Please note : This 3D DXF data entry method is just too involved, time consuming and error prone for your general sprinkler projects and was only produced as an obvious extension to the 2D DXF CAD procedure. By all means try it out and let me know how you get on but I am unable to assist if you get "stuck". The option of 'drawing' your pipework over a building background DXF file with my unique RN numbering method and then producing most of your 2D sprinkler layout drawing as a matching DXF file - as described on the HYDRAULICS page is far better, quicker, easier and much more immediate and should be adopted for your projects.
- Each straight pipe is drawn as a separate line with the start X, Y and Z nearest the source at the required slope, line type, colour etc. to the end X, Y and Z coordinates
- The layer should be the pipe size and type with a # in front (eg. #25M, #032MW, #150HWS)
- If any special fittings need to be added, then the layer name becomes #150HWS FIT GV
- If you want to include an equivalent length, then the layer name becomes #25MW EL 11
- Heads are drawn as a circle at the correct X, Y and Z coordinates on a layer representing the RN code (see later eg. #RN1 to #RN9 including #RN2+7.654 to override area calculation and #RN0+567 to set hydrant flow)
- Some answers are required to the 26 project data questions on any layer (eg. #PD1= Name of project, #PD17= 260 sq.m and so on)
- Some data may also be needed on any distribution pipes not shown on the drawing leading up to the control valves (eg. #DP1= 100 110 150HWS 2U) as well as orifice sizes, "K" factors etc. of the different heads / nozzles (eg. #RN1= MW 15 80 8.0 9.0 10.0 0.5 12 U)
- The program will automatically assume that the lowest pipe (smallest Z coordinate) is the first point in your system but you can use the #PD54= start node X Y Z option to set the start pipe (eg. #PD54= 110 2345 2000 -4000) as required
- You do NOT need to enter any node numbers, lengths, head areas etc. as these will be determined from the drawing
- Save the drawing in the normal way and as a (text based) DXF file with 3D in the title (eg. BLOGGS3D.DXF or 3DInst1.DXF)
- The drawing is therefore still readable by other members of the design team
AACALC7 will then :-
- Read in the named drawing file
- Work out the lengths / directions of pipes, join them together and to the heads
- Allocate node numbers to the junctions and work out the routing / heights
- Determine the appropriate fittings and head areas
- Show 3D isometric views, plans and elevations on the screen
- Permit the user to zoom in / pan around to check that the pipework layout is as intended
The operator can then :-
- Select the most remotest design area by drawing "boxes" around the 20 to 40 or more heads deemed to be operating
- Click on "Calculate" to immediately see the source duty summary and all the pipe and head flows, pressures, velocities, densities etc. on any of the 3D views
- Warnings will be given for any excessive or inconsistent values so found
- View the full "Results" presentation if required
- Try another MR design area just by selecting another set of operating heads
- AACALC7 remembers each group of heads with the summary so you can see if better / worse
- If you want to change any sizes, spacings, "K" factors etc. then you need to return to your CAD program, amend the drawing, resave the 3D DXF file and rerun AACALC7
- When the most remotest design area has been established, you simply repeat for the most favourable design area, again viewing the calculations / results presentation as required
- From selected MR and MF calculations, the "Graph" part will determine the Qcap/Qmax values based on a suitable pump / tank set
- The drawing and list of design areas can then be emailed directly to the Reviewing Authority for assessment - not just static printouts / PDF files. This permits them to consider the complete sprinkler / other services layout and sets of hydraulic calculations + Qcap/Qmax graph knowing that if the drawing is right, so must all the calculations
- No extra data has had to be entered or amended to do these calculations - it ALL comes from the 3D CAD drawing
- No noding up, typing in, copying or transferring of data is required
- The node numbers for each pipe will be worked out by the program, the size and pipe type come from the #layer name, the length/direction/slope come from the X, Y, Z coordinates, the elbows/tees etc. will be automatically determined (so you only need to indicate where any control valves, orifice plates etc. are) and the head or not at the end node is given by you, so the program can work out it's area of coverage. So all that we need for each pipe will come from your 3D drawing ie. the same as you so carefully type in(!) at the moment
- Consistent drawing format - layers just start with a # now - little more than you do at present
- Modern CAD programs allow you to quickly build up "toolbars" of these layer names, to set the slope, line type, colour etc.
- Easy for existing staff to adjust to and new staff to adopt as they may have used AACALC7 before in other companies
- No possibility of drawing and hydraulic calculations being different or getting out of step as the hydraulics come directly from the drawing
- AACALC7 has a tree wizard to quickly draw out end and centre fed pipe layouts with the correct #layers as 3D DXF files that you may be able to add / move / save them to your CAD layout drawing - an effective time saver
- You only need send this one 3D DXF file to the Reviewing Authorities for them to repeat all the hydraulic calculations, exactly as in your design office, because they can have the AACALC7 program (and its database) for free as well
- The only obvious disadvantage is that you will have to determine the true lengths and elevations of rise/first pipes to the ranges yourself rather than getting the program to calculate these values when you type in the data
After downloading the program and its data file, run AACALC7 and select the 8th "demo" job and on the "Tree Wizard", adjust the sliders to say 10 ranges of 5 heads with 1m rises :-
Click on the "New3D" button to see that system on the screen, all noded up, pipe sizes/types allocated, length/direction/slopes and head areas automatically determined. Just try the various viewing directions and zooming/panning around as you desire.
Click on "Select" to draw "boxes" around the set of heads needed and click on "Calculate"
As the "Tree Wizard" only generates 'entities' on the #layer names in the NEW3D.DXF file, then you may not be able to read this into your CAD program if those names are not in the layer database or 'dictionary'. However, any drawing YOU generate will have the appropriate layer designations which AACALC7/AAVIEW7 will read automatically. That is why the "Tree Wizard" also creates a matching 3D coordinate file called AAFREED.DXF which just uses layer 'numbers' that you can rename to the corresponding #size/pt layer when you enhance or modify it. AAFREED.DXF will not work inside AACALC7 but can be read by all CAD programs and AAVIEW7.
Is this what you think a combined CAD / hydraulics software package should look like?