SOLIDWORKS Routing offers time-saving advantages such as:
- The easy ‘drag-and-drop placement’ can intuitively snap route components into your model hassle-free• Auto-routing of pipes and tubing can quickly link flanges effectively
- A vast library filled with pre-made industry standard routing components ready to use on-demand
- Automatic creation of engineering drawings and bill of materials with complete data including properties and cut lengths of routes
I’ve created a compilation of the Top 10 tips and tricks to further save time and help you design efficiently using SOLIDWORKS Routing:
10. Using Route bounding box
09. Applying penetration points
Upon adding a pipe penetration – the routing software creates a cut extrude feature and sets ‘Offset from Surface’ as the End Condition. This handy feature can be created by right-clicking the intersecting point and then selecting the ‘Penetrate’ option in the routing settings. In addition, you can also replace a pipe penetration with a fitting by dragging and dropping a fitting at the penetration point, which adds a split point in the route segment and aligns the fitting with the route segment.
08. Effective Rotation
When dropping a routing component, there are times the component can be incorrectly orientated and can be resolved by holding the shift key + right/left arrow keys which will rotate the component on its rotation axis line. If you drop your component and the orientation is still not correct, it can still be modified using the move with triad option (right-click > move with triad). Additionally, the triad origin point can be re-oriented by holding the Alt key which will align it with the origin of selected component.
07. Follow-up with the design table
Once a custom route component is created, it can be time-consuming to add configuration modifications, especially if there is a large number of dimensions requiring changes. Using a design table enables easy adjustment of dimensions through an excel spreadsheet, in addition pre-made excel design tables can be imported in a matter of seconds.
06. Utilising the ‘Route along’ relation
Routing offers the same advantages as manipulating relations similar to that of 3D sketches, which provides greater flexibility. Additionally, a unique relation called ‘Route along’ is enabled during the route editing process which provides a higher degree of accuracy since it dimensions around its surrounding environment; adding both distance and orientation dimensions.
05. Save time with a Route template
It can be very cumbersome and time-consuming to manually modify your pipe and elbow settings each time a route is started. By creating your own route specification template, the settings only need to be adjusted once, therefore each time a route is started it is automatically adjust for you. Moreover, you can create route templates within the routing library manager under ‘route properties’ and ‘add new’.
04. Adjust Routing transparency
Toggling the routing transparency can be found within ‘Tools > Options > Display/Selection > Assembly transparency for in context edit’. During the routing process – by default the model will go into the ‘Maintain assembly transparent’ effect which can difficult to accurately position the routing components. By switching the setting to ‘Opaque assembly’, the assembly features are clearly visible and positioning routing components is more effective.
03. Recycle Route components
02. Take advantage of SketchXpert
SketchXpert offers two options:
- ‘Diagnose’ automatically finds valid solutions to the sketch and eliminates errors in which you can select from a choice of scenarios that SOLIDWORKS generates
- Alternatively, you can choose to manually repair the sketch for more flexibility in your sketch
01. Use Split Route
It is a common mistake to create routes without splitting when you’re in a hurry.
Without a split route it is difficult for tee components to snap effectively. By applying the ‘Split Route’ tool it allows the 3D sketch to separate into different routes and enables the tee to snap into the correct place.
Whether you’re new to SOLIDWORKS or a seasoned Routing user, I hope you’ve found these top 10 tips useful.