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Cabling Parametric Example?

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Regular Member

Cabling Parametric Example?

I used Pro-Cabling/Pro-Diagram for many years (10-12) with both Wildfire and the initial releases of CREO.  I am with a new company and trying to sell them on parametric harnessing (for many years they have used line entity drawings in Autocad and manually filled tables).  

I have been running a trial of Schematics/Cabling and have eaten up much of the trial simply getting things functional.  I have zero references to use to prove this out, as my previous employers files were proprietary.   

I have my connectors placed and bundles routed and split as necessary (pic below), but the out of box library is missing so many spools I cannot make the proper schematic. The schematic I want to do would be pretty basic.  I have placed my connectors using the connector groups but cannot find any reference for 2 node splices and cannot figure out how to change connector node from numeric to alpha (for 23 pin Deutsch HD).    If I had something to go from, I am confident I could stumble through it, but I'm a bit overwhelmed with the changes to the Cabling and schematic modules made since I used it about 5 years ago.

I've done some digging here and really am not finding much (surprisingly) and what I am finding, the uploaded files have expired and are not acquirable.  Does someone have a schematic, model, flattened mfg file, and parametric drawing with connector tables/BOM/CDT/etcetera that they can share? or can someone point me to where to find this?

Thanks in advance,
Kevin

harness.png


30 REPLIES 30
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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I am not a Pro-Cabling person and am only tangentially connected with Pro-Diagram.  Pro-Diagram has been considered obsolete for a long time, having been replaces with Creo Schematics.  What I do know of Pro-Diagram is that you need to create your own Spool files and Terminator files.  The terminator files match up the terminals with the connector and wire sizes.  

I have good knowledge of Creo Schematics and both of those functions are handled internally to Schematics and made part of the XML transfer file so that the Spool and Terminator files are not needed for Pro-Cabling.

The spool files are easy, with just the basic information for the wire.

The terminator files contain logic in them and I hope that the ones we have are not typical.  The person who set it up couldn't find a way to match both the amount of copper and the insulation diameter so everything is based on insulation diameter +/-0.001.  

 

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

is there an easy way to create spools based off of the existing spools in the trial library?  I've heard of being able to modify the CSV file in excel and being able to copy and change the appropriate values, but I cannot find where that CSV file is...even with a *.csv search of my directories.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

You probably won't find any CSV files. CSV is frequently just a commonly used "format" for editing text files with fields delimited by commas (The C in CSV).
The spool (SPL) files are just text. Looking at one, it uses tabs as delimiters rather than commas.
You can open them in any software that can handle plain text. I opened the following one in Notepad. Copy the file to the new name, open it, and edit whatever you need.
If you are doing a lot of these, it could be easier to create tables of data in Word or Excel and paste the resulting text into blank SPL files.
Note: "spaces" between fields (all caps items) are actually tab characters.
File name is txl16r.spl

! Enter or modify parameters for the spool.
! You may use the help functionality of Pro/TABLE
! to enter pre-defined parameters.
! Spool Name
NAME TXL16R
! Spool Type
TYPE WIRE
! Color
COLOR RED
! Insulation Type
INSUL_TYPE TXL
! Minimal Bend Radius
MIN_BEND_RADIUS 0.03
! Wire Thickness
THICKNESS 0.085
! Units
UNITS INCH
! Wire Gauge
WIRE_GAUGE 16
! Color Code (for reports only, does not affect display)
COLOR_CODE R
AREA .0016

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

This is the default in schematics.  I cannot find where to be able to modify these using excel. I cannot find spool files, I cannot find CSV files.  Again, I was told by the reseller company who provided my trial that it was doable by CSV. I'm aware of CSV simply being a file ending.  Where is all this junk stored?  Again, I have experience with this, but the changes made to cabling/schematics over the last several interations are beyond frustrating and have thrown intuition for former users out the window.


spools.png

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Somewhere in Pro-Diagram and Pro-Cabling , there are configuration settings that sets the directory for them. It will depend on the whims of whoever set it up.
If you don't know where they are, do a search for *.spl in the likely drives. For example out files are in P:\u\form\elec\spools
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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I've already done that.  There's not a single .spl file on the sole drive on my laptop.  The above spool files have to be stored/read in a different manner.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I am using demodb.rsd catalog if that clarifies anything.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

You have gone past my knowledge level. Sorry.
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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

No worries.  Thanks for your input!

