Free Hydraulics Calculations Program CAD2ENRULES by Alan Ashfield


Introduction to CAD2ENRULES - 4th April 2017 :-

CAD2ENRULES is a completely free 2D CAD drawing to Hydraulics Calculations Program for the EN12845 Rules (and similar) in metric units for use by sprinkler designers, contractors and installers worldwide. You can use my latest software package on end- or centre-fed pipe layouts, looped, gridded, roof-only or roof-rack (if not the more modern ESFR), Light, Ordinary or High hazard classifications fire sprinkler systems. Full technical support is offered by Email (my address is on the top line) - just put CAD2ENRULES in the "Subject" line - please scroll down this page for more detailed help and information on all its features and options.

Now you can continue to use your existing Computer Aided Design (CAD) program, either the excellent free LIBRECAD, low-cost purchases like TurboCAD or subscription based ones to produce the sprinkler layout drawing for the project in EXACTLY the same way as you have always done and mark on a few text items, specifically to indicate any vertical or sloping pipes and some job data / design parameters. Simply give this file name (DXF not any proprietary formats) to CAD2ENRULES, which will instantly turn it into a 3D isometric layout where you just select the sprinkler heads in the most remote / favourable design areas to do all the flow / pressure / velocity calculations in just a few mouse clicks and produce the familiar results presentation, for printing or to PDF.

That's all! No more duplicating all the details already drawn in CAD onto a separate expensive, hydraulics program and spending hours (or days!) typing in the same information as you have just drawn, adjusting the pipe sizes, areas, design data etc. and then remembering to pass any different details back to the layout drawing. All the information needed for the sprinkler layout drawing AND the essential hydraulics is therefore always in only one place - the 2D CAD drawing. If any changes are necessary, then amend the drawing and those few notes accordingly and run this program again to get the hydraulic calculations repeated. You don't even have to print them out, as CAD2ENRULES is completely FREE then you can Email the DXF file to your Reviewers, Assessors or Inspectors, who simply download it for themselves and will obviously get exactly the same results.

You always HAVE to produce a CAD sprinkler layout drawing for each project but I now present a way of allowing you to use it for the essential full hydraulic calculations WITHOUT having to use a separate, expensive and time consuming, hydraulics program! You spend an extra few minutes on adding some notes to turn the 2D plan into a 3D isometric and it is just "point and click" from now on to get the 2 or more results printouts. Try it now.

You can DOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION OF MY FREE CAD2ENRULES PROGRAM [03.08.17 = 808 kB - added ME code and pipework / quantities list on the summary] now by clicking here and "Saving" it to a suitable folder on your hard disk, such as C:\AA3PROGS or C:\cad2en. Once saved, please hover your mouse over its line in "File Explorer" (or right click on it, choose 'Properties', then 'Details') to check that the EXE size is as quoted and my name is given, just for confirmation of the correct download and can then create a shortcut on the desktop or pin it to the taskbar. Remember, all my programs are produced using Delphi Pascal so never need actually installing - you simply copy the single EXE file to as many computers you have at home, in the office, branches, on-site as required and use it for your projects for nothing, forever.

Sequence of operation of CAD2ENRULES :-

The following screen shots show how you run my program with your 2D CAD layout drawing all done in LibreCAD or similar (here zoomed in to the top left hand corner) :-


Choose "Open" in the program (under Windows 7) to see the 3D isometric full size :-


Just draw a "box" around heads in a plan view or click on the heads at the end of the required ranges in an isometric view to immediately do all the full hydraulic calculations with the flow rates shown, with the most remotest 4 heads in green :-


One more click will show part of the RESULTS (use the 'arrow' keys to see the rest) :-


and one more click will PRINT to PDF or inkjet/laser printer if needed, or you can get other views of your system with helpful text information. Here I have selected to view the pipe pressures and right clicked to zoom in - what could be easier?


All the information about the project data, layers, sizes, design parameters, nominal pipe sizes, pipe types / bores and fitting types / equivalent lengths is stored in one file - I supply BSEN12845.TXT - but you can add to, change, extend or copy it to as many more files as needed for your own country / company / specific projects and can even translate it into your own language :-


I suggest you review the data in this file before using it for the first time on your projects. You can then print it out to use as a 'cheat sheet' whilst producing your CAD drawings.

