Here is a detailed workflow tutorial for going from OpenSCAD to Wings3D to KiCAD from Chris Woodall of Happy Robots Lab. When he sent this tip in, he shared the following, that I found important to share here:
It is a really useful skill and 3D models of circuit boards are very important for doing mechanical modeling. I am currently working on a project for Boston University’s Rocket Propulsion Group where my circuit board has tight spacing constraints and having a 3D model is valuable for fitting everything together in our CAD models!
From his tutorial:
KiCAD is an Open Source EDA (Electronic Design Automation) suite, which I use for schematic capture and PCB layout. Like many other EDA tools that are floating around KiCAD can make 3D renderings of your circuit boards. If you use stock PCB symbols this is great; however, when you make your own PCB footprints you need to define your own 3d models.
I personally find it convenient to utilize OpenSCAD to make 3D models of most electrical components, which are simple and easily defined parametrically in OpenSCAD’s language. OpenSCAD allows you to write code that translates directly to a 3D model and export this to an STL. However, KiCAD expects VRML files which can be easily generated in Wings3D (which can import STL files). On the plus side Wings3D will allow us to add color elements and surfaces for nice rendering by KiCAD.
However, there is one pretty terrible problem: Wings3D can’t for the life of it read in STL files read by OpenSCAD. Actually, Wings3D will just crash. To fix this you can use meshconv; however, use of meshconv does require use of the command line (in either Windows, OS X or Linux). I can only vouch for its usability under Linux. This will modify our workflow a little bit, but not by much.
The question now is how does this workflow go down?
Matt: Note that all STLs are not the same — Wings3D requires binary STL files (rather than ASCII) so you can use a number of free utilities out there to prep your OpenSCAD files for Wings3D — including the open source Meshlab. And another +1 for Wings3D — one of my favorite free subdiv based 3D modelers!
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has thrilled us at Adafruit with its passion and dedication to making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed that our community integrating electronics projects into 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you take considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless EL Wire and LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you have a cool project you’ve made that joins the traditions of 3D printing and electronics, be sure to send it in to be featured here!
Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground” – Adafruit’s Apps!
Maker Business — The Not-So-Secret Code That Powers Robots Around the Globe
Wearables — Glitter big
Electronics — Turn the heat up! when unleaded
Biohacking — Google Sheets Based Life Tracking Dashboards
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.