3D Models sometimes are not visible

I’ve been using KiCad for several months, so I am moderately experienced with it and I’ve produced several designs.
For bringing in 3D models from vendors, when I create a custom footprint, I have been using FreeCad to import the STP file (seems most vendors only provide STEP files), then export the wrl format.
It usually works just fine. Sometimes the wrl needs to be scaled when I bring it into the footprint editor.
Sometimes this wrl file just doesn’t show up. I see nothing. I’ve tried relative and absolute paths, no difference.
I’ve tried editing the 3D model scale to very high and very low values, just in case it came in too small or too large to show up.
Has anyone else see this issue? Any solution?
Thanks in advance -

Which version of KiCad are you using? Nightly builds have much improved 3D handling than 4.0.x

I am using 4.0.5, don’t think I’ve ever updated… I’ll do that and post results. Thanks.

Try using stepup to export the WRL

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OMG - I should have been updating. The latest nightly build has an awesome 3D footprint import feature, and it worked great. Thanks again.


Be careful with nightlies though. They are not as stable as one might expect from cad software. Also remember that files created in the nightly version are not usable for anyone with either an older nightly or the stable version.
(I don’t want to discourage experimentation. Just be aware what you are getting into.)



I’m planning on really changing up my computer in the future. A clean install of Win7 Pro and setting up my second Solid State Drive to a table system that Windoze can see. Then I’ll instal Windoze Virtual Box and assign the entire 2nd SSD to that Virtual world; where I will put Ubuntu on it.

Then I can play around with the newest nightlies and not have to worry so much if things go south.

I’m just not there yet.

It’s been a while since I ran Kicad in Windows, but when I did it was pretty easy to install stable and nightly in two different “Programs\Kicad” folders, if that’s your goal. Nightlies won’t like tank your machine or anything, just your project files (possibly).

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