3D model of 3.5mm screw terminals


I’m designing a little board that has two 4-pin screw connectors with 3.5mm pitch. That’s one size smaller than the regular 5mm. While I do have the footprint on my PCB layout, there’s no element put on it in the 3D view. The other things like ICs and pin headers are there, but no screw connector. I couldn’t find any with that pitch on the web. Can somebody please point me to a source for that?

I have some of these (2/3-pin, can be put together) in real, but not in the model.

If the 5mm has a model you can put the path in and then scale it. It depends on how exact you need it to be. For personal projects, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time on the output. Well, not for my own usage anyhow.

Note that scaling is for wrl models only. If there’s need for real mechanical 3D work, 1:1 STEP model is needed and must not be scaled. Scaling is only for “eyecandy” wrl models.

I would argue it is better not to include any model before including one that is wrong. Just make a box showing the bounding box of the part and you get more use out of it (such a bounding box model really is made in seconds in any CAD program)

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Okay, I’ll try the scaling method. But how can I get any 3D model in that place? The current 3D model is this:


It’s not really 3D but just a flat PCB layout.

You have a misunderstanding here. KiCad always displays a mock-up of the board with its pads and the silk screen. If this is all you see then most likely the model does not exist.

In the past there was an error message for every missing model but that confused users into thinking that they had an installation problem. The reason the model path exists in the first place is because we on the official lib want to be able to add a 3d model without needing to touch the footprint. This is done because we are already lacking resources so doubling the work needed for every 3d model contribution is really not possible.

For adding 3d models see Tutorial: How to make a footprint in KiCad 5.1.x (From scratch)? (section 3D-Model handling and possibly more interesting section Adding the 3d model to the footprint)

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Okay, so the selected 3D model doesn’t exist. I also couldn’t find a similar model of something that looks like a screw terminal, so I assume none are available.

I’m giving up at this point because for my project it’s not worth the effort to find a model somewhere in the web. If somebody comes along here and knows where I can find such a model, please let me know.

Manufacturers websites are a good place to look. I think phoenix supplies 3d models for some of their parts. They have screw terminals so if you are lucky then you find something there.

Have a look at http://smisioto.no-ip.org/index.html and search for “pt_1,5”.

When you have time, it’s well worth installing Walter’s libraries and getting familiar with their contents.

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For this, see https://gitlab.com/kicad/code/kicad/issues/3815.

That page doesn’t contain the search term you’re suggesting, I didn’t see a search form, and I don’t understand Spanish so can’t continue from there.

I prefer to make my own 3D models of parts (though I do use several stock one’s).
Easy to do in KiCad but it does take a few minutes to get a handle of the process and figure out tricks for shortcomings.

Below is a Screw Terminal (for M2 2.5 screw). I modeled it in FreeCad.
I did Not use Stepup so, I adjust the Scale when loading it into KiCad.
The scale is 0.1inch/2.54mm = 0.394. However, I round-up to 0.4 (loss is thickness of two human hairs and is only a Graphic representation, not an actual part of the PCB).

The Video below shows how I do it and contains a need to Re-Do the loading (not sure if it’s a Bug or me, but, it works well enough for me).

The Process:
• Build the Cad Model, export Step and Wrl (not part of the video)
• Place files in desired Folder
• Start a New Footprint (can include Pad, NPTH hole, Silk, etc)
• Pull-down menu and select Properties
• Set File locations (this is the Redo portion, mentioned above)
• Scale and position it as needed.

The Screw Terminal part is attached:
Terminal_Screw_M2.5.step (376.9 KB)
Terminal_Screw_M2.5.wrl (3.8 MB)

Man that page rings a bell. I think some of the v4 models came from there. We threw them out as they do not fit the current requirements. (we now require a step model and the wrl model scaled correctly)

I just had a bit of time. Phoenix has step files for their MKDS terminal blocks. Example https://www.phoenixcontact.com/online/portal/de?uri=pxc-oc-itemdetail:pid=1985836&library=dede&tab=1&requestType=product&productId=1985836 (search for MKDS, select your pin pitch, select your pin count, select a product, go to downloads)


Why are there two different kinds of 3D models (.step and .wrl)?
What kind does FreeCAD make ?
From what I read here, I surmise that any isotropic scaling of a 3-D model
must be done while creating the model in FreeCAD, not after.

TlDr: wrl is for your marketing guy, step for your fellow engineer.

With stepup both

Not while crating it. While exporting, it. and only the wrl model needs scaling (when created from freecad. If you make it in an imperial based software then you might not need to scale it.)

FreeCad can export many file types.
Without the Stepup Plugin, just use the typical export method.

Scaling of the part in KiCad is done when loading the 3D model.
Exporting from Stepup eliminates that extra step.

I prefer not using Stepup because (AFIK) colors of individual elements is not supported.

The video has problems and too small for use (sorry).

Screenshots below show the part loaded on PCB and 3D View. I recently made these parts and they show color as done at design time…

Colours is one of the strong parts of stepup. You however need to colour the original model. (you don’t even need to use realistic colours within freecad. Just have a unique colour for every resulting colour. You will be asked at the export step which colours to assign to which freecad colour)

I will work on it.
I did color the models in two ways:

  1. via coloring the Faces.
  2. via coloring individual Bodies

That was done on the part and exported.
What I did NOT do was Import the exported Step file into Stepup… Is that part of the process (I have not yet read the info on Stepup so, It’s totally my ignorance…

Thank you Rene, that was exactly what I was looking for! Fits my layout perfectly and gives a much more realistic impression of the complete thing. And I noticed I need to adjust some spaces of nearby components. :slight_smile: