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development ideas 26/08/2011

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

eagleUp 4.3 is in beta test at the moment and will be released soon. It will fix some rounding errors for the edges that can appear if you have a very curvy board outline.

What do you want to see in eagleUp ? Here is a short list of what the users have requested so far :

  • work in millimeters instead of meters. This request appears very often, but Sketchup is designed for buildings so it limits the precision at our low scale. But mm-scaling should be possible and will probably appear very soon in eagleUp.
  • smarter part management. At the moment the name of the part.skp has to match the package name in Eagle so it limits strongly the flexibility. With the next releases the part will be handled differently and will allow the designer to change on the fly the parts, and why not pick directly from the eagleUp warehouse.
  • multi-layer board 3D view. We have now achieved a nice and realistic preview of the parts and of the outside of the board, but when you work with multi-layer boards, it could be interesting to see the inside of the board : how the layers are connected, where is this via going, what is the separation between critical signals in the real board…
What else can you suggest ? The discussion is open in the comments.
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1. Egídio Luis - 26/08/2011

I think, for start, the traces should be models too (not only images), this can be a beginning for drawing 3d multi-layer boards, and if you do this, this can be the most powerfull 3d board generator software ever. I wish i have time to learn ruby to help…

eagleup - 26/08/2011

That’s the way to go I believe. It means a lot of data, a very large model… And there is always the open issue of the polygons. Maybe a dxf export of some kind could be used.
In any case it would not be real time like what you can get on some (very) expensive CAD software.

2. Egídio Luis - 26/08/2011

Why do you choose to use image magick and sketchup to generate the texture/model?

eagleup - 26/08/2011

I am not sure I understand your comment. For internal layers it’s very easy to get an image from Eagle, just activate the inner copper layer you want and the pads/vias, no need of image magick here.
This could be pasted over an internal “face”. But you don’t get the transparency to see through the design.

Egídio Luis - 26/08/2011

I understand, but my question is, why did you choose theese softwares (ImageMagick , SketchUp) to do the job? For example, you can extract a cad/gerber version directly from eagle, and use Processing (http://processing.org) for draw the shapes, extrude, and export for DXF, all in one. That is a whole diferent work but i think can be easier… or not.

eagleup - 26/08/2011

Image magick is the best utility I know to manipulate images, and it’s multiplatform.
Sketchup is an easy to use 3d modeler, and it’s free and multi platform. Plus you can program it so it would drill and do the pick n place for you.
I will have a look at processing, thanks for the idea.

3. bjbsquared - 14/09/2011

Thaks for all your efforts on this.

I would like to see a mm, mil and/or inches check box to enter board thickness.

A text file containing the names of missing models would be nice.

eagleup - 14/09/2011

Ok for the board thickness units.
I am planning to move the eup file and images generated in a subfolder (user can choose name and path for that).
the importer could write in a .log the missing packages list.

Volker - 20/09/2011

Hi Jerome,

please do also keep the meter units as option for the standard measures. As you already noted, it is way more precise. I don’t really see the point of having mm actually. If you want that, one scale action of the whole thing will get you there.

Thanks for the great work!


4. GKl - 15/09/2011

For the Warehouse, using 2 sections:
1. Present models, which are tested/approved (shown in list)
2. Models send in, but not tested/approved/complete yet.

Using properties from .skp file for model information.

Model example with properties filled in on the warehouse page
could help.
With text about used datasheet, date, maker, checker, rev. update etc.

5. Rumpus - 18/09/2011

Very impresses with this plugin, can we get component values and render onto the models, i.e. for an SMD resistor put the code for the value on, for a PTH resistor the color code. Markings for chips etc?
Also, can we have an option to choose which layers are silkscreen?

eagleup - 19/09/2011

Hi Rumpus,
Customization of the parts is not a simple task but should be feasible in Sketchup. However text on SMD parts is usually so small that even on real components you can barely see it.
For the silkscreen you have an option to select tPlace or tPlace+tName which are the standard Eagle layers for the silk. Which other layer do you need ?
Thanks for the suggestions,

6. rumpus - 19/09/2011

I tend to use a completely different layer for silkscreen, can’t remember off the top of my head. I use silk-gen.ulp.

eagleup - 19/09/2011

Hello, I did not know this ULP as I tend to define the text and lines correctly directly in the libraries.
I will add an option for a custom definition of top and bottom silk layers.

7. Tom - 21/09/2011

Hello Jerome,
great Job you did!
I found that the exported PCB shape causes problems if there are arcs in the board dimension or when there are drills crossing the board outline.
Do you think it is possible to fix this?

eagleup - 21/09/2011

The version 4.3 fixes this issue. If you give me your email I can send you the beta version to test it.

8. Antoine - 10/11/2011

Hello Jerome,

Love the plugin, great job!

Maxwell just released a free version of their renderer: http://www.maxwellrender.com/index.php/home/maxwell_for_sketchup

I tried it but it appears to not support PNG texture file. I had to change the format to JPG to make a render. An option to directly export in JPG would be great!


eagleup - 10/11/2011

Hello Antoine.
Thanks for the news, I will give it a try. I will also add a jpg option for the next release (coming very soon).

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