Welcome to the Onshape forum! Ask questions and join in the discussions about everything Onshape.

First time visiting? Here are some places to start:
  1. Looking for a certain topic? Check out the categories filter or use Search (upper right).
  2. Need support? Ask a question to our Community Support category.
  3. Please submit support tickets for bugs but you can request improvements in the Product Feedback category.
  4. Be respectful, on topic and if you see a problem, Flag it.

If you would like to contact our Community Manager personally, feel free to send a private message or an email.

Options

Custom Feature: Cable/Wire Routing

1235

Comments

  • Options
    Wout_Van_GervenWout_Van_Gerven Member Posts: 3 PRO
    Hi Neil, I really like the feature you have created. What I am missing is the bundle length and placement. And I cannot add stiplenght to the BOM. Do you know a way. Is this on the way?
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Hi Neil, I really like the feature you have created. What I am missing is the bundle length and placement. And I cannot add stiplenght to the BOM. Do you know a way. Is this on the way?
    Thanks! Can you be a bit more specifc with "bundle length and placement"? All the lengths are in the custom table, but I am waiting on this https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/15421/custom-tables-in-drawings to be implemented to get it on drawings. 
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    edited April 17
    Changelog for Release 1.178

    ⭐ Added numeric range input for defining connectors with many pins
    When defining aerospace connectors and others where pin count is high, you can now define a range of values by using the semi-colon character. For example, instead of entering 1,2,3,4,5..., 50 you can enter 1;50. This will only work with numeric values right now, so A1;A10 will not work.


    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    Wout_Van_GervenWout_Van_Gerven Member Posts: 3 PRO
    NeilCooke said:
    Hi Neil, I really like the feature you have created. What I am missing is the bundle length and placement. And I cannot add stiplenght to the BOM. Do you know a way. Is this on the way?
    Thanks! Can you be a bit more specifc with "bundle length and placement"? All the lengths are in the custom table, but I am waiting on this https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/15421/custom-tables-in-drawings to be implemented to get it on drawings. 
    I want to know where my cables will be spliced when I use the bundle feature or route them along a path. What is the length or placement of the splice and what is the length of the black part (bundle) or where can I find that to add to the table?
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    I want to know where my cables will be spliced when I use the bundle feature or route them along a path. What is the length or placement of the splice and what is the length of the black part (bundle) or where can I find that to add to the table?
    OK thanks for the clarification. It's coming, but in the meantime you can only measure the individual centrelines (splines) to get the info you need. 
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    James_EastburnJames_Eastburn Member Posts: 2
    Neil,

    This wiring feature script is amazing. I've read through the whole thread and see a couple references to features being added to create flattened drawings, including waiting on a new OnShape feature needed to insert a custom table. Does this mean there is already a possible workflow to create the flattened drawing sans BOM table? How would you go about doing that?

    I'm also curious if it's possible to handle crimp terminals inserted into a multi-terminal connector. I suppose this could be handled easily by considering only the crimp terminals, but then the connector body isn't considered part of the harness.

    Sorry if any of this line of questioning is missing something obvious. I actually haven't had a chance to dive in to using the feature quite yet. I'm trying to gauge if it is worth using as a new way for my company to create wire/cable/harness drawings.
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Neil,

    This wiring feature script is amazing. I've read through the whole thread and see a couple references to features being added to create flattened drawings, including waiting on a new OnShape feature needed to insert a custom table. Does this mean there is already a possible workflow to create the flattened drawing sans BOM table? How would you go about doing that?

    I'm also curious if it's possible to handle crimp terminals inserted into a multi-terminal connector. I suppose this could be handled easily by considering only the crimp terminals, but then the connector body isn't considered part of the harness.

    Sorry if any of this line of questioning is missing something obvious. I actually haven't had a chance to dive in to using the feature quite yet. I'm trying to gauge if it is worth using as a new way for my company to create wire/cable/harness drawings.
    Thank you, James, that's very kind. Flattened harness is still WIP - waiting on some bug fixes before I can finish it.

