Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Minima - User Interface Module

Updated with 3D Model Link, see below.

Thus far, I have been working on the Minima Alternate Tuning Method with push button switches that were hay-wired on a Protoboard.  Reliability of the switches and connecting wires were always suspect.

To solve this problem I have created a Modular User Interface (UI) that will be used with the rest of my Minima Modules. The UI will plug directly onto the Processor Board.

Here it is as designed in DipTrace,  and presented in 3D:

The UI in DipTrace 3D
And, as plugged onto the Processor Board:

As Installed
 (sorry for the poor photo quality, it was taken late last night)

The UI board was produced via the Toner Transfer Method, it is double sided and contains 23 40mil via's.

Wardy at has rekindled my interest in building 3D component models for DipTrace.

DipTrace provides over 3500 component in their 3D Library, but rarely are the components that I use found (like simple headers, POTS, and buttons).

DipTrace uses the newer VRML2 format (and a few others) for their 3D components.

In the past I have used AC3D from for my 3D needs , but I had let my License laps on an old forgotten dead workstation.

Wardy inspired me to re-purchase the AC3D software and start playing in 3D again (I hope that was a good idea!). The POT and push button switches seen in the design image above were recently created. The following is the most recent 3D part that I have created, it is a SMA PCB Edge Connector. It will be seen on future projects.

A 3D SMA PCB Edge Connector
To use AC3D, I save the component in the native format (*.ac) and then export the same part in VRML2 format, and which is saved in the same directory. Because AC3D does not read (import) VRML2 format, I have to re-export the parts if changes are made to the original.

Although AC3D does read (import ) the older VRML1 format, it does NOT read the VRML2 format (only export), the 3500 3D parts supplied by DipTrace can not be used as a template or starting point for my parts (what a waste).

I need to find a VRML2 to VRML1 converter, so far, googling has not helped.

My 3D Model Library

To promote the use of 3D Models in Published Documents I will share all of my 3D Models, the following Dropbox link is my "working and storage" space for my Electronic Parts.

Feel free to use my 3D Models as you like, but if they are used in your Published Documentation, please give me credit.



  1. Are your DipTrace 3D models available anywhere? Particularly interested in the SMA edge connector one. Thanks!
    -shelby KW4FB