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Welcome to eagleUp 06/10/2011

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, SketchUp.
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Welcome to eagleUp website. If this is your first visit please check the installation page with a complete step by step tutorial on the setup. Then you can follow a tutorial on how to use eagleUp with the example provided.

For the model of your own project you will need some 3D parts. You can get them from the warehouse, or draw them yourself. It’s quick and simple. You can also import step files for the mechanical parts.

Feel free to leave a feedback in the comments or by email.

eagleUp and Sketchup 2014 02/03/2014

Posted by eagleup in SketchUp.
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Sketchup 2014 changed the Ruby API that eagleUp uses, and the plugin management. I will publish shortly eagleUp 4.5 with a couple of new features, but in the meantime this is how you can make eagleUp work with Sketchup 2014 :

  • location of the Plugins folder is C:\Users\[your user name here]\AppData\Roaming\SketchUp\SketchUp 2014\SketchUp\Plugins
  • the folder might be hidden by your system
  • on OS X the Plugins are located in /Users/[your user name here]/Library/Application Support/SketchUp 2014/SketchUp/Plugins
  • one line of the eagleUp_import.rb file needs to be modified on line 734 cmds.each do |line| becomes cmds.each_line do |line|
  • please download and use the import script modified for Sketchup 2014 at this link
  • that’s it

I have checked with the demo PCB and all was working as usual. Please report if you have any issue with the new version of Sketchup.

edit : added modified importer for Sketchup 2014

eagleUp 4.4 04/07/2012

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, SketchUp.
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Recently, many users have reported issues with the model lacking the tracks and silk images. The issue was caused by a change in the recent versions of ImageMagick. We have now fixed this issue thanks to Edwin, and took this opportunity to improve even more eagleUp.

eagleUp 4.4 brings compatibility with ImageMagick 6.7.7 and Eagle 6.x. as well as with the previous versions.

Top and bottom textures are generated faster and will look better near holes.

Parts placement is more precise, with um resolution.

The EAGLEUP attribute gets a third parameter to modify Z-axis offset without modifying the 3D model. On the image above the Led have 0.5mm offsets. Syntax can include {part_name} {;{M}{Rxxx}} {;yyy.yy u}, where yyy.yy is the vertical offset (positive or negative float value) and u the unit. Unit can be mm, mil, mils, or inch. To move the part upward by 0.5 mm, add the attribute EAGLEUP with value ; ; 0.5 mm

The files are now handled with relative paths, so the eagleUp export folder can be moved around. This also helps with non-english characters, such as ö, ü, in the path (simply avoid them in the name of the export folder).

Two new options for the silk layers : none, and custom. In custom you can define your own mix of layers used for the silk. Type the layers separated with a space, for ex 21 25 51.

The new version of eagleUp can be downloaded here. Replace both the old ULP and RB files with the new ones.

SketchUp showcase 22/05/2012

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, SketchUp.
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Google published recently a showcase page. What can you do with SketchUp, and how can it increase your efficiency.

We are happy to see that eagleUp is represented by the Akafuino X showcase. As you imagine, this show is about a circuit board design, using eagleUp to improve the board before production.

http://www.google.com/sketchup/showcase/project/akafuino-x/view

Karl from Akafugu is a contributor of eagleUp : beta testing, bringing ideas of new functionalities, and many parts of the warehouse. We are happy to see your project promoted.

Quick news : eagleUp will receive an update in June. Compatibility with Eagle 6.x, improved modelling… Feel free to join the beta users list.

Jerome

Introducing advanced rendering 09/02/2012

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, photo-realistic, SketchUp.
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eagleUp helps designers fit their electronics into tighter enclosures by modelling accurately all the electrical and mechanical parts. The default rendering in Google Sketchup is practical and shows edges and guides, but this is not the best look to advertise your project. In this series of short articles we will demonstrate how to get stunning previews of your products, long before you get them in your hands.

Various realistic renderers exist on the market. We have set our choice on Maxwell for Google Sketchup. This renderer integrates well within Sketchup so you do not even need to open another application. All the modifications on your model have immediate effects. Rendering gets as simple as sketching.

Note : Maxwell renderer exists in multiple versions. Here we use the Sketchup plugin, in the free version. The main limitation is the max 800px wide images. This is sufficient to generate detailed previews of your project for web and presentation use. If you want higher resolution outputs you can purchase a cheap upgrade.

Download and install Maxwell for Google Sketchup (the free version is sufficient to evaluate and practice with photo-realistic rendering). Follow the instructions in the readme.txt file (copy a folder and run an installer). The interface with the renderer can be found in a new toolbar or in the Plugins menu of Sketchup.

