Electronics > PCB/EDA/CAD

Who's paying for the library models on DigiKey and Mouser?

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Just something I was wondering about since I've been recently spring cleaning in my libraries and I downloaded a lot of 3D models from SamacSys and Ultra Librarian.

At my job we employ people to do just that, yet there they are free for everyone to download and play with. I can't really imagine someone doing this out of the goodness of their heart, so I was wondering what their business model is.

Are these companies owned by the suppliers or are they independent? Do they sell subscriptions for businesses?

Digikey is a quite big sponsor of the KiCad project:


They also bought the kicad.org domain name from some squatter and then donated it to KiCad.
They also made some KiCad tutorials and a library for KiCad.

So I won't be surprised if they also put a bit of resources into either making 3D models, or gathering them from other sources and making them available through their website. I also assume it's connected to some monitoring system.  If people who download those models also place orders for those parts,  then they have more reason to put more effort in such things.


I can see why people would be attracted to ordering parts from a seller which has the footprint libraries immediately ready on their webpages, when I was first beginning PCB design I didn't have the confidence to use any part I couldn't first find a library for, so buying parts from a seller which ensured their were libraries for every part would have been attractive.

I don't use the vendor provided footprints, but I really like it if they include good step files on the product page.
The issue with footprints and schematic symbols is that there is no standard for layer assignment or drawing style.
A 3D CAD model on the other hand is quite universal and also more work to create from scratch.


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