Kicad StepUp STEP to MCAD exporter: New Release with new Gui and Enhancements


#1

During holidays I got some spare time to release a new version 4.0.2.5 of Kicad StepUp tools MCAD exporter
kicad StepUp latest

Latest Enhancements:

  • STEP multi-part allowed (creating compound)
  • EdgeCuts allowed for footprint that will generate Cuts in Board
  • Pcb Edge as footprint allowed
  • edge tolerance on vertex coincidence for easier designing
  • utf8 characters allowed for path and model names
  • turntable section
  • better theme integration in FreeCAD

Quick Facts


kicad StepUp tools are for:

  1. export kicad board and parts to STEP (or IGES) for a full ECAD MCAD integration (no need of VRML models if using kicad dev or the upcoming 5 release)
  2. convert your STEP model of parts, board, enclosure to VRML for a bidirectional use back in kicad
  3. ability to load directly the .kicad_mod footprint in FreeCAD to easy align the mechanical model to kicad footprint
  4. ability to load directly the .kicad_pcb board and parts in FreeCAD
  5. ‘bounding boxes’, ‘minimum volume’, ‘minimum heigh’, ‘drill size’, ‘blacklist’ and ‘virtual’ options to tailor your MCAD exporting
  6. interference and collisions detect for enclosure and footprint design
  7. exporting of VRML models with Material Properties for best result in 3D rendering/raytracing
  8. ability to create simple models in MCAD using boxes or cylinders with dimensions as in scale values of wrl models
    create boxes or cylinders using dimensions as in scale values of wrl model

requirements:

  • kicad stable >= 4.0 or development release
  • FreeCAD stable >= 0.15 or development release
  • a library of STEP (or IGES) 3D models
  • each parts must be be a single 3D object (union of parts or coumpound in FC)
    note that compound option may be slower than union, because of the need to re-create a compound after loading the model

tips:

  • never use a scale different from 1:1:1 in your 3D models
  • configure your [prefix3D] in ksu-config.ini to your KISYS3DMOD path
  • use STEP or IGES or VRML or mixed type of models in your board

here some user that may found this release useful relating to their topics:
@jneiva @aaron @dolfijn @lawrencek @Shack

Thanks to those who have used Kicad StepUp and provided suggestion and test cases to improve it!

here some screenshot of the multi-part conversion when the 3D part is built as surfaces and not as solid



the reference for the model here
http://www.3dcontentcentral.com/Search.aspx?arg=drq127


Kicad StepUp STEP to MCAD exporter: Latest version, Faster! support for Env_Var and Alias
Generic 3D Shapes in library
Kicad StepUp New exporter for 3D MCAD (feedbacks are welcome)
Trouble on place 3d shapes
#2

Thanks for your hard work maui, the hardware team I work on uses the workflow you’ve created here on every design we put together. It saves us lots of design time and board spins; we’ve been using it a while and just wanted to say thanks.


#3

Let us know if you have good renders with Kicad that you can share (using the latest KiCAD development version)


#4

Hi @jwpartain1
thank you for sharing your working experience and for your positive feedback! :smiley:


#5

Hi,
a completely New Gui has landed! :smiley:
kicad StepUp new Gui

In the new Gui I added some improvements …
here the most relevant:
1. the GUI is based on Icons; so it is smaller and it has not problems with fonts in different OSes nor with Themes (the icons are embedded so StepUp is just one file as before)
2. the GUI can be floating (as before) or docked left or right for a better UX
3. there are 2 new buttons for fusion and compound that will make life easier for users unaccustomed to FC; those are also useful if you load a STEP file with hierarchy in FC 0.17 which involves App::Part new TypeId… the macro is recursing each App::Part object and sub-objects considering their relative placement to make a simple copy of the hierarchy and let the Part be exportable as STEP file again
and some other useful features:
4. there is a new button to import/add a STEP/FCStd model directly from the tools
5. there is a new button to export STEP file directly from GUI
6. when exporting a wrl/STEP model the Info dialogue has a link to directly open the destination folder
7. there is a hyperlink to the ksu-config.ini at the top of edit and help menu, to direct access it from the GUI

Thanks to those who have tested the preview and provided suggestion to improve it! :smiley:
Maurice


Where to start with 3D models for custom parts?
#6

There you go sir, have a like

Looks very nice :slight_smile: looking forward to try it out


#7

“now we’re talking!”