    Currently, the way to add terminals is in the part studio, then use the connector feature to add the terminals and connector as one item - the intention then is to extract the "BOM" for each connector/terminal collection once the drawing tables feature is added.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    domi_gomezdomi_gomez Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for this amazing feature!

    I would like to ask if would possible to have an advance CSV export including the Bézier curves parameters.

    That would open the doors for amazing workflows, as many other calculation/processes/tool can use this to have a better idea of the wiring than a mesh itself.


  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    edited April 18
    Changelog for 1.179

    ⭐ Wire refs and Wire routes can now be created manually without needing to import a CSV file first
    ⭐ Changed the behaviour of References in the Wire data table to make it easier to see which ones have already been defined
    ⭐ Fixed an issue with Wire ref names being auto-populated more than once
    ⭐ Fixed an issue with incomplete Wire refs being able to be defined again in another feature
    ⭐ Fixed empty custom table displaying errors
    https://onshape.wistia.com/medias/wey9i9o4yr?embedType=async&seo=true&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=1280

    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Thank you for this amazing feature!

    I would like to ask if would possible to have an advance CSV export including the Bézier curves parameters.

    That would open the doors for amazing workflows, as many other calculation/processes/tool can use this to have a better idea of the wiring than a mesh itself.


    Thank you! Can you be a bit more specific? What parameters do you want and what would you want to do with them?
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    edited April 18
    @NeilCooke
    I was just test driving this as not needing a CSV seemed it would fit our usual workflow better. I'm running into an issue though: the "Wire route" doesn't seem to go into "manual" mode when I type in a wire ID (and I can't select any from-to)...

    Happy to share the doc as it's just a test run (I think I've shared it with you?)



  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Thanks @eric_pesty don't know how I missed that - my QA regime is usually quite thorough - fixed now, please try again.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Thanks @NeilCooke
    Making progress now. I have another issue that I think is related to the units setup but my workspace is in inches and I'm using the default (i.e. didn't import variables to setup the cabling env.) and when I pick a wire gauge it seems like it's using the size in mm and interpreting it in inches or something like this as my 18Ga wire shows in the table as 1.03in OD...
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Ok, I had to override the "wireLengthUnits" to 1mm and it seems to be behaving as expected...
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Ok,
    I'm liking it now that I've played with it a bit more...
    I do have a use case where I'm not sure what the best option would be... We use different quite a few board mounted connectors that accept wires directly like these:



    Now I can definitely set them up with the correct refs but when I go to add a wire ref using the context version of these I have to pick every pin and set the strip length stub length again... Which isn't ideal.



    I had the idea to create a "dummy" connector that would "plug" into these. It works (as far as getting reference pins and strip length etc), but then I'm left with this "dummy" part in my harness that I'm not sure what to do with...

    Not sure what the best way to handle this would be, I'm guessing you can't "retrieve" that info from the context but maybe if the connector definition allowed using surfaces (and excluding from the harness composite) it would be cleaner.



    Side note:
    I'm experimenting with ways to show the harness in different "positions" as we do this quite a bit: for example when we have a door that opens we usually create a "door closed" and "door open" assembly configurations and matching configurations of our harness to make sure the routing works in both case as well as for user documentation etc...

    Because the wire route selection can't be configured (and it would be too messy anyway), the process involves:
    - Creating two contexts for the different positions and two configurations in the harness PS
    - Setting up wire references either by creating two different refs with configured suppression for the end that moves or configuring the "inserted" dummy position.
    - Create separate wire routes for the open and closed (and configuring their suppression so there's only one)
    - Creating a "higher level" composite that is configured to contain either of routes composites and using this in the assembly.
      - This does work reasonably and that last part is what we do when we "manually" draw a harness
      - This is an opportunity to also get rid of the dummy by using a "delete part" to explode the composite and a second delete to get rid of the dummy bits but it's a bit more cumbersome than it could be...

