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Custom Feature: Cable/Wire Routing

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    Axel_KollmenterAxel_Kollmenter Member Posts: 411 PRO
    Ok now I go my first self created csv file working... I wrote everything in one line/column. This worked but is a bit unclear imo. If I write every Parameter in a different Column (A="From Ref";B="From Pin";...) I get the above mentioned error.


    Best regards,

    Axel Kollmenter
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    That is not right - looks like you imported the CSV without setting comma as the delimiter? This is very strange since it works for me in columns? Can you export a CSV file from your original excel sheet, zip and attach? Thanks.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Axel_KollmenterAxel_Kollmenter Member Posts: 411 PRO
    edited August 2022
    There you go. Where do I find the option to save it with a comma as delimiter?
    Best regards,

    Axel Kollmenter
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Your CSV file uses semi-colons not commas (and it also seems that Onshape can only read commas) - apparently it is a Windows setting https://www.ablebits.com/office-addins-blog/change-excel-csv-delimiter/#default
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    S1monS1mon Member Posts: 2,545 PRO
    @NeilCooke
    This seems like it will be an issue with period vs comma as decimal separator. 
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    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    That's pretty messed up that something like this is set in the OS!
    Looks like Onshape may need to add some "import settings" on file tabs so that you can set the format (for decimal separators, etc...), does the browser "know" (and report) the regional settings of OS it's running on (so that the defaults can be set accordingly)? Looks like this could be an ongoing issue...

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    Axel_KollmenterAxel_Kollmenter Member Posts: 411 PRO
    edited August 2022
    I got another question. Is it possible to create a automaticaly filled wiretable on the drawing? so a external BOM for just the wires, like the from-to table but with all wirelength.
    Best regards,

    Axel Kollmenter
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    billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 2,041 PRO
    @NeilCooke

    Just read about your cable featurescript listed in the onsight newsletter. Very nice!


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    Stefan_GherghelStefan_Gherghel Member Posts: 2 PRO
    Hello @NeilCooke, I have tried the featurescript and it has very good base

    An issue I have encounter when "pin from" or "pin to" are numeric the wire route will not be generated, I think this is a variable issue

    One relevant update that I would request at this moment is grouping of wires in cables to have option to be selective of what wires I can add to it (more like bundle) and to create bundle splits.
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Stefan_G said:
    Hello @NeilCooke, I have tried the featurescript and it has very good base

    An issue I have encounter when "pin from" or "pin to" are numeric the wire route will not be generated, I think this is a variable issue

    One relevant update that I would request at this moment is grouping of wires in cables to have option to be selective of what wires I can add to it (more like bundle) and to create bundle splits.
    Thanks Stefan - I have fixed the numerical pin issue in v4. Bundles are on the roadmap.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    Other than the video example, is there documentation or a learning module that details how to go about all the steps involved to use the cable/wire routing feature?  I tried to find such documentation but alas the search comes up dry.  I need something I can read rather than trying to absorb the process by following part of an example.
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Other than the video example, is there documentation or a learning module that details how to go about all the steps involved to use the cable/wire routing feature?  I tried to find such documentation but alas the search comes up dry.  I need something I can read rather than trying to absorb the process by following part of an example.
    Sorry, video only.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member, csevp Posts: 741 PRO
    Does this mean I'm going to end up doing even more of the work that the "Sparky's" are supposed to do? :):):)
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    Does this mean I'm going to end up doing even more of the work that the "Sparky's" are supposed to do? :):):)
    Nick,

    Yes, yes it will.  ;-)  I'm a (retired) "sparky" by degree and, as a mentor for my local FIRST FRC robotics team, this seems to have gotten traction with the electromechanical aspect of the robot design.  I've previously just composed a block diagram of all the electrical/electronic components and their interconnects and then that was used to wire the chassis.  Now the impetus seems to be driving the electrical connectivity to be included in the mechanical Onshape model directly.  The rationale thus far is that it factors into the overall weight (which is limited by the competition rules), integrates into the structural clearance picture, provides integrated documentation, and gives the students a tool so they can do the work.  If I'm lucky this should reduce my workload, once I figure out how to pull this together.

