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Irrigation Layout Tools (Grid, Array, Copy, Match Equipment)

Irrigation F/X includes a series of Layout tools that provide a variety of methods for placing irrigation heads, valves, and other equipment quickly throughout your drawing.

 

 

For more information on placing irrigation components, see our pages on:

Grid Tools

The two Grid tools allow you to place a temporary grid in your drawing to serve as a guide for your equipment placement. You can insert a square or triangular grid template at any time in your design process.

 

 

Zoom out to see the area you want the grid to occupy. Then select the grid shape you want:

 

 

Square Grid:

 

 

F/X Irrigation ribbon, Square Grid button

 

Irrigation Head toolbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlaceSquareGrid in the Command line

 

 

 

Triangular Grid:

 

F/X Irrigation ribbon, Triangular Grid button

 

Irrigation Head toolbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

or type FX_PlaceTriangularGrid in the Command line

 

 

 

The Command line will prompt: Maximum Grid spacing <>.

 

 

If you see a number in the < > default area (in our example, 47.0), that number represents the spacing of the head type you used last, in the units you've set for your drawing (example: 47 feet). At this point, you can either right-click to accept this spacing or type your desired spacing.

 

 

The Command line will prompt you to: Select entity or enter an angle <0>.

 

 

To select an angle for the grid, select any object – such as any line on the drawing or in an external reference (Xref) – or type an angle. Press Enter to select a default of 0, or click any point in your drawing to set an angle with a rubber-band line.

 

 

Once you've selected an angle, the Command line will prompt: First corner.

 

 

Click to set a corner of the grid. A grid will appear dynamically as you move your mouse away from that corner. The distance between grid lines will never exceed the Maximum Grid spacing you set above.

 

 

Once satisfied with the size of the grid, right-click. The grid will convert into a block that you can move if necessary, or easily delete.

 

 

The image to the right shows a grid template inserted onto a soccer field at a 47-foot maximum grid spacing.

Array Tools

The Array tools allow you to copy irrigation equipment in your drawing and arrange the duplicates into an arrayed pattern using our Triangular Array and Rectangular Array tools.

 

 

 

Both tools are available as:

 

 

 

Rectangular Array

Triangular Array

 

 

 

Flyout buttons on the Irrigation Head toolbar:

 

Rectangular Array

Triangular Array

 

 

 

Keyboard commands you can type in the Command line:

 

Rectangular Array:

FX_RectangularArray

Triangular Array:

FX_TriangularArray

 

 

When you select either Array option, the cursor will turn into a pickbox for you to select the head or other equipment you want to array.

 

 

When you click the equipment, the Copy Spacing dialog box will open.

 

 

 

  • Feet between heads: Type a number in this box to set the spacing between the heads or other equipment you array. For instance, if you have your units set to Imperial, type 15 to array at a spacing of 15 feet between heads.
  • Copy Options: Select one of these options to specify the nature of spacing between heads in the array.
  • Best fit: Fit the maximum number of heads inside the array area within the spacing you set.
  • Exact: Place the heads within the array area at exactly the spacing you set, from center to center.

 

 

 

Click OK to accept the spacing and options.

 

 

The Command line will prompt: Setting Xhair angle – select entity, enter angle <0>, or click to specify.

 

 

 

This step will define the angle on which the array is based, using our Xhair Angle tool (formerly known as Snap Angle).

If you're unfamiliar with this feature, see our Xhair Angle documentation page.

 

You can now either:

  • Select an entity to orient to (a line drawn or on an Xref), or
  • Enter an angle (the default is 0), or
  • Click two points in your drawing (where a rubber band line will appear between the two)

 

 

After setting the angle for the array, move the mouse down and to the right to array the head. As you move the mouse, the first head will array at the spacing and angle you specified. The example below shows the process of placing a rectangular array of a bubbler.

Note: Because of AutoCAD programming parameters, the Array tools will only function correctly if you create your arrays from the top left corner down and to the right. If you attempt to create an array in another direction, the position of the original head may not be maintained properly.

Copy Along a Path

Our Copy Along Polyline and Copy Along Line tools allow you to copy a head in your drawing and paste it along a specific path.

 

Keyboard Commands

We've added keyboard shortcuts for each of these tools, which are available once you've begun placing a head in your drawing. To see the available commands, type K on your keyboard while placing a head.

 

 

 

You don't need to type K to use the keyboard commands – it's just a quick way to reference each of the commands in the dialog box pictured below. To use the keyboard commands, just press the corresponding keys on your keyboard.

The updates we've made to these tools have removed the need to enter the head spacing, which was required in previous versions. Instead, the tools will apply the throw of the copied head and apply it to the spacing for copying along a line or polyline. From there, you can use the keyboard commands listed below.

