HackRF Kicad to Inventor?


I’m interested in designing an enclosure for the HackRF One, I have so far downloaded KiCad, FreeCAD, and a script or project known as KiCad StepUp.

I have the HackRF One pcb file open, and I see a bare board without any components on it.

I’ve been looking through various help files, pdfs, forum posts, youtube videos, etc; And have not found any basic information that assumes I have no prior experience with any of these open source platforms; They all assume I’m familiar with both KiCad and FreeCad, and unfortunately I do not particularly care to learn how to use this software as I would any other CAD software, just because it seems a little redundant to learn an entirely new method for doing something I’m already capable of doing in other software.

I want to clarify what I’ve said above, I’m not interested in learning how to design something from scratch in this software, but if I can be shown how to convert an existing, finished design, that would fulfill my intended purpose.

All I’m trying to do is export a complete board (PCB with components) to STEP and design an enclosure in Autodesk Inventor, as that is the software I’m familiar with and feel comfortable using.

Usually, collecting all the 3d models for this board would be a time consuming job, but in this case I think you struck lucky, because Maurice (aka @maui) has already used this board as a test case. https://hackaday.io/project/7926/gallery#a56fb9e22c687efd6f668444882a350a If you ask him nicely, he may be able to provide a STEP file ready to go.

If you also want to allow for RF shield and heatsink, those can probably easily added using a generic cube model.

@bobc HackRF was my first kicad StepUp project, so I collected all the 3D models from on-line libraries… unfortunately those models are not sharable, because of their license …

But that approach moved me toward the need of a 3D Mechanical Library, with GPLed models, so to let people to share their artwork with all the resources to build the project (schematics, pcb design, 3D mechanical model and mechanical enclosure)

I’m in contact with some kicad developers, and may be it will be a 3D MCAD library also on official Github kicad library :smile:

@Bukethead What you could easily do is download the DXF of the case from HackRF project and extrude it

and then you can have something like that



Unfortunately the case I’m trying to design requires knowing where the exact location of the SMA connectors, USB connector, tact switches, etc are located as the design is more specific than the example case pictured.

Imagine an amateur radio handheld style plastic enclosure, to give you an idea.

to have what you asked for you would need a full kicad project filled with 3D VRML and STEP models and you could do the conversion just with one click/command with kicad StepUp
but unfortunately, in this case in which 3D models are only available from on line libs or manufacturers, the only way is the old ‘hard’ way…

collect the 3D STEP models from manufacturers or on line libs, export the bare board from IDF to STEP with FreeCAD and then align the 3D parts manually…

For your purpose, probably you just would need:

  • push button model
  • RF connector model
  • USB connector model
    so it shouldn’t be too much work…
    (the references can be found in HackRF designing files)

or may be ask HackRF people if they have a more detailed/recent version of 3D files…


Thanks for the advise, I will try that.