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creating 3d curves for sweeps to create pipes, tubes, round forms from a Top Assembly

EH_3679112
4-Participant

creating 3d curves for sweeps to create pipes, tubes, round forms from a Top Assembly

Spending way too much time creating multiple sketches in order to make a compound curve that will get extruded/swept to make a shaped tube, round, wire, etc. Ultimately a drawing is needed to manufacture such "Tube/Round" so geometry has to be clean. I use points to generate curves but that is time consuming just trying to figure out how to make the curve since they never are on a single 2D plane.

 Creo 8 & 9 basic is being used, no access to advanced surfacing or Rex tools. I am curious how many would approach this and not use external modules like Piping.

 Example: You have an assembly with various components that need tubing connecting them or round bar. 

You generate simple sketches within assembly in order to make this path/shape. Ultimately you get mismatched curves and many sketches on various planes only to find out the sweep tool will not generate the form because of various alignments, gaps (some extremely small) and you chase yourself around to fixing them. The entire assembly did not take long to design (Top-Down) but i find myself spending 10X that time just to make a tube that follows specific paths and assembles into tube fittings?

 

Any help here?

Thank You

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

Here is a quick sample model (Creo 7) of how to use two planar curves to generate a 3D curve. If you can sketch on two planes to create the route this will work and is quite robust. You do need to insure that the curves actually intersect when you do this. If you need a visual cue when working then just extrude a surface from one or both curves.

 

Create two planar curves that represent the routing path projected onto a plane. I used splines for each planar sketch in this example. They do not have to be splines but the intersection of the curves should maintain G1 (tangency) or higher continuity to be a robust sweep trajectory.

 

tbraxton_1-1659211006671.png

 

Intersect the curves to generate the sweep trajectory 3D curve

 

tbraxton_2-1659211070513.png

 

View solution in original post

21 REPLIES 21
StephenW
22-Sapphire III
(To:EH_3679112)

Piping/tubing/hose routings have always been pretty tedious. I haven't done much recently but in my past I used the piping module, which has become routed systems. But I have done some with intersecting curves and points from a coordinate system and it is extra painful. I really don't believe there is a cure for it. If I remember correctly, I decided that a curve thru points was my preferred method. That was likely due to when I did the drawings for the tubing, I had to have all that data anyway.

I would typically try to keep my external references to a minimum and mostly within my pipe or hose assy component and then in the long run I would break all the external references once I finalized my routings. Wish I had better advice for you.

 

For some reason, I thought that basic piping module was part of the foundation package or maybe advanced assembly, but I don't ever have to deal with licensing so I am possibly mistaken. Even with the piping module, its doesn't make the modeling much faster. But it does make the overall experience more pleasant and a little less tedious. It's much more like sketching a curve in 3D and does eliminate the hassles of intersecting curve issues.

For "soft" routings I generally use a spline through points.  That would be for hose, wire, cable, etc.

 

For more controlled "hard" routings I use one of two methods.  That would be for rod, pipe, metal tubing, etc.

  1. Intersecting 2 sketches
  2. Curve through points with straight lines and added fillets.
  3. I have also seen sketching sections with end curves on planes as needed.

kdirth_0-1659124396493.png

 


There is always more to learn in Creo.
tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

This illustrates 3D tube routing using the method (intersection of curves) mentioned by @kdirth above. All of these tubes are CNC bent and laser cut to join the cylindrical connectors. It works quite well for 3D routing problems but can be tedious. All of the 3D routes seen here were created by intersecting two planar curves to create a 3D curve. A skeleton model is used to manage constraints such as min bend radius on the tubing so the sweep trajectories are on the center line of the tubing which makes programming the CNC bender faster. It looks quite rudimentary but is not trivial to model with all of  the constraints.

 

tbraxton_0-1659125814593.png

 

 

 

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:tbraxton)

Thank you to all that have replied. I really do appreciate the efforts!

 

I have been using the curve thru points and adding fillets when possible or needed.

Again, thank you. I am familiar with this technique but find it very similar to generating sketched curves. (tedious)

That seems the easiest but also has the same problem of generating points in 3D model space.

In the diagram shown I see 4 sketches but do not see how that generated your complex curve and or points?

Perhaps I am not so fluent in the curve intersecting routine. I do like the points for drawing dimensioning aspects.

Those can be generated easily from a completed tube-form.

Is there any chance a file could be shared for the illustrations sent above (kdirth)? Or a good You Tube link.

trail file/video or something. That is a pretty good example.

I do not see anything well guided in the E-learning library sadly.

Thank You,

Eric.

 

 

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

I am not able to post that model. If you have a representative test case for your routing that you can provide (Creo 7 or earlier for me) then I could use that as an example for curve intersection if it is applicable. It can be as simple as the start and end of the route and any geometry to navigate around. I may have an example I can post, I will have to dig through some legacy data to check.

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

Here is a quick sample model (Creo 7) of how to use two planar curves to generate a 3D curve. If you can sketch on two planes to create the route this will work and is quite robust. You do need to insure that the curves actually intersect when you do this. If you need a visual cue when working then just extrude a surface from one or both curves.

 

Create two planar curves that represent the routing path projected onto a plane. I used splines for each planar sketch in this example. They do not have to be splines but the intersection of the curves should maintain G1 (tangency) or higher continuity to be a robust sweep trajectory.

 

tbraxton_1-1659211006671.png

 

Intersect the curves to generate the sweep trajectory 3D curve

 

tbraxton_2-1659211070513.png

 

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:tbraxton)

tbraxton, thank you kindly for taking the time and efforts to communicate and demonstrate.

