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ST7 Sneak Peak: Fixed Length Curve


In the last week or so I've finally had a look at ST7, and I gotta tell you, I don't know about anyone else, but I am excited about this release. A lot of these additions look familiar to me.


We're going to dribble some of these features out just to spark a little interest. The first feature to "leak" is the Fixed Length Curve. You can apply a length dimension to a curve (spline) and it will act like a piece of rope. Check out this new ST7 feature demo video.



(view in My Videos)


This will be great for wires, tubes, pipes and things….join us in Atlanta at SEU147 to learn more, and stay tuned for new feature updates coming soon. 

PLM World Member Pioneer

<sigh> - another 'cute' feature which demo's well but is only useful in the REAL WORLD if supported by other parameters such as minimum bend radius or curve stiffness. Try modelling the shape of a hanging loop of hydraulic hose or cable in Solid Edge (even with the Fixed Length Curve feature shown above) and there are NO tools for realistically controlling the shape of the festoon or catenary unless the painfully-primitive Curve by Table is invoked.


Granted, it's a step in the right direction and will certainly be useful, but there is SO MUCH more to the design of flexible elements which SE ignores ...


Grumpy Rick.

PLM World Member Valued Contributor PLM World Member Valued Contributor
PLM World Member Valued Contributor

Does this work in Express Route?

Community Manager

@HS -- Yes, works with 3D curve in Express Route


@RickSTer -- Ah, yeah, that's fairly grumpy to dis a feature you have not yet even used. :-) I think in practice, though you state it does not go far enough, you will find it very handy. 


WOW excellent stuff! As some can attest to, there's posts on the GTAC forums going back to ST3 when I joined and started kicking and screaming for this. Guess I can finally get rid of my sticky notes and pen for recording spline length!

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PLM World Member Valued Contributor



There were so many times I could have used this trying to find a path that would work the length of hose I had.


Like Rick I may find myself want more after trying it but it is a great start. What about a hose with some straight lengths or arcs as part of the path not just one spline?


Can this be used in the design of a living hinge in order to show the hinge open or closed?




Probably, as long as you don't use too many spline points. It may not be 100% analytically exact, and of course some of that depends on how you specify the middle point of the spline (I'd recommend a spline with 2 end points and one control point). If you have two bodies representing the plastic on either side of the hinge, and then use the fixed length spline as part of an ordered feature.


Why don't you test it out and come back here and add another comment?