Community
Fusion Electronics
Working an electronics project and need help with the schematic, the PCB, or making your components? Join the discussion as our community of electronic design specialists and industry experts provide you their insight and best practices.
cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to work with 3D PCB

17 REPLIES 17
SOLVED
Reply
Message 1 of 18
yqliu
17011 Views, 17 Replies

How to work with 3D PCB

The purpose of this post is to explain how to create/use 3D PCBs by answering the following questions:

  1. How to create a 3D PCB from a 2D PCB design?
  2. What's the difference between "3D PCB" and "3D PCB with Canvas"?
  3. How to assign a 3D model to a package?
  4. How to create a 3D PCB first (how to create a board outline from a sketch or a face)?
  5. How to edit the board outline in 3D PCB workspace?
  6. How to change the board color?
  7. How to insert the 3D PCB into a mechanical design (like an enclosure)?
  8. How can I have the enclosure get updated when the board outline is changed? 
  9. How can I have the board outline get updated when the enclosure is changed?

Considering this will be a long post, I won't include every details here. Feel free to let me know if anything is not clear.

 

  1. How to create a 3D PCB from a 2D PCB design?
    In the PCB workspace, you can find the "View 3D PCB" and the "View 3D PCB with Canvas" commands. You can use either of them to create a 3D PCB.view3d.png

  2. What's the difference between "3D PCB" and "3D PCB with Canvas"?
    "View 3D PCB" command will create a full 3D PCB that even the silkscreen and the coppers are 3D but "View 3D PCB with canvas" will render the silkscreen and copper as an image  (a.k.a canvas in Fusion 360).
  3. How to assign a 3D model to a package?
    You will find some parts appear as boxes in the 3D PCB. This is because there is no 3d packages created for those parts. Fusion 360 can still load 3D models from library.io, but now we recommend to create 3d packages in Fusion. This is done by run the "Create new Package" or "Create Package from Footprint" commands in the library work space.pkg.png
  4. How to create a 3D PCB first (how to create a board outline from a sketch or a face)?
    In some cases, we want to create a board outline from an existing sketch or face. The command "Create 3D PCB" in the Fusion design workspace is for this purpose:

    tip.pngIf possible, always create the sketch on the XY plane. Otherwise you might see the board outline is flipped. This is because Fusion doesn't always draw sketch in the viewing coordinate system.

    step4.png
    This will create a new 3D PCB document and you can use the "Push to 2D PCB" or "Link to 2D PCB" command to associate it with a 2D PCB.
    step5.png

  5. How to edit the board outline in 3D PCB workspace?
    The 3D PCB is created as a parametric model. You can edit the sketch or the board feature (which is an extrude indeed) to change the outline.
    editsketch.png

    tip.pngSometimes you want to add a hole on the board and if you put a circle on the sketch. You may find that it doesn't create a hole on the 3D PCB. This is because Fusion doesn't understand your intention if there are many profiles. You can explicitly specify the board outline after clicking the "Edit Board" command:

    editboard.png

  6. How to change the board color?
    You can change the color of solder mask or copper etc in the Manufacturing Preview dialog:
    color.png

  7. How to insert the 3D PCB into a mechanical design (like an enclosure)?
    Open your mechanical design first, then find your 3D PCB in data panel and right click, select "Insert into current design"
    insert.png
  8. How can I have the enclosure updated when the board outline is changed? 
    In many cases you want to have the associativity between the ECAD side and the MCAD side, so when one side is updated, the other side could be updated automatically. So far we don't support two-way updating when working with 3D PCB. This means you will need to decide with side is driving.  If you want the mechanical part always to be updated when the board outline is changes, it's recommended to design the board outline first and then create the mechanical part based on the projected sketch of the outline. 

