Importing DXF Center Line Designs in Sheet Lightning Pro v6
This is a powerful new feature of Sheet Lightning Pro v6 that truly unleashes the design potential of the product.
It is now possible to design a chute, structure, or other sheet metal design with any level or complexity of intersections using a conventional CAD system to simply create a 3D line
layout. Sheet Lightning will then import the DXF file of this design and automatically interpret the 3D lines into tubes/pipe. Once the design is imported you can then modify the section sizes and parameters to
create virtually any design within the products section design set.
What does this mean?
With a bit of 3D design experience using only 3D lines in a regular CAD system it is possible to create the most complex design structures. Consider exhaust manifolds, bike frames,
tubular steel structures, playground slides, chutes with complex branching. The list goes on. Try loading one or two of the examples supplied with the demo.
Fig: Complex Spiral Design with Spokes - Loaded as DXF 3D Center Lines
We have even provided a simplified tube design of the the Eiffel tower to prove the power and potential of this feature. Here is an image of the base:
Fig: Eiffel Tower Design Importing Example
How Does it Work? - The 3D lines are imported and converted into tubes. Any lines that end with their
ends coincident at the same point are connected with a bend intersection. This means any number of lines/tube can be connected at the same point. Any lines that end exactly on a midpoint of another line are
interpreted as a tee intersection. If circles are placed on the line ends the circles are interpreted to be the
tube diameter at that end, so by placing different diameter circles at each end the line is interpreted to be a
cone. Any circle placed on a midpoint of a line is interpreted to be the diameter of the whole object - a tube. Here is a another structural example:
Fig: Structurel Design Imported via DXF 3D Center Lines