On a piping spool drawing, there are six regular directions –North, South, East, West, Up and Down. Thus, if we establish
North as up and to the right,
East will be down and to the right,
South will be down and to the left,
West will be up and to the left
Note that N, S, E, and W are all horizontal, and U and D are vertical. So all regular directions are either horizontal or vertical. In SpoolFab, North can correspond to any one of the four horizontal directions, but for the moment we will assume it is always up and to the right as shown above.
Why are they called Spools?
Piping Spool drawings are so called because open ends are often terminated by flanges, so a simple drawing consisting of a single length of pipe and two flanges can look a bit like a spool of thread, see below.
Typically, a spool drawing is limited to a piping assembly that is small enough to be transported by truck.
Although a spool drawing is usually drawn in isometric view, the phrase “Piping Isometric” does not mean a spool drawing. It usually means a less detailed drawing, in isometric view, that covers more piping than could normally be accommodated in a single spool.
SpoolFab is used to draw Installation drawings and Fabrication drawings. An Installation drawing usually includes several spools’ worth of piping, and can be used as a guide when installing spools in the field or mod yard. Typically, a piping isometric is used as a reference when drawing an Installation drawing. The Installation drawing is then split into the desired number of Fabrication spools. The limited amount of piping on each spool makes tracking by spool number a reasonably granular way of controlling the various stages of fabrication.
For smaller jobs it is also quite common to draw piping spools directly, without using installation drawings. The concepts and methods used to draw installation drawings also apply to drawing fabrication spools.
To split an installation drawing into spools, select File, Split into Spools. For help with this, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.