Creating a module with all the tracks from a PCB designed in Pcbnew

Good day everybody,

Follows what I did:
I opened “board.step” in FC (ver 0.16) + KSU (unknown version) after exporting it from Pcbnew (5.1.2), with .step and .wrl modules.

then made a “compound of parts”.
I Imported with KSU the bare PCB (exported from Pcbnew in wrl format)

and obtained this:

I aligned them, I don’t know how but I succeeded and got that, this is what I’d like to import in pcbnew.

This view was exported to VRML ans STEP formats.

In VRML, the result is the same as this view seen through View3DScene and through the kicad 3D browser. However the exported module doesn’t show under the 3D viewer of Pcbnew.

Under FC, after reimporting the step file, it looks like this and, of course, no tracks. Not working at all in kicad.

At this point, I’m completely lost.
I read a ton of posts, spent lots of time trying to understand. I give up.
Barely difficult to ask any question because everything is A question !
What I noticed is that when wrl files are imported in FC, there’s no mean to convert them to solid, the object can’t be selected, hence can’t be grouped with something else or moved. and of course can’t be converted to step. Blender and Meshlab are a PITA (by the way, FC as well ! but there is a gateway to kicad).

Is there a proper simple procedure to produce wrl and step modules with tracks and holes and import them in Pcbnew as normal 3D packages ?
Thank ou for your patience.

No idea or post not clear ?
I’d really appreciate some help

wrl is a mesh file format, step is parametric -> step to mesh destroys information so the other way round is not possible. (there are hacky tricks but the result is not something that anybody would understand as a valid step file)

See: What is the difference between step and wrl 3d models?

In general use stepup if you work with freecad (for everything. Do not export from kicad, import to freecad using stepup)


Well, thanks a lot for the reply. There are lots of readings remaining to be done.
However, I discovered in your first link: Kicad StepUp: a Seamless ECAD/MCAD PCB Data Integration that KSU was able to import tracks and silk. I immediately tried it.

I imported the populated board directly from KSU. Then, Importing track operation image failed, here’s the report:

Silks import is OK so, as a first attempt, I gave a try importing the track outlines only, from the dxf like I did with the silk. It successfully ended. After adjusting, I got something almost acceptable (tracks aren’t filled). Exporting to step and wrl is OK.
But, doing it through KSU tools “export to kicad step & vrml scaled” didn’t succeed:

What did I do wrong ?
Second, although the track outlines are correctly showing both in the step and wrl models, separately opened in freecad and 3DsceneViewer,

they are not appearing neither in the 3D browser window nor under the pcbnew 3D viewer.

Still in the night ! Thanks in advance for further help.

Hi @petra
why are you using FC 0.16?
The latest stable is FC 0.18.3 and you can download from here:
To get KSU version you can just press the ‘?’ button in the KSU main tool.
The latest is kicad StepUp version and can be directly installed through the ‘Addons manager’ available since FC0.17


Hi maui,
You made my day!
I followed your recommendation, upgrading FC and KSU, I then imported the tracks and they magically aligned with the PCB.
Re-exporting the module from KSU to kicad, both step and wrl formats ended with an excellent rendering.
About the silk, it’s no more importing however ! any idea ?

Thanks again

You probably would need to update the dxf FC library…
You can use the FC Addons manager too:


PS remember to check the exporting importing setting as reported on the StepUp cheat sheet at pgs. 11-12

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Outstanding !

I’m going to reconciliate with FreeCad !
The dxf lib upgrade did the trick.
Thank you so much for your help and thanks also to René who opened my eyes on the track and silk import functions in FC.

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