Today I decided to do the Solid Edge tutorial on tubing and piping, using XpresRoute. Picking this up was easy. For simple here-to-there routes, Solid Edge runs the routing lines itself. You can intervene with a 3D sketch tool. The OrientXpress, the big origin axes, enables you to select an axis or plane to draw parallel to. Its far more intuitive than the Tab, Tab, Tab method from that other software. I found the Solid Edge method to be more solid, easier to use, and much more reliable than the other software. It just seems like Solid Edge doesn’t make a big deal about functionality that should just work. Solid Edge provides a bend table for each length of formed tube.
The 3D sketch functionality here in this module is ok, for what it is, but it could be enhanced a bit. First, spline curves would be nice to add. There are a lot of things in SolidWorks to avoid in the way that they have implemented 3D sketches. First of all, the planes within the 3D sketch are not only confusing, but don’t work, and are conceptually flawed. If the 3D sketch were also made available for other kinds of features, that would be a good step toward more complete functionality.
Anyone out there using XpresRoute, or wish for better 3D sketch support?