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Heat Exchanger Coil using Routing?

Question asked by Garth Leece on Oct 18, 2011

Hi Everyone, I hope some of you might be able to help here.


My company builds large scale heaters, which consist of a series of piping coils to which heat is applied.

We would like to streamline the design process of drawing the coils by using routing.  Now, I am very new to this add-in, so any help would be appreciated.


I have attached a mock-up of a coil I did by sweeping a sketch along a 3D sketch.  Basically, I create the pattern using an equilateral triangle for the spacings, based on the design dimensions of the return bend for whatever size pipe we are using. Then, I use a 3D sketch and draw the lines for the centerlines of the pipes, connecting them with tangent arcs.  Lastly, I sketch two concentric circles, and sweep them along the path I created with the 3D sketch.  Time consuming to say the least.


What we would like to do is use the routing feature to create pipes with 180 degree return bends, and then develop a design table where we simply input the pipe size and number of tubes, and have the table drive the design.


As of right now, I can't seem to even get SolidWorks to let me use a 180 degree return bend on two pipes, it just wants to use 90 degree elbows and a short pipe section.


Any ideas?