IT is sometims useful to see a three dimensional preview of the circuit board we are going to realize. Using Eagle CAD this is a matter very simple to obtain, even using only freeware routines and programs a 3D picture of our pcb.
All we need are only the following files:
- Eagle3d (downloadable here) and the list of components images (downloadable here);
- Powray (downloadable here)
After the install of povray we can unzip eagle3d and we have to:
- copy all file included in the directory ULP inside the ULP directory of Eagle (creating the new directory Eagle3d)
- just to avoid paths problems, well create on the desktop a directory called POV (where we'll save the file pov created with eagle 3d.ulp) where we'll copy all files zipped inside the directory POVRAY. That's all for the moment.
As an example we are going to realize a simple pcb, the usual 5V regulator sch and pcb:
Ok, the board is finished. Simply running 3d50.ulp we can start the conversion procedure. The script will ask where to create the pov file: we have to select the directory povray, previously created on the desktop. This is the directory where we have copied all files included in the eagle3d.zip
It is really important at this point to check User Assigned Models. The reason is only one: if a components it is not automatically found by the script we have to select manually the component whose shape is similar to the components we have choosen for our pcb. For this reason it is important even the download of the images of all components to compare.
Now simply starting povray we can open the file just created and obtain the rendering of our pcb.
IMPORTANT: the list of components chosen manually is recorded in a file inside the eagle3d directory: 3dusrpack.dat. In case of errors this file can be deleted or manually edited to remove errors done with the assignments.