eagleUp 4.2

After a few days of beta testing, eagleUp 4.2 is now released.

This version focuses on reducing the amount of settings and on the automatic detection of the configuration. eagleUp is becoming more user friendly, thanks to your comments and suggestions.

The main new feature is that you do not need to manually edit the RB file for the settings any more. The paths and the settings for the board (colors, thickness…) are saved and restored at each launch.

You now have access to custom colors and can sort your SKP parts in as many sub folders as you want.

You can find eagleUp 4.2 in the installation page. Remember to check the tutorial as well.

Release notes :

  • fixed an issue with decimal separator in the folder names.
  • fixed an issue with comma as decimal sign and Windows XP platform.
  • added decimal sign detection in Sketchup, no more errors due to a wrong setting (currently the first cause of troubles).
  • added unit detection in Sketchup, warns the user and stop if meters are not set in the template (the second).
  • added a custom color choice for easier users experiments with board colors, select the color ‘custom’, a popup will help you fill the values.
  • added storage of users settings in eaglerc configuration file for Eagle versions 5.10 and above. All settings and preferences are now saved and restored at each launch for higher productivity.
  • added storage of users settings in a text file for older versions of Eagle (equivalent to the previous line, but not as reliable in shared environment).
  • added settings for the paths and commands (previously these values had to be edited by hand). At first launch the user can edit the paths (or choose the default values for Windows or for OS X). These settings can be accessed later in the eagleUp main window.
  • added compatibility with multiple projects in a same folder by naming the exported images with the board name.
  • added an option to export and import a design without the realistic PCB images. The image creation is a slow step, in particular for large designs. With this option you can make a quick preview, check for the missing parts, and when all is ready make the real export/import with the images.
  • added an automatic correction of package names having a comma (replaced by a dot) or slash (/, replaced by _ ). SKP files should be named the same way.
  • added support for sub folders in /models. You can sort your models as you want with as many levels as you need.
  • added automatic zoom to the extent of the model in Sketchup.

The next version will have a better skp part management, and more error detection on the board level. Feel free to suggest any improvement you would like to see.

I am looking for a way to get photo realistic views of the assembled boards. If you are experienced with Blender or other freely available rendering software, please get in touch with me.



import step files for your models

Many mechanical parts like connectors, switches and large parts are offered as STEP models by their manufacturers. Unfortunately there is no direct way to import them into Sketchup, so we usually have to redraw them from scratch based on the datasheet and some imagination.

Lorenz wrote me a short description of his method to import STEP files. I will illustrate it with a Micro-Match connector, manufactured by Tyco. The reference of the part is 1-215460-0. Follow the link and download the STEP model (you do not need to sign in, just close the popup).

Locate the zip file on your computer and extract it. There should be a .stp file inside.

Download and install FreeCAD. This tool is multi platform. Launch it.

Import the model with File / Import .

Press ‘0’ (zero) for isometric view. Pretty realistic. It would be a lot of work to draw so many details !

Create a mesh for this model : Meshes / Create mesh from shape. Click OK in the left hand side tab.

Then click on “c_0215460_10_u_3d (Meshed)” and Meshes / Export mesh… Save as binary STL.

You can open the STL file with eDrawings to check the intermediate file.

Still looking nice ?

Now download and install Blender. This tool is multi platform. Launch it and import the STL file : File / Import / Stl…

Export as Collada (DAE).

Then Import the dae file in Sketchup. You can explode the model and edit it : add colors, re-orientate it.

A good check is to measure the component and check that the dimensions are correct (remember the scale : millimetres are now meters).

Summary : STP => STL => DAE => SKP

Feel free to share your own methods in the comments.

export your model as DXF or STL

Sketchup is a nice CAD tool but the SKP format is not the most useful. You cannot open it with many other software or share it with mechanical designers. Today we will see how to export it nicely.

Following this link you can find a plugin for Sketchup that can write DXF and STL files. Copy the RB file in your Sketchup plugins directory. This plugin works for Windows and OS X.

