I need to route a 3D model of a project with a large number of hydraulic hoses, fittings, valves, and bulkheads. Since there is a large number of hoses and I may have similar projects in the future, I am trying to make this routing process as automatic as possible. I have used SolidWorks's automatic routing feature without a problem while routing electrical wires, but hoses are trickier since there are extra fittings between the hose and the components.
Here are different methods I've considered:
- Mark each hose end on the schematic as a terminal, and set the manufacturer part to the desired hose end. Add connection points to hydraulic fittings stored in ePDM.
Pros: Seems to be the quickest fix.
Cons: Hoses aren't actually connected to components, they just look like they are. Also modifying the schematic with seemingly unnecessary symbols.
- Create subassemblies of each hydraulic component with all fittings (including adapters, hose ends, etc.). Add connection points to this new subassembly.
Pros: Components are fully connected as shown in the schematic.
Cons: New part numbers, lots of paperwork.
- EDIT: I found a command in SolidWorks 3D, "Insert Fitting". You can find it with RMB on a hose. All fittings you insert require connection points, but once that's taken care of it's easy to use.
If you know of better methods for dealing with hydraulic fittings and hoses, or have critiques on these two methods, I'd be glad to hear them.