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Learn Cabling in 30 Minutes?

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Regular Member

Learn Cabling in 30 Minutes?

This year at PTC Live Global 2013, I'm going to attempt something which, at first glance, seems totally impossible. In 30 minutes flat, I'm going to teach people with absolutely no previous experience how to create a harness in Creo Cabling.


As an instructor (among other things) for Creo, people come to me for training. The single most requested class is always the same... Creo Cabling.

Usually I try to steer starry-eyed students away from tackling cabling outright. To really use the tools to its greatest efficiency, you need to have a pretty broad range of skills in areas such as assembly management, skeleton modeling, top-down design techniques, and efficient part modeling among many others. Once you have a good solid foundation of knowledge in these underlying areas, I can teach you how to create harnesses very quickly in Creo Cabling.

The problem is... everyone always wants to take a shortcut and get right to the cabling stuff. This is a bit like mastering the art of kite flying and then assuming you're skilled enough to pilot a jet. Still, no matter how many times I make this point people are convinced they can just take a quick class from PTC and become cabling masters. After all, there's a market for cabling people and in this economy everyone wants to be more marketable. It's completely understandable to want to cut to the chase.

Typically students take cabling training through PTC University, watch a few videos online, or even attend a class given by a live instructor. They're relatively successful in class... but when they attempt to use their training to create a harness "for real" that success usually proves elusive. What's worse- some people actually succeed... but then suffer mightily trying to make modifications to their designs.

In my humble opinion, most of the formal (and even more of the informal) cabling training isn't very good. You're taught how to push the buttons but not why to push them. The truly powerful features are never completely explained. Students are given the false impression that there's only one "right way" to use the tool. Perhaps the worst part is that you're never given a comprehensive methodology you can use in all situations to quickly and easily design a harness.

In 2012, at the PTC Live Event, I gave the original Ninja Cabling presentation. I demonstrated some simple techniques using basic sketching and design skills to create the framework of a harness. Then, using only a handful of new tools from the cabling application, I developed that framework into a complete cable assembly using the powerful autoroute feature. The point of my presentation was that anyone can learn cabling quickly and easily. Moreover, you can even use the advanced features without much fuss.

Over the past year, I've further refined the Ninja Cabling techniques. I've created a concise series of steps that can be used to develop any harness. Following these steps, designers have a roadmap for creating cable assemblies of any size and complexity.

Tutorial videos with click-by-click instructions insure each step is fully explained. Quick reference sheets for both Wildfire 5.0 (Creo Elements/Pro 5.0) and Creo 2.0 help designers remember how to use the specialized functions of the cabling application. Finally, a set of sample files, demonstration models, and related documentation rounds out the new Ninja Cabling 2.0 toolkit.

Even with a solid design methodology, videos, reference cards, and demonstration files, teaching Creo Cabling in just 30 minutes is a daunting task. At PTC Live Global 2013 in Anaheim, that's exactly what I'll attempt as I present Ninja Cabling 2.0 for the first time. I won't be able to teach the assembly management, skeleton modeling, or top-down design skills that serve as the foundation for developing cable assemblies. You'll have to acquire those skills on your own. But at the very least, attendees should gain the confidence, knowledge, and tools to begin using Creo Cabling when they return to their job. That might make Ninja Cabling 2.0 the most valuable 30 minutes you can spend in Anaheim this year!