Appendix: Cable Autorouting - Intergraph Smart 3D - Help

Intergraph Smart 3D Electrical

3D Design and Visualization
Intergraph Smart 3D
2019 (10.0)

This section provides a detailed explanation of the process the software steps through to autoroute cable in the 3D model.

  1. When you click Autoroute on the Edit Cable Path ribbon, the software builds one or more nodal networks that represent all the cableways in the workspace. Each end feature of the cableway, every branch on the cableway, and every cableway run change are nodes. Whenever there are more than two paths between any two nodes, the software inserts a node at an arbitrary point (usually a turn) to split one of the paths (see node M in the following illustration). A connection is composed of the set of features that make up the path between two nodes. The total length of cableway is recorded for the connection along with the allowed signal types as read from the feature’s parent cableway. Consider the following illustration in which two independent networks (Network 1 and Network 2) represent the cableway model:

    The first time you run the Autoroute command in a session, the cableway network is created. For a large number of cableways/conduits, this can take several minutes. The next time you run the Autoroute command, however, the network is not regenerated unless you select Cableway, conduits, or cables have been modified since last auto route on the AutoRoute Options dialog box.

  2. The software removes connections between nodes if a feature in a connection is full and Allow overfilling of cabletrays is not selected on the Autoroute Options dialog box.

  3. The software removes connections between nodes if you pick a feature in a connection as a "Do not pass" feature.

    Next, the software takes the following steps for each individual cable being routed by a single execution of the Autoroute command. Each cable in the select set is routed independently and in a user-defined order.

  4. The software removes connections between nodes if the allowed signal type for the cableway of that connection does not match the signal type of the cable being routed.

    If the previously routed cable has the same signal type as the current cable, then the software skips Step 4. If it has a different signal type, then the network is trimmed starting from the original network condition at the end of Step 2. This means that you can save processing time by routing multiple cables with the same signal type at the same time.

  5. The networks that have features that are members of connections which have not been removed/trimmed by the aforementioned rules within the maximum tail length range of both equipment items are selected for autorouting between equipment 1 and 2.

    Using the illustration in Step 1 as an example, only Network 2 has features within the range of both equipment items. In this example, none of the connections (and hence none of the features) between nodes were removed due to a cable signal type or "Do not pass" rule.

  6. The software finds potential entry/exit points automatically on the closest feature of each cableway within the maximum tail range based on the cable entry option selected.

    • If Allow cables to enter from cableway straight feature is selected on the Autoroute Options dialog box and the maximum tail range is as indicated by the red boxes in the previous illustration, the blue dots represent the automatically selected possible entry/exit points on each cableway of Network 2.

    • You can select a required entry /exit point using Set Entry Point and Set Exit Point on the Edit Cable Path ribbon. These points apply to all cables that are selected for autorouting.

  7. The software computes the path with the minimum length on the trimmed network between each possible pair of entry/exit points. The path with the minimum length includes the ordered set of "go through" features is chosen.

    • If no path is possible between the entry/exit points that include the "go through" features, then the autoroute fails and an error message is placed in the log.

    • You must select the "go through" branch features in the order that the cable must pass through them, running from the originating equipment to the terminating equipment. Selecting the "go through" features in order dramatically improves the performance of the shortest distance calculation because the software need not test all possible permutations of paths that include the "go through". is used to process the network to find the minimum length path between the entry/exit points.

    • If you select the Minimize the cable tail lengths option on the Autoroute Options dialog box, the software computes the path such that the maximum cable length remains in the cableway or conduit. The chosen path might not be the shortest path.

  8. When you click Finish on the Edit Cable Path ribbon, the fill for every cableway feature in the automatically selected path of the cable is recalculated and updated in the database.

  9. If any cableway feature is full and the Allow Overfill option is not selected in the Autoroute Options dialog box, the connection containing the feature is removed from the networks defined in Step 1.

  • If a cableway feature is not full (this includes adjustment due to Fill Efficiency factor) before a cable is routed in that cableway, it is assumed that the cable can be routed regardless of how much space is left. In other words, a cable can overlap (but not fully exceed) the approximate boundary established by the fill efficiency. In the following illustration, the red line marks the boundary established by the fill efficiency. The last cable was successfully routed. Another cable will not be routed in the cableway. The cableway will report a fill greater than 100%.

  • The autoroute network with its fill values is stored in memory on your local machine. If you select Update fill from database on the AutoRoute Options dialog box, updates to the fill of the cableways that have been made by other users are automatically retrieved from the database prior to the onset of the autoroute. This focused update is much faster than running the common Refresh command on your workspace. If you are not using fill or are sure that no one else is routing cables in your cableways, then selecting the Update fill from database option will improve performance.

See Also

AutoRoute Options Dialog Box