What is the best way to design this contorted cable?

I’d draw the center line with various tools like Line, 2-point arc, and maybe FredoSpline and then use it as a path for Follow Me.

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I use pipe along path; this might help.

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yeah, that’s how I’ve made all my cables until now.

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The Bezier Curve tool works too

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With vertex tools you can extrude a single vertex and move it on the X,Y and Z axis as you will, I’d do it that way, then weld the edges and use lines to tubes or follow me to give it a width.