Welcome to MCAD Central

Join our MCAD Central community forums, the largest resource for MCAD (Mechanical Computer-Aided Design) professionals, including files, forums, jobs, articles, calendar, and more.

Register Log in

Pipe features and Pipe bending


Should pipe features be used in Pro/E modeling applications that require pipe bending equipment? For instance, a bicycle frame? What are the advantages to using a pipe feature v/s other features like sweeps? Please excuse my ignorance, I'm not completely sure that I understand the applications that the pipe feature is to be used for, when there are other features that seem to do the same job.

Does anyone know where I can get a tutorial / book on pipe bending, and how to model parts like bent pipes in Pro/E? My app is a bicycle frame.



New member
Pipe features will calculate the straight tube lengths for you and give a more realistic reflection of what is happening when the bending occurs. There is a bit of stretch/deformation when the tube bending occurs. A swept extrusion is merely going to follow the trajectory that you define, and it is going to form your geometry based on your selection criteria...ie norm to traj. This probably wont reflect the actual geametry created from your tube bender. Also Pro/pipe will create a Bend data table that the tube shop could use to create the preformed tubes.

All that being said: it probably comes down to the amount of accuracy you really need and the manufacturing process/tolerances involved. For example when designing valves for Aerospace apps the preformed tubes require a great deal of accuracy so the fittings line up with their respective ports. If your bike frames aren't as critical and you can fill your gaps with welds you may get away using sweeps.

PTC offers a PRO/pipe class, also Coach has a pretty good piping online tutorial. I can get you additional info on a ptc class or coach if you would like.



Active member
Pro/Piping is a module that is included in FLEX3C but you can purchase it separately.

If your license package is FAP then you can't enjoy it.



Thanks for the reply bzastrow, a few more questions if I may. I can't seem to get the twist data necessary for a bend machine from the feature info dialog box of the pipe feature (remember, my feature is a pipe feature created in part mode, not by entering into Piping in Assembly mode). What I do is select Info>Feature then select the pipe. I'm getting the information window showing bend locations and angles of each bend, but no twist information for bends done out of plane. Is there a a way to extract this data from a pipe feature created in part mode? Can I get this data into Drawing mode using a repeat region? What I need is bend machine information to include all bends, and including any out of plane bends (twist). Bend allowances would also be nice but not necessary. Do you need the Pro/PIPE to do all of this? Which module do you think is best for my application. Isn't Pro/PIPE used more for routed systems, or do you use it for any type of bent pipe? Would Pro/PIPE functionality be useful for what I need it for, my bicycle frame project? Thanks.


New member
The way I would make a bicycle frame would be making points in a cartesian plane then using the pipe feature in the advanced menu to created the frame of the bike.


kingjon Thanks for the reply, I have that pretty much covered...I already have an existing frame, and access to a CMM. What I need to figure out is how to get the pipe segment data from my pipe features created in part mode into bend data that my pipe bend machine can utilize (read..I do not have Pro/PIPE). Can anyone clarify this for me? Will I need Pro/PIPE to have the ability to utilize bend allowances, which will help to produce more accurate bend machine data necessary to bend and cut my pipes? Thanks


As far as I know, a Pro/Piping pipe is geometrically identical to a swept feature (and so is a 'pipe' feature created without the Pro/Piping module). I've never heard of Pro/Piping accounting for any sort of 'stretch' in bent tubes. The sheetmetal module does this by allowing users to specify bend tables or bend formulas.

Since Pro/Piping does not ask for any type of material data (i.e. k-factor), I don't see how one could expect it to anticipate material deformation resulting from tube-bending.

Some of the main benefits of Pro/Piping are the engineering information you can extract from the finished product.

- extracting bend data (locations & angles)

- automatically check bends for standards compliance such as min/max radii, radius spacing, etc.

- pipe lengths

- etc