PCB rendering using KiCad, FreeCAD and Blender #PCB @anool

Anool at Wyolum writes:

I’ve been putting off using Blender since over 5 years, being intimidated by the complex UI and workflow, until this month when I mustered courage to go through Andrew Price’s Doughnut tutorials. My aim was to learn how to do photo-realistic renders of KiCad boards.

Unfortunately, KiCad ray trace option does not allow setting lighting, floor and other scene parameters, hence Blender. So the next step was to export VRML and STEP file models from KiCad.

I ran another test by using KiCad StepUp Tools workbench in FreeCAD to import the Board with parts and Copper + Silk layers. Once again, the result was the same – the mask openings do not show up as in the pic below.

According to @maui in this thread on the KiCad forum, from Blender version 2.8 onward, the WRL/X3D importer has been changed causing the lack of color/texture import.

Opening the KiCad VRML file in Meshlab produces expected results.

A workaround to this that I stumbled upon is to use the online 3D file format converter at CADexchanger and convert the KiCad VRML file to Collada DAE format. Importing the DAE format in Blender results in glorious color renders.

See the process used to get good renders in the Wyolum blog post here.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 27,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — EVA foam is like fondant

Electronics — I touched my circuit, and now it glitches!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: CircuitPython supported by 70 SBCs and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — OpenCV Critter Cam, LoraWAN on Raspberry Pi 2040, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Arcade Turns One!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week — 4pm Eastern TODAY! 3/2/21 @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.