6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 29, 2010 2:18 PM by Robert Thomson

    How do I document wires in general?

    Abraham Azar III

      We use a lot of RF cables and for our equipment, I have most of them modeled.  We only have SolidWorks Standard so no Routing.  I typically take two connectors and make a 3D-Sketch, Spline, Sweep to connect the two wires.  Where I encounter a problem is:


      1. If I use a 10" cable, I'm not sure how to dimension a spline to 10"


      2. If I would like to create a drawing, I cannot "flatten" the cable to a straight line.


      I'm curious if anyone else has similar issues.

        • Re: How do I document wires in general?
          Steve Calvert

          We don't have the routing package either so all our cable drawings are flat.  We don't show any cable routed unless someone can't figure it out.  The routing package is really cool and we'll be getting a Premuim license soon for that and tubes.


          So, IMHO, don't show the cables routed and if you have to make them virtual in the assembly.



            • Re: How do I document wires in general?
              Mark Larson

              don't have the routing package either, sometimes model the cable in position as best I can, then create drawing from it, sometimes not, sometimes make them flat.

              I do whatever makes sense, whatever gets the job done of making a drawing of what is needed to make it correctly, and to see it works in the assembly.

              The one thing I learned not to do is use splines. The thing about cables is they usually allow for much more tolerance than other parts, they can inspect it for length after it is finished, but what they want to know is how long of a wire to start with and how to put it together, that ultimately determines the finished length. If the drawing properly shows them how to build it, it will be of the correct length when it is finished.

              • Re: How do I document wires in general?
                Robert Thomson

                As far as Virtual Components are concerned, I was having a problem and one of the things that was suggested was to use "Empty" part files instead of VC.  He referenced That is why there are “recommended methods” or “best practices”, in telling me not to use VC .


              • Re: How do I document wires in general?
                Chris Challinor

                Same as Steve stated.


                We have a drawing of a straight cable for the part level drawings. The model of the "Drawing part" is not used in assemblies


                In assemblies we have a cable sub-assembly that is routed to the correct points, this we use for the "assembly drawings".


                Routing, that is not needed, sure it would be easier...........but I am just as fast (sometimes faster) creating a "routed" cable using sweeps and extrudes.

                • Re: How do I document wires in general?
                  Jerry Steiger



                  I believe there is an enhancement request to allow us to set a spline length. If there is, you should sign up for it, if not, you should enter one of your own.


                  We have only a few cables in our products, so I have never worked very hard on a nice way to make a straight version for part drawings. I use a different configuration for the drawing where the wire body is generated by a simple extrude instead of the sweep along a spline used for the as assembled configuration. I'm afraid it isn't a very useful method if you have a lot of wires.


                  Jerry Steiger

                  • Re: How do I document wires in general?
                    Dustin Biber

                    I have done this in the past with hoses...


                    In your spline part, create a second configuration.  In this new config, simply use an extrude for your 10" length (suppress the sweep feature.)  Then in your cable assembly model, create a second config for the straight version.  You will need to suppress the mates to the no longer present sweep and generate mates to your extrude.


                    Now you should be able to toggle between "routed" and "straight" configs.  Create your drawing of the straight version.  The only functionality that will be missing is a link between your spline length and your straight length.  So be careful when updating.