Instructables

Render 3D images of your PCBs using Eagle3D and POV-Ray

Featured
Using Eagle3D and POV-Ray, you can make realistic 3D renderings of your PCBs. Eagle3D is a script for EAGLE Layout Editor. This will generate a ray tracing file, which will be sent to POV-Ray, which in turn will eventually pop out the finalized image of your PCB.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Things you'll need

-EAGLE Layout Editor -- This is the PCB CAD/CAM program used for making your PCBs. Westfw has some great tutorials on how to make a schematic and turning that into a printed circuit board using EAGLE.
-Eagle3D -- This will generate the file used by POV-Ray
-POV-Ray -- This will render the final image of the PCB.

Step 2: Create a POV-Ray file

select run.bmp
select ulp.bmp
create pov file.bmp
After installing the required software, you need to generate a POV file that is read by POV-Ray. To do this, open up your board in EAGLE. Then, click File>Run. You want to find the install directory of Eagle3D, and find where the ULP files are stored (mine were stored at C:\Program Files\Eagle\ULP\Eagle3D). If you are running a version of EAGLE later than 4.1x, you'll want to select 3d41.ulp. If not, select 3d40.ulp. Click Open and a file generation interface should pop up. This is where you will make your selections on how the rendered board will look. I usually leave the settings to their default positions, unless I am using custom created parts. Then click Create POV file and exit. A message should appear telling you that your POV file has been created successfully.
bigdawgte11 months ago
I am an Eagle newbie. Can anyone tell me what device/library are the spade/quick connectors that the author used for ground sground out and +5v? I was trying to make those b/c I couldnt find them in Eagle's libraries
Faulty LED1 year ago
Nice
POV-Ray no long works on macOS 10.7 or newer. This is due to a lack of rosetta. The Unix build will not configure cleanly on a mac.
jdorne2 years ago
What if I use Eagle 6.2.0?
Will this render on the graphics cards or is it stuck rendering on the CPU?
nitrox0273 years ago
I copied over the eagle3d files but povray says its unable to open 3edtools.inc
what can i do to fix this?
i am running eagle 5.10.0 and povray version 3.62
andres25045 years ago
I have this problem: Cannot open INI file 'C:\Users\user\Documents\POV-Ray\v3.6\ini\povray.ini'. Could you help me to solve this? Thanks
sorry i've fixed it and i have obtained good results!!! thanks for the info... :D
how did you fix it. i have the same problem. i am using windows xp.

pls help

(kindly post your reply as a comment on this post. my email id has changed. so dont mail it)
coleyy3 years ago
for some reason, my switches/relays/9v battery snaps/capacity diodes all show up as disc capacitors
please help me get it to work
ongissim (author)  coleyy3 years ago
Sorry, but not all parts are modeled in 3D. Most parts, unfortunately, don't show properly. I suggest modeling your own components (step 5) if it's crucial.
danger894 years ago
My how-to: http://pastebin.ca/1913638
pyroten5 years ago
Could you possibly do an i'ble on how to make a small video/animation of a flyby or circling the board? I can't work it out :( According to the docs, it's possible. : D

Thanks
pyroten pyroten5 years ago
oh yea, and also i can't get the background to change. I'v tried everything in the settings dialog but nup.
one thing for the animation go to the little thing where you ajust the camera angle and save pictures of it at a bunch of different angles and put them together for an animation
Hi I noticed that you are missing a cap in the render that happens to me to I also miss pots and other parts how can I make it so I can add all the parts in it?
poddy695 years ago
This is just the thing I have been looking for. I love Eagle because it is so full of usefull tools and library's, and to find out that you can now make 3D images of your work is great. Only 1 problem!!!! I can't get the thing to work. Everytime I run go to render my board in POVRAY, it stops at the '#include "tools.inc". I am using the latest version of all the programs, including Eagle (which is 5.6 I think). Any ideas guys????
Rportal5 years ago
it worked well thank you
lunuwaththa5 years ago
please post a article for PCB Design using Proteus 7 Professional
cyberian5 years ago
Excellent contribution!
Seifpic5 years ago
I always get an error:
winl.JPG
Seifpic Seifpic5 years ago
It's OK, it works now. Anyone know where to get a free working printer with its software?
ongissim (author)  Seifpic5 years ago
Are you sure that you used the correct Eagle 3D script file (.ulp)?
I had written up a nice Eagle3D Tutorial in 2007. Its definitely worth reading through for more details . . .
what is the difference in eagle 5.4?
is eagel safe to download
ian6 years ago
Instead of copying the include files (step #3) I added the Eagle3D path to the last line of povray.ini.
ongissim (author)  ian6 years ago
Thanks, I'll add that as another method.
awkrin6 years ago
Crocodile 3d(which is not free) can make pcb in the same program, but it cannot render, yet is a time saver
Thank you so much!
thats cool, i guess it helps to see it beor you build it right? What was the circuit for, I see a 555 chip in there...
Depending on the resister values, that'll send a 5 volt pulse to the "out" pin at a regular interval. If you hooked up an LED going from "out" to "sgnd" it would blink. Also, that's really slick, good Instructable!
ongissim (author)  skawesome6 years ago
To be specific, it would make that LED blink around 17khz ;). This circuit was just designed so I could annoy people by hooking up a piezo speaker.
This is great - especially for creating the image on the first page of an Instructable. It also looks clearer than a photo of a real board which would be very useful for showing someone where all the parts go. +1 rating. James Moxham aka Dr_Acula
guyfrom7up6 years ago
:O This is the coolest thing I have ever seen related to electronics on a computer, this is like.. I dunno.. awesome!!!! +5, eh really +1 cause that's all I can do.
westfw6 years ago
I was hoping someone would write this up. Thanks!
Great job! These look awesome, now I can make some instead of having to draw everything out, with all the PRESSURE PUSHING DOWN ON MY SHOULDERS, CAUSING ME TO BURN INTO A PILE OF ASHES.