Wings3D VRML (.wrl) model of the Spark Core (For KiCAD/Diptrace/etc)


I’ve just published a Wing3D CAD drawing of the Spark Core, should anyone find it useful.

EDIT 2014-03-17: File location changed. You can now find the latest VRML and Wing3D source files, here. Or use this direct download link for the .wrl file itself. (Right-click, Save As …)

Click the “view raw file” link, lower rightish on that page, to download the Wings3D file. The drawing is part of a spark-powered timer project. Click Project Home, if you’re interested.

SCALE: The model is 1/10th scale, in millimetres. To use in an inch-based system, use import scale factor 3.937.


EDIT 2014-03-17: Renderings of latest version (Diptrace) …


Dude, this is awesome! Any chance you can export a 1:1 version in WRML (VRML) format for me to use in DipTrace? (Which happens to use Wings3D as one option for 3D model scale, so if you exported a 1:1 version in WRML format I could use it without having to muck with settings!)

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b.t.w., timb, have you seen this one?

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@timb – There’s actually already a .wrl (VRML) version in that same folder. Direct link (updated 2014-03-17):

It should work with DipTrace, unless they use metric dimensioning, in which case it’ll probably be 0.3937 of the required size. Let me know if that’s a problem.

BTW, I never heard of DipTrace before. It looks really good and seems reasonably priced for its features. Gonna check it out, for my non-open-source projects. (I don’t like Eagle, at all. Been playing with DEX 2020, since it was so cheap. Not sure I like that, either. Too fussy? :wink: )

@ryotsuke – I have seen that version before. But I have no software to work with .stp files. Hence this version … which I now feel compelled to edit, to make more complete and double-check exact dimensions. :stuck_out_tongue:

@timb … I’ve updated the .wings and .wrl files for the Spark Core module a couple times since my last reply. The 3D package is more accurately sized, now. (You probably already downloaded the latest version already. But I guess you could do so again, just to be sure.)

More than though, I just wanted to thank you for mentioning Diptrace! I’ve spent the past couple days learning the software and I really like it. Much nicer to use than Eagle IMHO, and even the free version has no physical board size limits, which is great! (As you know, it is limited to 300 component pins) – which is great! I’m definitely going to buy Diptrace for my 4-layer designs. At under $400 for my needs, it’s a bargain for such a well design product, I reckon!

Just for kicks, here’s a 3D rendering (image) from Diptrace of the project I had just completed in KiCAD – re-designed from scratch in Diptrace.

Very happy with the final results.

Oh and this one was even auto-routed by Diptrace, saving me hours! The Diptrace auto-router is one of, if not the best I’ve ever seen. I was blown away to see my board fully routed in under a second and looking sensibly done and all.

Err … end of unsolicited, impromptu review! :stuck_out_tongue:

P.S: KiCAD choked on an image layer I had added to the Spark Core 3D package. I’m keen now to see if that was a bug in Wings (which it looked like, actually) or just KiCAD. If it works out, I’ll upload a new version of the package, with pin names (silk layer) etc in place.


I could not resist further ‘completing’ the Wings3D/VRML model. I think I’m addicted to Wings3D! :stuck_out_tongue:

The following images depict the model as it stands, 2014-03-02 22:40 UTC.

EDIT: See first post in this thread for latest download links.

The micro-USB connector is still just a stand-in for the real thing – and a couple other minor issues. The on-board components are approximately the correct size. I believe +/-5% or so.

In any case, we are now able to check clearances for components I mount beneath the Spark Core module, which turned out to be an especially good thing. :wink:

(I left textual designations off the board, because the resulting files are uncomfortably large and sluggish when viewing.)


Wow. This is wonderful. I’m just beginning to use Kicad and haven’t figured out how to use the 3D drawing yet. However, it looks like doing this on one of my current boards that uses a SparkCore would be a spectacular way to learn. And to show my client. :slight_smile:

@gruvin Really glad you like DipTrace! When you get ready to buy let me know and I’ll give you a discount code. (Full Disclosure: They’re a sponsor of my book, providing me an Extended (6-Layer) license in exchange for showing some screenshots of schematics or board designs throughout the book. I was already a happy user and approached them for sponsorship.)

