Contributing to update of VRML librarys to STEP?


@John_Pateman @Joan_Sparky ok I found I was unlucky and only some parts has STEP files to download… It does not look so “comprehensive” to me, but still OK to have a look!


I would rather have a more complete range of plain solid, but accurate STEP models than a small number of beautifully photo-realistic, but large file size eye candy specials.

The next thing will be a script calculating the correct colour bands for a 1/4W axial resistor, taking 30 minutes to render :pensive:


Which will then require having one footprint for every value resistor in your library. HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!


Not necessarily, the 3D representation would be a set of cylinders, whose colours were a table lookup function of the value parameter.
Rendering time and texture memory usage could be a big problem


I already have those scripts for VRML. :stuck_out_tongue: I wouldn’t attempt them with STEP since only RGB colors are supported + I only want solid models for verification purposes. In fact many available STEP models, particularly for headers and other connectors, are far too complex and only slow down the verification processes.


We haven’t had new requests for models last couple months. Dunno were we’re at.
Myself I’m currently programming + other stuff and not in electronic engineering mode were I need new housings, so I don’t do any right now.

And the housings I do have either the JEDEC/EIA/etc. housing ID on them or in the case of that cap up there the physical dimensions, so I can check visually in 3D view that I grabbed the right part. :smirk:


I have accuracy and small file size as target for my 3D models, with a little compromise with aesthetic details and VRML materials… typically I don’t put any text over the models because the file size is increasing quite a lot…
most of my models are script and parametric generated, with script based on a model family…

but they render very nice thanks to @kammutierspule materials guidelines and raytracing code :wink:


Those look good, personally I don’t think text as part of the model is a good plan as don’t know how it would be implemented without cutting up the model into regions and as pointed out will bloat the model. and move it from being a pure geometry part.

Its the basic capacitors, resistors etc that I was surprised (as a new KiCad user) were not in step format, but that a random collection of other parts appeared to be.

I know know that there is a back log of parts awaiting review. But I could not find a list of what has been done, what is awaiting review and what needs to be done and submitted (for existing footprints in the library). Does this exist?


most of 3d MCAD models are listed here

Never submitted any model because STEP was not meant to be in the repo once…


yes, I saw how much work has already been done. My comment/question was with the status of the official repo files.


sorry for misunderstanding …
probably the best option would be to contact the dev mailing list or the library maintainers
This is most a user’s forum which developers are checking rarely…


STEP files are an invaluable tool for professional (and hobbyist) use, especially for MCAD integration where wrl is essentially useless. Thus it makes a lot of sense to have STEP files in the official libs.

My personal 3D lib has loads of steps I have sourced from either manufacturers, sites such as 3dcontentcentral, and tools such as made by @maui.

Reasons that there are very few STEP files currently in libs?

  1. Very few have been submitted.
  2. Concerns about licencing - discussed at length above, and the librarians have contacted some manufacturers with mixed results and little in the way of concrete advice.
  3. File size. Currently 3D mods are in the schematic symbols repo, which I have ranted against in the past and shall continue to do so. This repo is around 1GB and will continue to grow if we keep adding step files.
  4. In conjunction with 3, the format of the libraries may change (with the new eeschema rework etc) may mean that the 3D files will be moved.


I personally would rather see a parallel STEP library. The 4.0.x stable series might linger on longer than many of us would like and STEP vs VRML then causes confusion.


Missing resistors and other small parts aren’t so surprising; many people just use a box to represent them. Unless you’re making a very high density board, the accuracy of the models for small parts are not so important.


That’s my point, I expect to have to make up a model for an odd shaped part, which then goes in a custom library. But I was surprised that the common parts were not in place.


I found a Sourceforge repo with a collection of resistors in all values, correctly colour banded. Each values wrl file was about 160kB uncompressed


Hehe… this means a footprint for each and every one of them. :scream:


This is why I suggested that the 3d model used the value to calculate the colours. With E24 and E96 series and tolerance options, pre compiled models are too numerous. If the 3d renderer could run a script this bloat would be avoided.


Yeah, ask @kammutierspule what he thinks of that :wink:

And while you’re at it, might as well ‘enable’ values being printed on a surface of a model and be aware that the first hack will be to get different LED housing colors enabled via the ‘resistor band visualizer’ :sunglasses:


This is possible, but that will be too hacked and there must be a clear pattern or option for that cases.
Another option would be that in the GUI where you add a model, there could be an option to add a procedural 3D model, that would be a parametric 3D component that can be added/generated on the fly for that footprint.
(Similar thing as /|t1um is doing with that dummy box)
Generate the parametric 3D component as a CAD format (eg: STEP) that will be more difficult but some pre generated model can be used as a reference and exported for CAD proposes.

This is a fun exercise to think and sound easy but it will be harder to integrate in KiCad and it will need lots of discussion with main developers (so long time and efforts).

I will have a look and try to come with a better solution.