  • Type ~ to toggle between spacing adjustment and radius reduction.
  • Type 1 to specify a spacing distance.
  • Type C to use our Copy along Polyline tool.
  • Type V to use our Copy along Line tool.

Note that this dialog box of keyboard commands is different from the one you can open when first placing heads. Once you use one of the Copy along tools, you'll see the commands pictured to the left if you type K.

You can also use the following keyboard shortcuts when copying a head along a polyline or line:

Q: Toggle to the previous radius size.

E: Toggle to the next radius size.

W: Space the heads as either an exact fit or best fit. (Note that if you use this option with Copy along Polyline, the last head may not be placed at the very end of the polyline, as the length of the polyline may not be an exact multiple of the head spacing you set.)

A: Decrease the spacing between heads incrementally down to 50%.

D: Increase the spacing between heads incrementally up to 500%.

S: Increase the spacing between heads to 100%.

F: Copy the heads with a full or partial arc.

 

 

Our Suggestion for the Best Use of These Keyboard Commands

We chose the keys for these commands carefully, basing them on the keys you'd use in any number of computer games that require some sort of movement up, down, left, and right.

 

Think of the W, A, S, and D keys as your home keys, where you should be keeping your hand while copying and placing heads. Then think of the A and D keys as the left and right arrow keys. A will toggle you "left" (decrease the head spacing) and D will toggle you "right" (increase the head spacing). While your hand is in that location, you also have easy access to the keys that toggle between best and exact fit (W) and reset back to 100% spacing (S).

 

 

Once you've memorized and mastered how these keys work, you'll start to see that the surrounding keys are just as intuitive. For example, the Q key (just to the left of W) toggles you to the next smaller radius, while the E key (to the right of W) toggles you to the next larger radius.

 

So if you use W-A-S-D as your home base, you'll begin to realize that the commands are built intuitively around this axis. Start here, and you'll have all the commands memorized in no time.

Get on-the-road training on our keyboard commands by playing our Drive game. It's a fun way to learn the commands, and you can do it inside any DWG drawing!

 

 

Copy Spacing

If you press 1, the Copy Spacing dialog box will open. Here, you can configure the following settings for the spacing of the copied heads.

 

 

  • Feet between heads: Type a number in this box to set the spacing between the heads or other equipment you array. For instance, if you have your units set to Imperial, type 15 to array at a spacing of 15 feet between heads.
  • Copy Options: Select one of these options to specify the nature of spacing between heads in the array.
    • Best fit: Fit the maximum number of heads inside the array area within the spacing you set.
    • Exact: Place the heads within the array area at exactly the spacing you set, from center to center.

You can also toggle between Best Fit and Exact on the fly by pressing the W key.

 

 

 

 

Copy Along Polyline

 

Once you place heads, you can copy them along a polyline, ensuring appropriate and uniform spacing. The polyline can be any combination of arcs and/or lines.

 

Open Copy Along Polyline:

 

F/X Irrigation ribbon, Copy along Polyline button

 

Irrigation Head toolbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

or type HeadCopyPline in the Command line once you've begun to place heads

 

 

 

Draw a polyline on any layer along where you want to place heads. (You can also draw your polyline on the fly while copying the heads, as described below.)

 

 

Place the type of head you want to copy near the end of the polyline. It only needs to be near, and not precise or “snapped" to, the end of the line.

 

 

Placing an adjustable arc spray head near the end of the polyline

The adjustable arc head is placed.

 

 

 

Now select the Copy along polyline tool, or type C to open the tool.

 

Click any part of a head or other equipment you've placed in your drawing. (If you typed C while placing heads, you will automatically copy and place the last head you've placed.)

 

The Command line will prompt you to: Select polyline, or [Draw].

 

The cursor will turn into a pickbox. Select the polyline to be copied along, then drag the cursor along that polyline. (If you want, you can select a polyline from within an Xref.) You can also type D to draw the polyline on the fly. You can use the following keyboard commands at this point:

  • Press 1 to change your head spacing on the fly.
  • Change the spacing of the copied heads by using the A key (reduce the spacing) or D key (increase the spacing)
  • Use the Q or E key to toggle to the previous or next nozzle size.

 

Adjustable arc heads are placed automatically along the polyline. Notice that the arcs are adjusted automatically for the changing direction of the polyline.

 

Want more information on keyboard commands, including commands for moving to another head type? Check out our Keyboard Commands Power Tip.

 

 

You can also place fixed arc heads along a polyline. Select either the Smart Arc or one of the fixed arc patterns: Q (Quarter), H (Half), or F (Full).

arget for placing a Smart Arc. A Quarter fixed arc can also be used.

