Calculating the Sizes of Supply Plumbing Lines or About Calculating the Sizes of Sanitary Plumbing Lines.
Modify the layout   Modify the layout of the system to reflect required design changes, and recalculate sizes as necessary. See About Modifying Plumbing Systems.
Draw a 1-line plumbing isometric   Use schematic tools to produce a drawing of the plumbing system for inspection by code officers. See About Schematic Diagrams.
Label the plumbing system   Annotate the system as you lay it out to generate schedules and construction documents. See About Annotation.

Radiant Heating Systems

Refer to the following workflow for creating and modifying radiator systems:

Review the steps View more information
Set up a project Specify tool catalogs to use and other project information. See Working with Projects
Import radiator data files Use the BDH files that contain radiator data in your drawings. See Creating Radiator Parts
Place radiators in drawing Use windows and walls to locate and orient radiators. See Adding a Radiator MvPart
Run parallel supply and return pipes Place hot and cold radiator feed and return pipes in your drawings. See Adding Parallel Pipes to a Radiant Heating System
Add radiator valves and branch pipes Prepare to connect radiators to pipes by adding valves and branches. See Adding a Radiator Valve
Copy valves and branch pipes to other radiators Connect a set of specified radiators to a piping system. See Connecting Multiple Radiators to Parallel Pipes
Modify radiators as the design changes Update a radiant heating system to accommodate design changes. See Modifying a Radiator MvPart
Add labels and annotations Prepare your drawings for publication as construction documents. See Creating Construction Documents

Workflow for Designing a Pipe System

Review the steps   View more information

Set up a project and open a drawing.

  Specify standards for pipe systems. Attach the drawing to an architectural floor plan as an external reference.
Create a preliminary 1-line conceptual design.   Prepare a conceptual design for evaluation by code officers and senior engineers.

Specify the pipes and fittings to be used as you draw a pipe run.

  Define piping design specifications for AutoCAD MEP to use when laying out the pipe run.
Specify system definitions for chilled water or steam systems, size ranges, and display properties.   Define the look of your piping layouts.
Add boilers, chillers, pumps, heat exchangers and other equipment.   Place equipment in a drawing.
Connect equipment along pipe runs and layout the pipe system (sloped or non-sloped).   Configure pipe settings and pipe layout preferences, and apply routing solutions.
Modify the pipe layout.   Refine portions of the existing layout.
Generate construction documents.   Annotate the system as you place objects. Then, create construction documents.

Comparing Drawings

A typical project requires multiple reviews at various stages in the project life cycle. When you send drawings out for review and comment, often you receive drawings containing proposed changes in return. The Drawing Compare feature allows you to visually compare the different versions and review proposed changes from architects and other engineering disciplines.

Like the traditional method of overlaying trace onto project drawings, visual cues indicate the status of drawings being compared and the state of the objects being reviewed. In addition, information is provided about changes to the properties of the objects.

Note: This feature is available only to customers participating in the Autodesk Subscription Program.

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