Items needed on your CAD drawing :-

  1. All LINES, CIRCLES and TEXT ENTITIES on your 2D CAD drawing, representing the horizontal and vertical pipes, sprinkler heads and various notes (as described next) are to be drawn on a set LAYER and everything else, drawn on all other layers, is completely ignored
  2. Each horizontal pipe is to be drawn as a separate LINE entity from its start X and Y co-ordinates (nearest the water supply/source) to the end X and Y co-ordinates (with or without a head, to connect to the start of the next pipe or nothing) with a pipe size in mm (from 25 to 250) as an item of TEXT somewhere near the centre
  3. Each vertical pipe is to be drawn as a separate CIRCLE entity at the correct X and Y co-ordinates with the pipe size and the vertical change in mm (eg. 40+1000 if up or 50-654 if down) as an item of TEXT adjacent and you can have several, one on top of each other, when rising vertically between floors or away from control valves
  4. If a vertical pipe is sloping at an oblique angle, then you can enter the compass direction 0 to 359 and slope -89 to 89 degrees (eg. 50+876@270~85 means 50mm pipe, 876mm static change going west at 85° so all the remaining range pipes will be at 5°)
  5. For all these TEXT items, you may sometimes need some extra notes to change the pipe type, "C" factor, valve type or other special items as described later
  6. For each sprinkler head (pendent or upright), please draw a CIRCLE entity of a specific radius on this set layer representing the right head TYPE 1 to 9 being given as an orifice size, "K" factor, area, density and minimum pressure, grouping together common items
  7. TEXT entities are therefore only needed to give the PIPE SIZE (and optional notes) in the centre of horizontal pipes and adjacent to vertical or near vertical pipes, again on this set layer. Any text you enter not starting with a number (ie. the pipe size) or on other layers, is therefore ignored
  8. Some additional notes are needed to identify the project data and key design parameters on the RESULTS presentation and is simply given by !Q xx lines where xx is a number in the range of 1 to 49 and the matching reply and you ONLY put in ones that are different from the standard value (eg. !Q1 My job name will give the job title, !Q9 216 will set the design area to 216 sq.m, !Q27 M will set the most common pipe type to Series M or !Q41 15 80 12.0 5.0 0.35 will make head type 1 equal to 15mm heads with a "K" factor of 80, a maximum area to 12 sq.m for a density of 5 mm/min at a minimum pressure of 0.5 bars)
  9. If using the data file giving the default replies to all these 49 questions is other than BSEN12845 that I supply, then you will need just one extra line !RULES nnnn where nnnn is the file name
  10. There are several optional 2-letter codes to go with the size (and vertical dimensions) text on the pipes to cope with all the hydraulic analysis calculations :-
  11. PT - pipe type if different from the most common specified in !Q27, eg. PTHWS
  12. PC - Hazen-Williams "C" factor if different from the standard eg. PC110
  13. FT - fitting type as in the EN12845 Rules eg. FTGV for gate valve, as most elbow / tee positions are found automatically
  14. OK - orifice plate or partially closed valves "K" factor eg. OK120
  15. AE - added equivalent length in m of any unusual valves / equipment eg. AE7.5
  16. AL - added length of pipe in m if not drawn to scale eg. AL50
  17. SD - pipe slope in degrees if not zero, + if end is above start or - if end is below start and if no size.vert.compass.angle given (as in 4) eg. SD1.7 or SD-6
  18. HK - head "K" factor if different from the value for that head type, eg. HK143
  19. HT - head type 1 to 9 if you have the head other than the correct radius eg. HT6
  20. HA - area in sq.m covered if different from the default head type eg. HA8.5
  21. There are some additional 2-letter codes (called SN and EN) used for multiple vertical pipes and looped / gridded layouts with ME for multiple level pipework systems as you obviously cannot draw pipes, one on top of each other, in plan view. Again, these are described in the many CAD2ENRULES 'HELP' screens.
  22. So I am really only asking for a few extra items to be added to your CAD layout drawing as I presume you include the pipe sizes anyway and just how many vertical risedrop pipes are there on a typical drawing? You were going to have to type in some project data sooner or later!

