I produce 3D PCBs quite often. We do not however bother with nice or 
accurate looking
components, rather, just extruded figures. http://www.qualecad.com/ will do 
this easily.
This software can also accept custom library components developed in a 
mechanical
CAD system.

The Protel 3D addon is just pathetic and I hold no hope for it. Sorry but 
it just is crap.

The http://www.desktop-eda.com.au/ company does have fully functioning 
addons for
3D also. The have an interface for Autocad and Solidworks. The reason we 
didn't go
with it was that we did not want to build yet another library of components 
to maintain.
Without a full time librarian that is too much work. Also, the purchase 
cost of a
mechanical CAD system was required.

Fred, can you live with rectangles and cylinders to represent your boards? 
I can email
you an example of how they look if you want. You won't see cute looking 
colour bands
around your resistors but I think the picture is reasonable and 
representative. The best
part is these 3D baords are a cinch to produce.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At 01:41 PM 15/11/2001 -0500, you wrote:

>I don't have an answer,  but I have also been wondering how this is
>done.  And wondering if there is some 3D data which needs to be added
>somewhere?
>
>Also if it is not on the bug list already (P99SP6) The 3D viewer seems
>to display several of the DB9 (and many other connectors) from the legacy
>libraries "upside down".  In other words placing the component on the
>top side,  it appears in the 3D viewer,  as if the component has been
>populated from the bottom side,  as if the topside was the solder
>side.
>
>---Phil
A new addon server is being develop by desktop-eda. This will allow,
apparently, the interface with mechanical 3d modelling and pcb 3d
modelling. Full control of the 3d-ing etc.
Dont quote me on this though.
Wayne Trow

You cannot currently. I say currently because I HOPE Protel does something
useful with this feature. We've been waiting to see for a couple years now.
Tony

 >To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to generate custom
components
 >for use in 3D renderings for 99SE.
There is a program called Protel/IDF Interface, I don't know how well it
works, but you can set the height of the components, and the width and
depth are set by the overlay.
I've tried using Protel 3D interface before, but didn't have much luck;
any odd shaped boards and it doesn't like it, lots of other errors to,
like connectors sometimes looking correct and other times being a hugh
grey block (which covers half the board).
I've given up trying to use it, I just let our mechanical department
model it (give them a few measurements for main components, connectors,
etc).
Steve

Fred,
To the best of my knowledge, there is no way to generate custom components
for use in 3D renderings for 99SE.
Tim

I would like to use a 3D rendering of a prototype PCB for a project 
proposal. The rendering
  displays abnormal looking components at custom footprint locations. This 
is completely
  unacceptable for a professional proposal. Using 99SE SP6, can anyone tell 
me how I can
  generate realistic custom components for use in 3D renderings?
Regards,
Fred A Rupinski
PS I submitted this question to technical support....again.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Regards,

Colin Weber

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