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Irrigation - Pipe Jump Autosize



When using the new irrigation pipe tool, crossing pipes is automatically controlled by an auto-jump feature. The problem is that it automatically creates a gigantic jump.


We are very particular graphically. Before the creation of the irrigation tools we precisely created 9" radiused pipe jumps everywhere (depending on graphic scale that dimension can occasionally change). Can we integrate the ability to provide a setting for auto-pipe-jumps to be a specific radius first, and then if we have to change it manually we can?


The current process is very time consuming and not at all precise. We have to manually scale every pipe jump and there are no dimensional settings, meaning every single one is slightly different.

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Thanks for validating this request. On large complicated irrgation systems this is a tremendous time sync. The way I see it, the functionality should be twofold:

  1. The ability to set up a default radius for pipe jumps. For example, when we manually drafted irrigation, we had a standard of a 9" radius pipe jump. If we could set a default of 9", and then adjust any that needed adjusting manually, it would be great.
  2. When manually resizing a pipe jump, there should also be an input radius dimension that would allow you to more accurately control those pipe jumps that need manual resizing.

This should be a fairly simple addition.


My other pipe jump request is a little more complicated, but the ability to set up some sort of rules. For example, we try to never have Mainline jump Laterals. It is always the other way around. Right now the software always jumps in order of drafting, which ever pipe was drafted first gets jumped by later pipe additions. Perhaps it could be possible to embed this in a rule or functionality that would make it so that laterals always jumped mainline unless overridden, regardless of which pipe was drawn first. @Bryan G.

Edited by ericjhberg
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@ericjhberg I have been transitioning my irrigation work over to vectorworks recently.  I agree with you on the Autojump of pipes both in size and priority.  Mainlines shouldn't jump laterals or drip lines!


Do you have a workflow for placing drip emitters at individual plants?  In AutoCAD, I had my emitters as part of my plant symbol for a low level 2D BIM functionality.  This allowed me to turn off or grey the plants on the irrigation plan and have my emitters magically appear for pipe connection.  I just tried to add emitters to a plant object's 2D graphic, but it does not seem to like working in that fashion graphically or with piping 😞  My old method in AutoCAD was fast, but lacks the power of VW piping and valving calcs.  Meanwhile, VW seems to require me to place every emitter by copying them around, which is highly inefficient given I have already placed the plants.  Hopefully there is a solution that I am not aware of yet.

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Hi @jeff prince...thanks for promoting the pipe jump concepts.


As for your workflow question about drip emitters...the short answer...no. This is also a huge missed opportunity IMO. Vectorworks has the capability now to marry Plant Objects with Irrigation Tools, but hasn't taken it that far. As far as I'm aware, they really have ignored the irrigation tools since they were originally developed.


I do have a workaround that helps...a little. You can

  1. Save the Emitter you want to use as a plug-in style
  2. select all of the plants you want to assign individual drip emitters
  3. duplicate them, ideally into a temporary separate design layer or your irrigation design layer
  4. Then, change the plant grouping so that they are all INDIVIDUAL PLANTS
  5. Finally, you can use the command Modify>Convert>Replace with Symbol to replace the plants with the desired Emitter plug-in style.

The problem with this is that you still have to hook them all up to pipes, which is time consuming in itself.


This is the main problem I currently have with the irrigation tools. While replacing old-school workflows with digital calculations and BIM functionality the logical next direction...at least for now the workflows often come at a significant efficiency and time loss for the designer. We spend hours hooking up pipes, when previously we could fly with "dumb" pipes and emitters, and then do the calcs necessary in a relatively quick fashion. Granted, if the design changed, it was a huge pain in the ass, but design changes with the irrigation tools are still cumbersome.


@Bryan G. is the irrigation go-to, so I'm hoping that collectively we can push some of these ideas through to make the irrigation tools better, but I have to admit, my success rate on getting wishlist stuff incorporated into new versions is abysmal.

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@ericjhberg thanks for that workflow, it is similar to a block replacement technique I used to use in AutoCAD before I began embedding the irrigation components into the plant blocks.


This is an interesting discussion because it has broad implications to other workflows related to assemblies within assemblies we find in the landscape world, or architecture in general.  I'm sure I'm not the first to say so.


There are so many examples of this assembly within assembly workflow... Furnishings with footings, Planters with plants and irrigation, plants with featured lighting, etc.  It's like we need a special container object that doesn't break the sub assemblies' BIM functionalities.  Maybe this exists and I'm not aware of it.  It seems like everything is evolving in this direction, but from the micro level up instead under a more holistic approach.


If VW made these irrigation tools more robust, it would be very helpful.  The same principles apply to drainage tools.  These are some of the most time consuming technical tasks we deal with and greatly benefit from automation and networked behaviors.


I'm frequently compelled to go off on a rant about these kinds of things, but I think I'll stop here and go pet my dogs and hope for a better world

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Being able to set the pipe jump size would be fantastic, it is so time consuming to go back and edit after the plans are drawn. As far as the mainline jumping the laterals, I feel like it would be fairly easy for the default trench depth setting be made to determine which pipe jumps over which regardless of draw order. I would love to see a tool for drawing in the sleeving with a couple different graphical options for how it looks as well. Just my 2 cents.

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