Note: due to uncompatibility between the latest Silverlight and Sketchup it is necessary to install Silverlight 4, and not the newer version 5. You can download it here.

Pre-requirement

Maxwell renderer does not support the PNG images generated by eagleUp. In the general settings of eagleUp 4.3 you need to select the use jpg images instead of png. Then export and import again your project. You can leave this setting on.

Launching Maxwell Renderer

Load or import eagleUp demo project. Then click on the Fire button in the toolbar. This brings a new window that contains your rendered image. The size of  the window determines the output image resolution, it is therefore easier to work on a dual screen workstation.

In Maxwell window click on the yellow Fire button. This launches the rendering. You can stop it at any time by pressing the Stop button. Photo-realistic rendering is a slow process that consumes a lot of resources. Maxwell renderer builds the image globally by increasing the detail level. At first you see a bunch of pixels, then your circuit take shape. Little by little, details appear, shadows, reflections and realistic textures. After a few minutes you should see this :

Maxwell renders exactly your Sketchup view. Rotate and zoom until you find the perfect point of view. The rendering is updated as you move around for real time feedback. You do not need to hide edges and other drawing marks. It is convenient to use the 1000:1 scale to get a fully focused image. If you work at scale 1:1 feel free to use the Plugins / Scale / Scale up 1000.

Improving the model

The model looks better but this is only the beginning. Open the scene manager (from toolbar or Plugins menu). You can adjust the lighting and materials of the scene. All your changes are updated directly so you can try all the settings.

Photo-realistic rendering is an art, and you will get the best of your models by trying different materials and parameters. Pick the material selection tool. Click in Sketchup window on your parts. You can see the material in use (silver, charcoal, …) and their properties. They are by default in automatic type. You can change to plastic or metal depending on the surfaces.

Each material can be customized to look as real as possible. Increasing the roughness will for example reduce the reflections. In the scene manager you can edit more properties for the material like textures and bump mapping. Maxwell renderer gives you free access to thousands of complex materials ready to apply. Check the material gallery and use the search engine to narrow the selection. You can download the materials and apply them with the MXM tab.

This first article is a quick introduction to photo-realistic rendering for eagleUp. Now it’s time for you to try it by yourself on your own projects and experiment with materials and textures. Feel free to share  your best results in the comments ! We will open a dedicated section on the website with galleries and more tutorials.

Attribute and units 27/11/2011

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, SketchUp, video.
2 comments

This post describes in video two new features of eagleUp 4.3 : the use of an attribute to specify the model for a component, and how to scale up/down and change the unit in your model.

eagleUp 4.3 introduces an attribute to link various skp models to a single Eagle footprint.

The default method to import the model of the part on the PCB is to look for a skp file that has the same name as the component package in Eagle. If my resistor R32 is based on the package R0805, eagleUp will look in your /models folder for a R0805.skp file. It can be located anywhere in the /models folder, in my case I saved it in /models/passive/resistors/SMD/

This method works well but sometimes you share a footprint between various component that are physically different. In my case I have a single 0805 package for all my passives: resistors, capacitors, inductors… Or you can have male and female connectors sharing the same footprint.

To differentiate them, you can now use an EAGLEUP attribute on your components. This attribute can be defined within the library (it then applies to all your components) or on board level for a single part. This flexible approach should work for every workflow. The new attribute feature only works in Eagle 5.x and newer.

The attribute value specifies the model name to use. If necessary you can also make some alteration on the model : change side and rotate. This is particularly useful for connectors that can be flipped in many orientations.  The full syntax of the value is {part_name}{;{M}Rxxx}

eagleUp resizes your model

With eagleUp 4.3 the Plugins menu now has new feature to help resizing your models. By default eagleUp works in a 1000:1 scale that helps designing small features. As soon as your model is ready you can easily scale it down to the natural 1:1 scale if you prefer it. For imperial units users, you can also display the measurements in inches.

The initial 4.3 release had a minor bug that made the resizing wrong. This has now been corrected. If your scaling is wrong (scale by 10 was 100, and scale by 1,000 was 10,000) you can simply download the installation files again and replace the eagleUp_import.rb file, or correct the wrong line by yourself. The error was at line 808, you should replace “for iter in 0..iterations” by “for iter in 1..iterations”.

 

eagleUp 4.3 10/11/2011

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, SketchUp.
2 comments

After more than 3000 downloads, it’s time to improve eagleUp and add to new features.

