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How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup

Debamoy Ghosh

EagleUp is way uncomplicated and intuitive while using with the version 4. Here is helpful tutorial for our readers where we’ll show you the steps from 2D Design to an enclosed 3D model.

Preparation: Now open the project with Eagle as usual. But before start, please make sure that your board has a closed line on layer 20 (Dimensions). The line or contour can be rectangle, or a complex polygon with round edges. But the circular contour does not work here. The reason is round contour has no edge. Now, set the width of the outline to zero so it’s as thin as possible. The board gave the tutorial -- ready to use. No other action needed.

Export from Eagle: It is a demo project with a layout and corresponding schematics. Please believe this only as a material for modelling. The preliminary thought was to make a simple 4-bit meter for analog signal. As a circuit it probably would not work!

Run the ULP “eagleUp_export.ulp”. Click on File / Run / eagleUp_export.ulp.

A window with a range of settings will come into view. Here you can put the colour of your board, the type of plating. The images will look way good with the 1200 dpi resolution. But the model will get heavier and slower, so you should use it for small boards only. 600 dpi is ok most of the time and has sufficient details. If you have a very big board or want a quick foretaste, you can use the 300 dpi but the excellence of the texts will be lower.

The findings are:

  • tPlace layer for the silk screen.
  • tPlace + tNames if you have placed the designators correctly.

If you have a big board and just want a speedy preview of the board and components you can select the ‘no image’ option. It omits all the steps related to image making so it is much faster.

If you want to attempt differently color sets for your board, attempt the custom solder mask color. Then the pop-up will prompt two hexadecimal colors: one for the mask over copper (usually lighter) and one for mask over epoxy (darker). You can discover a color generator here.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Now Press OK to start on the export. It should take just a few seconds, and then you are back to your design. Users of older versions of Eagle (before 5.11) might see pop-ups requesting for overwriting of the image files.

The export script writes in the folder of your design a *.eup file with the entire particulars of your board: shape, thickness, position of the packages, and exports some images of the copper, silk and masks. These images will be mixed to make a sensible view of the PCB. You can run the export script as many times as you want with diverse settings to observe their effects. After a successful export you will observe a pop-up. If a new version of eagleUp is accessible you will get a notification as well.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Import in Sketchup: Now Open Sketchup. If asked, set the template to engineering in meters. It is suitable to sketch. Now enter the dimensions in meters instead of millimeters to get smaller details. You can delete any object included in the template.

Now, click on the Plugins menu, then import design from Eagle.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Now browse to your project directory and select the eup file earlier generated. You will watch the several terminal pop-ups and vanish during the creation of the PCB images. This step can take quite a few minutes with a big design on a slow computer.

After a few seconds you will see a pop-up saying:

“Eagle'up import completed
Missing packages:
1X02
The import is completed. There was no model for the pinheads so it is listed as missing.”

The import is completed. There was no model for the pinheads so it is listed as missing.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Note: if you are experiencing issues with the import in Sketchup, enable the ruby console in Window / Ruby console before running the plugin. This will give useful information.

A nice model of your earlier 2D design. But will it fit in an enclosure? No project is finished before being in a nice enclosure, right ?

Further integration: Use the measurements tools of Sketchup to get an idea of the dimensions of your project:

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Always Rememorizes the unit is millimeter (mm) and not meter. Well it seems that Sparkfun Soapbox could be a match for our project.

From the datasheet provided you can attempt to model the enclosure. To save some time I have built-in this enclosure in the models. So you just have to click on File / import. Browse to your /models directory and select Soapbox.skp

You can turn around and translate the half-shell below your board to check the fitting. At this point you will usually notice clash and collisions.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

You can control the board and the enclosure, check for the rising points, attachment, before having the real board or even acquire the enclosed space. CAD saves time, money and a lot of effort!

You may have observed that the Led pins were quite long. That’s because we have not yet cut them to the correct length. Let’s close the enclosure and check the length required to have the Leds noticeable from the outside.

The simplest is to copy the half-shelf with the rotate function. Press Control once and it will rotate+copy. Since the shell is regular you can use the middle point of the small side like shown below. Much faster than trying to add a new example and try to align it by hand.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

With the top shell in place, select it and conceal or hide it (contextual menu). You can un-hide it at any time with edit / un-hide all.

Now select the four Leds, and move them up (along the blue axis).

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

Unhide all, and check if the Leds are noticeable above the enclosure. Repeat until you like the position of the Leds. For a final check you can relate a translucent material to the top shell. I use Translucent Glass Block Dark. Everything seems all right inside. You can now take steps of the location of the Leds, so you know where to drill the enclosure.

How to transform your 2d design into 3d model with sketchup
Image Courtesy: eagleup.wordpress.com

This project is not ended. You can finish the model by adding some correct connectors for the input signal and for the battery, and an On/Off switch. Maybe a larger field will be necessary after all. The tutorial display you the reimbursement of a 3D modelling of your electronic layout. Please ask in the comments if you need more detailed step.

Ref: eagleup.wordpress.com

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