Then open your existing design, or run eagleUp from scratch. You can find the export plugin in the tools menu :


Choose to export the whole model, then select an export in millimeters.

Finally you can choose your export format.

  • the polyface mesh can help measurements on 2D drawings
  • the STL gives a more useful 3D model


STL is widely used for milling, printing, and other quick prototyping.

There are several free viewers available. I can recommend eDrawings. Feel free to share your experience in exports and 3D file formats in the comments.

Tomorrow in another post we will see how to import parts in Sketchup.

Beta testing

Do you like eagleUp and would like to contribute simply ?

Send me an email to register as beta-tester (write ‘beta testing’ in the subject).

You will receive the updates a couple of days before the public release.

Your task will be to try the new version on your computer and report any issue on the demo model and on your own models.

Windows, Mac and Linux users are welcome ! Users with non conventional settings as well.


PS: version 4.2 is in the pipeline with a couple of interesting new features…

eagleUp 4.1

The version 4.1 corrects a couple of minor issues found in eagleUp 4.0 and introduces an automatic warning when a newer version is released.

Release notes:

  • added automatic check for latest version
  • added compatibility with outline lines placed on package level
  • added option to export only the board to Sketchup (no parts placed on the PCB)
  • corrected non-plated hole color

You can download eagleUp 4.1.zip and replace the ULP and the RB files.

For Mac users, check Tom’s comment on OS X settings.

Remember that a parts warehouse is coming soon. Please send your best creations !

parts warehouse in preparation

The most wanted feature for eagleUp last year in your comments and emails has been the parts warehouse. It seems that everybody likes community contribution. I plan to open the warehouse soon, so please send me by email :

  • the part you have drawn in skp format, scaled 1:1000 as usual
  • the exact name of the package (SO08-150 for an IC, 6032-28 for a Tantal cap…)
  • the name used in the default Eagle library (SO08 and CPOL-EUCT6032 respectively)
  • a link to a datasheet of the package if necessary
  • the author name you’d like to see appear
In case of multiple skp’s for the same package, I will select the most accurate and/or best looking model.

new version released

Dear eagleUp users,

version 4 has been released. Most of the import and export procedures have been automatized to simplify the process, so that you can focus in design, and not in the conversion 2D/3D.

With the version 4, you export from Eagle in 2 clicks, and import into sketchup in 3 clicks. No more tiring image creation and manual import necessary. Give it a try !

You can check the installation notes. You will find there the download of version 4.0

Then have a look at the tutorial. It only takes a few minutes to complete and shows the new features of eagleUp.

Thanks to Erik, this version should be Mac friendly. Please comment on any issue you find on your way.


Model your own parts

Interested in Eagle’up but you don’t know how to model your favorite components ?

I wrote a tutorial to help you. It starts with a simple 0805 resistor and shows you the spirit of the modeling. How to model it, and how to model it well and quickly.

When you are familiar with the resistor modeling, check how to model an integrated circuit. It is just a bit more complicated, but with the tutorial you can do it in less than 5 minutes !

After that, you will have all the tools to draw your own parts.

Eagle’up brings colors to your 3D model

As promised, the version 3 of Eagle’up gives you the choice of colors for your board. Currently you can pick a green, blue or red solder mask, and silver or gold plating for your drills. These are the most common selections from the PCB manufacturers.

You can of course add your own colors, or adjust the tone of the ones provided, check the scripts for more details.

I will soon publish a page with all the technical details and process used in Eagle’3D.

The drills larger than 2mm are not plated by default, usually they are mounting holes.

The User Interface has been improved so that you only see one popup per missing package. The Ruby script warns you if you have multiple drills superposed, and only keeps one so it should not affect the model.

You can download directly the new archives here:

EagleUp tools 3.zip (save as … then rename as .zip)

You just need to replace Eagle_up_export.ulp , eagle_import.rb and the batch files. Obviously you run only the batch file with the color scheme you desire. The process to go from Eagle board to SketchUp model is the same as before.

Please report any issue with this new version.