Hello Instructables.com! It's kaywhysee here to teach you how to construct simple PVC structures on the computer-aided design program Solidworks. I am going to teach you how to make basic PVC pipes, and how to combine them with PVC joints. In this instructable, I will create a cube of PVC as an example, and teach you the step-by-step process as I go.
Step 1: Finding the Specs of the PVC
For this instructable I will be using schedule 40 PVC with an outside diameter of 1.315in and an inside diameter of 1.049in. Refer to the image for details. I got this information from engineeringtoolbox.com. Now that we have the details of the pipe, we can begin!
Step 2: Making the Pipe
Follow the step-by-step images.
Open Solidworks, and create a new project. Begin by choosing the "Circle" option in the top left corner. You will be asked to choose a plane, so select the top plane. You will then see two red lines perpendicular to each other appear. Click on the point of intersection, and you will begin to see a circle being drawn as you move your mouse out farther. There will also be a box with highlighted numbers inside telling you the radius of the circle as you move your mouse in and out. Using the specs previously determined, input 1.315in, the outside diameter (The image I have shown may appear to be a different size because I may be zoomed in a different amount).
Next select the circle option again at the top right, and click on the intersection of the two points as you did before. This time, input 1.049, the inside diameter. Now you should have two concentric circles. Next select the feature tab in the top left corner, and select the "Extruded Boss/Base" option right above it. On the left side of the screen you will see highlighted text that determines the height that the pipe will be. Input whatever you desire. I will input 10in for simplicity. Now the pipe should enter the third dimension.
When you have finished click the large green check mark in the top right of the screen. Now we must change the material to PVC. On the left side of the screen, there will be a tab that says "Material ". Right click this tabs, and choose the first option "Edit Material" Scroll down until you see the folder labeled "Plastics". Open it and scroll down until you see the option "PVC Rigid". Click on it, then click "Apply". Congratulations! You have finished your PVC Pipe!
Step 3: The Assembly
Follow the step-by-step images.
Begin by opening a new assembly. Download eight 90 degrees side outlets and lay them out. View the axes of the PVC, and mate the axis of the PVC to the axis of the fitting. This mate will automatically be coincident. After that choose the mate option, and mate the bottom face of the pipe to the inner face of the joint. This time, make sure that this mate is indeed COINCIDENT! This will fix the position of the pipe and the joint.
Now that I have given you the steps on how to assemble the cube, I am going to assume that you know what a cube looks like, and can build it from what I have shown you. Continue mating all of the pipes with the joints until you have created a cube, like the picture shown. To remove the axes, click on the the eyeglasses and the gray dotted line as you did before.
Step 4: Finished!
Now you're done! I hope after viewing this instructable, you have a better understanding of constructing PVC models on Solidworks!