 I am familiar with this method, I thought maybe there was a less tedious way. It seems so time consuming to do these steps just to generate tube/piping/wiring from a Top-Down Assembly. I thought perhaps I was missing something. although you last example that you could not send as a file did give me some questions on that visual but perhaps it is just the 4 corner sketches that through me off on the picture.

 

 In this day in age, PTC should be giving some good efforts to make simple things simple and not focus so much on the High-level changes.

The foundation of core feature creation is an area for all and not just the big Company markets. Simens NX has done a pretty good job trying to make things like this easier. I picture a simple tool that you sketch the tube end shape such as you are extruding it, and just keep dragging it around object/surfaces/components, etc. Much the same a freestyle type curve works but could have easy interface to maintain tangency to floors walls, etc.. and pick radius for curves almost like generating curves from points.

 

Thank You All and Tbraxton especially!

 

P.S. what is the Tanzenite-19 signify? 🙂 Love the Gem Stone

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

Here is a picture showing a prototype of the welded tube assembly (in red). The four corners you refer to were a fixed geometric constraint that the tubes all have to terminate on. All of the tubes required a "fish mouth" contour to mate with the mounts. They house vibration isolators.

 

If you do a lot of cable or tube routing you should demo the routed systems extension to see if it is worth the cost.

 

The Tanzenite designation is set by the community based on the level of contribution.

 

tbraxton_0-1659282974063.png

 

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:tbraxton)

Thank you for the picture sharing tbraxton !

Your project came out wonderful, great job.

Also, thank you for the clarification on the sketch features, that is why I did not understand the original thread on the concept.

 

Again, thank you & great job!

Attached are some images of the example assembly I was creating formed tubes/piping for.

 

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:EH_3679112)

After seeing your design, I thought of something. Take a look at this video tutorial. It may be useful for your design workflow for tube routing.

 

https://www.e-cognition.net/Flex_Hose.html 

 

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:tbraxton)

Wow ! now that is interesting!

 A bit more of what I was initially thinking there is something else (technique).

Not sure as of yet how to apply that to a wide variety of configurations and it takes a very good setup.

example, trying to go around corners and or diverse lengths with various helical twists.

But good thinking and thank you for sharing.

 

StephenW
22-Sapphire III
(To:EH_3679112)

@EH_3679112 

You also may want to review your ptc license. https://www.ptc.com/en/products/creo/packages shows piping and cabling as part of "all creo design packages". In an assy, check under applications piping (always when you have any assy open, not a part)

I know that if the original license purchase was many years ago, the licenses may be different.

Also below is a basic youtube tutorial of the piping functionality, you have go to about the 8 minute to get past his model setup.

StephenW_0-1659355561988.png

 

https://youtu.be/maidSmo9-UE

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:StephenW)

Thank you Stephen

 I will test the module in my current package.

I see the advantage for general plumbing but Top Down Design and complicated routing I am not sure if it makes less tedious work for my application. I need to try it out and compare. But I thank you for the insight, response and taking the time to try and help with this question.

StephenW
22-Sapphire III
(To:EH_3679112)

Hyd. tubing and piping is going to be tedious.

From previous experience in earthmoving industry. All down top down in Creo (well Pro/E Pro/piping), then complete fabrication drawings for production line build. I've used it for hydraulics, air lines, and fuel lines and several other random applications.

 

StephenW_0-1659439276384.png

StephenW_1-1659439284010.png

 

 

 

EH_3679112
4-Participant
(To:StephenW)

Thank you again Stephen.

 That is a [perfect example and similar to what I am suggesting is tedious in any creation tool.

I have a vision of a tool you just keep dragging around an assembly visually. Maintaining tangency, add radius features etc all in a dynamic tool much the same you would do for a freestyle type of feature. Looks like you did a great job on that piping project! I am sure it took a great deal of time.

Creating coordinate systems, points, sketches etc. all are so time consuming. We should lobby for a dynamic tool, choose a pipe/tube/shape, start point and just keep pulling around the model with interactive constraints like tangent to a wall or floor, let it decide a curve radius to avoid obstacles and just keep pulling it around your assembly model.

 

If you use offset coordinate system points you can edit dimensions and use the drag handles to move the points around.  It is a bit confusing to determine which drag handle to move, especially if the are a lot of points.  Being able to grab the arrow head of the dimension as you can for a sketch dimension would be nice.

kdirth_0-1659448508529.png

 


There is always more to learn in Creo.
StephenW
22-Sapphire III
(To:EH_3679112)

You might want look in to it deeper, if you are doing a lot of piping/tubing/hose routings.

There is a dynamic drag function, it uses a coordinate dragger, it is basically a 3d routing sketcher. If your fitting have appropriate coordinate systems, you don't have to create those in your assy. I believe there is some "follow" functionality (its been years since I used it and i don't remember details I didn't use much).  Your line stock selected will have tubing bend radii presets (with options) or hoses with minimum bend radii.  Obstacle avoidance...well, I don't think that's a thing.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a just open the piping application and you start routing. You can do some basic stuff pretty quick (like the video) but if you really need full functionality, there is a good amount of setup for fittings library and line stocks that would streamline the process and reduce the tedious part of it. There also may be some basic libraries available to help jumpstart the setup.

 

TomU
23-Emerald III
(To:tbraxton)

@tbraxton,

Just out of curiosity, is that for an RC airplane, paramotor, or something similar?

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:TomU)

Something similar, operated by an agency of the US DOD.

TomU
23-Emerald III
(To:tbraxton)

Lol.  Got it! 

tbraxton
19-Tanzanite
(To:TomU)

Commercial propulsion unit that uses the same  combustion improvement technology developed with the prototypes.

 

https://www.unmannedsystemstechnology.com/2016/01/hirth-motors-unveils-new-15hp-cots-uav-engine/ 

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