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Multi-Colored Wires in Creo


Multi-Colored Wires in Creo

Hi All,

I want to create a Multi-Colored Wire in Creo 2.0/3.0

It has got nothing to do with Cables I think.

It is related to creation of Color file/Appearance file as far as I know.

Regular process is we create an Appearance file with all required colors and during Wire Spool creation we'll assign the color.

But I know to create only one color. I just want to know, If it is possible to create such colors or not.

Attaching Images for the same.


Niranjan V

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Hi Niranjan...

This cannot currently be done. You can create colors/appearances with textures that could mimic what you're trying to achieve - but you cannot apply appearances with textures to cables or wires.

I truly hate to say the words "it can't be done" to someone when it comes to Creo - but this cannot be done. My understanding from speaking to Product Line Managers at PTC is this is not a limitation from the Creo cabling (or piping) module - but one from the team responsible for visualization. In other words - someone from that visualization team needs to get on the ball and figure out how to allow textures for wires. Striped or multi-colored individual wires is probably one of the most requested features that is not currently supported.

Sorry for the bad news!

Thanks and best regards,


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the quick and timely reply.

This is the Industry's basic requirement now a days.

Even SolidWorks is capable of doing simple things like these.

PTC's enhancements implementation process is too slow.

I still don't understand what PTC's Product Managers doing.

Creo 3.0 has been delayed by more than 1.5 years but still no significant change in Overall Design Process except in one or two areas like MutiCAD and basic Hardware inroduction.

It's the same ProENGINEER tools with a little new flavored UI [note that most tools still stuck-up with old flavor]

PTC is in a perception that SolidWorks kernel change will be the end of SolidWorks.

Dassault people is not idiots and I'm sure that they'll be coming-up with a Powerful Solution by addressing all earlier challenges.

But PTC will be there only where it was 5-10 years back without doing any real enhancements by understanding Customer's / Industry's requirements.

They forgot the Core [Creo Parametric / ProENGINEER] and started introducing unmatured Applications with no immediate market.

I still have no hope that they'll do enhancements really useful and Simplify the Design process.

Thanks & Regards,

Niranjan Veeravalli

Hi Niranjan...

There are times I am just sort of embarrassed for the software I love - and this is one of those times. I cannot argue with any of the things you said. I wish I could explain all the ways you're wrong... but you're not wrong.

I know and respect many of the people at PTC. I know the Product Line Managers, too... and most of them genuinely and deeply care about the tools they're developing. However, good intentions don't fix problems. Action fixes problems. Often there's no action because there are no resources. Without money and personnel (which is also just money), PTC cannot undertake the necessary development work to upgrade or overhaul the software.

I freely admit that I don't understand the company's financial picture - but I know they're not going to get sympathy for crying "poor" to customers who pay high maintenance fees. I can only assume that PTC is no longer really interested in leading the industry in solid modeling. I think they're interested in the Product Suite. They want to have a million small pieces that all work together. I think this is more important to them than offering "Best in Class" tools. Don't get me wrong - I think they'd like to have the best tools, too - but I don't think they're sweating it if SolidWorks beats them on most points.

This is definitely a shift in my thinking - and it's sort of sobering for me. It seems like each new revision brings a few things we need - but in general we're still falling behind. There's only so long you can continue to slap a patch on the tire before the whole thing just deflates. We need a serious, sustained, and intensive effort to make progress on some major development initiatives to move the needle and bring Creo in line with competitors like SolidWorks.

We're always quick to point out how comparing Creo to SolidWorks is not comparing apples to apples. But if SolidWorks can do things beyond what Creo can do, who cares?! Shouldn't Creo be able to do all the same things SolidWorks can do - and more? Maybe it doesn't have to be as simple or flashy as SolidWorks - but shouldn't there be a minimum level of capability that both share? How in the world can it be so hard to allow textures on a wire when you can already apply textures to everything else in Creo?




