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Difference between routing add-on and just making 3D sketches with splines

Question asked by John Bankert on Jun 14, 2016
Latest reply on Jun 15, 2016 by Peter De Vlieger



Besides the "repair route" function in the routing add-on (which tends to just suggest unrealistic service loops), is there any design advantage to using the routing add-on to develop a complex route instead of just making a 3D sketch with splines?  I am routing an optical fiber cable with a large bend radius that will require a somewhat convoluted path in between terminations. 


I was hoping the auto-route feature of the add-on would have some intelligence (i.e. it would avoid obstacles or have some sort of optimization built in).  We have ideas about what route we would like to take with the fiber, and were hoping the add-on would be able to tweak the design for us.  For example, is there a way to define a zone that the route must pass through?  I know you can put in clips to direct the route, but that requires manually tweaking the angle and position of the clip to get the right route.  The "clip" functionality can also be performed without the add-on just by defining coincident and tangent relationships in a 3D sketch anyway. 


Is there a way to make the spline "smooth" itself out?  If you've adjusted a spline enough times with enough control points, eventually you end up with a somewhat bumpy/ unnatural bending of the spline between control points.  I try to use as few as possible but inevitably I end up with a route that has many unnecessary changes in radius.   The image below is just a quick example spline I made to show the problem.  Is there some functionality that would smooth this out and give a more gradual change in radius?  There are options to simplify the splines in the 3D sketch.  Is that my only option?


Unfortunately I am not able to share the model I am working on, but I just wanted to know if the routing add-on can be used in a way I am describing.  The metadata and visuals it provides are nice, but not really what I am looking for. 


Thanks for the help!