Import from KiCad

It is nice that Shapr3D is able to import the board part of the design directly from KiCad. It makes creating the board fixture and case a lot easier.

Here is a side by side for KiCad 3D viewer and Shapr3D

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If you don’t mind my asking, how do you like KiCad? I “used” to use Eagle Cad. You get an extensive custom library built it’s hard to change to another program. Since AutoDesk took over Eagle, looking for a new one. SOC project?

I like KiCad. The price is right and it has been shown to be very capable by folks like Michael Ossman. I’ve not used Eagle cad so I can’t offer a comparison there.

I am sure you can find better. I’ve had to draw my own footprints and parts a fair amount.

I am a user of kiCad and Shapr3d i never thought to export from kicad.
What is the process?
What is the file exchange you are using?

In KiCad in board design FileExportStep. Then import that file into Shapr3D.

Looks like via’s, text, and a few other things are missing. But it is good enough for modeling case/fixtures.

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Export the copper layers et al to SVG?

all the layers you want in the export. But not .SVG use .STEP

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Will all the layers export as step? I was under the impression that the mask, copper etc wouldn’t.

I am not sure what all layers are put into the step file. I know SVG has a lot more options to select but Shapr3D does not support SVG (yet).

For the import into Shapr3D I am most interested in the drill holes and board outline so was pretty excited to see that “looks” right. My boards are on the way, so I will see soon how well it works when making the case design from the .STEP file. I’ve done some measuring and things seem to be correct.

Personally I found it useless to 3D a pcb board other than the looks and commercial use.

There are other apps specialized to draw and manufacture pcb boards and solder components for your requirements. “like the one Mr.@Yepher used”

It’d be cool if one app could make it all though. :slightly_smiling_face:

It can be VERY useful in reverse engineering. Example is when you must create a product that is form fit and function compatible with the original discontinued product, where the application affects more than 2 or 3 different applications AND you have to start your design with the case size for all applications + unknown applications. Visualization can be very important in product dev considerations. Even down to the PCB traces. Been there done that.

When your design must fit a very small form factor, it get’s “tricky”.

Have a look here "Import” shapes/text from .svg to avoid tracing

@Oregonerd I don’t think that will work for 3D board import (2D will work fine). It is my understanding that Shapr3D does not support 3D DXF import (would be glad to be wrong on this).

I am also not sure KiCad can produce a 3D version of SVG (is there such a thing as 3D SVG?)

Maybe the VRML path to STEP may get you where you want to go easier? I’ve not used the VRML so I am not sure what all layers are exported there in KiCad. If you just want the 2D in Shapr3D SVG->DXF is for sure the way to go.

I could imagine it is pretty easy to covert the Gerber files to layers and 3Dize that?.?

If you get SVG->3D Shapr3D working I would love to hear how to do that.