I'm brand new to the forums. I've been using 3DS for about a year and I primarily use it for turning DWG's from Autocad into 3D models (walls, doors, pipes, etc).
I'm curious if there is a quicker way that anyone knows of to create walls, doors or pipes. My guess is that there isn't but it'd be extremely nice if there was a tool that helped automate the process.
My process is using the AEC wall tool to create all the walls, then the door tool to do the doors one at a time. The most time consuming process is creating the piping. I tend to just use the cylinder tool to create pipes and add a bend modifier when it needs to turn. It's a very slow process. Does anyone know if there is an easier way to do what I'm doing? Perhaps a way to use the snap tool to make my cylinders match up to the dwg. I'm pretty certain there isn't a way to automatically create 3D models from the plans on the DWG, so I'm just looking for something that will simplify what I'm trying to do.
Anyways, I really have enjoyed learning Max and hope to move beyond just doing models for buildings in the future.
If you don't need actual details on the piping (for example, copper piping might have slight offsets where there are elbows, joints, etc.) you can simply use the spline tool. Draw your splines, then make them renderable (under the Rendering part of the Line tool, just turn on Enable in Renderer and Enable in Viewport), set the radius of your pipe, apply a material, and you're good to go.
Thanks for the super fast response. What you recommended looks like it will work perfect for what I'm trying to do and will speed up my modeling time by quite a bit. Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it!