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Create cable

INTERACT can help you simulate cables using physical properties. We use a beam finite element model to process flexible cables.

In order to compute a cable deformation, we need to setup two states:

  • The initial configuration, which is the initial starting position of each points in the cable.

  • The reference configuration, which is the position where there is no internal stress in the cable. For a straight cable, initial and reference positions are the same.


Don't hesitate to check the cables tutorial Tutorials > Show Tutorials > Cables.

Create a cable from CAD

We can compute initial and references positions using a CAD model.

  1. Select a cable geometry in your editor.
  2. Click on INTERACT > Physics > Create Cable. Create cable from CAD model

  3. Configure your cable with:

    • Collision Rule
    • Material: You can use presets to configure the physical properties of your material. These presets can be changed when using Custom material.

    • Density, Young modulus and Poisson ratio are physical properties commonly found for a material. Units are in International System of Units.

    • Preformed cable: If unchecked, the reference position of the cable is a straight line. If the current position of the cable is not straight, it means that this cable is already affected by internal forces. This initial configuration is automatically computed from the shape. If Preformed is checked, initial positions and reference positions are the same. Use this for beams or cables that have been built with a specific shape.


In order to recognize shape for cable parameters, you need to use either an open deformed cylinder or a closed surface. Tessellation should be quite detailed to perform well.

It generates a physical cable and hide the corresponding CAD model.

Cable generator component

Create a straight cable (2 attach points)

  • Start GameObject, End GameObject: select start attach point and end attach point of your cable. The attach points are set to the pivot of the selected GameObjects.

  • Number of nodes: Number of nodes used by our finite element method to compute the physics of the cable. Can be edited after creation in Xde Circular Beam component.

  • Radius (m): cable radius in meter.

  • Material and Preformed cable: Same as the cable from CAD upper.

Creating a cable from 2 attach points add a children in each of them with a XdeCircularBeamAttach component in it. The Attach Mode property of this component is set accordingly.