How to use the Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow in AutoCAD

A topic that often comes up in conversations with CADMEP users is centred around routing services. There are actually a number of ways you can route your services in Fabrication CadMEP and one of the main ways of doing this is by using the attacher arrow. So in this article we are going to look at all of its functionality from displaying it to editing it.

When setting out your services the orientation and position of the attacher arrow will determine the location and direction of the next fitting or straight section of duct, pipe or containment.

Like with most AutoCAD based commands there is more than one way to work with the attcher arrow. Keyboard shortcuts ‘ATTACHER’ and ‘ATTACHOFF’ plus also one of the more visual methods via the ‘Tbar’ toolbar as shown below. If you cannot see the Tbar on your screen, then the shortcut for this is nice and easy ‘TBAR’. No catches there then eh?

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow TBAR Toolbar

First we will look at setting the attacher position and orientation. When you click and hold down the attacher button at the top off the Tbar you will see 3 options (Set Attacher, Hide Attacher and Rotate Object about Attacher) and depending on which one you used last will determine which will be visible on the Tbar when inactive. In this case it is ‘Set Attacher’ which is what we will look at first.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow Set Attacher

Once you select set attacher you need to left mouse click on the end of a component to place it there. Once placed, further left clicks will rotate the attacher 90° around on its axis.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow Place Attacher

For straight pieces it doesn’t matter about the orientation of the arrow but obviously that isn’t the case for elbows. Left and right turns are quite obvious, simply click on the arrow until it points in the directon you wish to go. Up and down are indicated below to help you distinguish between them.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow distinguishing between up and down

Hopefully an easy way to remember them.

As mentioned above, as a default the arrow moves in 90° increments, however by holding down the ‘Alt’ key whilst left clicking the mouse they will adjust to 15° as shown below, thus allowing you to set up or down at varying angles.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow adjusting to 15 degrees

Once the attacher is set, then the next step is to add the component you require from the services palette.

The next one to look at is ‘Rotate Component about Attacher’ which is quite useful if your component is facing the wrong way. In the example below, the elbow needs to point in the opposite direction. The first step is to place the attacher onto the duct using set attacher, this will set the axis of rotation.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow rotate component about attacher

Now select:

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow rotate component about attacher button

and enter the angle you wish to rotate by and press enter.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow entering angle to rotate by

Now select the object you wish to rotate and press enter and the results will be as below.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow rotate component about attacher results

Finally, if you require to start a different run or need to add components not connected to your current routing then click ‘Hide Attacher’ which will turn off the arrow and allow you to start something new.

Fabrication CADMEP Attacher Arrow hide attacher button

I hope this article has been useful.

If you are looking to take a basic, advanced, 3D or specialist AutoCAD training course then give Graitec a call today on (023) 8086 8947 or click the button below to request more information.

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