Export pcb + devices with textures for rendering in blender, etc.?

Hi,maui,I want export the total 3D object of my PCB to other 3d software,no matter Blender or Freecad.,and it will be with rendering texture,how can I achieve this?

This might be better suited as a separate topic. @Joan_Sparky care to split this question from this thread?

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Only pcb,not device.I mean I want to know how to export just pcb 3d model to blender or freecad.

You can setup kicad stepup to ignore all footprints. (Can be done in the config file.)
But stepup does only export the board plus larger holes (You can setup the minimum hole diameter)
It does not export copper layers. And it does not export silk screen.
I guess the later two are what you want exported as textures for rendering.

I think @maui might know how to achieve this.

Plot the layers to svg file and convert them to something like png in GIMP. You can then create a model in Blender with the exact size and shape of your board. UV unwrap this and use the converted image. Set up colours in Materials settings and possibly bump mapping to give your traces a bit of height.
It’ll require a good amount of nodes, but I’m pretty sure you can make a material using all the plotted outputs as images to set colours, including soldermask and silkscreens.
I’ll have to try this when I have more time.

if you want to have the pcb and traces rendered in Blender you can just export your board and traces to VRML and import the VRML to Blender.
You need something like that but without parts?

If you instead want to transform your pcb and traces to a texture, the svg suggested method would fit for you.
Finally if you need to apply traces to a STEP model, you can export the VRML and apply it to your STEP model in FC


In Kicad 3d viewer,it is like this:

but in freecad macro stepup,it looks like these:
Hi,maui,I have 2 errors,and what I export to FreeCad is like this :

What’s wrong with me?

And which option is VRML,do you mean this?

Are your step models in the directory given by the error message?
If not you need to tell stepup where to find your step models. (You need a step model for each footprint you want to appear on the board. This is why the official lib now has most models in step and wrl.)

moreover you are using an outdated version of StepUp
Please download latest here
you also need to change the 3D prefix to point to your 3d model library in ‘ksu-config.ini’

prefix3d_1 = your_local_kisys3dmod path

Could you expand on this a bit more? I’ve exported a VRML from Kicad but don’t see how I can “apply” it to a STEP model of the same board in FC. My ultimate goal is to import a STEP model into AD Inventor with traces and pads. your help is very much appreciated.

you can have both STEP and WRL models in FC…

  1. you need all your board with 3D step and wrl models
  2. convert your kicad_pcb file and 3d parts to STEP using StepUp
  3. export your board to wrl with pcbnew (check ‘Copy 3D model files to 3D model path’ and ‘mm’)
  4. delete or rename the folder shapes3D
  5. open the STEP converted board and parts in FC and open the WRL exported from kicad in FC
  6. align them and you’ll get a 3D model plus the rendering of tracks and silks…

But if you want the model for rendering purposes the best is to elaborate the WRL export from Kicad in i.e. Blender or similar packages.


gotcha. thanks maui. stepup is great btw.

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