Why I've made it
Modelling lamps in the last period, I felt the need to have a tool that helps me out to build the cables for these lamps and be able to switch between different types of cables.
Cables are present in our day to day life, they are under and above your desk, and a bit everywhere. They should not miss from your blender scene either.
What does it do
Wireless is an add-on that easily lets you transform a curve into a cable. You can personalize this with different cable types and different ends just with a click.
In this first release, you have 6 cable options and 24 cable ends covering the most commonly used electrical plugs, audio and USB heads.
Who is it for
Architectural and product visualizers, people who create interior scenes, and anyone who needs to create cables.
Why should you have it
You have more time creating beautiful sceneries without spending the time modelling boring stuff. Gives flow to creativity.
You have free updates at no extra cost for all the upcoming libraries.
On the roadmap:
Currently, I'm working on these things:
- new libraries - released periodically
- introducing categories
- improved material management
Once downloaded the .zip file, open Blender and go to File > User preferences . In to the Addons TAB, click on Install from file... and select the .zip file.
Once installed, enable it within the add-ons list. It is located in >3D View:Wireless
2) Creating Cables
Now you have a new tab in the 3d View Tools Shelf called Wireless, and if you have a curve selected you can turn it into a cable.
Turn the curve into a cable by clicking on the Create some wires button.
After this, you can choose the type of wire you want and if you want to have end caps, enable them by clicking the relative button.
Even if cables are made at 1:1 scale, you might need thicker (or thinner) cables. The thickness slider allows you to set up that.
The head end caps allow you to put an end cap on one extremity, and the Tail end cap on the other.
Use the left and right buttons to swap the end caps or click on the image and choose from the collection.
3) Editing the curve
If you want to alter the size or the shape of the cable, you can do this through the curve. Switch to edit mode and manipulate the control points at your will. Subdivide, extrude, rotate and move to get to the desired shape.
The Root Control Point
The root control point is the first point of the curve. When you move this around, the cable will start to go crazy. Don’t panic! Position the point where you want it and then just switch back and forward choosing a different cable type so the geometry is recalculated. The cable will snap back in place.
Tips for a better UX
Disable the normals display of the curve. Most of the time they are a big pain.
Increase the resolution of the curve. With the default resolution of 12, the cable seems broken. Increase the resolution until you have the desired result. Try to find a compromise between control points and resolution of the cable. For example having a Resolution of 60 between two points, you can use Resolution 30 and subdivide the two points.
4) Materials handling
The new created cables have 7 material slots which are distributed like this:
Each time you change the end types or cable the materials used by them are deleted unless you have assigned them to a fake user. If you want to edit a material or replace it with one existent you have to assign it to a fake user or just assign it to another object. Doing this, the material is saved and you can use it later on.
For the extremities, you have the option to assign them the material used by the cable. This will replace the first material of the end cap with the cable one in such way that it creates a more homogeneous cable. Play a bit with it and see the results.
Apply Wireless data - will transform the cable into a unique mesh not responsive anymore to the Wireless controls.
Purge Wireless Data - I’ve left this button in case that something went wrong with the curve ( Yes, it is the first public release) It will delete the wireless data from the curve and the cable components.
6) Bug reports
I strongly encourage you to submit any bugs you find. This will help me to give you better product updates, so you can get the most of it.
Send me a direct message, if possible include the blend file and replicate the steps you have done to make it happen.
Enchantments - any suggestions are more than welcome. I’ll do my best to make them happen.
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