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Cabling, do we really need another featurescript?

billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
edited June 2020 in General
I think so...

link to the more details

I had to cable up a rack of equipment at work and wasn't looking forward to defining the curves & sweeps.

This is a great application for featurescript and after reviewing several existing apps I decided to extend these concepts. I wanted it to be extremely easy & fast because personally I don't like doing cables & cable management. I'm not trying to accomplish a fully defined cable with pinouts & netlist; I'll leave that for someone else. I just want to declare what needs hooking up and show a basic path.

This rack of equipment is Cory Henderson's and I grabbed it from the public domain, thank you Cory. I cabled it up in about 30 minutes.


I have no idea what this thing does but it looks awesome and I just wanted to throw some cables down.


How many cables can you pass through a slot? All cables have a start, end and intermediate points. Below are 6 cables all starting/ending from a block.


Of course, we need to make changes without blowing up the model. Below we change the position of the slot and all the cables update:



This featurescript isn't ready for public consumption yet, but if your working on cabling and would to try this feature, I'd be happy to share it with you. Just private message me your account email and I'll share this document with you.



Comments

  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO

    Version 2

    I've been working on a better looking sweep and trying to make it look more like a cable vs. a noodle. I've been tensing the control points which straightens out the long sections of a cable. This makes routing long lengths of cable look more realistic.


    Basic sweep of cable through a slot:

    Added a tightening tensor at control point:

    Loosening the tensor a bit:


    I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case, bend a cable:


  • sebastian_glanznersebastian_glanzner Member, Developers Posts: 214 PRO
    @billy2
    I also had the problem with the control points.
    I got nicer paths by creating multiple segments of splines with a start and end points:

    https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/11110/new-featurescript-hose-routing/p1

  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    @sebastian_glanzner I'm very familiar with your code and hose routing routine. I'm using a lot of your ideas already.

    I did want to thank you for creating a well crafted, beautifully documented and easy to follow script. You did a really good job which inspired me to try and build my own. Anyone thinking of building a cable script, use the example above.

    In an assembly, I'm trying to pick, pick & pick and make a cable. I don't want to spend a lot of time on it; at least this is my goal.

  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited July 2020
    Version 3

    I've been using Neil Cooke's approach to sweeping a cable which is basically a start, end & intermediate points. But I departed from a standard sweep and added tensors at the intermediate points and then dropped magnitude. Abandoning the start & end magnitude handle, it just didn't look right. I can start & end better.


    It's got one adjustment to loosen/tighten the cable.

    link to the cable controls


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited July 2020
    Version 4 Diameters & Acute Angles

    This looks like a lot of equipment I work on. It's amazing how tangled up things get over time.

    Diameter loosening allows you to increase the diameter and the cable automatically loosens preventing intersecting geometry. I'm always trying to display a working cable.

    This is a 1mm diameter cable:


    This is the same path with a 5mm cable:

    Acute angle detection loosens the pinch preventing intersecting geometry:


    All this is to make a virtual cable look like a real cable.


    There is a problem with sweeps and assigning a final directional vector; it's extremely unstable causing 80% of cable failures. I've turned it off because I want my cables to always work. There's a few ideas to clean this up; and there's always room for a another version:




  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    Everything has cables; right?


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited August 2020
    You have to read about this; it's a great presentation:
    https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/14102/finished-project-animation-3-motor-6-differential-fully-holonomic-mecanum-wheel-arduino-robot#latest

    Ok I couldn't resist; cables:



    It's not about showing each wire and creating a wiring pinout; it's more about routing the wire bundles during the virtual phase and seeing what's going to happen.

    It happens to us all, we have a beautiful design and then someone goes and cables it up. I'm just trying to get an idea of what it'll look like eventually.


  • NeilCookeNeilCooke Moderator, Onshape Employees Posts: 3,925
    @billy2 have you shared this feature?
    Director, Technical Services, EMEAI
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    Not yet, it still needs some work and enhancements.


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited August 2020
    @NeilCooke , private message me your login email and I'll share it with you.



  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    Shoe lace:
  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 553 ✭✭✭
    @billy2

    VERY NICE !!

    Did it take very much set up to get it to do that shoelace thing ?


  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited August 2020
    It was fairly simple. I just constructed extruded surfaces. This way I could easily pick a top and then a bottom. In total there were 20 picks which were easy to select.


  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 553 ✭✭✭
    @billy2

    Wow

    I like that — A LOT


  • Theo_RTheo_R Member Posts: 65 PRO
    @billy2
    Nice!
  • GWS50GWS50 Member Posts: 201 PRO
    This is just what I need too. please can you release a Beta?

  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    edited August 2020
    @GWS50 I will share with you, please private message me your login email.

    You can also signup at Rusty Shed also. Either way works:



    Rusty Shed is more automated and faster.

  • Theo_RTheo_R Member Posts: 65 PRO
    @billy2
    Looking forward to trying out the update!
  • No_Mans_LandNo_Mans_Land Member Posts: 2 EDU
    @billy2
    Hey, just wondering if this featurescript is still available? I have signed up using the Rusty Shed website but have not had the script become available to me, though it says I am registered. Would love to test this out if it still exists, thank you!
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    @No_Mans_Land

    I just sent you a link.

    Sorry for the delay, over the years I've changed mail servers and needed to update my email notification address, fixed it. I dropped godaddy mail and went to google workspace, which means nothing about the cable script but I need to update my website which I've done.

    There is a cable bug that I've wanted to fix before releasing to this script into the wild, mainly the end of the cable won't be normal to the mate connector plane. Forcing this normality causes instability and a lot of errors. It's fixable, I just need to find the time.

    You should have the link by now, PM me your login email and I'll share the cable document with you. Please post some cable images when you have some.


  • No_Mans_LandNo_Mans_Land Member Posts: 2 EDU
    @billy2
    Awesome, just got the invite, thank you!
  • billy2billy2 Member, OS Professional, Mentor, Developers, User Group Leader Posts: 1,596 PRO
    Please remember to post some cable pictures.

    Thanks

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