Export Step-File with part reference

I want to generate a KICad PCB step file that also contains part reference data. Where in KiCad do I have to activate this option?

Do you want the silkscreen visible for generating nice pictures or do you want the data to be somehow incorporated in the step data structures for some other reason?

If it is the former then i suggest to use vrml instead of step as it is aimed at rendering nice pictures.

For the later you can look at kicad stepup. It generates a hierarchical step file so you might be able to modify it to include reference information in it.
I am not sure if the kicad internal step export creates anything similar to that.

Hi @Haegeli @Rene_Poschl
StepUp by default places the Reference Label as a part of the 3D model Label when creating a STEP assembly of the KiCAD pcb inside FreeCAD (that can be exported as STEP).
Then it is easy to find a 3D model of your footprint counterpart inside your 3D model


Yes, I would like to import the silkscreen. The Step-Files will be loaded into SoildWorks. The silkscreen data will be then used for an assembly drawingpdf%20-%20Adobe%20Acrobat .

Silk is not what is typically used for assembly drawings to be honest (or documentation in general). That is what the Fab layer is there for.

Silk is what is printed onto the board and therefore has a lot of restrictions. It can not really be below the part especially not for small smd parts as it increases the problems for reflow soldering. It has quite large minimum dimensions, can not cover exposed copper, …
None of these restrictions apply to the fab layer as it is the layer intended for documenting your PCB.

Is there any special reason why you generate your documentation from within a separate tool instead of using kicads plot or print features?

Anyhow you can export layers as dxf if i remember correctly. This should give you a way to get them into any CAD program.

an option for Silk screen is available in StepUp too, to generate a STEP file with Silks and Tracks if needed…


But in general for an assembly drawings I would stay on BOM

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