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Didn't think of it, Schematics doesn't need .spl files to transfer the data to Parametric.  The spools are in the XML file that you use to transfer the design.  It (at least the version we use) is in text, you can open it with a text editor to find each item.  

Try placing a wire and then editing the parameters.  Then see what exports.

 

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

It looks like the XML does contain the wire data and lists several spool names along with attach_to node info, thickness, wire name, etc.  Still no spools showing up in logical ref compare and not able to create wires from logical in the model.

I'm having a licensing issue and cannot further diagnose today, but I have attached the XML.  

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

You won't be able to get the connection (From/To) attachments to work in your XML file unless (and until) you're using fibers from a datatable.

 

You must create a datatable for your fiber library and apply a dataset to each fiber before it will connect everything properly within the XML. It sounds like maybe you're stuck at this point? It's pretty easy to create a datatable for individual wires/conductors/fibers. Multi-conductor cables are definitely more tricky.

 

While you can manage your spools using .spl files in Creo Parametric, you won't get automatic connections if you do it this way. To be precise... you won't be automatic connections from an XML file using .spl files. You can use them with a Neutral Wire File (NWF) but I don't want to go off track here.

 

The simplest thing would be to provide the instructions and a sample CSV file for some commonly used wires and fibers. Once you've seen how a datatable and datasets work, it's likely you'll be able to get the XML to route properly in Creo Parametric.

 

For the other question, you can set the port NAME (pin name) to whatever you wish. You have a few options (listed below). There's two ways you can rank this list - according to ease of use or according to long-term efficiency.

  1. You can select individual ports and change the names (highly inefficient) within the Properties window
  2. You can select the entire connector and use the lower flyout panel to view all ports in one window and change them by double-clicking in the name field (you may have to display it if it does not appear automatically).
  3. You can create a pin mapping file (CSV format) and apply it to each connector. This allows you to save/re-use the same mappings later if you wish.
  4. You can make a datatable for connectors (very efficient but requires some hand-holding in Creo Schematics). This will allow you to skip renaming ports in the future.

For ease of use: 1=easiest to 4=hardest to set up

For efficiency: 1=least efficient to 4=very efficient

 

Let's figure out where to start... fibers or connectors?

 

Thanks!

-Brian

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

What on earth is the point of carrying parameters on a fiber if they don't work until a dataset is applied.  I WAS able to get them to export with the XML by applying datasets, but the datasets literally changed nothing in the parameters from the spools I had used to route the fibers.  However, my initial export only showed 2 spools in the XML.  From there was I able to go back and discover that the Type parameters needed to be "CONNECTION!WIRE!WIRING_WIRE" in order to export with the XML and be able to create spools from logical ref in the model.  Setting as both CIRCUIT_WIRE and HARNESS_WIRE both yielded no spool data exporting with the XML.  Now I was able to read the XML in and create the wire spools from logical, but when trying to create the wires to pack into the bundles. I'm not finding an option to create from Logical but they do all show up in the compare.

I guess the next order of business would be getting splices to work.  BillF mentions using a block symbol above.  This would be similar to how I would have used splices with Pro-Diagram; however, Creo Schematics documentation and sales smoke seems to point to there being a simpler way by simply connector fibers, which can carry over a logical pass-through/butt splice to the model.  As we've already established, I'm pretty in the dark here.  I am simply trying to prove this out without taking a significant amount of time to create a database of new spools and symbols.  Once I am able to get management to buy licensing, I will send several members of my group to training...but for now, I'm wanting to do things as simply as possible to be able to carry the logical schematic into the model (and subsequently to the flat and drawing (I'm good on that part since that hasn't changed since my former life as a harness designer).  Even with datasets on the fibers now, I am still not getting the T as indicated in the below links.
https://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_schem/usascii/index.html#page/Schematics_hc%2FTo_Insert_a_Spl...

https://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_schem/usascii/index.html#page/Schematics_hc%2FAbout_Splices.h...


Can move focus to connectors after that.  But I have already tried updating the PIN parameters as you explained.  This is pretty intuitive from Pro-Diagram usage.  Pin name parameters for the connectors are grayed out and do not let me edit.  Serial Number parameter corresponds with the pin numbers but will not let me enter alpha characters..... Anyway, splices first.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

".  BillF mentions using a block symbol above.  This would be similar to how I would have used splices with Pro-Diagram; however, Creo Schematics documentation and sales smoke seems to point to there being a simpler way by simply connector fibers, which can carry over a logical pass-through/butt splice to the model."

Schematics needs to have a splice created for the automatic part to work.  
There should be one in the Catalog Explorer under Splice.  I would be surprised if they didn't have one in the demo design.

