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How can I add a small pcb module to an electronics PCB project?

4 REPLIES 4
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Message 1 of 5
Jeff_UofM
164 Views, 4 Replies

How can I add a small pcb module to an electronics PCB project?

My Fusion 360 electronic project is OK, and it's showing up OK in 3D, but it still needs a small module that attaches to an 18 pin square-pin terminal....so that I can model an acrylic box around the whole thing. The module does not really need to 'work'. It just needs to take up the proper space for modeling the enclosure. I'm not sure how to proceed. Do I add a component to the 3D?  I just need a some help to get started in the right direction. Thanks.

4 REPLIES 4
Message 2 of 5
matt.berggren
in reply to: Jeff_UofM

Hi Jeff - Try this example that I created.  It is more than you need but what I did was to create the second board (an LED panel) as a separate electronic design.  Then I created a second 3D PCB.  The right way to use two boards in the same enclosure is to use an "external reference" into an "assembly".  The concept is simple.  Create a new 3D document (File->New in the regular 3D workspace that Fusion deposits you to start) and then from the Data Panel (left) you will Insert both 3D PCBs into the assembly and position them.  I would reccomend when you position them that you select both in the Browser tree, right mouse and create a Rigid Group.  This will let you move both around without the two coming apart.  You will see the Rigid Group in the Browser as a joint and you can remove something from the group at any time if you find you need to fine tune the magic.  Hope this helps!

 

Personally I would treat the two boards as a sub-assembly (ie put them into one design and then reference that into the final enclosure) if I felt this design was worth it (mine isn't) because having a subassembly with a few nested layers can come in handy if you don't mind the overhead of "Get Latest" when the time comes and you modify a child asset.  This is one of the advantages of the versions of files that Fusion produces because I can have variations on a project where the original design is deliberately out of date with the current version.  This enables a lot of improvements in future projects.

 

Matt - Autodesk.

Message 3 of 5
Jeff_UofM
in reply to: Jeff_UofM

WOW! That is just fantastic. I studied your lamp, and found the rigid group. Now I get it. I'm going to try it. I'm so grateful that you answered me so quickly. I can only imagine the weeks I would waste if you hadn't steered me right. I really suffer with Fusion electronics, mostly because of my confusion with libraries. Thank G-d this has little to do with that. I'm feeling positive just knowing that there is such an elegant solution. Your design is pretty cool. What did you do with the air sensors? Does it report to a IOT thing? Maybe you can monitor the interior CO2 levels- which is a big deal. Set it to open and shut an exterior vent to maintain a healthy environment. I produced an API to connect my sensors to my phone, to alert me when my plants need water, and when my diesel needed attention. And I only got into Eagle to learn how to make the PCB. But I've been stuck for months trying to convert to Fusion electronics, and to deal with the library schemes, bringing in components from external libraries, and such.  But you certainly elevated my prospects of success. I'm no longer negative. I can't thank you enough. Best regards, Jeff

Message 4 of 5
matt.berggren
in reply to: Jeff_UofM

Yes, it is actually a modification on an Air Quality sensor I'd made for a show in 2019.  The difference here is the use of cap-touch on the edges of the unit and I was really working on stress testing all of the areas of Fusion a bit, including the Electronics Environment.  I am someone very keen to work end to end and before Autodesk I spent many years building actual, physical things.  Fusion has been something of a labor of love for me and my team - especially with the integration of electronics.  

 

Cap sense on this is part of the LED boards and connected over I2C.  The little tabs on the edges of the LED panels were enough to let me detect a touch but also to detect a slide so controlling the dimming would be possible for each "row" of LEDs.  The cap is also cap sense and would give me the ability to switch modes and even switch off.  The key being that more than just an air sensor, this can detect methane, CO, etc. so you sort of have a "whole room" sensor of sorts.  A side-project perhaps.  

 

Unofficially, I made this video just to demo to folks internally what I did and to showcase Fusion a bit more.  It is a bit audacious and totally not made by the marketing department.  I am an old school EE / physics dude who taught for a while and who likes to use our tools to frustrate my team with bug reports (they can't ignore me) that demonstrate a lot of the stuff you (the community) finds, with real world examples.  🙂 ...If we don't use the stuff we make I find we don't make the stuff people can use.  So believe me when I say that just this project alone probably remedied 50 things which I found untenable and I will corroborate my experience with the forums to adjust the priority accordingly.

 

Please beware, the video has sound (music) but not VoiceOver.  This is totally unofficial and a bit of my nerdy, creative side coming thru.  I tested almost all of Fusion with this and even mfg the parts (at Xometry being cut as I write this).  I have a few PCB tweaks to make to ensure the carrier board is easier to work with and can scale to put anything on those panels (not just arrays of LEDs but that was easy to test the laser cut edge-lit acrylic and see what that might look like IRL).

 

Matt - Autodesk

 

 

Message 5 of 5
Jeff_UofM
in reply to: Jeff_UofM

Very cool video. It's reassuring to know that someone like you is troubleshooting. Thanks for your great advice. I was able to follow your use of 'external reference' into an 'assembly' and got it to work pretty quickly. I wouldn't have known, otherwise. Also thanks for the detailed advice regarding closing a project. I was doing it backwards. Best regards, Jeff

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