Other information about CAD2ENRULES :-

a) I provide 6 DEMONSTRATION EXAMPLES that you can view in your chosen CAD program to see how these various options are applied on real life schemes. You can elect to draw the whole sprinkler layout (whether the heads are operating or not) as DEMOS 1 and 3, or just the 20 to 50 or more heads in the most hydraulically remotest area (as DEMO 2). Many users combine the two - drawing out the whole system as they do normally then just converting the "operating" heads (and the pipes leading back to the water supply) to the set LAYER name as needed to do the specific hydraulic calculations required.

b) The main point to remember is that pipes have to drawn as LINE entities between heads and other distribution pipes, exactly as you do for traditional hydraulics programs, as each has a specific flow rate, friction loss, velocity etc. You cannot just draw 1 line as a main and connect the range pipes along it - they have to be individual pipes (lines) between the heads and ranges, each with one text item, even if just the size in mm. These text items will not affect the readability of the drawing in any way by other members of your design team or on-site.

c) You can enter the LINES, CIRCLES and TEXT entities in any order you choose, their relative positions / directions is all that matters. So you can draw out one range, then the next, then one on another main using the copy, mirror, delete, break, add to etc. commands in the CAD program, with or without the text items that can be added later or as you go. If you prefer to draw out the grid of heads first, then connect them up and then the distribution pipes, you can continue to do so - it just doesn't matter so long as you don't miss any out!

d) If the layout drawing changes, then just amend the lines, circles and text to suit in the CAD program in the normal way and overwrite the DXF file and rerun CAD2ENRULES as it never stores the pipe data nor results anywhere so there is nothing else that needs to be erased or redone - the drawing IS the hydraulic calculations project file.

e) Naturally, there are a number of informative error or warning messages if the data you enter does not fit together properly - again described on the actual message and referenced under 'HELP'.

f) I therefore suggest you download my latest FREE program and try out the 6 demo jobs BEFORE trying to add the text items as described above to one of your current project CAD drawings. In fact, it makes more sense to initially prepare a completely NEW drawing of just a few heads / branch lines / mains (say 3 ranges of 4 heads like in ESFR schemes) and practise adding the notes, using CAD2ENRULES, doing the hydraulic calculations etc, before you apply it on on a live job in the Design Office this afternoon! A useful short-cut is to initially miss out the !Q1 to !Q49 job data lines and concentrate on getting the 3D drawing right, then click on 1 head to do the calculations and 'Results' to make a note of the incorrect design parameters. Go back to the CAD program to add them back in, run my program again and you will have finished.

g) If your CAD program normally saves the drawing in its own proprietary format, please remember to choose "Save As" or similar, when ready, to get a simple AutoCAD 11 or 12, text-based DXF file (a useful "back-up" copy) that CAD2ENRULES needs and you can even look at them with NotePAD or similar if you want, and amend them too if needed.

h) CAD2ENRULES has been developed entirely in "Windows" 10 (with 100-200% scaling factors) but will function in all versions back to XP but really needs a 4K or HD monitor (or 2), ie. a normal CAD workstation as well as 200 GBP 13" laptops with 1366x768 screens. Decimal points can be given as . or , as you normally use.

i) CAD2ENRULES is very simple to operate as there are only a few options to select :-

j) I trust I have described how CAD2ENRULES is a viable, zero-cost alternative to your current task of using two separate programs, from different CAD / hydraulics suppliers, for the SAME project and a most effective integration of 3DCAD and hydraulic calculations without investing in Building Information Management (BIM / REVIT) software nor having to learn a brand new CAD program as you simply carry on with what you do at present, albeit just adding a few extra lines of text.

k) All this is completely FREE with my compliments - it didn't cost anything to write, so why must you have to pay for it? Other suppliers have no incentive to produce such a program, even if they could - they just want you to carry on paying their subscription fees for their old software, even when they do not actually change anything year on year. Downloading and using this program is therefore your chance to break away from what you have always done in the past as it will save you a lot of time (and effort) by combining the hydraulics with your sprinkler layout drawing. If you want to follow the NFPA / FM GLOBAL Rules, then use my CAD2HCP program instead.

l) If the following screen shots from my other demonstration examples are not as clear as you would prefer, it will be as quick to download the program and run through them yourself, full size on your monitor and spend a useful 10 minutes evaluating my latest program. You can also view the 2D DXF drawings in your existing CAD program, remembering to zoom-out, zoom-all, zoom-extents or zoom-auto to see the whole scheme. If not suitable for you, your company or your projects, just delete it and it will be gone as I do not ask for any registration, Email addresses, licence agreements, payment details or any personal information whatsoever - you remain anonymous.

The other 5 demonstration examples are :-


Thank you for reading about CAD2ENRULES - I hope you can find the time to download / evaluate it for your future projects ...