Creating Connectors

This task shows you how to create a connector. Connectors can only be created on objects that have existing geometry that satisfies the rules of connector creation. It is possible to create new geometry for some types of objects, but not for hangers. If you create new geometry on a hanger and you place a connector the hanger, it will not function as it is supposed to. 
1. If the resource is not active, make it active by double-clicking in the specifications tree. 
2. Click the Build Connector button.  This will bring up the Manage Connectors dialog box.

The Manage Connectors dialog box lists all connectors on the selected part. To see a connector and its associated geometry on the part, select a connector from the list.


3. Click the Add button. The Add Connectors box displays. 


In some applications the type and flow direction fields will be available. The piping (or tubing) part connector has flow direction built in and you must select a flow direction also from the drop down menu. The mechanical part connector has no flow direction. 

Another type of connector - the nozzle connector - will be available if you are placing a connector on a nozzle. A nozzle connector must be placed on the end of the nozzle that connects to equipment. A part connector is placed on the end that connects to the pipe or duct. 

You can name each connector by selecting a name in the Name field. This is useful for some functions, such as designing using a schematic. You do not have to select a name.

The orientation, alignment and face must be defined correctly before a connector can be created. To explain what these are, the face is the surface to which you attach a connector. As an example, if you want to attach a clock to your office wall, the wall is the face. You want the numeral "12" to be up, so you orient the clock accordingly. This is the orientation. The alignment is the direction in which the clock face is pointed - normally it would be perpendicular to the wall. When creating a connector, the alignment always has to be perpendicular to the face.

The face is generally defined using a face of the part, such as the end of a pipe. Alignment is usually defined using a line, such as the not-shown line along the centerline of a pipe. Orientation is defined using the xy plane, or another plane or face to define an "up" direction.

In the illustration below the Z axis indicates the alignment of the connector. It also indicates the direction in which routing will occur.  The X and Y axis together define the orientation. They are useful when attaching two resources. 

It is necessary to select geometry in the part to which you want to attach a connector so that these three characteristics are correctly defined. If the part does not have the necessary geometry then you must create it.

4. If you want to create a connector using the part's existing geometry click the Use existing geometry option.

Click the Select Face button to select a face. Selectable faces will highlight as you move your pointer over the part.

Click this button to select the alignment. You will only be able to indicate the alignment by selecting a line -  from the construction geometry, or elsewhere in the part if there is one. You can only select a line that is perpendicular to the face plane.

Click this button to select the orientation. You will only be able to select a plane that is perpendicular to the face you selected.

Some connector types for hangers (explained below) require you to place a datum point. The datum point is placed by clicking the button and then clicking a 3-D point on the hanger.

You can display the part construction geometry, if there is any, to make it easier to select existing geometry. Do this by:

  • Right click on the part entry in the specifications tree.
  • Click Hide/Show. The part will disappear from the screen.
  • Click the Swap Visible Space button . The part will reappear on your screen with the construction geometry visible. Clicking the button again will toggle you back.
5. The fields under Classify Connector will become available after you have successfully selected the geometry explained in Step 4. Click on the down arrows to make your selection.

For Type, select the type of connector you need.

An attach part connector is used at the attach location of downcomers for attaching the hanger to a bulkhead, etc. All hangers must have this connector to attach to a structure. When you create this type of connector you must also define a datum point. The datum point is defined by selecting a 3-D point that was created when the hanger graphic was built. In the case of an attach part connector it is most often placed at the base of the hanger, and serves as the point from which the downcomer length is measured. The image below shows an attach part connector, and a datum point (the X at the bottom tier).

Support part connector: This is used to route cables or pipes through the hanger. It is placed on a tier or the center of a piping clamp. For electrical applications, place one connector on a tier - this will accommodate all the cables there is room for. For non-electrical applications, place as many connectors as there will be runs through the hanger. It does not need a datum point. Also, for electrical applications you must select the appropriate geometry, because it will determine the direction of routing and the plane on which the cables will be placed. The image below shows the green arrow pointing outward - this is the direction of routing. The red arrow (orientation) is pointed upwards, this means the cables will place on top of the tier. If the red arrow points downward the cables will be placed on the underside of the tier.

Hanger part connector: Used for electrical applications only. This is used for routing the lofted pathway. You need to place a datum point on the 3-D point you created in the center of the envelope profile sketch. It is used to create the spline that runs through the loft. The image below shows a hanger part connector and a datum point (the X in the center).

For Flow direction, select  None.

Select the Face type.  A Hole connection allows a routable to pass through it - it is useful for placing parts like clamps along a run without cutting a tube. A Face connection will stop a routable and not allow it to pass through. For the support and hanger part connectors you need to select Hole. For the attach connector, select Face.

Select an alignment for the support connector. Doesn't apply to the others.

Choose an orientation: Circular will allow the connector to attach to another connector at any orientation; round ducts and pipes, for instance, do not need a well-defined "up" direction because they can rotate. A Rectangular orientation is used for parts like rectangular ducts; they do not have a strict ''up" direction. Up allows the connector to attach to another connector or part in the up position: horizontal trays, for instance, require a well-defined "up" position. You can also use the "up" orientation for a hole connector. In the image below, the connector on the right has the up orientation, the connector on the left does not. 

The number in the Number field is assigned by the application. This can be significant because when you are creating a new connector, you have the option of using the alignment and orientation used in the previous connector after you select the face. You can choose to do this, or select a new alignment and/or orientation.

6. Click OK. The new connector will be listed in the Manage Connectors box.