  9. How can I have the board outline get updated when the enclosure is changed?
    Is it possible? yes it is! But it's hard to discover this feature. To make it happen you need to create the enclosure first, then create "derive" from it:
    derive1.png
    For the 3D PCB, we should derive a sketch and add it to an existing 3D PCB design:
    derive.png
    Next, we need to move the derived feature to the front of the timeline (at least before the board extrude feature). Then we should run the Edit Board command and select a profile from the derived sketch as the profile of the board.
    editboard2.png
    After those steps, you will have the board outline updated with the sketch in the mechanical design.

 

 

Hope this post helps.

 

Richard

 

17 REPLIES 17
Message 2 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: yqliu

Correction: What's the difference between "3D PCB" and "3D PCB with Canvas"?

"View 3D PCB" command will create a full 3D PCB that even the solder mask and the coppers are 3D but "View 3D PCB with canvas" will render the solder mask and copper as an image  (a.k.a canvas in Fusion 360).

 

Creating a 3D PCB with canvas is much faster than creating a full 3D PCB. So if the details are not important, using "View 3D PCB with canvas" is a better choice.

 

Message 3 of 18
TrippyLighting
in reply to: yqliu

Thanks for the post. This belongs into the documentation section of Fusion 360 ASAP and would clear aup a ot of questions.

 

Up to now the expected behavior would be for a sketch edit to be reflected in the extrusion and "edit sketch" still exists, but does not "do" anything.

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 9.34.46 AM.png

 

A "regular" Fusion 360 would not usually try to edit the extrusion to find the needed functionality:

Screen Shot 2020-01-28 at 9.37.22 AM.png

 

I'd find it much more intuitive and in line with usual Fusion 360 functionality to replace the normal "Edit sketch" functionality with the "edit board outline" when selecting the sketch in the timeline and then select the extrusion to re-select or de-select profiles to define the board shape. 

 

Peter Doering
Message 4 of 18
bigjosh2
in reply to: yqliu

So helpful! Thank you!

 

Can you suggest a way to drive a board outline based on the models of the parts on the PCB? 

 

So you create a board, place the components, and then (say) have the board outline be an outset of the enclosing rectangle of the placed parts and traces? 

Message 5 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: bigjosh2

Hi @bigjosh2 , this feature is in development. Before it's ready, the only workaround I can think of is

1) create a 3D PCB using a simple rectangle as the outline;

2) Insert the 3D PCB into a new Fusion design;

3) Project the edges/faces of the placed parts onto a sketch;

4) Create a new 3D PCB fro this sketch and link it to your PCB.

 

Richard

Message 6 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: TrippyLighting

Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. I agree it is a bit confusing here. In most cases, Edit Sketch will be enough. We are trying to make the behavior in line with the normal Fusion commands, especially the Extrude command. I think one of the reasons of the confusion is, in Fusion modeling design, if we want to add a hole to a body, typically we don't go back to change the sketch (if we do it, you will find that' s exactly the same steps for editing the board): 

 

box.gif

Message 7 of 18
kschepens
in reply to: yqliu

Great post! 

 

I'm trying to add a 3D package to my existing PCB (I created a new circuit and PCB and imported files from Eagle). I followed your answer by clicking "Create Package from Footprint". This works (well, first I had to replace all devices with the one from the new library that is now hosted in the cloud), however, the 3D model is never updated.

 

I've tried Switch > View 3D PCB but I still only see the red squares. 

 

How do I update the 3D PCB with the new 3D packages from the library?

Message 8 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: kschepens

Hi @kschepens ,  if you open the library manager, do you see the library has a newer version? Can you confirm that your design is using the latest library? Try to add the package to your design and create the 3d again.

Message 9 of 18
kschepens
in reply to: yqliu

Hi @yqliu,

 

Thanks for your response! That's basically what I eventually did. See also my post (with the glorious title "Nothing but problems") here: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusion-360-electronics/nothing-but-problems/m-p/9286662

Message 10 of 18
rhdfmail
in reply to: yqliu

When you derive a sketch  from the enclosure to define the pcb.. How the heck do I put the PCB into my assembly to see if components fit etc?
Fusion complains about circular references....

