Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Cables Spline is a useful shape plugin for 3ds Max which can give you an ability to create suspended cables along cylindrical paths.
Watch this quick overview of how to use the plugin and ways to create various bundles of cables:
The plugin works for 3ds Max 2016 (Service Pack 2) or later.
The default settings are said to use the Catenary Curve algorithm to properly control the shape of the draping cables, mimicking real world suspension.