When working with CAD models, you may have noticed that they often lack of cable structures, making it difficult to accurately simulate cable movement and interactions.
This is where wires come in handy. By creating wires within the frontline.io 3D Studio, you can easily add cables to your model, and use them to animate movement and interactions. With this guide, you'll be able to overcome the challenge of animating cables and bring your digital twin to life.
To get started with creating a wire in Unity, you can access the necessary tools by navigating to the LLS tab on the Unity tool bar. From there, you can select "Tools" and then "Create," followed by "Wire."
This action will generate a basic wire shape on the floor of your scene and create a corresponding Wire gameobject in the hierarchy panel.
To begin adjusting the wire's position, you'll need to make sure that Gizmos are visible in the Scene window. Then, you can use the Start and End controllers, along with the tangents that appear on the model, to easily move the wire into place. Simply click and drag the controllers to adjust the wire's shape and position to your liking.
To adjust the wire's appearance and behavior, there are several settings you can tweak in Unity. You can modify these settings in two places: within the Wire settings (the main object), and for each of the points controlling the cable.
This setting controls the number of edges along the wire. Increasing the count will result in a smoother wire.
This setting controls the number of edges around the wire. The lowest value is 4, which will give you a cube-shaped wire, while 20 will give you a perfect circle.
Enabling this option will flatten out your wire, effectively turning it into a ribbon cable. You can further adjust this by modifying the Flatten Wire Ratio and Rotation Offset sub-options.
Use this setting to adjust the wire's thickness.
Curves Per Segments
Increasing the curves per segment value will add more control points along the wire, giving you greater control over its shape.
Use this setting to twist your cable, creating the effect of a metal wire. Note that applying this effect may require higher mesh and radial resolutions.
Enabling this option will make your wire more dynamic, allowing you to create a "natural and realistic" pose for it.
Start / End Connector: You can add an object at the start and end of the wire to serve as a connector.
Control Point Settings
At startup, there are 2 control points on each end of the wire. Additional points can be added through the connectors options in the Wire Settings menu.
For each control point, you can access its settings by clicking on it and viewing the inspector.
In the Mode setting, you can choose how the tangent of the control point behaves. You have 3 options to choose from:
Free: allows you to move the tangent freely
Aligned: aligns the tangent to the wire
Mirrored: mirrors both tangents and moves them together in opposite ways
The Twist Angle setting acts like the twist angle in the wire settings, but only affects the control point.
With the Twist Offset setting, you can move along the twist effect on the cable from the control point.
The thickness setting allows you to edit the thickness for the control point.
The thickness Offset setting lets you move along the thickness effect on the cable from the control point.
The Prepend/Append setting lets you create an extension wire from the start/end control points.
To straighten the point, use the Straighten setting.
To remove a control point from the wire, use the Remove setting.
Snap Wire Creation
To create a wire in your model, select two points that will serve as the start and end of the wire. You can do this either by using the wire creation tool or by pressing the hotkey Ctrl+Shift+W. Keep in mind that the wire will be created from the pivot point of the model and may not be exactly where you want it. If this happens, you can use the Adjust Pivot tool to change the pivot point.
Alternatively, you can place a placeholder where you want the wire to go, and then create the wire between the placeholder and the start/end points. Once you've built the wire in the correct place, you can delete the placeholder.
In summary, wires are a crucial element in creating accurate and realistic cable movement and interactions in CAD models. With the use of frontline.io 3D Studio, you can easily create wires and adjust their appearance and behavior to meet your needs.
By taking advantage of the wire settings and control points, you have the flexibility to create wires that look and behave realistically, bringing your digital twin to life. With the information provided in this guide, you are now equipped with the knowledge and tools to create impressive wires and cables for your digital twin.