Github 3D library: what is the difference?


What is the difference between the dedicated and the subfolder modules/packages3d within the main library available at

Packages3d is the new lib that will be used for kicad 5. It focuses on MCAD integration via step. Not all models that currently are in the kicad library repo have been moved there. (Missing step models.)

Ok for anybody stumbling on this thread, here is a bit of statistics on the 3D library status.

New library:
Old library:

As of yesterday (2017-10-04) there are 7101 footprints available in official footprint library (without deprecated footprints). Out of these 1835 do not have a 3D model defined.

For those that do have a 3D model definition one can find 2722 models in new library and/or 3357 models in old library.

If not for missing 39 models, one could say that new library is a subset of old. I can only humbly suggest to library maintainers that they integrate these models also in old library. This would make the relation between libraries easier to explain.
The list of missing 3D models in old library: files_in_new_not_in_old.txt (1.2 KB)

What is interesting is that 1870 footprints have a 3D model definition but there is no 3D model neither in new or old library. In the long run this should probably have to be cleaned up. I am attaching the list of footprints with missing 3D models: files_without_3d_model.txt (145.7 KB)

All footprints should have the 3d settings filled out. This is such that a user can easily add a 3d model without touching the footprints. (Example if the user wants to download a model from the manufacturer homepage.) But not all 3d models will exist in the lib. (Not everyone who contributes a footprint is also prepared to contribute a 3d model.)

All 3d models that are in the new lib should also be in the legacy lib. At least for now. There will come a time when we stop updating the legacy lib. Then the new lib will be declared as being the lib for kicad v5 and the legacy lib as being the lib for kicad v4. Something similar will happen to footprint and symbol libs. In fact there will be a huge reorganization.

Simply moving the wings models to the new lib does not make any sense. We only use models that are step compatible in the new lib. (Yes this will mean that some footprints will lose their model when we get to v5. But having higher quality models is worth loosing some models. The user can still download them from the legacy lib if they really want.)