Pipe is the space markup element used to graphically draw pipes in fluid simulation models. 

It is the animation shape for a pipe defined logically with Fluid Library block PipelineYou draw the Pipe according to the pipe topology, and customize its appearance via the pipe's properties (namely, set its color, diameter, and optionally alter Z-coordinates). Pipeline block defines all the logic for the pipe (its capacity, rate, initial amount of liquid inside the pipe, color of batches flowing through the pipe, etc.). 

Pipe is displayed both in 2D and 3D animation (to see the pipe in 3D, add 3D window in your model). Pipe may have turning points and contain several segments, see the figure below.

Pipe leading from a storage tank, in 2D and 3D animation

At model runtime batches flowing through the pipe will be animated as cylinders moving inside the pipe cylinder. The color of liquid cyinders is not defined in the pipe shape, but it is defined in the Fluid Library flowchart.

The pipe has start point and end point. The liquid will always flow from the pipe's start point to its end point, so the pipe direction is very important. Pipe end points can be put at storage tanks, or left just "hanging".

Demo model: Pipeline

 To draw a pipe

  1. Double-click the Pipe  element in the Space Markup section of the  Fluid Library palette. The icon of the element should turn into . It means that the drawing mode is activated and now you can draw a pipe in the graphical editor point by point.
  1. Draw the pipe in the graphical editor:
  1. Click in the graphical editor to draw the first point of the pipe. Please mind that the liquid will always flow from the pipe's start point to its end point, so put the first point at the liquid source location.
  2. If the pipe is not straight, but has turning point(s), add these points by making more mouse clicks in the turning points. Each click adds one more pipe segment.
  3.  Finally put the final point of the pipe with the double-click at the liquid receiver point.
  1. Having finished drawing the pipe, customize its appearance. In the Properties view, set the pipe's Color and Diameter (in pixels).
  1. If your model has 3D animation, and this pipe leads in/out of some storage tank, you may need to finely adjust the Z-coordinates of pipe and tank. For instance, if the storage tank's Z-coordinate is 0, and you want the pipe to go out of its bottom, open the pipe's Position and size properties, and specify the pipe's radius value as the pipe's Z-coordinate (e.g. if the pipe's Diameter is 8, specify 4 in the Z field.)
  2. If the pipe is not lying on one height, you can modify the Z-coordinates of the pipe points in the Points section of pipe's properties. 
  3. Set this pipe as the animation shape for the Pipeline flowchart block. Open the Animation section of the Pipeline properties, and select the name of this pipe in the Pipe control.



Name – The name of the pipe. The name is used to refer to the pipe from the Pipeline block properties.

Ignore – If selected, the pipe is excluded from the model.

Visible on upper level – If selected, the pipe is also visible on the upper level where this agent lives.

Lock – If selected, the pipe is locked. Locked shapes do not react to mouse clicks - it is impossible to select them in the graphical editor until you unlock them. 

Visible – Here you specify whether the shape is visible on animation at model runtime, or not. Using the control, choose yes or no.

Color - Here you can set the pipe color.

Diameter - Here you can set the pipe diameter, in pixels.

Position and size

X – X-coordinate of the pipe's start point.

Y – Y-coordinate of the pipe's start point.

Z – [Enabled if the shape is visible in 3D (advanced property Show in is set to 2D and 3D or 3D only)] Z-coordinate of the pipe's start point. 


The table located in the Points properties section enables users to view and adjust coordinates of the pipe turning points. It is the place where you can adjust the Z coordinates for some pipe points.

Here you define relative coordinates, not the absolute ones. The first point always has coordinates (0, 0, 0) that can not be changed.
Other rows of the table define relative coordinates of the successive points. Coordinates of each point are actually offsets of the corresponding point from the start point along X, Y (and optionally Z) axes correspondingly.


Show in - Here you can choose whether you want the pipe to be shown both in 2D and 3D animation, or in 2D only, or in 3D only.

Show name – If selected, the pipe's name is displayed on the graphical diagram.

You can modify the drawn pipe: change the pipe direction, add new turning points and remove the existing points, split the pipe into two separate pipes, or continue drawing the pipe by adding more segments to one of its end points.

Pipe direction

The pipe has direction. The liquid will always flow from the pipe's start point to its end point. So it is important when you draw your pipe, where you put the pipe's start point. However, you can always change the pipe direction (see below).

 To know the direction of the pipe

  1. Select the pipe in the graphical editor with a mouse click.
  2. The start point will be highlighted with blue, and the pipe's direction will be indicated with arrows.

 To change the direction of the pipe

  1. Right-click the pipe in the graphical editor and choose Change Direction from the context menu. You will see that the arrows changed their directions. 

Modifying the drawn pipe

To continue drawing an existing pipe by adding more segments

  1. Right-click the pipe in the graphical editor and select Append Line from the context menu.
  2. You can append a line to any end point of the pipe. Click one of two pipe's end points where you want to append more pipe segments.
  3. Now you can continue drawing the pipe: add new segments by clicking in the graphical editor, and finish drawing by putting the end point with the double-click.

To add a new salient point

  1. Double-click the pipe's segment where you want to add a new turning point.
  2. You will see the new point created. Now you can move the point by dragging and finally create the pipe of the required form.

To remove a salient point

  1. Double-click the pipe's salient point. The point will disappear. If you double-click the end point of the pipe, the last segment on this edge will be deleted.

You may want to split a pipe into several pipes (for example, to put a valve inside).

To split one pipe into two pipes

  1. Right-click the pipe in the graphical editor and select the option Split into Two Shapes from the context menu.
  2. You will see that the pipe's salient points are highlighted. Click the point where you want to split the pipe. The pipe will be split into two separate pipes. 

Related topics

 Fluid Library


 Storage tank