In Design Properties, there is a Branch Shape Selector that should have the splice specified.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Thanks, Bill!

So I did find a "Tee splice" buried in a random, unintuitive catalog folder.

I also went back and just routed a network over my existing routed bundle locations.  In doing this, I was able to get the wires auto-routed from the XML (I'd still like to figure how how to get the wires to show for manual packing, but that is unimportant for completion of my demo to management). 

I did have trouble getting any branches added on the network.  I tried various things, including trying to create new segments. #5 here does not seem available through extensive menu digging and frustrating clicks. http://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_pma/usascii/index.html#page/electrical_design/cable/using_netw...

I ended up just routing a backbone network and then going back and adding locations to the wires and associated them at the appropriate breakout locations.  A couple of the wires have weird kinks due to not being able to get additional branches to work.

Anyway, thought I'd update with where I was and then present my next set of questions. haha

So I have the harness flattened and placed on a drawing.  I have placed the default CREO tables....BOM, connector table, bundle table, and circuit data table (from/to table).  The BOM fills out with the connectors and shows the harness part, but does not list wire lengths.  The other tables do not fill out at all.  I have tried various model/rep combinations, as well as placing the tables additional times with the various levels of the flat model activated.  I also tried adding connector notes using "&ref_des" and "&description" to pull the parameters and that doesn't seem to work either.  In my digging, I did select the switch syms option from the table regions menu and notice that the circuit data (from/to) table is pulling from "dgm" and not "asm".  

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I have attached my schematic file as well as my harness model and associated connectors (I do realize I need to re-designate some connectors and re-route to entry ports).  Just trying to get the schematic working at this point.

(Schematic is what I would think would be a near complete state other than ground splices and associated black wires to connector ground pins)

Hopefully this helps give a better idea of where I'm at.  

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Take a look at this search.

it should help you figure out how to manually create your own logical data to create a 3d harness

 

https://community.ptc.com/t5/forums/searchpage/tab/message?advanced=false&allow_punctuation=false&fi...

 

https://community.ptc.com/t5/Routed-Systems/Quick-Routing-Routing-On-The-Fly/m-p/439840 

 

Hope it helps

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

The attached image is with this method, which I was able to carry over from my experience.  The bigger part of my question is that I need parametric tables to be able to crate and link my flat to the model and was hoping someone had an example, so I could just copy and paste the tables over and then use the appropriate parameters in my own model to populate them on the drawing.  (The schematic portion can wait for purposes of selling this to my management)

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Hi,

 

I had also lots of problems when we had to start doing cabling with Creo. First thing was that we have the cabling module but it only includes the lite version of the Schematic. Trying to use the Schematic was a pain. There were only few example components. Next problem was making the cable drawings. Tutorials suggest to use the HMX-module for making drawings... Yet another separate license that we don't have. So manual layout it is... Which is not too bad for simple cables.

 

Anyway, since my backgound is in electronics design, I decided to use Kicad for the schematics to generate the logic xml files. I am more familiar with using a PCB design software for drawing schematic diagrams. Attached are the design files for a demo cable, schematic and drawing. Hopefully they can be opened... Creo files are for version 4.0. Kicad files are for the latest version of Kicad. The kicad scripts, component library  and a short description can be found at https://github.com/lassefyr/kicadToCreo

 

 

One idea of this post is of course to promote a free alternative to making schematics for creo. Hopefully someone with more resources would branch a better Kicad scipts and components library (read "less bugs and more features") someday.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Creo Parametric lite is limited. Looks like they want people to try it out but not use it regularly.
https://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_schem/usascii/index.html#page/Schematics_hc/Limitations_of_Cr...

The big item is not being able to use a Central Catalog (library of parts that can be shared).

The library is huge for having consistent designs. Without it, you cannot (in theory) use a part in more than one design.
You can fake it by creating a "library" design. You create all your parts in it and then create copies of it to make new designs.

We have the full package and don't know how some of the other limitations affect things. Here are my quick notes on some of the limitations that I understand.

We don't use more than 10 sheets.
I find draft groups mostly useless.
Reordering two groups simultaneously is nice but you can do then sequentially.
Never wanted to import or export a CGM file.

Design properties files are useful for setting up properties. Big but not as big as central catalog.
Export to PDF is important to pass the design on to other people
Java can be very useful for more advanced things but takes some work to learn
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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Hi Kevin...

