Kicad 6 STEP file

I have exported direct from 6 a STEP file of a PCB with pads, I want to import this into FreeCAD where I can line the pads up with a connector, however when I import the STEP file it doesn’t show me the pads, is this a bug or does it not export the pad as part of the STEP file? I then tried to look for StepUp but I can’t get it to load with V6 it says there is some manifest missing.


in kicad tracks and pads are not exported as STEP file

please add:

  1. your full FreeCAD release info
  2. your StepUp release info
  3. your error messages found in the FreeCAD report panel

Oh, that’s a shame I was hoping to test alignment of the pads with the 3d model of the connector.

I think it was 0.19 freecad, no idea what version of stepup I downloaded the latest / current zip from GitHub, no errors in freecad, I tried to add it using the package manager in KiCAD 6 but it tells me that it can’t add it as there is a missing manifest file. Ultimately I have the connector model in Sketchup, and I saw a video stating that I need to use Freecad to convert the KiCAD STEP file into Collada format and then I can import it into Sketchup as Sketchup can’t import STEP files.

I can use Altium which I believe does export the pads but I am surprised KiCAD doesn’t give you this option for 3D Alignment, which makes getting things lined up right first time so easy.

I think you are very lost with kicad-stepup-freecad.

Let 's start with a kicad footprint and a 3d step model.

  1. Open the step model with freecad
  2. Load the footprint into freecad using the kicad-stepup tools
  3. Use the kicad-stepup tools to align the 3d model. Move the 3d model, as the footprint must remain at its fixed position.
  4. After having aligned the 3d model with the footprint, export the 3d model using the kicad-stepup tools.

Now you can close freecad.
Open the kicad footprint with the kicad footprint editor. Go to properties, open the 3d tab and assign the 3d model you exported from freecad to the footprint.

Hi Pedro,
Thanks, but the main issue is the STEP file that KiCAD generates doesn’t give me the pads so I was hoping that the stepup tool would.
I can load everything fine into FreeCAD but it is missing the pads from the PCB, even if I add it as a footprint (there is no 3d model as it is just bare pads), the PCB slides inbetween the pins of the connector and the solder buckets solder directly onto the PCB, I want to align the pads up with the connector 3d model, but it doesn’t show me the pads on the STEP file in FreeCAD.

as @pedro told you, you need to load your kicad_mod footprint file in FreeCAD (it is an extension allowed by StepUp plugin)…
the footprint will be loaded in FreeCAD with all pads and silks layers

then simply following what pedro suggested above

KiCad can generate a step file of the whole pcb but the step file you need must not be generated by KiCad.

If you load a single footprint the pads are shown in FreeCAD.

OK, I watched a video on the Tube and that told me what I needed to do, however, the issue now is when I load the PCB then the tracks / footprints the pads are floating waaay above the PCB itself, is this common? The video shows 0.18 FC and I have 0.19, and I just installed the StepUp plugin from the manager within FC.