Custom features are features created by members of the Onshape community using Onshape’s open programming language, FeatureScript, which is used by Onshape developers to create Onshape’s native features. They are used for automating repeated feature creation and tasks. 

Note: In July 2022, we debuted the Cable/Wire Routing custom feature that combines previous wiring features to create a full, process-driven cable and wiring suite. Check it out.

One common use case for custom features is creating wiring for parts. The Wiring custom feature, created by Onshape employees, provides the ability to create wires, or bundles of wires, that go through vertices, mate connectors, or curves in 3D space. These wires can be created with either standard wire gauges or custom wire diameters, with the clocking angle also editable.

Wiring With Points 

When wiring with points, start by selecting the points that you would like the wire to run through; there is not an upper limit to the number of points that can be selected, but you will need at least two points to define the end points. Given that you are connecting two points in space, you can change the amount of bend a wire has based on the starting and ending straightness values provided in the dialogue box, which are defined by a reference direction inside the model. 

Create a wire using sketch points

The same process can be used by selecting mate connectors instead of sketch points as references for the wire.

Wiring with mate connectors

Wiring With Curves

Wires can also be defined by a curve or a chain of curves. If you want the flexibility of a 3D spline that has controllable points, try using the Freeform Spline custom feature to map out the curve for the wire and then use the Wiring custom feature. 

In this case, you only need to choose the path of the wire as the end directions and straightness will already be defined by the curve. If you decide you need the wire to have a different path, you can edit the spline points and the wire will update. 

The Wiring custom feature also allows you to bundle wires together, as seen below.

Wiring using curves and bundling of wire

For a more structured curvature to your wires, try using a Projected Curve as the wire path. 

Wiring with projected curves

Learn more about using custom features for wiring in Onshape by watching the video below:

Check out some of the other popular custom features from Onshape and keep your eyes out for the next Tech Tip from the team!