    Anyway, thought I would share where I got with testing the process! I have to say creating the wire refs and routes is pretty slick once that's all setup properly!



  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Thanks @NeilCooke
    Making progress now. I have another issue that I think is related to the units setup but my workspace is in inches and I'm using the default (i.e. didn't import variables to setup the cabling env.) and when I pick a wire gauge it seems like it's using the size in mm and interpreting it in inches or something like this as my 18Ga wire shows in the table as 1.03in OD...
    OK fixed it, thanks again. Not having a good day, am I? I'll digest your other comments next week. 
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    edited April 22
    Thanks for the quick fix!
    I think I found another issue though, I'm getting clips flipping direction (and just getting scrambled) when I add a point to a segment on certain routes:



    The "use clip order" also has an impact but it still gets either way. I do wonder if this happening because the "first clip" is "behind" the starting point of the connector somehow...

    Here's the other end of the same cable:


  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Another update: it looks like I was able to "trick it" by removing the first corner from the clip and making that into a route segment (and editing it):


  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @eric_pesty clip order and entry/exit direction is determined by shortest distance by default. The only way you can override that is with the clip order option and by clicking a clip while in edit mode and flipping the arrow. If you cannot control the clips then it’s an interesting test case and I’d like to take a look if possible. 
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    edited April 23
    NeilCooke said:
    @eric_pesty clip order and entry/exit direction is determined by shortest distance by default. The only way you can override that is with the clip order option and by clicking a clip while in edit mode and flipping the arrow. If you cannot control the clips then it’s an interesting test case and I’d like to take a look if possible. 
    Interesting, I had totally missed the "flip" option for the clips... So I got excited for a bit but it seems to be ignoring it in this case.
    I just @mentioned you on the feature in the doc so you should be able to see it... Let me know!

    Really enjoying the feature set by the way! looking forward to when we can use it generate a "straight" view for a drawing (and we are able to insert a BOM)!


  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    edited April 23
    @NeilCooke
    One more thing: I'm sure there's a plan for showing the strip lengths for the cable jacket (guessing columns in the table), but we also would like a mechanism to see the length of a segment between two clips. One of the things we use 3d cable routes is to check what happens to a cable when our enclosure door is open vs closed so we need to match the length of the spans between the last clip on the door span and the first clip on the fixed side. These can be drawn as two separate routes and it works well enough but right now you can only measure the length of the spline when the "show wires/cables" is unchecked.

    EDIT: ok, I just realized that the curve remains even when the checkbox is on, however it's hard to get to since it's invisible. It can be reached through "select other" so this might be good enough for now...
    I guess a "straightened" version would also benefit from including that information so a mechanism for that would be nice...
  • Options
    Kristoffer_NilssonKristoffer_Nilsson Member Posts: 6 PRO
    To add to @eric_pesty last comment, and this might have been brought up before, but it would be nice if we could force a cable/harness to be a certain length. This would help realize if the cable is long enough in two different installations or if we have an off the shelf cable with specific length to route to see where we could gather the slack.
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @eric_pesty the clip flip error was a typo in my code - last minute changes went unnoticed. The fix will only apply to existing features if you delete all your clip selections in the route and reselect (and possibly "reset edits"). 

    I've also added a "bodyless" connector definition to address your terminal block repetition issue. To use this, import your terminal block into a Part Studio and define a connector feature. The trick is to NOT select a part, but go ahead and define the names, pins, pinouts, strip and insulation lengths as usual. Then in the wiring PS, insert a connector and search for the terminal block and place it on the face (insertion point reference) of the in-context terminal block - the pinouts will be added and the Wire ref feature will pick up all the data when those pins are selected.