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    Tanja_HofmannTanja_Hofmann Member, Channel partner Posts: 12 EDU
    edited October 2022
    @Axel_Kollmenter Hi Axel, in Excel you can also use the expression "=A1&","&B1&","&C1&","&D1&","&E1&","&F1&","&G1&","&H1&","&I1&","&J1&","&K1" to switch from division by columns to a comma as delimiter. :)
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    Marcos_GonzalezMarcos_Gonzalez Member Posts: 2
    Hello @NeilCooke,  first of all, Thank you for this great feature! I was trying to make a harness with this process but I found some issues:

    1.- When I try to group as cable some wires it goes in a weird way:
    2.- Is there a plan o way to merge more than 1 wire route into 1 bundle, I have 3 different wire route:
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @Marcos_Gonzalez - glad you like it. V3 will include harnesses/bundles. Just trying to get v2 out with some significant changes that should fix the issue you are seeing above. I will post here when the update is live.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    I've been working with the Cable/Wire feature for some time now applying it to a test project in order to establish some application standards.  Parts of the process are rather tedious but workable however my experience thus far has generated a few questions.  Just to qualify my context for the following questions, I am still a relatively novice Onshape user (by most standards), so my experience is based on limited Onshape self-paced courses, more expert user help, and my usage.

    First question has to do with the Featurescript version.  Onshape indicates I am currently using released version V4, however, I'm not expressly seeing what I believe are the new user interface features so I'm not clear on how to check that.  For example, I could be wrong about the availability, but I believe the newest version has what I refer to as the Clips/Channels "library" feature that I saw in the recent User Group presentation.  This capability update allows you to define the clip or channel parameters and then they are automatically referenced in each instantiation.  Any advice on how to verify what I'm using or some form of feature release notes would be helpful.

    Second question has to do with trying to use a cable raceway as a clip/channel element for wire routing.  The raceway segment illustrated below is a concatenation of several imported shorter model segments used to create the desired raceway length.  When I try to use the geometry references for the channel or the side slots the length of the route reference is from end-to-end of the channel segment and likewise completely through both slotted sides.  As such any wire placed in those references do not provide the routing flexibility.  I tried to use the Mate Connector reference in the Clip/Channel function but I cannot seem to use them as a routing reference (yes the imported model part has a bunch of Mate Connectors defined on the part).  So the questions are:  what I'm I doing wrong with the raceway clip/channel references and why can't I use the Mate Connector reference with this model element to provide more fine-grain routing control.

    Thanks,
    Glenn
     
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @Glenn_Babecki - I still have not released what I showed at the user group yet. I keep falling foul of "I'll just add one more thing" syndrome. I shouldn't have referred to V2/V3 above because that was my own major version release in my mind rather than the Onshape doc version, sorry for the confusion.

    The mate connectors on the raceway should work as long as the defined clip has a length.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU

    Thanks for clarifying the available versions.  I have attached a screen capture of what the Reference Manager reports as the most recent version (V4).


    I attached two views of the concatenated raceway segments that illustrate the available Mate Connectors, one end-on (presumably useful with the "Use Center" of the channel option) and one of the middle of a raceway slot.  However I cannot invoke the Select Mate Connector to display and select any of those illustrated Mate Connectors, which would appear to be the ticket for wire routing options.



    The Wire Clip function can only select edges down the channel and through the slots which results in the final image below. 



    As you can see the two axes of routing are completely through the length of the raceway segment.  So while it's the whole length of the segment down the channel, at least it's just the segment and not the entire channel.  I can understand that the feature script is treating the raceway segment like a discrete clip and therefore wants to pass the wire through the entire length. The selection through the channel side slots is completely unusable because any wire routed through that point wants to go through the channel and not just the slot on one side as expected for the raceway application.

    Part of the solution may be to get the wire to the entrance of the channel rather than trying to coerce it through each segment.  To do that I need something like a real or virtual clip to establish the raceway entry point.  It would be nice if there was some way of designating the entrance of the channel actually on the raceway.

    I'm at a loss of how to make the Wire Clip function treat each slot on each side of the raceway as a discrete clip.  Unfortunately when the Part is selected it treats both sides of the channel as part of the clip so it appears I need each side of the channel to be treated as a separate part in order to select a slot independently.  If I can do that by getting the Mate Connectors to work or some other means, then I can point the wire at the raceway channel entrance and then pick off the wire exit at each selected side slot.  So far I had to artificially make the wire appear to go through each desired slot by editing each wire; not a viable approach.

    Any way, that's my tale of woe.  Any further thoughts on how to tackle this would be deeply appreciated.

    Best Regards,
    Glenn
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    Pierre_LinPierre_Lin Member Posts: 6 ✭✭
    I'm trying to model a sensor with an integrated cable that is terminated with a connector.

    At the sensor I would like to be able to hide the 3 separate conductors, is there a way to bring the cable insulation up to the end of the conductors?


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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @Pierre_Lin - not currently, you would have to redefine it as one wire with a diameter = cable.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    That's what I did to create an Ethernet cable:  connect an single arbitrarily small gauge wire to an imported Ethernet RJ-45 connector and specified the diameter of the wire approximately to match the size of the cable stub on the RJ-45.

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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @Glenn_Babecki - v2 (the real version 2 that is - I renamed the one you are using to v1.3) will make clip management much easier. 

    I think the issue you are having is that you can't add mate connectors to in-context geometry, so you have to select edges/faces. You can copy the in-context geometry into the Part Studio using "Transform/Copy in place" then mate connectors will work.


    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    Super; thanks for following up my issue and providing a solution!

    I just assumed the mate connectors in the referenced assembly would have "transferred" into the in-context Wiring Part Studio so clearly I was at a loss to understand why I couldn't reference the part's connectors.  I was not aware (i.e., got to that course) of the Transform/Copy function and when to use it (pfft, what a novice am I).  I'll read up on that function and try to apply it to my model.

    BTW, I imagine that this also applies to whatever mate connector I'm trying to access at the end of the channel where I'm trying to get the wire to enter the raceway.  The biggest issue I think I might still be facing is that I don't necessarily want the cable to route down the full length of the channel segment; I just want it to enter and point down the channel.  Let me know if there is a clever way to tackle this on the channel itself or if I have to add a routing point (e.g., "clip") in front of the channel entrance.  If I had to add an external route point it would be nice if it was somehow "virtual" and not an physical part I have to add to the model.

    Just thinking out loud here, but I think I might be having a similar issue with other wire management elements such as a cable tie mounting tab or t-slot structural aluminum channel tabs.  They tend to have a flat surface with slots underneath to run a cable tie up and around the wire.  If I can Transform the respective mate connectors into the in-context wiring diagram I'll see if that helps routing a wire.  Otherwise I might have to simulate a cable tie on the tab in order to have a circular entity through which to route the wire.

    Thanks again; I'll only circle back if I can't figure out how to do the Transform/Copy.

    Cheers,
    Glenn
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    Okay I was afraid this was going to happen; I got myself wrapped around the axle.  I read the Transform description and it's a feature of the Part Studio.  So if I understand your suggested solution, I went into the Wiring Parts Studio, clicked on Transform and selected a segment of the concatenated raceway assembly as the Entity to Transform/Copy as a test.  This clearly puts the real deal part into the Part Studio.  However when I go add a clip that references what should be the slot mate connector of the transformed part I still can't use the mate connector reference as illustrated in your picture.

    I don't know if it's something about the part model I imported or I'm not fully comprehending the required operational steps.  When I use the raceway segment in an assembly I can reference the part mate connectors to concatenate segments as well as mate the collection to another surface so I believe the part has intrinsic mate connectors.  Perhaps I'm missing the details of what you did in all those other clip references in the list.  Would it be possible to detail the steps you used a little more or perhaps even share your example model so I can examine all the facets of the sequence?

    Thanks,
    Glenn
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    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Share you raceway model and I’ll take a look. 
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    I attached the 3D model(s) I imported into my project.
    Raceway Segment:  PARTserver22022101622194102405663d0b6156e.zip

    At the risk of getting ahead of myself I also attached two other clip related models that I would like to understand how to use, but this is secondary to my desire to understand how to use the cable raceway.
    Cable Tie Mounting Block (for t-slot structural aluminum):  PARTserver22022101622175574905641d0b6156e.zip (note  you may have to change the appearance from the default black color to see the part shape)
    Adhesive Cable Tie Mount:  Adhesive_Cable_Tie_Mount_20x20.7z

    If you need to see what's going on in my Onshape model then let me know the appropriate contact information (email, etc.) to share, or if the "Share with Onshape support" option is sufficient.

    You probably got better things to do so I really appreciate the investigation.
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    NeilCooke said:
    @Glenn_Babecki - v2 (the real version 2 that is - I renamed the one you are using to v1.3) will make clip management much easier. 

    I think the issue you are having is that you can't add mate connectors to in-context geometry, so you have to select edges/faces. You can copy the in-context geometry into the Part Studio using "Transform/Copy in place" then mate connectors will work.



    @NeilCooke - Don't know if you had a chance to examine the raceway part I was using, but at a minimum could you expand or elaborate on details in each of the ">Clip" entries illustrated in your model?  Perhaps if I see the details of each reference I might be able to figure out what I'm doing wrong with my part.  Of course all that is also predicated on my usage of the Transform function.

    Thanks,
    Glenn Babecki
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    Glenn_BabeckiGlenn_Babecki Member Posts: 30 EDU
    Aside from trying to figure out how to use the cable raceway, I'm experiencing another troubling property.  Is anyone using this FeatureScript experiencing directionality phenomenon with clips?  I find that no matter how I define the clip "entry" point the wire only wants to route in one direction of the specified edge or surface.  This is problematic when wires are "coming and going" through a clip.  It's impractical to plan the wire from/to direction to match a clip preferred orientation.
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