I mostly use EasyEDA for PCB design: it is easy to use and ordering assembled PCBs from JLCPCB couldn’t be easier (and cheaper) with any other EDA tool. But exporting your PCB design from EasyEDA as a 3D object is really faulty. Often we want to create an enclosure for a PCB and all connectors and buttons need to be in the right place. In this tutorial I show you my workflow from EasyEDA to Fusion 360.
Step by Step Instructions
- Export the layers as DXF file, File > Export > DXF…
In Fusion 360:
- In a new design create a new component and activate it.
- Import the DXF file: Insert > Insert DXF. In the dialog choose One Sketch per Layer…
- Create a new sketch on the same plane and call it PCB
- Project (Shortcut ‘P’) all relevant and correct sketch features into the new sketch.
- Some elements might be wrong, in that case, import enough to fix them (see video).
- Remove the checkbox behind “projection link”. This allows you to change projected lines independent from the imported sketches
- Make sure the PCB outline is closed (the PCB in the sketch is light blue)
- Extrude (Shortcut ‘E’) the PCB downwards with the thickness you will order your PCBs with.
- In my case, I entered -1.6mm.
- The sketch plane should be on top of the PCB. This will make it easier to align the electronic components later
- Create a new top-level component for every electronic part you wish to import.
- You don’t need to import every capacitor, chip, or resistor. You can of course, but this will be very tedious.
- Only import parts that interact with the enclosure: plugs, buttons, sensor or the parts with the biggest height
- Open the PCB view. Put your browser (e.g. Chrome) into inspect mode by right-clicking somewhere at the top of the browser window.
- Open the tab to display network traffic (“Network” in Chrome).
- In the PCB view select the component you want to export
- In the right tab > Custom Properties > 3D Model click on the text field
- This will force EasyEDA to download the 3D model of this component.
- In the inspect mode window two new lines appeared.
- Right-click on the last one and Choose “Open in new tab”.
- This will download the 3d model into your download folder
- Repeat this for every part you need in Fusion 360
In the File Explorer/Finder
- Rename the file you just downloaded and add “.obj” as extension, e.g. “USB_C.obj”
- Repeat this for every part
In Fusion 360:
- Activate the component of the part you are going to import
- Import the obj file: Insert > Insert Mesh
- Rotate the object in the correct direction
- Place the object somewhere above its final location on the PCB
- If needed, repair the mesh: Mesh > Prepare > Repair…
- Convert the Mesh: Modify > Convert Mesh…
- Place the part: In the Solid workspace > Modify > Align
- Choose a feature on the part that you can also find on the PCB/ sketch
- Use Flip/Angle to rotate the part until it fits
- Sometimes you need several Align operations: e.g. first align x-axis and y-axis, then use another feature to align z-axis
- Repeat with all parts/ components
Congratulations, you have successfully recreated the PCB and it’s most important components in Fusion 360. Now you can use this model to create your enclosure. But this is content for another post;-)