Asti's Notes
Create high quality renders of your Altium boards
Create realistic renders of PCBs for model shots

Create a realistic model

Although this should be very straightforward, and while the 3D view in Altium is very accurate, getting it out of there is an entirely different story.

Step 1

This is, as you’d expect to export a STEP file from Altium.

Use File > Export > STEP 3D

Remember to export all 3D bodies as well. But you get no traces, silkscreen or pads in a STEP file.

So on to the next step.

Step 2

Open the STEP file in Fusion 360 (or Keyshot - the process is similar)

Make sure the main solids are free from errors, and there’s no z-fighting.

Step 3

In Altium, open Page Setup and Print Properties.

Right click any item and select Preferences

  • Set the Top Paste layer colour to gold, tin
  • Set the Top Overlay colour to white
  • Set the Top Solder colour to black or a darker colour

Remove the other layers, and set up a composite image in this order:

Print as a PDF. Convert to PNG or TIF.

Step 4

Import the image into Fusion 360 as a decal:

Select the top face. Make sure Chain Faces is unchecked.

Move the decal into position.

Step 5

Open the Appearance tab, and map more accurate to the existing materials.

You can do this by selecting a material, selecting all instances of it, and dragging a new material.

Here I’m adding a polished gold material for the castellations.

Now set up some soft lighting , a solid environment color, and hit Render!

And you should have something like this.

Last modified on 2019-02-19

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