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3D Step Export

Starting with FAB V8.4+ we've improved the 3D STEP output and features available.

To export any design to 3D Step, go to menu:  File | Export | 3D STEP...

3D Step Options:

Arc Precision (segments/360º):  

The maximum error allowed when calculating points on an arc.  Default: 24.0" 

Note: If Arc Precision is too small the resulting 3D STEP/STL file will be too large to process by various Simulation and Analysis tools.

Minimum Line Segment:

The smallest segment size allowed when outputting 3D geometries.  Default: 0.05 mm 

Note: Small segments can cause resulting 3D STEP/STL files to be too large to process by various Simulation and Analysis tools.

Minimum Hole Size:

Ignores any holes with a diameter less than this value. Default: 0.0

File / Layer Output:

Determine how to map output of 3D STEP/STL files per Layer.  Default: One File for All Layer(s) 

Note: Single files are larger and may be cumbersome when importing into 3D simulation software. 

[One File for ALL Layer(s)]

Output a single 3D STEP/STL file which contains all layers and assemblies.

[One File per Layer]

Creates a separate 3D STEP/STL file for each layer.

Note: Useful to reduce STEP/STL files sizes and allows each file to be imported as separate assemblies in 3D simulation software.

Export Units:

Assign unit for exported 3D STEP/STL file. Default: millimeter

Assign Z-Base coordinate values (for all layers):

Determines how the Z base coordinate is calculated for each layer.   Default: Unchecked 

Note: Z-base values may also be pre-assigned (in Layers table/Stackup). 

[Unchecked] All Z-base values are automatically calculated (Default).

[Checked] All Z-base values must be assigned manually for each layer.

STEP Format:

STEP Application Protocol:  AP 214     (Only option at this time)

Output Arcs (when possible):

If ARC data is available will output Arc data in 3D Step files.  Default: Checked 

Note:  Can reduce STEP files sizes.

STL Format:

Use OpenGL for Facet generation:  

Determine how to tesselate and generate STL facets.  Depending on your design either method may be advantageous.  Default: Unchecked

[Unchecked]  A STEP file is generated and then converted to STL.

[Checked] Facets are generated using OpenGL - which may produce different facet results.

PCB Simulation:

Show holes in Metal Layers:

If checked all metal layers will have vias diameters removed from metal areas.  Default: Checked 

Note: Used for various 3D Simulation/Analysis requirements.

Create a separate Hole Assembly:

If Checked an assembly of just the holes is created. Default: Unchecked

Plating Thickness:

Used to accurately adjust via diameters to compensate for plating thickness. Default: 0.0

Extend Profile Edge:

Enlarge or reduce profile boundary to compensation for various manufacturing purposes. Default: Unchecked

Note: Used for various 3D Simulation/Analysis requirements.

Remove Objects Outside Profile:

Ignores any objects outside of the profile.   Default: Unchecked

Do not Trim Pads overlapping Profile Edge:

Removes any portions of objects intersecting outside the profile.   Default: Unchecked 

Warning: If checked please verify results afterwards because objects may be altered.

Insert Dielectric Layers (if not defined in stackup):

Only required if a stackup has not been created and dielectric layers are required.  Default: Unchecked

Important: You will need to verify all dielectric layer(s) thicknesses.

Create a Negative Dielectric for Metal Layers:

Creates a reverse polarity layer for all metal layers.   Default: Unchecked 

Note: Used for various 3D Simulation/Analysis requirements.

3D Layer Stackup Options:

1. Choose Layer Output (i.e purpose) of your 3D Exported file.

2. Check all Layers you wish to export, and verify the Thickness.

3. Click \'Next\' to select the export location.

(IMPORTANT) Choose Layer Output:     

Select the purpose of your 3D Exported file.  Default:  PCB with Components 


[PCB with Components]  Used for mechanical purposes (i.e enclosure fit, etc.).

[PCB with Outer Layers]  Used for documentation and realistic PCB preview.

[Entire Stackup]  Create an entire representation of the PCB in 3D.

[Metal and Dielectric Layers] Used for Thermal/Electromagnetic Solvers and Simulation software

[Metal Layers]  Output only metal layers only for various purposes.

Layer Name:

The layer name used when exporting STEP file.  Names can be edited if you wish to modify.  

Note:  IF Map File / Layer Output is set to One file per Layer, then the individual STEP/STL file name is displayed. 


If checked, layer will be exported to 3D STEP/STL.


Assign the Z-base coordinate is calculated for each layer.

Note: This column is hidden unless Assign Z-Base coordinate values (for all layers) is Checked.


Assign the Layer thickness.

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