by Miles Nicholson
AutoCAD® Electrical has a real-time bi-directional link between Autodesk Inventor and wire/cable connection data is updated on the fly, ensuring consistency of information between your mechanical and electrical engineers. For more information on this:
However, if you are not using AutoCAD® Electrical to create the from-to information used to route wires/cables, then how can you define the connections easily rather than define the connections individually and tediously in Inventor?
Define the connections in Microsoft® Excel!
Harness assemblies often contain many discrete wires and multi-conductor cables that must be placed in the harness assembly and attached to the appropriate pins. Instead of bringing in each wire or cable individually, or indeed defining them individually within Inventor, you can import a wire list data set that automatically establishes connectivity in the harness assembly. The import files can be in .csv or .xml format. When using an .xml import file, you can also generate virtual parts and bring in additional data such as properties e.g. part data.
Once the wires and cables are imported, the system indicates the status of the import, displays the Imported Harness Data dialog box and writes a log file containing the details of the import.
The Import Harness Data tool requires a configuration file (*.CFG) and a data file (*.CSV).
The required format for the CFG must be as follows:
All values in the data file must correspond to the data types specified in the configuration file. Units on values, if specified, must be appropriate for the corresponding data type.
Further information on Create a wire list (.csv) file
A configuration file is a text file and can be easily created in Notepad. An example of a CFG file would be where the “//” prefix signifies a text comment:
//Import Wire & Cable Data into Inventor
//Ideally you should utilise AutoCAD Electrical which has a bi-directional link to Inventor
//Any line prefixed with "//" is a comment line
//The next 2 lines are the "English" names with the following line the mapping ID's required by Inventor
//Wire No,From Component,From Pin,To Component,To Pin,Wire Type,Cable No,Cable Core
Wire ID,RefDes1,Pin1,RefDes2,Pin2,Library Name,Cable ID,Conductor ID
An example of a CSV file would match the formatting of the CFG:
If you are editing the data in Microsoft® Excel, save the file as a CSV (UTF-8) format. Characters such as “²” are maintained. The wire types defined in the data file must exist within the Inventor Cable & Harness Library