Tutorial: 3d Visualization for MEMS

Several months ago I was asked to comment on how I created the 3D visualizations for several MEMS designs. What follows is a step by step description of the process used.

Tools Needed:

First, begin by exporting your model in GDSII format. I have found that for best results the exported GDSII model should be a single cell (flatten the hierarchy if necessary). Both KLayout and LayoutEditor can be used to view the GDSII file, which will look something like this:


Next the process file used to fabricate the device must be written. Each layer is described in a similar fashion:

LayerStart: POLY0 (layer name)
Layer: 13 (the layer number in the GDSII file)
Height: 2000 (uses the same units as the GDSII file; starting height of the layer)
Thickness: 5000
Red: 1
Green: 0.9
Blue: 0.75
Filter: 0
Metal: 0
Show: 1

Once you have written your process file, run gds2pov from the command line:

> gds2pov -i model.gds -o model.pov -p process.txt

This will generate a .pov file for your model. Open this using POV-Ray and set the render image size under the “Render > Edit Settings” menu. Finally, set your camera angles in the pov file:

camera {
location <188,257,-279>
sky <0,0,-1>
look_at <8,27,0>

The camera angles may need some adjustments based on your particular model. Running the script will render the model as seen from the camera angle chosen. This is the final rendering of the layout shown above:


One thought on “Tutorial: 3d Visualization for MEMS

  1. Have you tried bulk micromachined layers, release layers(whcih can be made invisible ? Have you come across any option?


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