📘 How to download step 3D model from EasyEDA/LCSC/JLCPCB?

Intro

Today many engineer uses JLCPCB service for fast prototyping, and now it's not only PCB manufacturing, but also assembling. Typically the components are purchased directly from JLCPCB store, which corresponds with the LCSC store and have EasyEDA models.

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EasyEDA it's online ECAD, which offers huge componentslibrary with verified symbols, footprints and 3D models. But there are many engineers uses other offline ECADs, such as Altium Designer, Mentor, Cadence, KiCad, so it's required to create components to have it in the library.

Steps

Choose and check component

For example I found button (GT-TC054A-H035-L1), this is an Chinese manufacturer and didn't found 3D model in open sources.

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Firstly you need to verify, that this component actually has model and footprint in the Easyeda, so press on EasyEDA Model and then press Free Trial to open online EDA:

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After opening press on 3D to check the three-dimensional model before downloading.

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Project

Then you need to download EasyEDA Pro software and login into your account.

PressFile (F) -> New (N) > Project (J) type any project name and press Save:

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Then open schematic file (in left window) and press Place (P) -> Device (P)

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Now you can find component that you need by Part Number of LCSC Part Number (that you can copy from LCSC page), in my case it's C778158. So after a few seconds of loading press Place:

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Now just place the symbol on the schematic page.

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Then open PCB file and import all changes (Design (D) ->Import Changes from Schematic (Alt+I) ):

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Exporting board

Press File (F) — > Export (E) -> 3D File... and choose File Type: STEP and Export Object: PCB + Component Model

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Type any name and save the file. Now you can check it (you should see component with board).

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Separation component of board

Ok, so we have component with board and we need only component, so it's required to just delete extra bodies. The easiest way to do it is to use any mechanical CAD, the recommendation is to use free MCAD FreeCad (download and install it). Press File -> Open and choose previously exported file .step file:

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Then in view three select the COMPOUND (it glows green) and press Delete on keyboard.

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Choose PCBModel in Three view (component should glow green) the Press File -> Export:

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And save component model as .step file:

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That's all, now you have a separate model of component as .step file and can use for footprint creation:

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Conclusions

Very often it's just impossible to find the 3D model of Chinese connectors/inductors in open sources, so it's required to manually create it and it's could be very time consumption operation and even not easy because of poor drawings.

Using EasyEDA models is a good way to get pretty good models very fast(I thinks sometimes they are received from manufacturer directly).

UPDATE FROM 03/08/2024: ⚠ BE CAREFUL!

EasyEDA models are not always 100% corresponds to the real component (sometimes the used very similar models from internet, so always compare sizes with the datasheet drawing for verification)

The obtained model size is 5250 kB (~5MB) what is pretty huge and bigger even than original model (1338 kB). The first reason is FreeCAD, because after saving with Fusion the size reduces to 1072 kB. It's possible slightly reduce the size to 3915 kB by disabling Write out curves in parametric space of surface.

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But also you can try upload file to the 3dcontentcentral or similar site and then download the optimized version.

The second reason is EasyEDA watermarks on 3D model, that performed as separate bodies/extrudes/cutouts and take up a lot of memory space. The button model size without watermarks is 211 kB.

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Phillip 3 months ago #
Thank you for posting this. It has been very useful.
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