I'm new user in managing modules like piping or cabling, so I prefer ask to people with more experience.
I need to model air pipes like SMC or FESTO components, specially air pipes.
SInce now I've do this with the "pipe" feature:
1)Insert > Advanced > pipe... Hollow
3)choose external diameter and thick
4) spline, add points.
So I needed a set of points to make the path of the spline. I inserted them with an offset to coordinate system, moving them by hand and by sight to let the pipe doesn't hurt the rest of components.
All of this is not much comfortable and the pipe doesn't follow a path made by straight lines because the spline has a different trajectory. however make it with a standard feature would require much time and some external references, and I want avoid this.
Is Piping or cabling module one right way to do what I need?
I've never created pipes the way your explaining. I do it by top down design. Assemble the SMC/Festo components where you want then create the pipes to go in between. Unfortunately that is not something that can be easily explained here. I found a routing pipelines tutorial at http://learningexchange.ptc.com/tutorial/134/routing-pipelines which shows the basics. You may be able to find others but recommend you take a training class especially since you are a new user. I'm assuming there is nobody at your location that can train you?
I've already seen this video but it seems that with "piping module" you could only do straight pipes linked with various angular curves. Instead, with "cabling module" it seems you can assign the points where you want the tube has to pass.
In fact the air pipes are more similar to electrical cables that the water pipes.
Each straight pipe section is only one feature of the pipe line. Once completed, they all link together to form the entire pipe line and made into a solid pipe part.
You can still create points in space then create the pipeline to go point to point to point instead of using extends. I use piping to create pneumatic, Teflon and bent metal air and water lines using various methods depending on the exact circumstance of that pipe line segment I'm creating. I would have to see what you are trying to do to say what I would do.
I have not used the "cabling module" in many years so cannot comment on that.
when you setup line stock (material) for the pipes, you can allow the Shape Type to be "Flexible".
This will generate spline type routing, similar to Cabling.