 

It sounds like you're significantly in the weeds - especially with configuration of Creo Schematics. I can help with this. Typically, I do this work as a consultant but I can probably help point you in the right direction. One large example with all the moving parts is only going to take you so far. There's a good bit of specialized knowledge you'll need to really get Creo Cabling and Creo Schematics working properly together.

 

You've asked quite a few questions - do you have a place to start? What's your biggest hurdle right now. Let's clear that one - and then we'll start clearing the others. There is plenty to learn, that's for sure.

 

Thanks!

-Brian

 

PS: Someone said they had too much trouble with Schematics so they started using another CAD system. Noooooo... don't do that. If you really can't decipher Creo Schematics, there are much, much easier ways to route wires and harnesses all using Creo. If that's required, I'm happy to dig into that, too.

 

 

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Hi,

 

I must disagree a little with the previous post.

 

In my opinion... Please always use any schematic tool to create the harness diagrams. With visual tools it is much easier to read and to maintain your design.

 

There are many schematic programs that also generate Creo compatible logical wire lists (e.g. Zuken, Mentor etc). We decided to use Kicad. An added bonus with another CAD system is that you can usually export the netlists to competing CAD systems too (e.g. Solidworks). There is no need to recreate component libraries and spools.

 

Actually, since Creo Schematic is just a stand alone schematic program, you can also convert Creo Schematic data to Solidworks on any other 3D cad that has well-defined logical wire list format.

 

Br,
Lars

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Lars (trainee) is making a big point.

 

Every time you need to manually translate the connections, it will be a source of errors.
If you are coming from or to a system that does not show the circuits, it is harder to see them.

There is a reason harness design packages are moving to hybrid schematics.  A hybrid breaks away from the true schematic that lines do not represent signal groups.  They represent the actual signal connection.  The documents for Creo Schematic still lean heavily towards true schematics (CID in PTC speak) being converted to Wiring Diagrams (WID) with software help to do the conversion.  Schematics can do a hybrid by making the wiring diagram symbols be the schematic symbols.  You place the symbols and attach wires directly to them.   No conversion to accidentally change a connection.  I have converted harness designs that were done from separate schematics and found significant differences in the circuits.  
According to the former (now retired) product manager for Schematics, almost all the U.S. users of Schematics use it to do hybrid designs.

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Hi Lars, unfortunately, I have to disagree with you.

 

In a previous post you hoped someone would provide a reliable way (hopefully free) which would allow you to create a logical reference file for Creo Cabling. Several years ago, I've documented the process for creating such a file in an automated fashion without the need to learn new software.

 

I agree that a graphic format is best to create a schematic - but not that any old schematic capture system is just as good as all the others. Not all of these software tools write a Creo-compatible file. Nor do they all create a Solidworks or NX compatible file. There's a wide variation in capabilities and reliability across these tools.

 

Mentor Graphics VeSys/Capital Harness is the gold standard - as long as you have access to a massive bank account with unlimited resources, it's a great option. But, if you care about spending $80K per seat per year on a schematic solution, look elsewhere. Zuken is okay. Some other tools (names withheld to keep me out of trouble) are not good at all.

 

Creo Schematics is actually a decent option. It's not super easy to pick up just from reading the tutorials - but it's also not impossible to use. Like anything else, it has idiosyncrasies. Creo Schematics, like some other tools, is equally capable of exporting data which can be converted to SolidWorks or NX format. I've written a few translators already between third party software and Creo Parametric - and between Creo Schematics and other CAD packages.

 

It sounds like you've found a solution that works - which is great news. In most of the environments I work in, we need to manage the schematic data as well as the resultant 3D harnesses. In my opinion, Creo Schematics benefits in this regard. I would be interested to learn how you're managing data for release in Kicad. I'd never heard of it but perhaps it's worth a look.

 

Thanks!

-Brian

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Hi Brian,

 

I do agree that Creo Schematics is probably the way to go… If you have the full license.

 

I am promoting Kicad because I was positively surprised myself of how easy it was to make the xml files with it. 

 

I can feel the frustration Fenderplayer has when trying to learn to use the Creo Schematic.  I tried the same thing less than a year ago. An added frustration was the deadline we had. First set of cables had to be done before the summer vacations. I ended up doing the cables with an Excel macro that our PTC support partner provided. Fortunately the macro was simple to use. Spools were on one sheet, Connectors in another and “From ...To”-information yet in another sheet. This macro created a .nwf file that could be read into Creo.