As you stated in another thread a while back, you should be able to set a wire to any saved color accessible through the appearances. I'm a bit of a novice with appearances and cabling, but I was curious if one would be able to (through the decal option) add a simple .png file to their appearance, save it, and then set that to  the wire color when creating a spool. Or is that considered a texture as well?

I mocked up a terrible version in paint, but it will do the trick as far as I know.



Hi Dalton,

That's considered a texture as well. You literally have no options here. The way Cables are displayed is somewhat different than all other pieces of geometry in Cabling.  They're sort of thickened "visually" but not literally. I know that doesn't make any sense - but this is why they always display poorly on drawings (intersections where cables come together tend to disappear randomly). This is also why graphically they don't behave well.

If you want to apply a texture there is actually one way to do it - but I don't recommend it. You can export the cable as a STEP file with the "Export Cable Surfaces" option selected. This turns the cable into "dumb" geometry but allows you to re-import the cable and apply textures. This is the same technique used by third party rendering software tools such as Keyshot.

Obviously the downsides here are significant. Your model is no longer parametric plus you've added a huge imported model to your assembly. Imports are always huge and should be avoided unless truly necessary due to the performance issues they cause.

Good thought using Decals to circumvent the problem - but unfortunately, that won't work either.




That makes perfect sense. I was playing with this a bit more, and came across something I found pretty interesting - maybe you can explain this.

I created a custom spool with a new wire "color" called adv-copper-brushed in the adv-metal appearances library I have access to. Not sure if that is a standard set or not. It ended up showing what seems to be a texture, but it may just be showing the color part and not the texture. I've attached a few pictures in case I'm missing something. In the standard appearances manager, there isn't a texture listed, but from the preview sphere, there clearly is some sort of texture applied.

Has the texture been omitted from the routed wire completely, and just the color remains?

Edit: attachments in reverse order - sorry!

Just a note on this. With the KeyShot for PTC Creo plugin, you can keep a 'Live Link' to the Creo model, make updates and send those changes back to KeyShot.

Of course, I know this... but in this case, the live link doesn't help.

We need a live link that allows us to add textures to cables. Since PTC won't get on it and make this happen, it would be great if Keyshot could! There's no live link to a STEP file which is the only way to bring a Creo model into Keyshot and apply textures to cables.

I love Keyshot... but... no one can apply textures to cables in an effortless way, not even Keyshot with the Creo Plugin.




Hi Brian

Happy New Year!

I learn a lot in here and specialy can feel warmly help from you and other great experts.

Best regards, Hongjie

from Shanghai, China

Hi Hongjie...

Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you were able to come here, receive help, and contribute to the Community. We're happy to have you!

I hope you and your family have a great holiday and a Happy New Year!

Best regards,



I know you are not a fan of the Enhancement Request process in the past, I don't think anybody was. PTC & PTCUser have teamed up with this new Community, and the new Product Ideas page. I have not searched through all of the Ideas that have been submitted for the Routed Systems product suite (yet), however I would suggest either adding this Idea if it does not already exist, and if it does exist, vote for it and ask for your peers to vote for it as well. The Technical Committees that work with PTC Product Managers will be looking over these ideas as well to help push for future development. Now that the Ideas are public it will create more momentum for PTC to address what many of their customers want.

Good day Niranjan,

Thank you for the feedback and Brian Martin‌ is right, this is a process where PTC can improve.

I do not like to promise things without delivery dates, but can tell you that we hear you and are working on improving the suggestion and feedback process. Please continue to voice your suggestions.




Hi Niranjan,

Only way you can do something about it as far as I know is to export assembly to lets say neutral format with export cables surfaces option.

Reopen it and then you will have cables as surfaces. Not realy usefull unless you just want for visualisation purposes but you get your textures.


Actually Davor, I think it's quite helpful!  This is the same technique used if you wanted to apply textures to wires/cables in Keyshot or other third party tools. Right now, it's the only path forward if you want to assign textures directly to the harness.

In that regard, I think your suggestion is very valuable!



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