I’ve been playing around with Eagle3D on and off (like most things more off than on lately). Eagle3D in a nutshell is a bunch of scripts to generates povray files. Povray is then used to render a realistic representation of the PCB file with all components included.
The problem I’ve always come up against when using Eagle3D is missing components. I first looked at this tutorial – http://felixchenier.homelinux.com/doku.php?id=pcb:eagle3dnewpart, however I took one look at how to make library components and thought no way, I don’t really want to generate a 3D component by long hand.
As an example this is the Experimental 2.4GHz version of triggr PCB rendered with default output from Eagle3D, you can see how many components its missing (indicated by the red cylinders), you will also notice that its also picked up the wrong component in the top left of the board, this should be a right angle header, and it’s not correctly aligned.
Well I spent a couple of hours last night playing with Eagle3D to see if I could a) learn to create custom library components using Googles free sketchup program to create a part then export to Eagle3D, and b) to get a better understanding how components are selected and put on the board in the correct orientation.
I finally had success in exporting a sketchup component to use in Eagle3D. I imported an already existing component for the MRF24J40MA RF module from sketchup and incorporated it into Eagle3D as a part library. Here is the result. A lot better wouldn’t you agree?
Here is how I did it in a sparkling new tutorial….Using Google Sketchup to create Eagle3D components