Correct workflow when 3D export to step is needed

Hi everybody,

I freshly discovered the StepUp macro for FreeCAD. I added a few 3D models myslef for custom footprints following this tutorial:
My goal is to have a PCB in the end which is easily exportable as a step file with all the components on it. I do not fully understand the work flow.

  1. Where do you put the custom 3D models? Here: /usr/share/kicad/modules/packages3d/ or in a separate folder?

  2. How do you export the models properly? Right now I am losing the textures and also the scale is incorrect and I have to rotate, offset and scale in KiCad. It has something to do with the procedure which is exporting to .obj in FreeCAD and afterwards exporting it to .wrl in Wings 3D, as suggested in the tutorial.

  3. Did I understand it correctly that I need .step (for the macro) and .wrl for KiCad? And I need both in the same folder?

  4. Why do I have two paths in the ksu-config.ini?

Thanks for your answers!



First of all if you are using kicad 4 stable you need both STEP & VRML models, if you are using kicad dev you just need STEP models…
Second, you need both on the same folder
Third, you need to configure your 3D model prefix in ksu-config.ini (2 paths are there if you have an alias or an extra environment variable)
Fourth, don’t use default prefix if you don’t want to lose your models when you upgrade your kicad SW
Some more advices:
Mandatory: Scale has to be 1:1:1
Have a look at the forum searching STEP
Don’t follow that link … is a bit outdated…(you don’t need obj or wings3d stuff)


  1. Always use yor own folders for footprints, eeschema components and 3d modules. Always. If the standard libraries are updated, you will find your old finished projects are prone to be updated.

  2. Maybe you have not aligned the 3d model with the footprint in Freecad. Use “export to kicad: step & scaled vrml 1/2.54”

  3. For version 4.0.x you need vrml and step in the same folder.

  4. No idea for this point

EDIT: Pedro beat me to it
I use Stepup to export a step model and a scaled wrl model with the correct placement and orientation
personally I keep these in a seperate folder on a git repo

when I open a downloaded step file, I import it in to freecad
from here I press “load kicad footprint module” which I use to orient and place the step file according to.
after this I make sure the step file is fused into one piece before pressing the "export to Kicad: STEP & VRML 1/2,54.
From here I add the 3d VRM model path to the footprint (either in a text editor or in footprint editor).
make sure the Step and VRML file is in the same folder.

Joan Sparky and Maurice has a library to replace most of the models in 3dshapes (mostly caps, resistors etc) this way you can get the needed step models together with the VRML

the reason for 2 paths is if you use a seperate folder for your own models (like I do) this way you can have one pointing to 3dshapes and one for your own folder