This would be really nice for when your random STEP file has it’s anchored so far away it doesn’t even show up in the preview render… in these cases I resort to editing in Solidworks, but it seems like it would be pretty simple to calculate a “center of gravity” and move the origin to that point.
It would certainly be handy to have this feature embedded in KiCad, but at the moment, the KiCad StepUp workbench for FreeCAD by Maurice / easyw / @maui is the best way to align a STEP model with it’s KiCad footprint (in FreeCAD), and then export a STEP / WRL combo. It also takes care of scaling and rotation issues.
StepUp tools has evolved a LOT since 2015, with a ton of features added now.
while selecting the 3D model file, that preview should be already centering the model in the view window. If not, then there may be other elements in the model that is making it appear outside.
On the 3D footprint viewer, it is centered in the footprint board, that way the 3D module will be global positioned based on it model file information, so yeah, it can be out of the window…
What may be a feature missing would be a button to “adjust position to the center of the footprint” and it will change the 3D shape position so the center of bounding box will match the center of the footprint.
It will quickly help to adjust that kind of models in the footprint… but…
Personally I dislike this. If that adjustment was performed, it will create weird offsets added to the 3D shape that do not make “mechanical parametric” sense.
Sometimes in the footprint while adding 3D shapes, you need to add multiple 3D shaped to make a composition and you need to “mathematically” align using the correct offset values. It would be easier to make the adjustments with values if the 3D shapes are centered in (0,0,0)
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