3D STEP Model Generation in IPC Wizard (New Feature Summary)

Created: February 25, 2016 | Updated: December 14, 2017
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A new and exciting feature of Altium Designer 16 enables you to generate 3D STEP models that are realistic and dynamic.

When configuring the Footprint in the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard or creating Footprints in bulk using the IPC® Footprints Batch Generator, you can elect to produce a 3D STEP model(s). You can choose to embed the generated models, or, if desired, save them as external files. If you choose to save the models as external files, you can select the file type and output destination of the 3D STEP models. In addition to creating 3D STEP models, the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard also allows you to preview the model before generating.

Previewing 3D STEP Models

If desired, you can see a preview of the 3D STEP model before generating the model. Click Generate STEP Model Preview after selecting the component type in the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard  (Tools » IPC Compliant Footprint Wizard from a PCB Library document). A preview of the 3D STEP model appears in the Preview region.

The default setting for the files that are created when 3D STEP models are generated is Embedded STEP files. If these default settings are correct for your needs, you can click Finish to exit the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard and generate the 3D STEP model.

Generating 3D STEP Models in Footprint Wizard

Generating a 3D STEP model now can be done on the Footprint Destination page of the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard. Click Produce 3D/STEP model to generate the 3D STEP model. The default setting for the files is Embedded

To save your 3D STEP model as an external file, click External File on the Footprint Destination page. The default file type is STEP and the file name appears in the External File text box with *.step as the file extension. If desired, click  to browse and select the folder in which to save your generated 3D STEP model.

If you have a valid 'MCAD Co-Designer - SOLIDWORKS(R)' license, you can choose to save the model as file type Parasolid. Click the drop down to the right of Format then select Parasolid. The file shown in the External File text box is now a *.x_t file. This is the name and location of the file that will be saved. 

Generating 3D STEP Models in Footprints Batch Generator

The IPC® Footprints Batch Generator (Tools » IPC Compliant Footprints Batch generator from a PCB Library document) also now includes a 3D STEP model generator. Click Produce STEP model to generate the 3D STEP model and use the  button to browse for the folder in which to place the files.  

Enhanced 3D Images

In this release, the IPC® Compliant Footprint Wizard also now generates a realistic 3D STEP model as part of the component footprint generation process as shown below. 

The image on the left shows the AD15 auto-generated model, the image on the right shows the AD16 auto-generated model. The image on the left shows the AD15 auto-generated model, the image on the right shows the AD16 auto-generated model.
The image on the left shows the AD15 auto-generated model, the image on the right shows the AD16 auto-generated model.


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