The initial reason I tried DipTrace is because it’s one of the few tools to have a Mac version! When I downloaded and opened it for the first time, I almost dismissed it outright. Why? It’s not native, they’ve wrapped a slightly modified Windows version into a WINE Bottle. Against my better judgement, I gave it a chance and honestly, it’s actually much more stable than some native OS X apps I’ve used! Everything just worked, I’ve still never had it crash on me, the 3D rendering worked perfectly. All while running in WINE and displaying through X11! So that tells me it was coded very well. (They use Delphi and have upgraded to the new version, which can produce native OS X binaries, so the next version will no longer use WINE, which should up performance quite a bit.)

The other nice thing is there’s 100% parity between the Mac and Windows versions; I’ve got a older, but higher end ThinkPad “Convertible” Laptop/Tablet (the kind where the screen swings around and closes upside down turning it into a tablet, complete with both a multitouch interface and a Wacom pen digitizer) which I use for design work. So I keep my DipTrace folder in Dropbox, which syncs all the parts, 3D models, and designs across both systems, so I can work on my MacBook Air when I don’t feel like pulling out the ThinkPad.

Are you using it on Windows or Mac? There’s a new beta that’s Windows Only right now that overhauls the UI and adds quite a few neat features. If you use the Windows version make sure you also download the 3D Models Pack, which includes 2600 models of all the various components!

A user on the forum also created a pack with an additional 4000 components in it. It’s hosted on a dubious Chinese file sharing site, so I’ve got a mirror of it here in my Dropbox.

He also created a program that will convert a number of other 3D formats to VRML. I find a lot of my 3D models on the SketchUp Warehouse, which I can then export into a neutral format (Collada DAE) and use his tool to export it as VRML. It’s called Happy3D and I’ve also mirrored it on my Dropbox! (RAR Password: 709394)

Regarding the auto-router, I’m generally not a huge fan, preferring to route my boards manually; that said, for simpler boards that are laid out in a nice linear fashion (like the board you showed) the auto-router is one of the best I’ve used as well, only being rivaled by Altium, which starts at close to $10k, so I’d say DipTrace is pretty damn good!

Anyway, thanks for the Model! I’ll update my DipTrace pattern to include it. Are you planning to add the real USB connector? Why do the files bloat up so much when you add a simple text layer?


I’ve now done (started) another project in Diptrace. Loving the work-flow. The program is definitely in a sort of, “sweet spot” for me, at my current level of skill etc.

I really like using open source tools for open source projects and hence KiCAD, which does a fairly decent job itself. For some reason, Eagle just doesn’t work for me at all. I find its UI to be simply horrid and its on-screen presentation difficult to see or use. It drives me absolutely up the wall. I could never do a decent sized project in that thing. Perhaps it’s trying to be too much? shrug

Anyway, I’m now torn between keeping my open source stuff in KiCAD --or-- switching everything to Diptrace from now on, because it really is such a sweet CAD system. Since the free version of Diptrace is so generous, I am definitely leaning toward dropping KiCAD, even for small projects.

Thanks for the offer of the discount code. I will definitely take you up on that – if I don’t get my own sponsorship! :stuck_out_tongue: (Does this board have have a PM feature? You can contact me via the contact address on the Google Code links here-in, if not.) Have to take care of some other priorities first and so far, the free version is doing everything I need. But I definitely have plans for bigger projects in the not too distant future.

I first ran Diptrace on my iMac 27". It ran fine, despite the same initial misgivings you mentioned. :wink: The only problem was that every new window, “maximized” to my full 2560x1440 pixel display. :confused: It doesn’t remember window sizes when you shrink them. That got up my goat (I’ve asked them to address it) so I now run it in a Windows 8.1 virtual machine, on a 1680x1050 monitor to the left, where it works quite nicely, when maximized, “Windoze user bad habit
style!” :stuck_out_tongue: (I also run Ubuntu 12.04 on another monitor, to the right.)

Delphi! (Pascal!) No way. That’s cool. I used to use Delphi all the time. I actually thought it had faded away. Evidently not. Good to know!

Have downloaded and will soon be checking into the 4000 component pack. Thanks!

