Piperator is an addon for blender which helps generating complex pipe layouts. Below are a couple examples what can be done with this addon:
Just download the zip file here:
After downloading, open blender and go to:
Edit -> Preferences -> Add-ons -> Install...
Choose the downloaded zip file and press
"Install Add-on from File..."
Afterwards in Preferences, activate the support level Testing, search for the Piperator plugin and put a checkmark in the box to enable the addon.
How to Use the Add-on
The Addon can be accessed through two ways in blender:
- in 3D-View: Add -> Mesh -> Piperator
- in the Sidebar (Access with shortcut key: ‘N’) in a “Piperator” tab.
All generated Pipes and objects will be tracked and can be deleted through the menu or by searching for the operators:
In total, this Add-on adds the following operators to blender:
- Add Pipes
- Add pipes to object
- Delete Pipes from Object
- Delete pipes from only the selectd object(s)
- Delete All Pipes
- Delete all pipes from the current scene
When opening the editor the plugin has the following parameters:
- mesh mode
- selects different modes how the pipes will get generated
- flange probability
- the probability at which flanges will appear along the length of the pipe. The start and end of the pipe will always have a flange
- support period
- the period at which supports get added to the pipe this is measured in blender units.
- the radius of the pipe
- material slow index
- the index of the slot of the material in the source object that should be used for the pipes.
- resolution v
- the resolution of the pipes along their circumference
- how far the pipes will be placed from the source mesh
- random seed
- get different variations for the pipes with different seed values
- number of pipes
- number of pipes that should be generated
- glue to surface
- if selected, pipes will prefer paths that are closer to the surface of the source object.
- delete pipes from a previous operation on the source object.
- debug mode
- add empties and wireframe that was used to generate the mesh.
here are some ictures showing the different mesh modes:
A short example on how to create a refinery-like structure:
- pipes follow the edge of the mesh, so by influencing the topology of your mesh yo can define the layout of the pipe network.
- don’t subdivide your mesh too many times, because this makes the pipe layout algorithm much slower
- subdivide your mesh often enough so that the pipes have enough edges available.