Head placed

 

 

 

As with the previous adjustable arc, select the Copy along Polyline tool. Click the head and determine the spacing, then click on the polyline. The head will be copied along the polyline at the selected spacing.

 

The heads are placed as fixed arcs. Notice the arcs are automatically adjusted for the required angle.

If you decide to use the P or C key to open Copy along Polyline while placing heads, the heads will be copied based on the last head placed. You will not be prompted to select that head again – instead, you'll go right into the tool.

 

 

Copy Along Line

Unlike the Copy Along Polyline tool, the Copy along line tool allows you to select a head and copy it along a path leading straight from that head's location as you drag your mouse.

 

 

Open the Copy Along Line tool:

 

F/X Irrigation ribbon, Copy along Line button

Irrigation Head toolbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

or type HeadCopyLine in the Command line once you've begun to place heads

 

 

 

After you select Copy along Line, the Command Line will prompt you to: Select head.

 

 

Click any part of a head or other equipment you've placed in your drawing.

 

 

Click OK. The Command Line will prompt you to: Select location for last copied head.

 

 

Drag the copied head to the location in the drawing where you want to place the last head in this line. The heads will be copied at the selected spacing. Note that Copy Head will also work with strip sprays – though only with center or side strips, not end strips.

 

 

In this example, a head has been selected to copy along a line, and the mouse is moved to the left.

 

 

The copied symbols are visible following the mouse.

Want to access the Copy Spacing dialog box for heads? Press 1 on your keyboard at any time while copying heads.

 

 

 

After you click the location of the last head in the line, the copied heads will be inserted.

Note that when you use Copy along Line, the angle of the heads will position to the rotation of the head, as pictured to the left.

Other capabilities of Copy along Line:
  • You can turn Ortho mode on, and Copy along Line will align to the last oriented head position as its locked-on direction.
  • Once you're finished placing the heads along a line, you can right-click to go back to placing heads individually. You can also press F to toggle between F (full) and Q (quarter) heads, which makes it even faster to place your heads!

If you decide to use the L or V key to open Copy along Line while placing heads, the heads will be copied based on the last head placed. You will not be prompted to select that head again – instead, you'll go right into the tool.

Match Equipment (Formerly Known as Match Head)

Use the Match Equipment tool to grab the symbol and data assigned to one component (such as a head or valve) and then copy that component, along with all its data, into other locations in your drawing. In this way, you can place equipment quickly without having to open the Irrigation Manager.

 

 

 

 

Match Equipment now allows you to select drip area hatches and Schematic areas.

 

Open the Match Equipment tool:

 

F/X Irrigation ribbon, Match Equipment flyout

 

Irrigation Head toolbar

 

 

 

 

 

 

or type MatchHead in the Command line

 

 

 

Select any component you've already placed in your drawing. You'll be prompted to place additional instances of that component, just as if you selected it manually.

 

 

Note that if you select a head and pick a fixed arc, you'll place that arc and radius head, but you'll have a chance to redefine the new head arc direction. If you select an adjustable arc head, whether spray or rotor, you'll have the chance to redefine the arc pattern for the new head.

 

 

Keyboard Commands

 

 

With Match Equipment active, you can press K on your keyboard to display a list of keyboard commands (pictured to the right).

 

These are the same keyboard commands you can use when placing heads.

 

 

 

  • Resize radius as percent or distance: ~`
  • Toggle spray type: T
  • Toggle to a different model: 1–0
  • Change equipment category: Y
  • Previous (smaller) radius: Q
  • Previous (smaller) nozzle: Tab
  • Maximum radius adjustment: W
  • Undo arc: U
  • Radius adjustment +5%: D
  • Copy along Polyline: C
  • Set a crosshair angle (Xhair Angle): X
  • Next (larger) radius: E
  • Next (larger) nozzle: R
  • Minimum radius adjustment: S
  • Radius adjustment -5%: A
  • Copy along Line: V

Remember to keep your left hand on the W-A-S-D keys, which will make it easy for you to begin tapping all these keyboard commands from memory.

 

Just like the commands for copying along a line or polyline, the A and D keys toggle you "left" (decrease the radius) and "right" (increase the radius) respectively, and the rest of the commands are assigned intuititively to the surrounding keys. Soon, it will feel automatic!

Match Properties

The Match Properties tool applies the properties of one object, such as a piece of irrigation equipment (the "source equipment"), to one or more other piece of equipment (the "destination equipment"). The destination equipment will be assigned all data associated with the source equipment, such as spray type, symbol, arc pattern, and pressure.

 

 

For more information, see our Match Properties page.

 
Last modified on Thursday, 06 December 2018 17:01
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