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How to import a 3D model into DSPCB


I'm a relative new-comer to PSPCB.  I've been able to succesfully create a 4 layer design (with some struggle).  The one thing I seem unable to resolve and I've spent a lot of time trying is importing a 3D model into DesignSparkPCB. 

I have no issues with the schematic symbol or PCB package, just the 3D model.

In general I'm able to add new entries into the 3D model space by setting the values in the 'Edit 3D Package" dialog and have them showup on the 3D view, but only as extremely crude blocks for the most part.  In my layout I have some components which do look correctly detailed such as the Atmega328 in QFP and chip resistors etc which were imported with Library Loader. So I know it's capable of rendering nicely.

But if I attempt to import for example a connector from Hirose, which I can load into DS Mech just fine, I can't figure out how to get that 3D model into DSPCB.  I can SaveAs in a number of formats from the DS Mech rsdoc format, but none of seem compatable with any of the formats acceptable by DSPCB.  Tell me this isn't true.  What am I missing?  There MUST be a way to do this that I'm just too abtuse to see.

Can someone please provide the step by step process for getting this model imported into DSPCB?

In this example I'm trying to import DF13A-8P-1.25H(75)

Much appreciated.



0 Votes


March 2, 2020 15:05

Hi Russ,

The steps you took:
In DSPCB go Output->DesignSpark Mechanical(IDF)... and press OK which creates an idf file in a new folder named:DesignSpark Mechanical.

Then I go into DSM Design->Insert:Import PCB
The first is correct as this should produce the 'best' file from DSPCB.
The second is also correct but in my case I get the component blocks. as shown in the attached. The height is determined by a value in the DSPCB component and if not present may be very high.
I suggest posting here as you can insert images in the text and will reach more users who may have more experience on this process. (I'm quite new to using DSMech).

0 Votes

February 26, 2020 09:43

Thank you Boss for the response. That's what I like.. a nice definitive answer. After diving into other's similar questions I found myself no closer to knowing the answer to this.

I'm rather surprised that while a lot of effort was applied to provide the nice 3D view feature, it falls short by not including a method to simply import an existing 3D model format. I don't know if it was an IP issue, a resource issue or what but I find this to be a real short-coming. I think there would be a lot more calls to purchasing the DesignSparkPCB PRO if this feature was fully implemented. I'm not talking 3D edit, only rendering.

I know this will influence my purchasing decision in the future on this. While I can see that maybe this could be a PRO feature, but to not provide it at all might be in my case at least, enough to switch to something else.

Getting back to your response, I'm not at all opposed to firing up DSM as the render tool to see it better and measure etc. So I went through the videos and links you referred to. BTW, the video appear to be outdated as there is now Import PCB and *.idf is not a supported file in the insert File button.

I think I'm missing part of the puzzle. Likely on the DSPCB side of things. I made the following assumptions:

In DSPCB go Output->DesignSpark Mechanical(IDF)... and press OK which creates an idf file in a new folder named:DesignSpark Mechanical.

Then I go into DSM Design->Insert:Import PCB

With this I get just the PCB itself with no components. I'm not surprised as this is the actual product output of DSPCB. So how to get it to display the PCB with components?

I then tried in DSPCB: Output->IDF(standard)... which actually creates an *.idl file not *.IDF. Then I went back into DSM Design->Insert:Import PCB. This time I got the PCB with a couple of tall vertical diagonal planes on one side which do not seem to represent any device.

So can you give me the step by step on the DSPCB to output the correct IDF containling the 3D components as shown in the video? I can't seem to get there.

Any help is greatly appreciated..


0 Votes

February 25, 2020 08:59

Hi Russ, unlike DSM which is a true 3D package DSPCB is not. It renders from built-in 'packages' and produces an OpenGL rendered image. You can customise the supplied models but cannot import them in any 3D format. Have a look in the Help index as there are lots of details under "3D" at the beginning of the index.
There is also a FAQ on assigning built-in 3D models to a component to remove the block rendered image,
You will also find other discussions in the DSPCB forum

If you require a true 3D representation you will need to export the IDF from DSPCB into DSMech or another 3D package
This DSM video illustrates how to do this and at approx 5 minutes shows how to replace the idf components with 3d models.

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