← Back to team overview

kicad-developers team mailing list archive

Re: Future of 3D models in KiCAD


----- Original Message -----
> From: Bill Morris <bill@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: Cirilo Bernardo <cirilo_bernardo@xxxxxxxxx>
> Cc: Miguel Angel Ajo Pelayo <miguelangel@xxxxxxx>; "kicad-developers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <kicad-developers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 10:55 PM
> Subject: Re: [Kicad-developers] Future of 3D models in KiCAD
>>  >This is an important feature, I've been playing recently with .step 
> in FreeCAD, and the .step support worked quite well. It also seems to be the 
> standard for 3D exchange for mechanical CAD.
>>  > 
>>  Yes, STEP AP203 (and more recently AP214) and the much older IGES are 
> perhaps the most widely supported formats for exchanging 3D shapes.
> AMF, Collada and STL might also be a good options but STEP is a
> preferred/acceptable format for 3D models of components.
> However you may also want to look at IDF for the actual board.
> http://www.iheartrobotics.com/2009/04/ecad-vs-mcad-round-1-fight.html
> IDF can be used to support things like assignment of keep-out zones for
> connectors and back-annotation for routing the board.

I have looked into IDF2,3,4 and PSI-5 thanks to input from people on the kicad-users list.  It will be relatively easy to implement IDF2 and 3 and even IDF4 is not so difficult. However, although quite a few MCAD packages support IDF3, IDF4 is not well supported - it has pretty much been replaced by PSI-5.  The specs for PSI-5 will essentially cost a few thousand $. Anyway, I think IDF3 is worth supporting, but it is an extremely limited spec; IDF4 is much more interesting, but as I said not widely supported in contemporary MCAD software.  PSI-5 should probably be supported some time in the future. At any rate, IDF support should be part of KiCAD rather than a separate tool as I was considering for the STEP support; IDF and STEP serve very different functions so it's not surprising that they should be 2 different projects. One more item for the wish list.

- Cirilo