Tutorial: How to Model Flexible Water Cooling Tubing.

How to model PVC tubing for the purposes of PC water cooling models in SolidWorks:

  1. Step 1:

    Assemble hardware and fittings as required.

  2. Step 2:

    Create the tubing part and open a sketch on any plane perpendicular to the fittings (i.e., looking at the side of the fittings, not the top or bottom).

  3. Step 3:

    Use "Convert Entities" to convert the edges on the base of the fittings, then make these construction lines.

  4. Step 4:

    For a fitting which is perpendicular to the skecth plane, create a centreline going down from the midpoint of the converted entity. The length of this line does not matter.

  5. Step 5:

    For a non-perpendicular fitting, first draw a centreline between opposite points on the ellipse.

  6. Step 6:

    Then draw another centreline which is perpendicular to this. The length of this line does not matter.

  7. Step 7:

    Draw a spline which connects the midpoints of the two centrelines. Don't be tempted to add spline points - this will result in an unnatural curve.

  8. Step 8:

    Select the spline and the perpendicular centreline, and add a "tangent" relationship.

  9. Step 9:

    Then repeat with the other centreline.

  10. Step 10:

    Adjust the spline handles to create a natural curve.

  11. Step 11:

    Exit this skecth, then repeat the entire process on a different plane.

  12. Step 12:

    Use the "Projected Curve" tool to create a curve using the two skecthes. Check the preview to make sure it looks correct.

  13. Step 13:

    If the curve disappears after you press the tick, you may have "view curves" disabled.

  14. Step 14:

    Open a skecth on the face which the curve begins, and draw two circles which represent the inner and outer dimensions of your tubing.

  15. Step 15:

    Exit this skecth and click the "Swept Boss/Base" tool. Select the circles skecth for "profile" and the curve for "path". Select "minimum twist" for the "path alignment type".

  16. Step 16:

    Final model rendered in KeyShot: