Automatic Cable Harness Layout Routing in a Customizable 3D Environment

T. Karlsson, E. Åblad, T. Hermansson, J.S. Carlson, G. Tenfält. Computer-Aided Design, Vol. 169, 103671, 20 January 2024.


Designing cable harnesses can be time-consuming and complex due to many design and manufacturing aspects and rules. Automating the design process can help to fulfil these rules, speed up the process, and optimize the design. To accommodate this, we formulate a harness routing optimization problem to minimize cable lengths, maximize bundling by rewarding shared paths, and optimize the cables’ spatial location with respect to case-specific information of the routing environment, e.g., zones to avoid. A deterministic and computationally effective cable harness routing algorithm has been developed to solve the routing problem and is used to generate a set of cable harness topology candidates and approximate the Pareto front. Our approach was tested against a stochastic and an exact solver and our routing algorithm generated objective function values better than the stochastic approach and close to the exact solver. Our algorithm was able to find solutions, some of them being proven to be near-optimal, for three industrial-sized 3D cases within reasonable time (in magnitude of seconds to minutes) and the computation times were comparable to those of the stochastic approach.

Photo credits: Nic McPhee