 

Problems started when we needed to do a major revision during the fall. At that point I started to look at Creo Schematics again. After a week or so I was able to create a sample harness that actually worked. At that time I thought that perhaps I can use Kicad to generate the same xml file. Since Kicad was not a new tool to me I could quite easily repeat the process and create an identical .xml file from Kicad. 

 

I am still happy with the end result. Few nice features that we now have are…

 

  1. Kicad Schematic is a single schematic file with all component attributes. This file is checked in to Windchill for version control. The sample cable in Creo Schematic Lite that I drew created a directory with 1256 files (when I saved a copy to a local directory). I still don’t know which file was the one to check into version control.
    Now anyone can open the Kicad Schematic from Windchill with a mouse click (as long as Kicad is installed...no license needed). From this single file anyone can create the same or edited .xml file to Creo (as long as the python scripts from github are installed).
  2. I can back annotate cable lengths and part numbers from Creo to Kicad. Schematic now shows the part numbers and wire lengths that were created in Creo.
  3. Component library is very easy to create and maintain (personally). It seems that I can’t even have a “Central catalog” with the Lite version of Creo Schematic.

 

I can see a lot of potential in Kicad… For example, with creoson I might be able to control Creo directly from Kicad… There is the possibility to have hierarchical designs etc.

 

In the end I may switch to Creo Schematic too if and/or when we get a full licence and hopefully a full set of library components. But until then I figured I can use Kicad because it is as difficult for our company to maintain the Excel Macros as it is to maintain the Kicad python scripts. The scripts I currently use are free to download from Github from the address mentioned in my previous post. The scripts are ugly (quick and dirty) but I will maintain those and make sure they work with the cable schematics our company uses until we switch to something better.

 

The master plan with this promotion was that some instance similar to Creoson (opensource) would get an idea out of this… We would end up with a superior open source cable schematic tool for Creo (and perhaps for Solidworks too).

 

Br,

Lars

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I am definitely in the weeds and intend on taking some training courses once I am able to sell management on the software.  Until then, I'm kind of at my own wits to figure it out enough to prove it out to them to buy licensing.

As far as modeling goes, I'm good and can stumble through.  Despite the menus being way different, it's similar enough to get through.  The pro-diagram to schematics changes, however, are quite significant.

My biggest questions now are as follows:
-How do I create and edit spools in a spreadsheet format on the back end, versus creating them one by one in the fiber menu.  Our re-seller showed me out to do this and I immediately forgot, as I was already overwhelmed with the amount of changes versus what I had previously used. 

-The next issue I am having is with splice insertion.
I found the following for splice insertion, but I'm not having any success getting it to work.  My previous experience with pro diagram was inserting a 2 ended splice symbol that would then be designated in the model with 2 entry ports.  I am not getting the T-shaped pointer as indicated in these directions.  If I select the already laid fiber and right click, I do see there is "splice type" in the menu, but it is grayed out.
https://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_schem/usascii/index.html#page/Schematics_hc/To_Insert_a_Splic...

-And then my 3rd question would be, I understand what you are saying about hybrid schematics with component symbols, but we also use connector diagrams on our drawings for ease of diagnostics.  I have all my connectors placed using the LH and RH connectors in the "groups" under the demodb.rsd template catalog.  This allows me to place connectors and then select number of pins like I am used to with pro-diagram..however, I am not seeing a way to modify the pin numbers to Alphas from Numerics.


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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I'm definitely in the weeds.  I'm starting from a blank canvas with only pro-diagram experience.  I had replied with some questions earlier this morning and the reply disappeared . Only adding to my frustrations, haha.  
(EDIT: other post appears now...)


Here's where I am now.  I cannot add a splice nor does my wire data carry over via XML.  I have tried making a splice as indicated at the link below and it doesn't work.  Then just for the heck of it, decided I'd export my XML and see what it looks like with logical ref compare in the model.  Low and behind, no wire spool data is being exported.

https://support.ptc.com/help/creo/creo_schem/usascii/index.html#page/Schematics_hc/To_Insert_a_Splic...

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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

Are you in a sheet with WIRING as the type. If you are in a Circuit sheet, it shouldn't work.
The T symbol for a splice should appear whenever you say you are placing a wire and cross over any other wire with the mouse. Is that not happening.
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Re: Cabling Parametric Example?

I wasn't aware there was a difference, but after clicking around and finding "sheet properties", it is indeed set to WIRING.  And no, I am not getting the T symbol when trying to place wires over other wires.  It stays a circle with a dot in the middle unless i mouse over another node, then it turns to an X

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