this article comes from a simple question I asked myself:
Inside Solidworks, how can I speedily design hydraulic manifolds?

Later I wondered how I could:

  • Draw a circuit with HyDraw CAD600,
  • Export information to MDTools Essential for Solidworks
  • Quickly design hydraulic manifolds inside Solidworks
  • Create a 3D assembly
  • Create a machining drawing

That’s a real workflow, isn’t it? Something that you too could implement in your company?

So le’ts begin the show!

1. Schematics, this first video is showing how to create a circuit by selecting components inside HyDraw CAD600.
I am using Hydraforce cartridge valves because I am more familiar with them. However if you work with Rexroth, Parker, Eaton, Hydac, Sun Hydraulics or other major Fluidpower OEMs you don’t need to worry: the FluidPowerTools.com service will let you select between different manufacturers..You could use it to compare different products and find out which ones fit your needs better.

2. One year ago I could never think that designing a hydraulic manifold could also be funny, easy and relaxing…. Since I am using MDTools, each time I have played with it, I have experienced a series of WOW momentrs.
I know the following video is a bit long, I decided to leave all the passages that lead me to the final manifold design. You are free to fast forward the video to points of your interest: please do notice that, except for engravings, I always use MDTools Essential commands inside Solidworks. The amazing part of the story is that you can design a hydraulic manifold with Solidworks….. without knowing anything of Solidworks!

3. Assembly creation. Anytime you create an assembly you lose time due to constraints creation, MDTools Essential lets you define constraints for all the valves once and for all. During the 3d assembly creation, plug insertion is fully automatic while a user friendly interface lets you manually assign a valve to it’s cavity. This process can help you save time. A lot of time!

4. Machining drawing.This job comes easy, MDTools Essential reads the 3d model and lets you display machining callouts in the drawing. You have only to move them to where you want, then add dimensions and there you go! The manifold is ready for production. You could also export a drilling chart for any further needs.

Feel free to request an evaluation version, write comments or contact me.