What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes
Posted in: Mechanical Design

Hello (again if this isn’t the first blog you’re reading from me), and welcome to my article on some key enhancements with flattening routes in SOLIDWORKS 2018. In case you aren’t familiar with it, routing is a module that lets you create 3D models of pipe, tube, and electrical routes and is available in SOLIDWORKS Premium. Flattening is the way to represent electrical routes in a 2D fashion for drawings. It’s not this kind of flattening.

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

I have the routing add-in turned on and I’m working on an electrical harness with a few branches and connectors.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

I’ve already used the Flatten Route command and have 2 different styles of flattened routes in the Feature Manager Tree. These are saved as configurations that you can switch to once they are created.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

I’m going to start with an annotation flattened view that shows all of the connectors and wires but isn’t to scale. The first enhancement I want to show off is the ability to right-click on a connector or segment and view the connected segment or connector respectively.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

This can help you easily identify what goes to where and to make sure things are connected the way you want.

The second enhancement that I’m going to cover is that you can now move around the entire route in its flattened state. To show this, I’ll switch over to the manufacture view in which the harness is to scale and there is a form board outline.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

From Figure 8, you can see that the harness isn’t fitting into the outline of the form board. Prior to SOLIDWORKS 2018, to change this you would need to right-click and select Edit Flattened Route to change the X and Y positions. Now, when you right-click you can select the command Move Connected Route Segments.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

Once you are in this mode, an XY indicator shows up in the graphics area allowing you to drag the harness to where you want. Alternatively, key in values in the Property Manager.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

If you choose to drag it, a ruler shows up that helps you move things a set distance. This is a nice shortcut to help you get things positioned perfectly.

 

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

What's New SOLIDWORKS 2018: Flattening Routes

In this article, I went over 2 of the enhancements for flattening routes in SOLIDWORKS 2018. For more information, check out our YouTube channel, get a SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD quote or contact us at Hawk Ridge Systems today. Thanks for reading!

September 25, 2017
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