Autorouting – yes of course. Even moderately complex projects still ought to be manual routed, regardless, IMO. I fully expected to do so for that dryer timer project. I was supposed to be learning the ropes, after all. But my jaw dropped when I saw what a good job it did with that simple board – and in less than a half second. (I kept hitting undo and re-doing it, in fact! LOL – also, I’d actually already manually routed the same board in KiCAD so didn’t need the Diptrace version, as such.)

Yes – I plan to sort the USB connector out properly. I’m assuming there’s already a micro-USB 3D model somewhere in the Diptrace libraries. So I’ll look into that today. FWIW, I did my own Wings3D mini-USB model some time back. That link is where I store most my 3D stuff to date.

Dropbox. Great idea! I use Google Drive, mostly only for off-site backup of some handy stuff. But a similar system to what you described would work for me, two – and I can share stuff from there also. I’ll give it some more thought.

Text on 3D models: Unfortunately, neither KiCAD or Diptrace seem to support UV mapping. So that means we cannot put 2D graphical overlays (containing text for example) on models and have them show up. The only option left then is to use 3D text, which contains many, many points. It works for small amount of text. But it’s tedious to do in the first place and significantly slows down model rendering. It sure would be nice if Diptrace could extend their 3D rendering engine to include UV maps and texture images.


Latest version uploaded to same location as stated above …

Made better push buttons and found a micro-USB connector on GrabCAD, by Theodoros Artzanidis.


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@timb … do you know of a good .WRL file viewer, preferably for the Mac? (I Googled but cannot find.) I have nothing at the moment, other than KiCAD and Diptrace. EvenWings3D can’t open .wrl files. :confused:

Oh – I tried to PM you, but couldn’t find how. Can only be good(ish) at some thing, evidently not figuring out how to use this forum. LOL


This looks like some wonderful work.

Unfortunately, every time I try to download this file, at
put it in my 3D library section, set the pointer by clicking on the part in Kicad, and then try to display it in the 3D view, it crashes Kicad (or at least the pcbview portion of it).

Anyone had this problem? Or been able to use it in Kicad? I’m running the Mac version of Kicad. Perhaps that is the difference. Some models show up fine, others don’t show up, but this is the only one that makes it crash.


For which the version of Diptrace is the library?
I have a problem with import. I get the message “incorect library format”.

Strange. I’ll look into this when I’m next able and maybe update the file. Will let you know back in here.

FWIW, most recently, I’ve only used the model with Diptrace, not KiCAD. When I first created it, I was testing only in KiCAD, since I hadn’t discovered Diptrace at that time. It’s possible that something in the more recent versions is tripping KiCAD up. I know KiCAD has problems with anything UV mapping related and I’ve seen it crash before, along those lines. There could be something left in the current .wrl file from some UV-mapped reference image import I had earlier, which are no longer needed in the final file. I’ll check.


I tried without success to duplicate the error you experienced. If it helps, here is the version info for KiCAD’s Pcbnew that I am using, first under Ubuntu Linux (64-Bit) …

…and under Windows 8.1 (running KiCAD 32-bit) …

Hope that helps in some way.

Here are screen snippets of the 3D rendering, from each version of Pcbnew, in the same respective order …

@gruvin Thanks again for the awesome model! I finally got around to integrating it into my DipTrace library.

I used it today while designing my 2.5x.2.5” WiFi/USB GPIB Board!

<img src="/uploads/particle/2335/93b37586f8b3fa02.png" width=“666” height="500”>

<img src="/uploads/particle/2336/d076107edccc6e27.png" width=“571” height="500”>

Pro Tip: If you’re running OS X, view your board in 3D under DipTrace and pick VRML Export, then use Happy3D to export the .wrl into Collada DAE format, which OS X’s can display natively. That’s how I got the awesome renders above. (You can also open the .dae files directly into SketchUp if you want to see your board in a case or something.)

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@timb – Very nice :slight_smile:

Hey, @gruvin thanks for the awesome model, great work :smiley:. I used your model in the project that I am currently working on.

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Hi Gruvin, can you re-upload the VRML Model, the link dont work, Thanks!!

Oh yeah. GoogleCode got put to rest. Gosh how time flies.

Sure …

Google Drive: sparkcore_chip_ant.wrl

Here is the .wings file, in case someone wants to make changes …

Google Drive: sparkcore_chip_ant.wings