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Multi-pipe support configurator with Dynamo

As always everything is coming from my childhood…ops no, that's another story.
As always everything starts on a white recycled paper just in front of my keyboard; a simple idea becomes immediately a sketch with Revit parameters.


I tried many times different kind of plugins for automatic supports placement, but no one of these is able to create a multi-pipes supports (if I'm wrong, please let me know the name of the plugin).
The idea for this script in Dynamo, is to create a support for a bounce of pipes going parallel for a while, and create a group that is possible to copy along the path.
I'll not focus on the creation of the families that you need for the support but just to explain the main idea, I have 3 different pieces (steel bar, u-bolt and threaded rod) that I'll compose together to create the final support.
The first challenge is to align the pipes to the same BOP (bottom of pipe) because they have to stand on the steel bar and locked with the u-bolt. 
The basic rule is to extract the dimension of the pipes selected: diameter (we'll use this for u-bolt selection), outside diameter, insulation thickness, and elevation from the level (this is the center elevation).
Using these values (some of them are in feet so you need to convert into millimeters) we can calculate the bottom of each pipe and understand which pipe is the smaller and which one is the bigger. 
Now we can decide if the alignment is based on the bigger or the smaller pipe
Easy!
Now we can focus on the steel bar to find the correct insertion point. To find this point I used a simple idea: calculate the distance between the center points of the two external pipe (respectively left and right pipe), add to this value the radius of these two pipes and finally add a parametric value for the external offset.
At the same time with one of these pipes we can easily extract the direction and the exact angle between this direction and the Y axis (the family of the bar is created parallel to the X axis, that's why we need to compare with the perpendicular)
Almost same idea to calculate the location of threaded rods. I used the curve for the bar, extracted two points at the beginning and the end with a parametric distance, and I found two insertion points.
Last but now least, u-bolt profiles. My family is created to accept a DN value and a pipe axis parameter. The pipe axis is really simple, we have this value since the beginning of this script and I can easily find the location for the profile. The DN is also a parameter that we can extract from the pipe and, filling the value in the family, we can adapt the element using a lookup table. The lookup table in the family can extract the outside diameter starting from the DN and it takes also into account, the insulation thickness of the pipe.
Yeah, finished! Of course now we can move the pipe left of right, or we can just add insulation to pipes and run again.
Because of the usage of the processor, sometimes you have to run twice in order to achieve the correct result, don't worry if running the first time the support is not updated.
Ok, now that we have all the pieces of the support, aligned and placed at the beginning of the pipes, we can create the final group.
And this is the python code for the group node
The final result after the array
Enjoy the script available at this location for download
Revit 2017.1 and Dynamo 1.2



Bye Cesare

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