Exporting 3D view to website?


#1

I’ve recently been adding all my parts to the 3D viewer and it looks great panning around the 3D pcb.

Is there a way to export the 3D view to a website. For example I would like to put the 3D view on my blog so that viewers can pan around the PCB.

I’m guessing I would need to use a 3rd party tool for this? Any recommendations?


#2

It might be better to ask on some webdesign centered forum if there is a way to easily display 3d models inside a browser without the need for browser plugins (I seem to remember that html5 has added a way to do it. Not sure if this really is supported by browsers.)

If there is then find out which file formats are needed. From there we might then be able to help find a way to generate such a file from one of the export options of kicad.


#3

For example grabcad.com has 3d viewer. Maybe they or their community would be willing to help.


#4

Thanks, good idea. Will check out grabcad.


#5

I have seen 3D rotatable / zoomable views of KiCad design on some web page.
It might have been instructables, or grabcad. I t may have been on a site of a PCB manufacturer.

Most logical way to me woul be to use Stepup to import the 3D board into Freecad, and then export it to some industry standard file format for a web plugin.


#6

Paul,

That sounds interesting. I’m not familiar with Stepup. Is that a function in FreeCAD to import the 3Dview? Don’t you first have to export something from KiCad while in 3DView?

If you can give an example of the steps needed, it would be helpful. (At least to me.)


#7

StepUp is a plugin / workbench for FreeCAD and acts as an interface between KiCad and FreeCAD.

I have not really used it myself, but as far as I know a lot of the 3D components in KiCad are made in FreeCAD and then exported.

I just did (one of my first) experiments with StepUp. You can directly load a KiCad PCB in FreeCAD with it:

The PCB tracks have to be loaded in a separate step (5 icons to the right).
A simple search should point you in the direction of some documentation:
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=FreeCAD+StepUp+KiCad&t=opera&ia=web

StepUp can apparently also be used to design (complex) footprints for KiCad in FreeCAD, but I never tried that myself. FreeCAD is not a very easy program to learn, and I’m only familiar with a small sub section of FreeCAD’s capabilities.


#8

stepup is an optional workbench for freecad that allows to have a powerful interface between kicad and freecad.

The workbench is developed by the active forum member @maui
All feature additions are announced here on the forum.

Examples:


#9

Great info! Thanks for the links Rene and Paul, You guys are a big help here on the forum.
:+1:

(I think I may have seen something about that plugin to FreeCAD in the past but never had the time to explore it.)


#10

@gbeauw
I’ve just implemented something with three.js that you may find useful …
kicad webgl browser vrml 3d model viewer

webGL 3d vrml viewer


#11

You can check WebViewer, may be this is what you looking for


#12

would you mind to post a link? I cannot see any direct link to “WebViewer” googoling around as a plugin for a web site or blog…


#13

BTW I’m adding a link for my 3d webgl vrml viewer to the source files GH repo:
(It could be improved to become a WordPress plugin later on…)


#14


#15

Does neither support wrl (vrml) nor step. These are the two formats you can natively export from kicad. I am sure there are ways to convert wrl to stl as both of them are meshes. (I think blender can do that. Maybe even freecad but i am not sure about that.)

Your tool seems to focus on 3d printing formats. (Man would it be nice if step would be an option.)

[rant] Don’t ask me why the 3d printing community went for mesh file formats. Makes reworking their stuff in a proper CAD tool near to impossible. In my mind step would have been the more natural choice to make. (The de-facto data exchange formats for mechanical engineering.) I guess 3d printers are toys meant to print artistic stuff not proper tools meant for mechanical engineers. (or at least they have been when their toolchains got developed.) I would assume that we would have much better open tools for step had that community chosen the proper file format. [/rant]