    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Nice!
    Thanks @NeilCooke, I'll give it a go hopefully in the next few days!
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Ok, time for a quick update!
    I haven't had a chance to play with the "empty connector" thing but it looks like it will do exactly what I need!

    I think there might be a bug with the jacket trim end conditions. In the image below the black cable is set to "to first clip" (which is on the left), but there is some stripped jacket at the other end as well. The grey wire that is set to "at first end" does show the jacket going to the end.



    The other thing I noticed (probably more of a missing feature than a "bug") is that if you change the "first end" jacket end condition, it bumps the spline segments by one so any tangency and additional points that were applied end up on the wrong segments, which is less than ideal if you've setup everything and change your mind on the start condition! It would improve the user experience if this was tracked...

    Other than that, this is working great. "sculpting" the different segments of a wire route is quite satisfying, like a "reward" after setting up all the clips and wire refs!

    Now we just need a straightened view and a way to have a "BOM" on a drawing!
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    @eric_pesty thanks for the observations. The "to first clip" option only applies to a cable stripped at both ends while "first end" assumes the other end is not stripped. This is just legacy behaviour that could be changed with little effort if needed. You could stick with "first end" then use the manipulators to get more wire at that end.

    With regards to spline segment count, I have fought with this since day one and can't come up with a solution (in FeatureScript) that can track the IDs of those segments. So, for example, if you add clips then edit the segments, then remove the clips, the spline count changes and your edits may be wrong. I am literally storing the settings per spline count so if the count changes it can go a bit crazy. Even if I did come up with a way to do this, if you edited a spline both sides of a clip, then removed the clip and there is one less spline, which edits do you keep? Conundrum.
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    eric_pestyeric_pesty Member Posts: 1,630 PRO
    Thanks for the detailed reply.
    For the first part, I think it would be nice to have independent control of both ends. What I actually want in this case is a strip to first clip on one end and no strip on the other end.
    Maybe instead of the one drop down, there could be two of them, one for "first end" condition and one for "second end" with just 3 choices each (not stripped, "manual" strip, stripped to first clip).

    For the second part, it's unfortunate to not be able to keep track of the segments... 
    I'm not super clear on what you mean by storing settings per "spline count". Are you saying you don't have a way to know what order the splines are in at all? If that's the case then obviously all you can do is have the same number of "settings" as splines and "hope for the best". However it does seem to be deterministic as when you add a clip to an existing modified route, it seems like it's only the segments "after" the clip that get affected, anything before that stays put.

    If the settings are stored in an array, say in the case where you switch the first end from "stripped" to "to first clip" wouldn't it be possible to insert the new spline settings in the first position of the array to that the settings for all the other ones get bumped by one "count" instead of all being applied to the spline before the one they were meant for? Presumably you are tracking in which "position" a clip is added or removed (either from "auto ordering" or manual "clip order") so it should be possible to know which spline "number(s)" is being affected?
    I think your example of removing a clip between two splines, it would make sense to me if both splines were "removed" and a "new" one added instead that would have "default" settings. Any manual edits on that section would be lost but presumably if a clip was removed they probably wouldn't valid anyway.

    As a side note, if the "auto ordering" of the clips is what is making this difficult, I would personally rather have it always "follow clip order" if that resulted in more predictable behavior.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, I'll be following how this develops closely!

  • Options
    jahid_kalifullahjahid_kalifullah Member Posts: 12
    Is it possible to do flatten the routed 3D harness model?  if yes, please share the steps to do it.
  • Options
    NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 5,517
    Is it possible to do flatten the routed 3D harness model?  if yes, please share the steps to do it.
    Not yet
    Senior Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • Options
    jahid_kalifullahjahid_kalifullah Member Posts: 12
    NeilCooke : 

      Thanks for your response. I m some issue with connector placement by using option "wire connector ". I m not able to place the connector by selecting the surface of the incontext assembly. please check below image for the option in selected.

    please share your comments.

    .





Sign In or Register to comment.