Routing Flexibles

This task shows you how to route using flexibles.
Flexibles can be routed in space, from another part (tube, conduit or waveguide) or from an item reservation (you may need to add a connector).  When you route a flexible you are placing the actual part, such as a tube. A run is not created when you route a flexible.

The first and last points of a flexible tube can either be a 3D point in space, an indication point, or a connector that contains a datum point. The inner points can be a 3D point selection or an indication in space on the current compass plane.

1. To begin routing in space, click the Flexible Routing button . The Flexible Routing dialog box opens.

  • Standard Algorithm: If you use this option then the routing is based on mathematical calculations only. This means that the physical properties of the part you are using are not taken into account when routing. This was the only method used in Version 4, and up to Version 5 Release 16.
  • FLEX algorithm: This is available from Version 5 Release 17 onward. The physical properties of the part you are using are taken into account when routing. Properties like material, gravity, pressure rating and operating temperature of the flexible are considered. You can set the direction in which the slack will sag by using a setting. Click Tools - Options, select Equipment & Systems and the Design Criteria tab. Under Flexible Routing Options click on the down arrow and select the direction in which the slack will sag - X, Y or Z. NOTE: This option is only available if you have the FLX license installed. If you do not have the license then routing will use the standard algorithm.
  • Accuracy: Moving the slider to the right increases accuracy. Greater accuracy will give you a smoother flexible. It will also degrade performance.
  • Flexibility: If the material on the flexible you are using is not defined, then you can use this slider to set flexibility. Moving the slider to the right increases flexibility. If you want routing to take into account the material defined for the flexible then you need to select the Use Material Associated to Part button . If the button is not selected then routing will take into account the position of the slider.
  • Click the View button to display material properties.
  • Enter values in the Operating Temperature and Operating Pressure fields.
  • Select Torsion and Swivel properties if necessary.

If you do not have the FLX license then the following dialog box will display:

  2. Select a routing mode.
  • Select or Indicate allows you to click the mouse button to indicate routing points. You can also select connectors.
  • Use Select 3D Point Only if you want to select 3D points as routing indicators.
  • Select a Connector Only lets you select a connector to route from: see Routing Flexibles from a Connector.
  • Part Connector Dialog lets you select a connector to route from: see Routing Flexibles from a Connector.
  • See Routing Flexibles with an Offset for more information about offsetting.
  3. Click the Spec Driven button if you want your selected specifications catalog to apply. If you do not select it then all parts, based on your filters, will be available to you. NOTE: HVAC Design is always specification-driven and the button will not display.

Click the Filter Definition button to bring up the Filter Definition dialog box. This allows you to filter by attribute and value.

  4. Click the down arrow next to the Part Number field and select a part, then define the following parameters:
  • Check the Diameter Factor box and enter a value - this will define the bend radius (the bend radius will be the factor multiplied by the part size). If you do not check this box then the bend radius will be derived from the bending rule table.
  • Bend radius: Instead of entering the diameter factor you can enter the actual bend radius value. You must use the Bend mode (see below) in this case.
  • Show Spline: Check this checkbox to display the spline of the routed flexible.
  5. Define the build mode parameters.
  • Use Length mode when you know the fixed length of the flexible tube. You need to enter a value in the Length field.
  • Use Slack mode - and enter a value in the Slack field - to add additional length to the minimum length. If you use 0 slack between two defining points, the spline will be straight. If you define the flexible using two points, and the distance between the points is 40in, and you set the slack mode to 50%, the new length will be 60in.
  • If you select the Bend mode, the bend radius will equal the value in the Bend Radius field and, additionally, the flexible will find the minimum distance between the points defining the route.
  6. If you check the Ignore Slack checkbox when routing then that particular segment will have no slack in it. This option can only be used a segment at a time while routing.
  7. You can have a specified straight length at the ends, such as where a tube connects to an object. If you do not specify a straight length then the tube may angle out from the object, instead of being straight. If you want straight lengths at the ends, then check the Straight Length at Ends checkbox and enter values as follows.
  • Diameter factor - If you check this box and enter a value then both the start and end of the tube will have a straight length determined by your factor. If the tube diameter is 10 mm, and you enter a factor of 1, then 10 mm of the tube will be straight at the ends.
  • You can enter the Start and End lengths if you prefer. Make sure the Diameter Factor checkbox is unchecked and enter a value in the Start field. If you want the same value in the End field then check Same as Start Length. If you want a different value then uncheck this box and enter a value in the End field.
8. Click in space where you want to begin your route and click two more points to create a simple run. Click Apply.  Your flexible run should look similar to this.

9. In the Build Mode area of the Flexible Routing dialog box, change the value in the Slack % field to 20 and click Apply.

The tube adjusts to reflect the additional slack.  Note that the selected points remain in position. Now, change the Mode to Length to increase the value and click Apply. Now the slack value will increase and the run will be updated. To adjust the slack of a segment see the section on Managing Local Slack.

10. Click OK when finished.