Converting step/3ds/stl files to Adobe Illustrator

Does anyone know an easy way to convert to provided .step/.3ds/.stl files (for say, the raptor mainboard) into an Adobe Illustrator friendly version?

(for creating some custom enclosures)

I tried to use autodesk 3ds max, but gave up…I am hoping there is an easier way.


I just want a vector format file of the board layout, with the edges, holes, connectors, etc.

Supposedly there is a way to convert the .3ds file in autodesk,to splines, and then export to an AI file, but I am not having success.

What do you people do when you need a 2D vector format of a 3d file?

Nevermind. I figured out how to do it.

@ mtylerjr - Don’t leave us in anticipation, tell us how you did it. ;D

Designspark Mechanical will turn the step and stl files into 2D DXF that Adobe should be able to open. The 3ds file is harder, but I think blender will do it.

I actually just used the posted .brd file instead, and exported it to .DXF from Eagle, which Illustrator likes.

This was even more useful than a converted 3DS file, because with Eagle, I could turn off all the layers of the .brd file except the board outline, and the bits I needed for holes, or etching, etc, before exporting. It made it super simple to copy the necessary outlines to the laser-cutting/etching template.

I will have my custom Raptor enclosure before too long!

…this now leads me to the question:

Does GHI provide eagle (.brd) files for the modules available, like it does for the raptor main board?

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I got DesignSpark Mechanical to do what I needed! Awsome. Thanks hagster.

We do

And where would those exist? I don’t see them in the “Resources” tab or in the Bitbucket repo.

@ ianlee74 - Have you ever asked for it? :wink: I believe @ Architect has and he has gotten what he asked for. ;D

You know I have. But, I don’t think we should have to… :wink:

@ ianlee74 - I agree with you and it is on the list, however there a few things ahead of it so if you could be a little more positive on the forum I would appreciate it. :whistle:

You know me. I’m only interested in positive change. The files used to be freely available… Did you just not have something to do one day and decided to make some extra work??? :whistle:

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@ ianlee74 - Believe or not, the first thing I think of in the morning is how can I mess with members on my “list” and I do little fun things like removing stuff! :whistle:


I would like the .STEP files for

Hydra+ Mainboard
Tunes Module
L1 Camera Module
Smart Multcolor LED Module
Compass Module

@ mtylerjr,

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That’s 1 down…

Is Gary reading this thread still?

@ mtylerjr - lol, I am still reading this thread and I have someone in the office working on what you need, however they had to leave for 1/2 a day yesterday for a family emergency. I haven’t forgotten about you.

@ mtylerjr - Also note that we may not have 3D files for all of those products, we no longer have a 3D employee on staff.