Message 11 of 18
jorge_garcia2
in reply to: rhdfmail

Hello @rhdfmail,

I hope you're doing well. See this video we just uploaded now:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ny4kWdhTbg

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards,


Jorge Garcia
​Product Support Specialist for Fusion 360 and EAGLE

Kudos are much appreciated if the information I have shared is helpful to you and/or others.

Did this resolve your issue? Please accept it "As a Solution" so others may benefit from it.
Message 12 of 18
rhdfmail
in reply to: jorge_garcia2

So, if I  design my enclosure first, derive a sketch from it to create my PCB-outline  and then add the enclosure and the 3D PCB to a new assembly it will work the other way ?

will give it a try tonight

Message 13 of 18
jelmer
in reply to: yqliu

Great manual on creating 3D PCBs!

 

For case 9 -> is there a way to make this work when your derived sketch is not in the XY plane?

(also see: https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/fusion-360-electronics/set-3d-pcb-board-origin/td-p/9446185)

Message 14 of 18
Airobot-Dynamics
in reply to: jelmer

Have we lost functionality?

One of the most powerful workflows was to design a PCB in Eagle, push it into a Fusion assembly, modify the PCB i.e. add mounting hols from the model, then pull it back into Eagle. This is something I did a lot. 

 

This appears to have been lost, or the process has changed dramatically and I cant work hot how to do it.

Am I missing something?

 

Within Modelx

We have Create PCB withing an assembly, it states. "Insterts a PBC into the timeline and enters the PBC workspace. Use PSB workspace commands to collaboratively design a PCB with an EAGLE user. Click Finnish PCB to return to the Model workspace."

So we create a PCB, select a profile and a new tap opens with a 'PCB' from the profile. Save file PCBx.

From EAGLE we push to fusion to the saved file PCBx. 

PCBx updates to the Eagle PCB.

"Click Finnish PCB to return to the Model workspace." There is no Finish PCB!

All we can do is move a component, save.

Whatever we do, the PCB does NOT appear in file Modelx. Nothing in the timeline to do with the PCB!

 

 

 

Message 15 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: jelmer

Hi @jelmer , this is a limitation of the derived sketch. We are still seeking a solution.

Message 16 of 18
yqliu
in reply to: Airobot-Dynamics

Hi @Airobot-Dynamics, we have changed the workflow. The tooltip is out of date and we have a fix for the next update. We are now separating ECAD design into a different document so that it gives the possibility to reuse the same 3D PCB in different designs. This also reduces possible computation errors as the whole design getting more and more complex. To make it appear in the mechanical design, please insert the 3D PCB document as x-ref.

Message 17 of 18
Airobot-Dynamics
in reply to: yqliu

Hi 

It has been a while since I have used Fusion, as I have been working on Eagle projects for the past 10 months, and its time to link e-cam to m-cam for this project.

Thanks

Anthony

Message 18 of 18
RichardHammerl
in reply to: yqliu

Hey there,

 

thank you guys for posting all your 3D PCB questions here in this tread started by my colleague Richard @yqliu .

Richard's post is highly informational and we see a lot of people reading it and adding questions here. This is great and we thank you so much for your participation.  

Now I will close this thread which means you are no longer able to reply and post directly in this "How to work with 3D" thread. You may ask why?

Well, that's for everyones benefit. We would like to see your comments and questions related to 3D in single threads in the Forum. This helps other forum user to find dedicated topics mentioned and solutions given more easily. 

 

Just a final remark to all of you:  Thank you very much for participating in the forum. It is great to have you here. All your comments, questions, suggestions help us to improve our products and gives us most valuable feedback which gives us guidance on how to proceed with our mission...  😀

 

Best regards,

Richard Hammerl

Autodesk

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask the community or share your knowledge.

Post to forums