Quick and Dirty Wings3D Part Creation for KiCAD 3D Viewer
This quick and dirty Wings3D creation micro-tutorial covers creating a 3D part in Wings3D and exporting that part to KiCAD.
Since the most common object is a cube (and the easiest), that is what this tutorial covers.
- Right click on the screen in Wings3D.
- Left click on the box at the end of the line where it shows Cube.
- Clicking the box brings up the dimensions of the cube screen.
- I've entered the number for a 16 mm x 16 mm x 5.5 mm Leadless Chip Carrier (a GPS part in this case).
- If you use different units than mm, you will need to use a different scale factor later but since most data sheets list mm as the default unit this probably won't be an issue.
- That should have created an object but the axis are probably not what you wanted since it looks more like a tombstone than a part. Don't worry, be happy. All will be OK.
- One problem is that the object will be centered around the Z azis which will push the part down into the board. To solve this:
- Click the mouse wheel. This will put the part into rotation mode.
- Rotate the part until the z axis is coming out of the screen.
- Right click on the part.
- Select Move.
- Select Z.
- Manually move the part until it is flush on the XY plane axis. The part should be in the direction of the Z since that marks the positive Z direction.
Setting the color of the object
- Use Wings menu (Windows > Outliner) to open Outliner.
- Rightclick and select Material...
- Type name of new material (or object part, such as body, pins etc.).
- Edit material (there are color components like Diffuse, Ambient etc.; next to each of them is scroll bar and small rectangular color picker window; click into the box to select base color)
- Select surfaces or items you want colored (selection is highlighted in red).
- Select material in outliner (selection is highlighted in blue)
- Drag highlighted material from Outliner onto one of the highlighted object surfaces.
- Choose if color is to be applied to only selected surfaces or entire items.
Save the Part
- To save the object, left click on File, Export, then left click on the box at the end of the VRML 2.0 line.
- This brings up the export options. The scale factor between inches and cm is 0.393701, put that value into the Export scale field.
- Save the file into the KiCAD modules folder.
The next steps are from KiCAD Pcbnew
- Right click on the part you want to assign the new 3D shape to.
- Select the Footprint if it's not the default, then select Edit.
- The Module Editor screen will appear. Select 3D Settings.
- Select Add 3D Shape and select the file that was saved above.
- In KiCAD, select View, 3D Display. The object will be shown in the KiCAD 3D viewer program.