Footprint 3D modle Offset, scale, rotations: How do you do with them?


I love the recent enhancements with 3D model tools. But one thing I always suspect I am doing wrong somewhere in the workflow that I always have to set the Offset, Scale, and Rotation parameters in the “3D Setting” within a foorprint. Is this a chores we have to do?

My workflow is like this:

  1. Download a STEP 3D model file.

  2. Use FreeCAD to conver the file into a WRL file.

  3. Add the WRL file to my footprint meta data.

  4. Almost always, “View 3D” shows my 3D model for the footprint is WAY off from the supposed position.

  5. Tweaking the parameters inside the footprint parameter editor to change the offset, scale, or and rotations.

  6. got to Step 4.

  7. got to Step 5,

Stop until Step 4 shows a aligned 3D model for the footprint.

There Steps 4 through 7 takes me a lot of time to finish it.

There must be a better way to do it than my way ;-(


The CAD models from the manufacturers are usually not aligned to the same origin and plane as the footprint in KiCAD expects them out-of-the-box.
So if you use those you’ll always have to do the alignment…

There are StepUp tools for FreeCAD created by @maui for this.
They are able to load the footprint from KiCAD and visualize it in FreeCAD, where it should be easier to align everything, before you create the VRML model. The tools will modify the footprint file and save the needed position/rotation/scale information for you.

The only way to avoid this is to create CAD models that are aligned out-of-the-box the way KiCAD expects them.
Those are usually provided by users, which means they don’t cover all there is out there.


Aside from the StepUp tools, the dev branch (hopefully V5 in a few months) has tools to help you with that.


you may find it useful

for most used models there is a 3D MCAD library growing up at KiCad official repo


Using latest Kicad from the development build, the tweaking parameter value part is so much easier now, making my workflow a lot quicker.

I am looking into other options recommended by you people.
Thank you all for your replies!