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New Cable Suite - Preview Features

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With Vectorworks Spotlight 2021, we are giving you a sneak peek into our new Cable Tools. This preview feature of re-engineered Cable tools will present an alternative workflow that will give you more flexibility to work in both 2D and 3D and take advantage of the most current Vectorworks functionality. These objects are compatible with Braceworks so that cable impacts on a system can be calculated seamlessly and without current workarounds. Additionally, the new Cable tools present a condensed interface making it easier to integrate in a 3D workflow. 

This Preview Feature will give you the opportunity to provide suggestions on the Vectorworks Community Board for improvements on a redesigned system for cabling.


For additional information, see the Vectorworks help.

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FYI in windows it seems the pallet is missing from the method it shows in the video, i had to physically alter workspaces to see the new cable tools... 

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Checked and yes its there in the spotlight only workspace. The video does not mention that it needs to be in the spotlight workspace, it just says the pallet menu.  My apologies.  I work out of many many workspaces and as soon as I fired 2021 up it just wasnt there, so I just hastily did what I always do and edited the tools into it.  I find the default workspaces do not fit my workflow often.

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On 9/23/2020 at 11:03 PM, Mark Aceto said:

Hopefully this alternate workflow won’t be met with resistance


The 3D snapping is greatly improved, and the different jumper cable path routing options are cool.  Integration with Braceworks is an obvious desirability.


Have you tried to lay out a show with it?  Controlling part ends (cable breaks) is difficult.  Graphic indications of cable breaks are almost invisible.  One can only control cable breaks with the split tool.  This seems cool, but creates separate cable objects which prevents construction of cable build lists.  Even without the use of the split tool, cable parts are buried in a dialog which cripples interactive adjustments.  The cable path tool is cool engineering and kind of fun, but I don't see any advantages, and I do see some drawbacks when comparing its use to just duplicating cables and converting them to the needed type.  Still, the duplicate and convert workflow is available to the new tools, so the user can pick.  How one adjust cables to provide for different swag amounts among different cable runs I cannot determine.  In fact, I cannot figure out how the "Cable Swag (%)" value is applied by the user or how it is incorporated in the graphic display or in the computation of length.  Also, the addition of parts or extra length to provide for different parts of the rig to move doesn't seem possible.  If it is, the method is opaque to me.  3D is cool, but the path is rarely displayed in build documents, and when it is those documents are in top plan view.

As for extracting data from the cable drawing, I see no way to make a list of build list of each of the cable runs, i.e. a list of each cable run, each of which has a list of the parts in the order they are placed.  To make these essential build lists requires hand copying the information from the dialogs, or so it seems.  There seems to be no way to create loom build lists, looms that are made up of different parts of different cable runs.  There is no way of making box packing lists.


Understanding the distributor -> cable run -> distributor work flow will take some investment of time.  There needs to be a much better description/example of cable types, their creation and use, since these control all the aspects of the graphic display of cables and the creation of elements of the cable inventory.  There is no provision for different cable inventories.  Have you ever used more than one vendor on a show, or had to change vendors on a show.  There has been no improvement or expansion of assigning data between fixtures and cables. Only cable name and cable number are given to the instrument.  No jumper information is given to the instrument.  No jumper information is given to the breakout.  I could not find anyway to assign unit number or channel to the breakout circuits.  There must be a way (I really hope so), but I could not find it.  There is no way to assign jumper information to the breakout.


If you have solved these issues, please, let's have a Zoom meeting and give me a lesson.


As far as I'm concerned, there is no way to use the new cable tools on a real show, compared to other options.  This does not mean that these problems cannot be fixed.  I have not seen the task document for this feature, but a much more comprehensive task document than the one I am imagining exists will be required.  The users I have talked to in the last 2 weeks will definitely resist adopting this new workflow.  I imagine there will  be others that don't know of any other option than this new way and will struggle to make it work.

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