21 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2010 6:09 PM by tromboniator

    How does one make an armored cable?

    attomica

      You probably have seen this. It's used in commercial applications like lighting and wiring. The electrical wires are encased in a flexible, spiral-wound metal jacket.

       

      I made this...

       

      http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/2037/cable.jpg

       

      ...by duplicating and arranging a bunch of these...

       

      http://www.aww-kittah-aww.com/up/files/2037/cable%20piece.jpg

       

      ...but I'd really like to find an easier way to do this. I tried making an art brush, but you can't set the Spacing to a negative value to allow for overlapping.

       

      I'd love some suggestions.

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
          markerline Level 4

          If you made that torus object in a 3D package it is likely that you should be able to model a cable in a 3D package as opposed to doing it in Illustrator.  You could also do it in Photoshop since PS Extended has 3D layers.

          • 2. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
            JETalmage Level 6
            I tried making an art brush, but you can't set the Spacing to a negative value to allow for overlapping.

             

            Don't use an Art Brush, use a Pattern Brush:

             

             

            The example shown consists entirely of Brushes. Item 1 is a wire loom similar to your problem. In the artwork of tiles of Pattern Brushes, the rearmost object is a no-stroke, no-fill rectangular path. That path determines the spacing of the tiles. After creating the Brush, drag it from the palette and drop it onto the page. Use the white pointer (or Ungroup) to detect the invisible rectangle. Adjust its width and position relative to the artwork. The AltDrop the modified artwork back onto the same Brush to update it.

             

            JET

            • 3. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
              markerline Level 4

              That's an awesome tutorial pic JET!!

              • 4. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                BTW it is called electrical conduit. You have good advice already just thought you would like to know what it is known as.

                • 5. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                  tromboniator Level 4

                  Most of my understanding of the function and flexibility of pattern brushes comes directly from this diagram of JET's, for which I am extremely grateful.

                   

                  If you have any difficulty finding the invisible rectangle by probing with the direct select tool, you can also select it through the layers panel, at the bottom of the group you dragged from the brushes palette.

                   

                  Peter

                  • 6. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                    Gernot Hoffmann Level 3

                    Indeed an excellent graphic, but IMO it doesn't show a conduit.

                     

                    According to my dictionary, a conduit is a rigid tube.

                    It's an armored hose or an accordion hose or a concertina hose.

                     

                    I'm not a native English speaker, corrections are welcome.

                     

                    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

                    • 7. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                      Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      Long time no see, Gernot; an unexpected pleasure.

                       

                      A conduit may be rigid or flexible, sometimes mentioned in the designation.

                      • 8. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                        shunithD Level 3

                        Gernot Hoffmann wrote:

                         

                        Indeed an excellent graphic, but IMO it doesn't show a conduit.

                         

                        According to my dictionary, a conduit is a rigid tube.

                        It's an armored hose or an accordion hose or a concertina hose.

                         

                        I'm not a native English speaker, corrections are welcome.

                         

                        Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

                        It's an armoured cable (or concertina cable in some cases)... A 'conduit' would be something (rigid or flexible as Jacob pointed out) through which one or more cables or wires are passed. It is not intrinsic to the structure of the cable / wire... it could have a round or rectangular cross-section.

                        • 9. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                          Gernot Hoffmann Level 3

                          Jacob,

                           

                          thanks for the warm welcome. I'm reading all your contributions

                          it's always a pleasure.

                          This time I had posted because of JET's impressive illustration.

                           

                          I'm retired and therefore I have much time studying languages.

                           

                          According to on-line dictionaries and based on printed books

                          I'm still believing that a 'conduit' doesn't mean a hose.

                          For instance:

                          http://de.pons.eu/dict/search/results/?q=conduit&in=&l=deen

                           

                          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

                          • 10. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                            Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                            It is known s an electrical conduit in the US construction industry or more often just conduit

                             

                            here is one dictionary's meaning of it

                             

                            Conduit \Con"duit\ (? or ?; 277), n. [F., fr. LL. conductus

                               escort, conduit. See {Conduct}.]

                               1. A pipe, canal, channel, or passage for conveying water or

                                  fluid.

                                  [1913 Webster]

                             

                                        All the conduits of my blood froze up. --Shak.

                                  [1913 Webster]

                             

                                        This is the fountain of all those bitter waters, of

                                        which, through a hundred different conduits, we have

                                        drunk.                                --Burke.

                                  [1913 Webster]

                             

                               2. (Arch.)

                                  (a) A structure forming a reservoir for water. --Oxf.

                                      Gloss.

                                  (b) A narrow passage for private communication.

                                      [1913 Webster] Conduit system

                             

                            Here is another that shows the problem more accurately

                             

                            conduit |ˈkänˌd(y)oōət; ˈkänd(w)ət|nouna channel for conveying water or other fluid : a conduit for conveyingwater to the power plant | figurative the office acts as a conduit for ideas to flow throughout the organization.a tube or trough for protecting electric wiring : the gas pipe should not be close to any electrical conduit.ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French, from medieval Latinconductus, from Latin conducere ‘bring together’ (see conduct ).

                             

                            If we bring the concept of reading comprehension into the mix then you realize that there is a word being left out but is implied and the word is Flexible Electrical Conduit but since it is easier for most applications for installing conduit that the flexible version is almost always used in modern construction.

                             

                            It is known as conduit.

                            • 11. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                              Gernot Hoffmann Level 3

                              Water, fluid, narrow passage for private communication ... ?

                               

                              Which part of your excerpt refers a least a little to JETs drawing ?

                               

                              It's funny that I had recently a discussion in a Spanish language

                              group about the meaning of 'cables aristas helicoidales', which means

                              IMO something like 'cables armored by helical rovings'.

                               

                              Perhaps we can come to an agreement :

                              A 'conduit' is a protection for cables, which is finally fixed and rigid.

                              Until then,  it can be flexible.

                               

                              In this sense, JET's graphic doesn't show a conduit, but a

                              cable-protecting flexible hose (which doesn't belong itself to

                              the cable; different cable bundles may use an identical hose).

                               

                              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann

                              • 12. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                shunithD Level 3

                                Wade...

                                 

                                That's an armoured cable or whatever other name - such as concertina cable, reinforced cable, etc. As the OP used the word metal, in his / her original post, it would be an armoured cable. It is not a conduit. One or more such cables however, could be laid through a conduit.

                                 

                                Cheers...

                                 

                                S

                                 

                                Edit: Rereading the posts and re-looking at the illustration it now becomes clear that we're all correct, as follows:

                                 

                                1/ If the cable comes complete in its 'housing' with the other wires, eg: positive, neutral and earth already packaged, it's a cable

                                 

                                2/ If the 'armour' is a separate entity with individual wires being fed through it by the user / installer / fabricator / etc. it's a conduit

                                • 13. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                  Wade_Zimmerman Level 6

                                   

                                   

                                  Edit: Rereading the posts and re-looking at the illustration it now becomes clear that we're all correct, as follows:

                                   

                                  1/ If the cable comes complete in its 'housing' with the other wires, eg: positive, neutral and earth already packaged, it's a cable

                                   

                                  2/ If the 'armour' is a separate entity with individual wires being fed through it by the user / installer / fabricator / etc. it's a conduit

                                  Not really as the electrical cables cannot always be installed on sit so they often prepackage the conduit with the cables but in any case it does not matter since they call it (or if you wish, refer to it as) conduit.

                                   

                                  Which is just shortening the term and regardless of what anyone says pr argues about the what it is they still call it conduit.

                                  • 14. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                    JETalmage Level 6

                                    JET's graphic doesn't show a conduit


                                    Correct--unless you simply use the word in a generic sense, as attomica was probably using the term armored cable. Not that it even matters one whit to the actual subject matter of this thread (i.e.; that you can indeed use a Pattern Brush for attomica's problem and many similar things). Lest any know-it-all here insists that my particular drawing represents conduit or armored cable or whatever, it's actually representative of what's commonly called wire loom: a flexible plastic sheath that is (in this case) split down its length for inserting the wires and is commonly used in automotive/truck applications for building up harnesses and protection against abrasion.

                                     

                                    Doesn't matter. The point is, you can use a Pattern Brush for drawing wire loom, conduit, armored cable, shielded cable, garden hose, plastic tubing, strands of twisted rope, the weave of yacht cord, or body segments of a worm, and control the tile spacing with the invisible rectangle, much as the cropping of Pattern Swatches is similarly controlled.

                                     

                                    One of the more valuable indications of the example--in case anyone misses it--is an aspect of the striped insulated wire: You can build two such Brushes--one for the insulation, the other for the stripe--and then use the Colorization option of the Brushes (note that most of the Brushes are grayscale) to be able to depict a wire of any insulation/stripe color combination using just those two Brushes. Very useful for color-coded wiring diagrams.

                                     

                                    The illustration was also created to exemplify some very practical Brush improvements I've been suggesting for years:

                                    • The practicality of an independent treatment for Ends and Corners (instead of their being confined to only Pattern Brushes).
                                    • The efficiency that would be gained by being able to use Symbols as Ends and Corners (and retaining their Symbol Instance status).
                                    • The need for choosing to disallow distortion of End and Corner tiles in Pattern Brushes.
                                    • The need for choosing to disallow scaling of strokes used in Pattern and Art Brushes when changing the stroke weight of the Brush.

                                     

                                    JET

                                    • 15. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                      markerline Level 4

                                      Are these conduits typically in-out-in-out structures of miniature cylinders or are they actually spiral in nature?  If so it would not really be possible to use Illustrator unless a warp envelope is placed on the brush to indicate graphically that the cable spirals around in a semi-infinite looping nature running the length of the cable.  And I am looking at one of these conduit/armored cables that is a part of my custom-made desklamp and it looks like a spiral.

                                      • 16. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                        tromboniator Level 4

                                        A few minutes' work. No warp.

                                         

                                        Peter

                                         

                                        Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 4.32.20 PM.png

                                        • 17. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                          attomica Level 1

                                          Well, I am pleased with the attention this thread has garnered, even if the bulk of it was dedicated to the definition of the item in question.

                                           

                                          First, much thanks to Jet for the illustration. It will definitely help me get the appearance I'm looking for. I actually did use a Pattern Brush, not an Art Brush. I just didn't know about the spacing manipulations your explanation makes clear.

                                           

                                          Second, in my business it's referred to as "armored cable." It comes on a big spool from which we unwind the segment needed for a project. The electrical wiring is already incased within the flexible metal sheathing we refer to as "armor." This armor is in fact sprialed around the electrical wiring and is composed of a continuous length of metal with a contour that, when wound around itself, locks into place and becomes a flexible "tunnel." When we talk about conduit, it is in reference to a rigid tube. Again, that's just the terminology we use.

                                           

                                          Thanks again!

                                          • 18. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                            attomica Level 1

                                            tromboniator, did you create that using the method described in Jet's illustration? That might work for my purposes.

                                            • 19. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                              markerline Level 4

                                              That's good illustration work.  And good thinking.  I didn't see that solution as being so quick with a part of a sin wave curve.  I just thought placing a warp on a rectangle would do the same thing as the "warped" rectangle you show here.

                                              • 20. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                                tromboniator Level 4

                                                Screen shot 2010-01-14 at 4.47.35 PM.png

                                                 

                                                Yes, this follows JET's procedure. It doesn't have his angled perspective, and it doesn't (yet) have an end tile, but it's the same idea. The hard part is not the doing, but the visualization.

                                                 

                                                Peter

                                                • 21. Re: How does one make an armored cable?
                                                  tromboniator Level 4

                                                  markerline,

                                                   

                                                  Thanks for the compliment. It's really easy to generate that portion of a sine wave, so I didn't even think of a warp. Sometimes tunnel vision is a good thing?.

                                                   

                                                  Peter