Introducing Piperator

Generative Pipe Modeling for Blender

Introducing Piperator

Generative Pipe Modeling for Blender

Piperator is an addon for blender which helps generating complex pipe layouts. Below are a couple examples what can be done with this addon:

Installation

Just download the zip file here:

https://gitlab.com/yeus/piperator/uploads/43f4ac5fd8f3eadafaa1f02174345fb3/piperator.zip

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.

addon_pic

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

Parameters

When opening the editor the plugin has the following parameters:

addon_pic

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.
radius
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
offset
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.
reset
delete pipes from a previous operation on the source object.
debug mode
add empties and wireframe that was used to generate the mesh.

mesh modes

here are some ictures showing the different mesh modes:

Example

A short example on how to create a refinery-like structure:

Some hints:

  • 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.

See also