Creating a Lofted Pathway

  This task shows you how to create a lofted pathway. You can get more information on modifying and manipulating lofted pathways in the Systems Space Reservation user guide.
When you route a lofted pathway you are actually creating a loft, which is a part. You do not create a run of any sort when you create a lofted pathway. You can route a lofted pathway from an item reservation or a path reservation.

1. Click the Lofted Pathway button . The Lofted Pathway dialog box displays.

2. Select a section type and enter values for height and width, or radius. You can have more than one section type in a lofted pathway.
3. Select a section placement. Unlike routing a run or pathway, when you create a lofted pathway you place sections at indicated locations, which are "filled" in by the loft. If you have the Create Path checkbox selected while you are placing sections you will see the loft as you route. It is more customary to leave the box unchecked until all sections have been placed. The following section choices are available (move your pointer over the button to see the type):

Free Space: A section will be placed at any location where you click. 

You can place more than one section at a time by entering the number in the Instances field. Specify the distance between them by entering a value in the Offset field. You can use this option after you have placed at least one section, and in this case you must click the Create button to place the sections.

Some basic concepts to consider before placing sections at an angle. 

When you create the first loft section, you are placing it relative to the global compass. The global compass is visible in your product as the origin.

The "global" compass is that which determines the relative XYZ position of your product. When you place loft sections, a "local" compass resides with the last section placed. It is the angle relative to the local compass that determines the position of the next section. The (-) or (+) buttons in the Angular mode follow the "right-hand rule" convention (with your thumb being the axis and the natural direction of the fingers being the positive (+) angle). In the example below (left), two sections have been placed along the global Z axis (positive). The Angular mode has been activated and the Z or W (+) button pressed to create a section at 90deg (about the w/z axis) relative to the previous section placed. In the image below (right), the section was placed activating the Y or V (-) button. The rotation is about the v/y axis.

This may well take some getting used to. Experiment with the angular mode in all axes and using a negative value in the Angle field.

Angular: This button is grayed out until you have placed at least one section. When you choose this option the section will be placed at an angle relative to the last section placed. The angle and positioning are determined by the values you enter. Enter the angle in the Angle field and click the (-) or (+) button next to the axis about which you want the section to rotate. The section will be previewed. In the Radius field, enter the turn radius relative to the last section. Click Create when you want to place the section.

Offset: This function allows you to place the section offset a specified distance from the last section placed. It can be offset along the X, Y and/or Z axis. The distance is specified in the field next to each axis. The section will be previewed. Click Create when you want to place the section.

Existing Section: If you want to link your loft to an existing section or hanger, click this button and then the section to which you want to link.

If you check the Tangency checkbox, the lofted pathway will be perpendicular to a section and the pathway will be more "spline-like". If you uncheck the box the pathway will be more angular. The pathway below was created with the tangency option checked.

You can use the compass to manipulate a section after placing it, as shown in the image below.

4. After you have placed the sections, check the Create Path box to create the loft (if you haven't already done so).