  • fixed curved board outlines (see below the note on outline curves)
  • eagleUp now supports 1:1 scaling as well
  • eagleUp also includes functions for scaling and measuring the final circuit
  • automatic resizing of models during import, you can mix scale indifferently 1:1 and 1000:1 objects
  • add support for sub folder ! keep your work folder clean, all eup, png, log files can be placed in a user defined sub folder. Check the settings window.
  • add an option for simplified vias (no drill) for faster import of large models.
  • add a board thickness unit selection, you can enter 1.6mm as well as 60 mils
  • add a log file of the missing parts during the import in Sketchup, the log file is saved next to the eup file
  • add support for an attribute-defined part name (see below)
  • add possibility of minor modifications of the part (rotation, board side) directly from the Board
  • added option to create top and bottom images as jpg files (necessary for some renderers, do not use otherwise)
  • Eagle installation < 5.9 (including 4.xx) should use a simplified legacy exporter available here. It keeps most of the features of the full version.
  • new PCB colors available, like a white solder mask (Winter is coming !)


You can download eagleUp 4.3 here. Check out the installation and tutorial pages.

I would like to thank Karl for the Mac OS code and tests, and all the feedback from the beta version users.

Note 1 : Curved outline failing

This release of eagleUp fixes some issues with curved outlines. However some particular arcs still fail when the system uses comma as a decimal separator. The issue comes from Sketchup not behaving similarly on dot/comma systems. There is currently no fix for this known issue.

As a work around, if you meet the trouble of curved outline not closing properly in Sketchup, temporarily change your regional settings to use a dot. Then run the Sketchup plugin, save the model and restore your regional settings.

Note 2 : scaling 1:1

Users have often requested a way to model directly at scale 1:1 (in mm, in mils…). This is now possible but please keep in mind that Sketchup does not handle properly small details. You will quickly notice that arcs (for ex: curves pins of ICs) are impossible to model at this scale.

The reason is that Sketchup was originally intented for architecture modeling, not for the model of a 0402 resistor. Even with the template set to mm, the smallest dimension you can draw is about 30um and that this is too large for most arcs.

If you want to model at scale 1:1, I recommend :
- continue using 1000:1 models, and a template set to meters
- when your board is finished, use the Plugins/Scale/Scale Down 1000 function to resize it
- you can change the display units (mm, inch, mils) quickly with Plugins/Scale/Set units

Note 3 : components attribut

During the import step, eagleUp searches by default a part with the name of the component package (for exemple a resistor in 1206 package gets a part 1206.skp).

Now the user has the possibility to use a different part name at library and board levels. This makes the part management much easier.

You can specify the attribute in the library, for exemple to make sure that all 1206 resistors will be modeled by R1206.skp, all 1206 capacitors by C1206.skp…

You can use this new feature to differentiate easily male and female headers, or right angled headers, that all share a common footprint.

You can also set or modify this attribute on the board as well : select the attribute tool, click on the component and add/edit the attribute.

The attribute EAGLEUP can have two parts, separated by a semi-colon ;

The first part defines the name of the skp file to use. The second part can be used to alter a part easily. For exemple a right-angled pinhead can be rotated, or placed on the opposite side.

The side and angle are defined the same way as for the other Eagle commands : MR90 codes for Mirror + 90 degrees rotation. R180 codes for a 180 degrees rotation…
The complete syntax for the attribute is : name = EAGLEUP, value = {part_name}{;{M}Rxxx}

Videos to illustrate the new features will be added soon.

Jerome

Warehouse update 23/10/2011

Posted by eagleup in Eagle, Eagle'up, warehouse.
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After a long period without updates, the warehouse of parts for eagleUp just got refreshed. The parts are now sorted by categories that you can download separately.

There are now parts for everyone, from the smallest SMD to the largest DIP packages.

These parts will help you start the 3D model of your own circuit. If you miss something, check the video tutorials on part modeling and import from stp/iges files.

You can send me your own models by email. I will upload them in the warehouse after a quick check. Remember to name them correctly or to write the exact part number.

 

Simpler STEP and IGES file import 10/10/2011

Posted by eagleup in Uncategorized.
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The import has been simplified and uses MeshLab instead of Blender. Lighter software and faster conversion !

The process is not obvious and requires 3 applications so I made a short video tutorial to show how it works.

Feel free to comment on the process and on the video.

Jerome

Video tutorials 19/09/2011

Posted by eagleup in Eagle'up, video.
4 comments

Today are introduced video tutorials.

They follow the text tutorials and make, I hope, the steps easier. You can find them on top of the installationtutorial and modeling pages.

These are the first videos, so feel free to comment on the content and tools.

Jerome

edit: added the modeling videos

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