Import pololu 3D model to KiCAD component


#1

I need to use some pololu power regulators in some projects, in particular the U3V70F5 . Do you know if it is available in KiCAD as a component for schematics and footprint for layout? That would be very useful.

I asked Pololu:

"
I am really happy with your products, and it will be much easier for me to integrate them in my designs again in the future if I had access to KiCAD files describing them so that I can import schematics, footprints, etc.

  • Do you have KiCAD description of your regulators?
  • Can you share them?
  • Could you even better maybe create a github repo with documentation to make those easily accessible to everybody?
    "

But got this answer:

"
We do not use KiCAD, so we do not have any KiCAD files. However; if you can import the 3D step files available under the “Resources” tabs of our regulators product pages, that might be a good starting point. We also have DXF files that have the footprint and through hole locations of the regulator.
"

Is it possible to export as recommended?

I was also wondering, is there a bank of schematics and footprints where I might look / where the component could be added if it is created? :slight_smile:


#2

As a matter of forum etiquette, it is always helpful to provide a link to a datasheet for any devices that you are enquiring about - but I presume that you mean this one https://www.pololu.com/product/2891

It looks like the input and outputs are designed to accommodate either screw terminals on a 5.08mm pitch (2/10") and paired pin headers on a 2.54mm pitch (1/10") plus the enable pin. It is not clear from a cursory read what the distance is from the left set of holes to the right (as per the picture) or if they align across the board but would be easy enough to check if you had either an actual board or access to the DXF.

Whether you need a footprint depends on how you intend to mount it. Depending on your use case it might be easiest to mount it separately in your enclosure. If you want to mount it directly on a PCB, it would be easy to create a footprint for this - there are only five pins to consider. There are comprehensive instructions on making footprints to follow in the FAQs.

Making a footprint is a useful skill - KiCad will never have every footprint out there in the default libraries so, at some point in time you will need to be able to do this. Most people seem to spend far more time and effort in trying to find a footprint from somewhere (often of dubious quality) rather than simply drawing it themselves. Personally, I would mount this as a daughterboard on pin headers - with some spacers between the two boards. If you are careful with component heights, you could fit some components underneath the daughter board.


#3

People do this for the Symbols also. For this part, a rectangle box with 5 pins would take less time to draw then to post the question here.


#4

You could use FreeCAD and StepUp to project the 3D model to a sketch and then export it as a footprint.
Having it in KiCAD you can then add the 3d model and play with your toy :smiley: