Missing components in 3D viewer

Hi. I was designing a PCB in Kicad for my company. Most of my components are there when rendering, but some are missing. Here is my system info:

Kicad version: 8.0.3
Computer: Macbook Pro 2015 13"
Operating system: macOS Monterey
Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

Not all footprints actually have a 3D model associated with them.

Is there a way I can download a model and tell Kicad that that is the model associated with the footprint?

Yes, people do it all the time, but some manipulation may be needed. I haven’t done much of this, so I defer to the documentation, previous posts, and other replies which will surely be forthcoming, for the steps.

To do this you need to set up personal footprint libraries because it involves editing the 3D model field in footprints, and the standard KiCad libraries are read-only. If you haven’t set up any personal libraries yet, there’s a FAQ for that.

Thanks for the info. Since I am new to this, do you have the link to any of these sites?

No, as I said I’ve only done a few and I got them off a CAD site I don’t remember. Often the manufacturer of the part provides one. Then there are sites like SnapEDA, etc. which I’ve seen mentioned. Just wait, somebody more knowledgeable will post.

I’m lazy because my boards are just hobby so I don’t care if there’s a void but I know renders for work products have to look good.

The popular ones I use are:


Then also look at the supplier of the part. Some of them will also provide a 3D image.

I’m not sure of it. From what I have read here at forum many footprints even not having 3D model, they have its 3D model field filled. So if you put the 3D file at right place it will be seen, I think. It was certainly done that way in KiCad V5. If anything have changed, I don’t know.
I use only my own libraries so I have no problem with it.

I don’t know why.
We are manufacturing electronic devices since we set up our small company in 1988. I have never need for 3D models. When I started to use KiCad I decided to add 3D PCB view in our PCB documentation, but it is only ‘just for fun’. I see no practical use of it. Who cares how PCB will look like :slight_smile:

An accurate 3D model of the PCB is a valuable part of the overall mechanical design of a product. Doing a full CAD model of a product is critical if one wishes to minimize any mechanical issues during product assembly, particularly on a one of a kind custom device.

Discovering that a toggle switch on a front panel crashes into a connector or an electrolytic capacitor on a PCB during construction of a first article is not a fun ride.

The 3D model path will be in a system directory.

It’s possible to modify the footprint in the project, but if it’s going to be reused, you’ll want to have a personal 3D model library and a personal footprint library.

If I were designing cell-phones I would not say what I have said :slight_smile:
But with devices I was designing (magnetic card readers (in 90s), RFID card readers, access controllers) 3D imagination was enough till now.

For anyone reading this in the future, I was able to solve it by taking a little bit of information from these replies:

What I did:

  1. Find and download the models for the associated missing parts
  2. Open the PCB editor, select the missing footprint, and press E
  3. Navigate to the 3D Models tab
  4. Press the :file_folder: icon
  5. In the file browser, select the downloaded 3D model for that part and press OK
  6. Adjust the Offset values respectively.
  7. Exit the window by pressing OK


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