Tutorial: How to model a braided hose in Solidworks?

What's up world?
Some time ago I was trying to make some eye-candy renders of a brake caliper and I thought to myself “Damn, these images would really pop if I were able to model a braided hose, just like the real deal”. Like anyone else I thought to myself “Well let’s just do it then, how hard can it be?”. Oh boy…

I probably spent two days trying to model it until I gave up and set sail to Google to look for a tutorial on how to go about it. Yeah I found some old threads asking for the exact same thing but nobody was able to give a proper answer. The method people suggested was based on UV mapping (an almost impossible task in Solidworks). But that doesn’t suit me. I wanted to model a real life object. It has to be possible. I won’t take no for an answer.

So, can we really model a braided hose in Solidworks?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: Yes you can model a braided hose, the problem is that it will generate so much geometry that you need a very powerful computer to handle it. If you are not going to render really close shots of the hose itself forget about it and use UV maps. And don’t even use displacement mapping, use bump mapping instead.

But if you are like me in that you really have to model it just to prove you can do it, well, follow along. I hope you like this tutorial.

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10 Answers

I am working on an assembly that requires me to create a pattern similar to the one you did in steps 30 and 31. However the axis is a slightly curved spline instead of a straight line.
Could you help me out in creating such a pattern along a spline?

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hi is it able to generate rattan ball?

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You can get close to the look, in Inventor by editing an "Expanded Metal" appearance. Not the real thing.

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Is it possible to use this method to create a 3 stranded braid (like a hair braid)? I have not been able to find a solidworks tutorial, only "twisting" lines around a spline to make a rope. I'm sure it would be beneficial for many people. Thanks for sharing.

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In SW 2015, it's didn't work if i didn't any mistake.

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This is truly a great tutorial. I did it and linked up your tutorial on my blog. See the post here: http://willgibbonsdesign.com/blog/braided-cable

I got hung up on step 23 with the fit spline. Not sure why, but this triggered a crash on SW2016. I also had issues with the fit spline trying to connect the end and beginning of the helix and I couldn't get it to leave it an open curve. Maybe user error?

Also, I've got a decent machine and it still struggled with this. Had to make the cable length shorter. All that aside, great work! Would love to know how you figured this out.

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