Export Eagle to Sketchup

3D view of Eagle project.

Generating 3D views of Cadsoft Eagle projects can be done with Eagle3D. Eagle3D generates POV-Ray scrips from Eagle PCB’s. The board and parts can then be rendered in POV-Ray. I have done this to make pretty pictures of the Arduino CC2500 shields.

Arduino CC2500 Shield rendered in Eagle3D
Arduino CC2500 Shield rendered in Eagle3D

Relevant links :

Eagle3D main site : http://www.matwei.de/doku.php?id=en:eagle3d:eagle3d
Eagle 3D at BerliOS : http://developer.berlios.de/projects/eagle3d/
Cadsoft Eagle : http://www.cadsoft.de/index.htm
POV-Ray : http://www.povray.org/

Eagle project as a 3D design.

The problem with Eagle3D is that it only generates images. The 3D design cannot be edited and the data can not be used for manufacturing.

A logical solution is to generate a 3D CAD file that can be edited and can be used for manufacturing. The popular choice for product design in the “maker scene” is Google Sketchup. It is extendable in Ruby, and there are are extensions available to export to 3D printers (see Shapeways and Ponoko) and lasercutters via Inkscape and the Faces-to-SVG plugin (see Ponoko).

Gumstix

The people behind the Gumstix have done some work on Eagle – Sketchup integration. Documentation is a bit sketchy and the latest projectfiles are from 2009.

Relevant links :

The Eagle and Sketchup scripts : http://pubs.gumstix.com/models/ulp/
Sketchup models : http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/search?uq=1182539586607624671355485&scoring=m

EagleUp

EagleUp is a set of scripts in Eagle and Sketchup. It generates files and images in Eagle that can be imported with a script in Sketchup.

EagleUp is still in an early version but it is well documented. I plan to use it and have been tweaking the code.

Relevant links :

EagleUp : http://eagleup.wordpress.com/why-eagleup/

Problems.

There are a couple of problems with the Eagle – Sketchup integration.

Precision.

Google Sketchup uses inches as 64 bit floats, precise enough for product design, but has an internal fixed 1 mil (0.0254 mm) tolerance. Faces and lines cannot have points that are closer to each other than this 1 mil tolerance. It is not really in the manual but I found a confirmation here : http://forums.sketchucation.com/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=25175&p=219030&hilit=precision#p218989

A discussion on the issue can be found here :
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1209829

To avoid this issue the EagleUp author scales the design x 1000. That will not  matter for the pictures but it could complicate manufacturing and combining parts.

Parts.

Eagle3D has a huge amount of parts available, Matthias Weißer made it possible to make a part parametric and uses one model for say, all pin headers with 4 up to 50 pins. EagleUp parts are Sketchup models and there are only a few available.

7 thoughts on “Export Eagle to Sketchup”

  1. Hi, just like to inform you that I investigated EagleUp after finding it through among other places this site. I’m now helping Jerome and we have got a good way towards a new version and I would like to invite you and everyone else out there to checkout and participate in the continued development of EagleUp at

    https://code.google.com/p/eagleup/

    Some of the key features already implemented on top of the official release is:
    * Automatic generation of front and back PCB images
    * Automatic alignment of the board images.
    * User specified scale from Eagle to Sketchup (use real scale in Eagle and scale it up by 1000 for instance to handle the precision problem)

    We also hope to be able to make the import directly from within Sketchup from a Eagle Board file in a single step before releasing the next official version.

    Kindest regards,

    //Erik

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